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

Thursday 28 October 2021

Meet The Illustrator: Yvonne Mes

: Yvonne Mes

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Fun, quirky, expressive shifting depending which multiverse I inhabit.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Podcasts to listen to. Iced coffee to drink. Collage scraps.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I like creating textures using all kinds of medium using my gel press, alcohol inks, wax and more, and then use these for backgrounds and collage elements in my art and illustrations. At the moment I have a thing for cold wax medium and encaustic wax.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Vincent Van Gogh (I had to add a Dutch person) for his expressiveness and colour while battling his demons. Eric Carle because I grew up with his books and his collages. Fiep Westendorp, another Dutch person, whose illustrations I grew up with. Her endearing illustrations still make me smile and I love the use of her silhouetted ‘Jip and Janneke’ characters. These are the first three that come to mind, but there are so many more.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
A lot of history was not kind to female artists. The sixties seem like a freeing time with lots of experimentation and pushing of boundaries.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I have always loved art, whether fine arts or illustration and have always dabbled in both from a young age. My previous career as an early childhood educator and my love of picture books is what inspired me to become an illustrator. There is nothing better than sharing books with young children.

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 a very recent pic. At the moment I am playing with encaustics, so I have a griddle with cupcake holders with wax, pan pastels to apply on the top, tools to incise and burn and more. As you can see, I love being surrounded by books. In the background is my desk where I write or illustrate using my tablet. I have lots of trolleys (there are 4 in this picture, can you count them?) that contain art materials and I can wheel them around to whatever surface I am working on. In the background is my easel which looks out over our backyard. I love this space and I am so lucky to have it. I mean, kids don’t need rumpus rooms do they?

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
Experimenting and playing with the materials, getting my hands dirty (and usually my clothes), and developing characters. But most of all, the joy is in learning more about art and illustration in all its forms.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Join a group of like-minded people such as Write Links (sorry for the plug). It is difficult to persist when you don’t have cheerleaders who understand your passion.

Yvonne Mes is a children’s author, illustrator and artist from Brisbane. She buys more books than she can read, comes up with more ideas than she can write or illustrate, and has more children than she can manage. But she tries, and best of all, she is NEVER bored.

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