Tuesday, August 30, 2011
An interview with a fantastic fellow illustrator and friend, Marsha Riti:
1. When and how did you become interested in children's book illustration? Have you ever worked in other genres of art?
I became interested in children's book illustration two and a half years ago when I took an illustration class from Mark Mitchell. I have worked in other media. My very favorite is ceramics, hand-thrown.
2. Which artists do you think have influenced your illustrations?
Steve Purcell, George Herriman, and Hank Ketcham.
3. What does your creative process look like from start to finish?
I think about an idea and start doing some quick sketches just to get the composition of my characters and scene down. Once the rough sketch is down I trace over it to tighten the linework. I scan the finished drawing into Photoshop and clean it up. When the sketch is where I want it to be I print it out onto watercolor paper. I stretch the drawing and then paint. Finally I scan it into Photoshop again to boost the colors and voila!
4. Why do you like to use watercolor? Can you tell me your process for stretching watercolor paper?
I like my original drawing showing though, so that's why I opted to work in watercolor primarily. However, I have been wanting to experiment with dropping color in digitally. I do stretch my paper. I really do not like how paper looks buckled. I first put my image onto the paper. Then I soak the paper in cool water, but not for too long. You want the paper to be moist all the way through but not floppy. I use 90 lb. hot press Arches so I only soak it for ten seconds max. I blot the moisture off with paper towels. Then lay it over 1/2" thick Gator Board. I staple the paper to the gator board starting in each corner then the middle, and then I fill in to where the staples are 1/2" apart. Allow to dry laying flat. Don't pull off the board until you are done.
5. Do you ever create illustrations based on your own chosen subject matter, and if so, where do you find inspiration for those ideas?
I find inspiration from premises like what if... Then I build off those ideas.
6. Is there any one resource you would recommend to someone looking to get started as a freelance illustrator for children's publications?
SCBWI, 'nuf said.
7. In honor of your illustrations in the newly published children's book, The Picky Little Witch, were you ever a picky eater?
Not especially. However, I remember really not liking runny yokes. Now I love them!
That's all! Be sure to check out Marsha's website (www.marshariti.com)!