Marion Deuchars on Children’s Books, Curiosity and being an Award-Winning Illustrator
At last month’s Nicer Tuesday’s we caught up with award-winning Illustrator and Author, Marion Deuchars, to reveal her creative pearls of wisdom alongside other tips and tricks. Marion gave us the low down on speeding up workflow, how to get your work noticed and the ever-important question of how to keep creativity alive. Read our interview here…
Hi Marion! Tell us a little bit about what you do?
I am an Illustrator and have been for over 25 years! I’m also an author, so I work in publishing quite a bit too. I’ve worked for just about everyone, from newspapers such as the Guardian, to museums, restaurants, Royal Mail and even large corporate companies like Credit Suisse and Samsung. I’ve always thought of myself as quite a versatile illustrator, one who could tackle any brief and adapt it. Over the last five years I’ve mainly been creating children’s activity and picture books, but also released my first adult book for Penguin books called COLOUR, my latest book is called Bob’s Blue Period with Laurence King.
What’s your creative pearl of wisdom?
To keep learning. I always feel like I’m still learning in my craft.
Do you use Adobe products? If so, which do you use the most? What is your favourite tool and why?
I often work with analogue as I use a range of different materials, but I do use Photoshop. The programme has allowed me to be neater and more precise, it also influences the way I draw and paint – my drawings are often made up of composite elements which are then pieced together and coloured using Photoshop. I also use InDesign for layout and the Creative Cloud to store my assets for future projects.
Do you have any tips for speeding up your workflow? If so, can you share?
Organisation and filing! Due to the nature of my work, I use large Photoshop files so am trying to be better at filing to save time later. Another tip is to continue learning new skills on an ongoing basis, there’s so many updates and tools available which means there’s more efficient ways to do things when creating new projects.
Can you explain how you get your work noticed? Any tips you can tell us?
The way and the world in which I established myself is a very different world than today’s, but the principles are still the same – you must be seen. To get my work out there I made postcards of my artwork, sent them out to creative directors and followed up with a call. It was quite a small audience and it was very London centric, but it did work. Nowadays people have a global audience so keeping your website or Instagram account looking good will help you get noticed. Don’t be intimidated by the global community.
How do you spark your own creativity? Do you have any advice on how?
I think I have a curiosity, a curiosity to find out about new things, new places, books and films. If I lose that then I might lose my appetite for learning new things, and maybe even my work. What amazes me is that I get up each morning and it never feels like going to work, that’s something I want to hold on to.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into Illustration?
My advice would be to try and find your unique voice. It’s very easy to copy what you think is on trend you’ll always end up being behind. So, I’d say, it’s best to really strive to find your own individual style because that’s what people will always be looking for. We have an insatiable appetite for the ‘new’.
Are there any new styles you’re trying out at the moment that you think might be popular?
I try to push my work forward in different ways, more than a specific style. For example, I just came back from Naples and was inspired by the Italian and Roman typography so I’m thinking of ways I could incorporate that into my work.”
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