Amelia’s Magazine | The Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today!

Kickstarter campaign image Ameliasccc
I am super excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today! Make sure you grab an EARLY BIRD BARGAIN

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is a unique collaborative colouring book for adults, featuring the work of 40 artists from all over the world. If you are hunting for an unusual, beautiful, high quality colouring book that stands out in the crowd then this is the one for you! It would make an ideal Christmas present

Alex Mcginn
Double page spread by Alex McGinn.

Eleanor Percival
Double page spread by Eleanor Percival.

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion was put together through an open brief and each artist has contributed a double page – with a full colour left page on the left, and a complementary black line image on the right to colour in. This limited edition book will be printed on gorgeous thick paper and bound using the lay flat binding process ensuring that it is a delight to colour in. 

Nanna Prierler
I am already colouring in the pages! Here’s one by Nanna Prierler.

Steph Moulden
And another by Steph Moulden.

I have released some early back issues (1,2,3 and 4) as rewards to help raise funds and there are some fabulous Early Bird bargains that are sure to be snapped up fast, so please do visit the campaign page to view a short video featuring a mock up of the book… I hope you enjoy the little surprise at the end!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Alex McGinn, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Back issues, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Early Bird, ,Eleanor Percival, ,Kickstarter, ,Launch, ,Nanna Prierler, ,Steph Moulden

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Amelia’s Magazine | OPEN BRIEF for ARTISTS: Amelia’s Magazine Colourful Colouring Companion

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 cover colouring in
Have you noticed the huge trend for colouring books aimed at adults? It hasn’t escaped my notice: I included a series of colouring in pages in issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine way back in 2005, complete with a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover and a free set of smelly branded pens to colour in those pages (above). 10 years on the concept has gone mainstream, and the time is right to contribute something a bit different to the market: a beautifully curated colouring book that features the work of multiple contributors who are working in diversely different but appealing styles. I will include artwork that features a wide range of themes, creating a book that goes beyond the feel of most pretty decorative colouring books. I want this book to appeal as much to men as it does to women! (and I therefore encourage lots of male artists to contribute).

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Zakee Shariff colouring in pages
Zakee Shariff, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Birgitte Lund colouring in pages
Birgitte Lund, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

And the most exciting part about this project? Each artist will get two opposing pages to play with, just as they did back in 2005. One side of the book will showcase a fully coloured image, and the opposite page will showcase a similar or related image designed for colouring in. It’s a great chance for artists to get their work seen and admired by a wide new audience – all images will be credited and there will be a back section where short bios and links for all featured artists are shared. Let your imagination run riot.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Serge Seidlitz colouring in pages
Serge Seidlitz, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Colin Henderson colouring in pages
Colin Henderson, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

I have already conducted a bit of market research on my social media feeds to gauge enthusiasm for a colouring in book and here are just a few of the responses: I think we’re onto a winner!

‘Sounds so fun’
‘I’d buy it for sure’
‘Heck yes, I’d love to be involved’
‘I’d love to draw something! I would also love to buy a copy!’
‘Yes! I loved this back in 2005. And would love another similar issue today! x’
‘I’ve just completed two commissions for adult colouring books, they’re so popular right now go for it, I’d love to contribute!’
‘Would love to pop five on my Christmas gift list!’
‘I remember this! Great idea!’
‘Definitely, great idea! Would tick two of my obsession boxes…’
‘definitely! Perfect idea!’
‘sounds like a fantastic idea. I hope you decide to go for it, it would be a great project & I’d love to buy one.’
‘It’s a brilliant concept. Like a colouring compendium of up and coming artists.’

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Jim Stoten colouring in pages
Jim Stoten, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Technical Details:
Please read before you start your artwork! I cannot include artwork that is not correctly put together for the book.

Specifications:
The full colour page of your artwork should be designed to appear on the left hand side of the book (so please remember that some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter on the right hand side). Please note that this is the reverse of how it appeared in issue 4.

The colouring in page should be designed to appear on the right hand side of the book (ditto, some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter at the left side). Please make sure you create this page using a fine liner pen and make sure your lines are solid and can be coloured in easily (no pencil or brush lines please). Lots of small intricate spaces to colour in are good, but it’s okay to intersperse these with larger areas of plain ground.

