'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 23 September 2021

Meet The Illustrator: Cindy Lane

: Cindy Lane

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Aiming for ‘Happy accidents’, not perfection!

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Natural light, growing green things, towers of books, a cup of tea, a kitty or two and a ‘What if?’ attitude.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I like creating with anything that allows unexpected results to occur. Even if it means I’ve spilt my water jar over something! 💦

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Aargh! Three is not enough! I’m a huge fan of quirky, a bit crazy, and graphic styles, which can say so much with so little on the page. I LOVE the work of Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin & Hobbes), Leigh Hodgkinson (books & Olobob Top on the telly), and David Mackintosh (illustrator of his own books, and designer of Lauren Child’s books, whose work I’m also mad for! Can I include her as well? Pleeease?

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
Ancient Egypt, or anything with ‘Ancient” in front of it. I have always found the graphic style and weird perspective of those times irresistible!

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I was illustrating before I even knew it was called that, making and drawing my own miniature books before I started school. It was the sheer excitement of creating MY own worlds within those pages that had me hooked!

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
This is my studio, purpose built when I built my new house. There is no flat ceiling because in previous studios my extended easel kept hitting it, almost punching a hole through the plaster! There are windows on three sides for maximum natural light, as I don’t like working under artificial lights as colours can shift too much.
I’m a bit obsessive over storage, and have unusual finds spread throughout the studio to house all my creative accoutrements. Vintage timber map/planner drawers for my large sheets of watercolour paper, wooden library card catalogue chest of drawers for my pastels, vintage timber Japanese letterpress trays for my bottled pigments, old leather travelling trunks and suitcases for sketchbooks, a 100 yr old leather Dr’s Medicine Bag for my eggs, bones and feather collection, and a lacquered Korean apothecary cabinet for my pens and paints.
The studio has separate entrances, so I can ‘physically’ leave home, walk down the garden path, and ‘arrive for work’ with my mind focused on creative tasks for the day.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
There are two :

1. the very beginning, where I list all the possibilities – so exciting!

2. the very end, where I can see all of the work as a complete collection – an entire book – so satisfying!

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Don’t quit! I’ve found that even ‘overnight success’ takes at least ten years!

Cindy Lane is an award-winning artist and illustrator who loves the ocean. She was born and grew up by the sea in Sydney, lived by the Great Barrier Reef in FNQ, and now has her seaside studio by the Indian Ocean in Perth.

Cindy loves to make her own paints with materials she finds in nature, and collects waters from all over the world to use in her paintings. Seawaters from across Australia were used in Great White Shark, her first picture book.

For more information, please visit Cindy's website or follow her on instagram.