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- author Jackie French

Thursday 28 September 2023

Meet The Illustrator: Binny Talib

Binny Talib

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Contemporary, Whimsical, quirky, nostalgic, pointy, stylized, graphic

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
I have a large 40cm Astro boy statue that has been on every single studio desk since university, even moving with me to Hong Kong for a few years.
My large Wacom Cintiq
My Mac book pro
My pantone colour book
Drawings and sketches on the wall
My collection of beautiful children’s books and general inspiration bits and pieces
A window if possible
A notebook to scribble in
A3 printer

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I loved dip pen and ink for a very long time but I am now a digital artist, I predominantly use Procreate and photoshop. I do use many different types of brushes and scanned textures to help maintain a sense of authenticity.
I am enjoying exploring all the amazing textural brushes out there made by artists.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Mary Blair.
Isabelle Arsenault.
Maurice Sendak.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
60s, 70s.
The use of colour and bold line work.
Graphic styles.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
My mother was a very talented artist in every medium, paint, embroidery and ceramics, not to mention her doodles all over the house on anything that sat still.
I think growing up in such an extremely creative environment influenced me. My parents’ house was covered in art, like literally every inch, the walls have paintings from top to bottom (every wall) every table in covered in ceramics, and every cushion is covered in her incredible embroidery. The garden has her sculptures peeping out everywhere. Creativity was life in our home.
We had an art room, in the holidays we worked on all types of projects, lino cuts, drawing, painting, potato prints, typing on my dad’s old typewriter. I think I completely took it all for granted, its only as an adult I now know not all households are like this. My siblings are also creative types. I studied Visual Communication at University, and LOVED illustration as one of my favourite subjects, but my major work was actually a film. I thought I was definitely going into the moving image; I hope someday to get some of my illustrations moving in animation.

Can you share a photo of your creative workspace or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
I am currently incredibly privileged to be in residence in a studio in the CITY OF SYDNEY CREATIVE PRECINCT, run by the incredible Brand X. It’s in the middle of Sydney’s CBD and we have 5 floors of film, sound, digital media and art studios. I am completely humbled by some of the incredible artist I have met.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
Coming up with the initial style and colour palette for the book/piece. The hardest part for me is then doing the rest of the pencil roughs, that’s the real slog for me. Taking them to colour is extremely fun and I can relax into it once I know I have the concept all signed off.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Once said to me by my wise super talented illustration lecturer Edwina White, “Just keep going” and I have held onto that mantra. I have days of self-doubt and questioning, but I just try and move past it. I work full time in illustration, I treat it like a full-time job. I am still learning every day. Being open to feedback.

Binny is an award winning Australian illustrator who loves to create children's book characters and bring them to life. With a touch of the whimsy and a feel for the surreal, she aims to transports readers into new worlds through her drawings. Binny lives with her family in inner city Sydney and her trusty studio assistant, Paddington the Border Collie.

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