Please make sure your pages work together: they could make up one large image when viewed together, or tell some kind of story next to each other. They should not be based on the exact same image. Please have fun with this concept; this will not be a twee colouring in book, so please get inspired by ideas beyond the usual. And of course, have fun with colour…

Size, Bleed, File type:
This book will be the same size as all my publications: 200mm wide x 245mm high. However you should produce your original artwork so it would fit an A2 sheet; 400mm x 490mm at a 300 dpi resolution.

Please also include a 3mm area of bleed around your artwork, as it will be printed full bleed in the book. This is a 3mm zone that you do not mind losing parts of when the pages are cut to size (so don’t include anything important).

Each of your two images should therefore be sized 406mm wide x 496mm high at 300 dpi, which includes the 3mm bleed zone around each side.

Create your colour artwork using the CYMK colour mode for lithograph printing and save as a tiff or psd file. Please create the line art for your colouring in page using the Grayscale mode in Photoshop or as an Illustrator file. The line art should be very black please.

Exclusivity:
Your artwork should be created exclusively for this project: please share tasters on social media using the hashtag #ameliasccc but do not share the full piece online until the book is published if you are chosen for inclusion.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Luke Best colouring in pages
Luke Best, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Send Me:
Please title your email ARTWORK FOR AMELIA’S MAGAZINE COLOURING BOOK.

Please ensure your artworks are labelled with your name or I may lose them.

Please send me a small version of your artwork: my Gmail account cannot cope with large files, so please ensure you resize each page to be no larger than 1MB. If you are shortlisted I will ask you to send a larger file via Wetransfer.

Website and Social Media:
You must have a professional active presence on social media channels, preferably on at least twitter, facebook and instagram.

Please include all relevant links in your email, including a link to the personal website which best showcases your work.

Please do start sharing news on the project using the hashtag #ameliasccc. I’d love to see your progress on twitter and instagram.

Words:
Please send me a 100 word description of your artwork: including inspiration, process and meaning if applicable.

Please also send me 100 word biography.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Babak Ganjei colouring in pages
Babak Ganjei, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Credit:
All artists will receive a complimentary copy of the book. If the book is taken up by a publisher I will endeavour to agree some kind of payment for all featured artists: but please note that if I self publish this book I will not be able to offer any payment. *So I can’t promise anything at this stage.*

Deadlines:
You have all summer long to work on your images, but please submit your artwork to art@ameliasmagazine.com by Friday 28th August 2015. My plan is to publish this book before Christmas, making it the perfect gift item for all those who have recently discovered (or rediscovered) the joy of colouring in, but are looking for something a bit different from the average offering.

Publishing Plans:
At present I anticipate self-publishing this book through Kickstarter in the same way as I did with my limited edition 10th anniversary celebration book That Which We Do Not Understand: now sold out. However I am also actively looking for a publisher who understands my vision and is able to better promote and distribute this book once it is published. I don’t know which way it will go at this stage, but suffice to say that if you are a publisher or work for one and would be interested in chatting with me then do get in touch: I’d love to talk.

Disclaimer:
I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant and hopeful this birth will go well and I can get back to work as soon as possible, but there’s always the potential for unforeseen problems, and if something does happen then I will have to postpone this project. So I am just putting that thought out there: I could not wait to post this brief and look forward to seeing what you produce.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Babak Ganjei, ,Birgitte Lund, ,Colin Henderson, ,Coloring, ,Coloring In, ,Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring In, ,illustration, ,Jim Stoten, ,Kickstarter, ,Luke Best, ,Open brief, ,Serge Seidlitz, ,Special Colouring Companion, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Wetransfer, ,Zakee Shariff

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Amelia’s Magazine | OPEN BRIEF for ARTISTS: Amelia’s Magazine Colourful Colouring Companion

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 cover colouring in
Have you noticed the huge trend for colouring books aimed at adults? It hasn’t escaped my notice: I included a series of colouring in pages in issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine way back in 2005, complete with a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover and a free set of smelly branded pens to colour in those pages (above). 10 years on the concept has gone mainstream, and the time is right to contribute something a bit different to the market: a beautifully curated colouring book that features the work of multiple contributors who are working in diversely different but appealing styles. I will include artwork that features a wide range of themes, creating a book that goes beyond the feel of most pretty decorative colouring books. I want this book to appeal as much to men as it does to women! (and I therefore encourage lots of male artists to contribute).

