Not long ago I wrote a little feature on the illustrations of soon to be Illustration graduate, Emma Block. She's very kindly replied to a few questions I sent her, in order to learn a little bit more about her as an Illustrator.
- What do you plan to do after leaving university?
My plan is simply to stay in London and to work as a freelance illustrator, which probably isn’t going to be nearly as simple as it sounds.
- Do you prefer to work in an entirely analogue way, or do you employ a mix of analogue and digital processes?
I prefer a mix; my last project has been entirely analogue and it’s been a real challenge to get my head around the fact things can’t be changed in photoshop. If make something too big or make a mistake I’m stuck with it. The advantage is that I’ll be able to show my actually artwork at my degree show.
- You evidently produce a huge amount of work, have you at any point struggled to balance uni work, commissions and your personal work?
All the time, I am hugely grateful for the professional projects I’ve had but sometimes they come at the most inconvenient times. I work on my uni project for a few days then feel guilty about my professional work so work on that for a few days and the cycle continues. It’s hard work but I love what I do.
- How do you go about motivating yourself?
To be honest I have a bigger problem getting myself to stop working. Starting to work in the mornings is difficult though, and I like to take it easy and potter about in my jammies eating yoghurt and reading twitter before the serious work begins. I think it’s important to know how you work. I’m not a morning person so I never really expect myself to do anything before 11am. :)
- Within your work you use rather dusky, pastel colours; do you choose the coloured papers you work with depending on the brief, or are your colour choices intrinsically part of your style?
I think it’s a little of both really. I have a huge horde of coloured, patterned and found papers in my room, and once I have a sketch I’ll sort though my papers looking for a few that feel right. I suppose I’m looking for something that fits my style and makes sense for the brief.
- As an Illustration student (soon to be graduate!), what is your perception of Illustration as an industry? Do you feel it's flourishing as a result of Illustration becoming such a popular degree, or will this simply mean there are fewer jobs to go around and greater competition?
It’s difficult to say really, I’m certainly hoping their jobs out there! I’ve been very lucky so far in that respect. I think there is really, and if you’re good at what you do, hard working, professional and know how to self promote a little bit, I don’t see why you can’t make it.
- And finally, what's your favourite book, and have you / do you plan to produce illustrations for it?
I’ve been lucky enough to illustrate a few of my favourite books as uni projects, including Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories and The Secret Garden. I would love to have a go at Three Men in a Boat.
Emma's recently posted some images of her illustrations for The Secret Garden, visit her blog to see more, they're absolutely gorgeous and perfectly recreate the mood of The Secret Garden, for me!
Emma's Website / Portfolio