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

Thursday 14 December 2023

Meet The Illustrator: Farah Shah

Farah Shah

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Children’s Book Illustration

What items are an essential part of your creative space? 
It is essential I have a Blackwing pencil, Light Blue pencil, sketchbook, good paper, brush, and gouache paint on the table!

Do you have a favourite artistic medium? 
My two favourite mediums which I often switch between are Gouache Paint and Procreate. 

Name three artists whose work inspires you. 
I am inspired by all things surreal, and my favourite artists are Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall and Frida Khalo.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why? 
I would love to visit the surreal period and meet Dali himself. But, being in that period would have given me more of an insight of the dream like movement that occurred just after the World War 1.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
Studying these three artists mentioned above during my school years, made me want to share my dreams and retell my stories through my paintings/illustrations.

Can you share a photo of your creative workspace or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
My workspace is my kitchen table. I know, it is boring and nothing fancy, but this is where the magic happens. And it is a win-win situation as I am not far from the kettle or snacks ;)

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
My favourite part of the process is getting the idea down in little quick thumbnails. Here is where I find myself jumping between many ideas! And I often find myself coming back to these thumbnails once I have finished an illustration.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
My advice to illustrators who are starting in the field, is to keep pushing and experimenting with your work. The more you play, the more confident you become. And don’t forget to keep a sketchbook/ journal/ folder of your ideas!

Farah Shah identifies as a British Pakistani and has been drawing and painting since her childhood.
In 2012, she graduated from the Bradford School of Arts with a First-Class Honours degree in Graphics Design, Illustration and Digital media.
In 2018, she graduated from the Cambridge School of Art with a Masters degree in Children’s Book Illustration. She has also been commended for the Faber Childrens Fab Prize 2018.
She currently lives down south in the UK, however you will have to keep up with her as she likes to travel alot!
Farah is a freelance illustrator specialising in children’s illustration. She is represented by the Bright Agency and has worked with publishers such as Puffin Books, Scholastic, Hachette Children, Schofield and Simms and more.

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