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Zakee Shariff colouring in pages
Zakee Shariff, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Birgitte Lund colouring in pages
Birgitte Lund, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

And the most exciting part about this project? Each artist will get two opposing pages to play with, just as they did back in 2005. One side of the book will showcase a fully coloured image, and the opposite page will showcase a similar or related image designed for colouring in. It’s a great chance for artists to get their work seen and admired by a wide new audience – all images will be credited and there will be a back section where short bios and links for all featured artists are shared. Let your imagination run riot.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Serge Seidlitz colouring in pages
Serge Seidlitz, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Colin Henderson colouring in pages
Colin Henderson, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

I have already conducted a bit of market research on my social media feeds to gauge enthusiasm for a colouring in book and here are just a few of the responses: I think we’re onto a winner!

‘Sounds so fun’
‘I’d buy it for sure’
‘Heck yes, I’d love to be involved’
‘I’d love to draw something! I would also love to buy a copy!’
‘Yes! I loved this back in 2005. And would love another similar issue today! x’
‘I’ve just completed two commissions for adult colouring books, they’re so popular right now go for it, I’d love to contribute!’
‘Would love to pop five on my Christmas gift list!’
‘I remember this! Great idea!’
‘Definitely, great idea! Would tick two of my obsession boxes…’
‘definitely! Perfect idea!’
‘sounds like a fantastic idea. I hope you decide to go for it, it would be a great project & I’d love to buy one.’
‘It’s a brilliant concept. Like a colouring compendium of up and coming artists.’

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Jim Stoten colouring in pages
Jim Stoten, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Technical Details:
Please read before you start your artwork! I cannot include artwork that is not correctly put together for the book.

Specifications:
The full colour page of your artwork should be designed to appear on the left hand side of the book (so please remember that some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter on the right hand side). Please note that this is the reverse of how it appeared in issue 4.

The colouring in page should be designed to appear on the right hand side of the book (ditto, some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter at the left side). Please make sure you create this page using a fine liner pen and make sure your lines are solid and can be coloured in easily (no pencil or brush lines please). Lots of small intricate spaces to colour in are good, but it’s okay to intersperse these with larger areas of plain ground.

Please make sure your pages work together: they could make up one large image when viewed together, or tell some kind of story next to each other. They should not be based on the exact same image. Please have fun with this concept; this will not be a twee colouring in book, so please get inspired by ideas beyond the usual. And of course, have fun with colour…

Size, Bleed, File type:
This book will be the same size as all my publications: 200mm wide x 245mm high. However you should produce your original artwork so it would fit an A2 sheet; 400mm x 490mm at a 300 dpi resolution.

Please also include a 3mm area of bleed around your artwork, as it will be printed full bleed in the book. This is a 3mm zone that you do not mind losing parts of when the pages are cut to size (so don’t include anything important).

Each of your two images should therefore be sized 406mm wide x 496mm high at 300 dpi, which includes the 3mm bleed zone around each side.

Create your colour artwork using the CYMK colour mode for lithograph printing and save as a tiff or psd file. Please create the line art for your colouring in page using the Grayscale mode in Photoshop or as an Illustrator file. The line art should be very black please.

Exclusivity:
Your artwork should be created exclusively for this project: please share tasters on social media using the hashtag #ameliasccc but do not share the full piece online until the book is published if you are chosen for inclusion.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Luke Best colouring in pages
Luke Best, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Send Me:
Please title your email ARTWORK FOR AMELIA’S MAGAZINE COLOURING BOOK.

Please ensure your artworks are labelled with your name or I may lose them.

Please send me a small version of your artwork: my Gmail account cannot cope with large files, so please ensure you resize each page to be no larger than 1MB. If you are shortlisted I will ask you to send a larger file via Wetransfer.

Website and Social Media:
You must have a professional active presence on social media channels, preferably on at least twitter, facebook and instagram.

Please include all relevant links in your email, including a link to the personal website which best showcases your work.

Please do start sharing news on the project using the hashtag #ameliasccc. I’d love to see your progress on twitter and instagram.

Words:
Please send me a 100 word description of your artwork: including inspiration, process and meaning if applicable.

