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Thursday 14 March 2024

Meet The Illustrator: Rebecca Timmis

Rebecca Timmis

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Varied! Often cartoony, but depends on the tone required. 

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Photoshop, my Wacom tablet, some music and a glass of ice-cold Pepsi Max. Coffee is for grown-ups.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I love working digitally – it’s so fast and I never worry about wasting expensive paper. Though I do miss the smell of pastels and paint sometimes.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Jess Racklyeft, Jeannie Baker and Tanja Stephani

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
The golden years of traditional 2D animation, just before 3D animation took over. It would have been amazing to work in a big studio when drawing was still at the heart of everything.

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I have always been obsessed with books. Once I was old enough to realise books were made by actual people and didn’t just sprout in a bookstore, I decided ‘that’s the job for me!’. One of my favourite books is House by Mouse by George Mendoza, illustrated by Doris Smith. The artwork is exquisitely detailed. My biggest dream is to create the same joy in others that pouring over House by Mouse brought to me.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
I am very lucky to have my own office at home. I have two large monitors, a laptop for writing on-the-go, and artwork and vision boards on the walls. I try to keep trinkets to a minimum but I do have inspirational quotes and my goals for the year stuck onto my monitors.

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
The concept art … I am not very good at compositioning but I do like the ‘big picture’ phase where you need to work out what goes where, what colours you’re going to use, where and what the light source is etc. Maybe I’ll get better as I go along!

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
The best thing to do in order to improve your skills is simply to draw more. It wasn’t until I illustrated my MerTales chapter book series, which required hundreds and hundreds of drawings of mermaids, that I started to feel confident in my skills. Let go of being perfect and find a style that works for you. Drawing is a skill, not a talent, and it can always be improved.

Rebecca Timmis is an author-illustrator from Queensland. She’s the creator of the MerTales and Jawsome series, published by Albert Street Books, and in 2023 won the Golden Taco in the Laugh Out Loud category for Jawsome #1. When she’s not writing books, Rebecca writes and develops video games.

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