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

Thursday 11 April 2024

Meet The Illustrator: Imogen Hartland

Imogen Hartland

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Bold, bright, and playful cobblings of colour!

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Scissors and glue! Also, good quality paper.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
It’d be a tussle between printmaking and collage...

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
I could talk about picture book art till the cows come home…but a three-artist intro might include: Chris McKimmie (his work is so unique, so interesting, so colourful!), Beatrice Alemagna (I find her art mesmerising; the details, the palettes of brightness and dark), and Bob Graham. 

(I love everything about his books—the streetscapes, the diversity, the gentle gestures… don’t get me started on the stories!).
Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
I feel like a time machine could teach us so much about ephemeral art! I’d love to see if prehistoric people made sandcastles the same way as we do today… :)

Who or what inspired you to become an illustrator?
I think it was probably discovering graphic novels—in particular, Drawn & Quarterly books. I started illustrating as a form of memory-keeping; to record precious-ordinary moments I wanted to remember. But I’ve really dived deep into it since I had my two daughters—I fell in love with them, and with picture books, and the rest, as they say, was history.

Can you share a photo of your creative work space or part of the area where you work most often? Talk us through it.
We have a spare room at the moment which I use to store all my bits and pieces. I love/hate its clutter (exhibit A)! Lots of op shop finds and art by my kids, works-in-progress, and materials galore (I collect all kinds of rubbish thinking I might make use of it one day, sigh ).
I usually do my actual work in the living room; it gets lovely natural light, and I can spread out on our (ridiculously) oversized dining table (exhibit B).

What is your favourite part of the illustration process?
I love that moment where the picture comes together; where it’s a joy to look at; where it’s clear that the colours and composition work.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
I am far too much a novice to offer advice to someone who wants to establish a career as an illustrator; but for everyone else, I would say there’s no such thing as aspiring—you just do it. 

Imogen Hartland is an aspiring picture book author/illustrator. She lives in Dharawal country in Sydney, near some rock pools and the bush, and you can find her work in a bunch of wonderful kidlit magazines, and Our Australian Heart, by Just Write for Kids and Friends.

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