Please also send me 100 word biography.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Babak Ganjei colouring in pages
Babak Ganjei, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Credit:
All artists will receive a complimentary copy of the book. If the book is taken up by a publisher I will endeavour to agree some kind of payment for all featured artists: but please note that if I self publish this book I will not be able to offer any payment. *So I can’t promise anything at this stage.*

Deadlines:
You have all summer long to work on your images, but please submit your artwork to art@ameliasmagazine.com by Friday 28th August 2015. My plan is to publish this book before Christmas, making it the perfect gift item for all those who have recently discovered (or rediscovered) the joy of colouring in, but are looking for something a bit different from the average offering.

Publishing Plans:
At present I anticipate self-publishing this book through Kickstarter in the same way as I did with my limited edition 10th anniversary celebration book That Which We Do Not Understand: now sold out. However I am also actively looking for a publisher who understands my vision and is able to better promote and distribute this book once it is published. I don’t know which way it will go at this stage, but suffice to say that if you are a publisher or work for one and would be interested in chatting with me then do get in touch: I’d love to talk.

Disclaimer:
I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant and hopeful this birth will go well and I can get back to work as soon as possible, but there’s always the potential for unforeseen problems, and if something does happen then I will have to postpone this project. So I am just putting that thought out there: I could not wait to post this brief and look forward to seeing what you produce.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Babak Ganjei, ,Birgitte Lund, ,Colin Henderson, ,Coloring, ,Coloring In, ,Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring In, ,illustration, ,Jim Stoten, ,Kickstarter, ,Luke Best, ,Open brief, ,Serge Seidlitz, ,Special Colouring Companion, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Wetransfer, ,Zakee Shariff

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | OPEN BRIEF for ARTISTS: Amelia’s Magazine Colourful Colouring Companion

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 cover colouring in
Have you noticed the huge trend for colouring books aimed at adults? It hasn’t escaped my notice: I included a series of colouring in pages in issue 4 of Amelia’s Magazine way back in 2005, complete with a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover and a free set of smelly branded pens to colour in those pages (above). 10 years on the concept has gone mainstream, and the time is right to contribute something a bit different to the market: a beautifully curated colouring book that features the work of multiple contributors who are working in diversely different but appealing styles. I will include artwork that features a wide range of themes, creating a book that goes beyond the feel of most pretty decorative colouring books. I want this book to appeal as much to men as it does to women! (and I therefore encourage lots of male artists to contribute).

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Zakee Shariff colouring in pages
Zakee Shariff, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Birgitte Lund colouring in pages
Birgitte Lund, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

And the most exciting part about this project? Each artist will get two opposing pages to play with, just as they did back in 2005. One side of the book will showcase a fully coloured image, and the opposite page will showcase a similar or related image designed for colouring in. It’s a great chance for artists to get their work seen and admired by a wide new audience – all images will be credited and there will be a back section where short bios and links for all featured artists are shared. Let your imagination run riot.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Serge Seidlitz colouring in pages
Serge Seidlitz, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Colin Henderson colouring in pages
Colin Henderson, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

I have already conducted a bit of market research on my social media feeds to gauge enthusiasm for a colouring in book and here are just a few of the responses: I think we’re onto a winner!

‘Sounds so fun’
‘I’d buy it for sure’
‘Heck yes, I’d love to be involved’
‘I’d love to draw something! I would also love to buy a copy!’
‘Yes! I loved this back in 2005. And would love another similar issue today! x’
‘I’ve just completed two commissions for adult colouring books, they’re so popular right now go for it, I’d love to contribute!’
‘Would love to pop five on my Christmas gift list!’
‘I remember this! Great idea!’
‘Definitely, great idea! Would tick two of my obsession boxes…’
‘definitely! Perfect idea!’
‘sounds like a fantastic idea. I hope you decide to go for it, it would be a great project & I’d love to buy one.’
‘It’s a brilliant concept. Like a colouring compendium of up and coming artists.’

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Jim Stoten colouring in pages
Jim Stoten, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Technical Details:
Please read before you start your artwork! I cannot include artwork that is not correctly put together for the book.

Specifications:
The full colour page of your artwork should be designed to appear on the left hand side of the book (so please remember that some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter on the right hand side). Please note that this is the reverse of how it appeared in issue 4.

The colouring in page should be designed to appear on the right hand side of the book (ditto, some of the artwork may disappear into the gutter at the left side). Please make sure you create this page using a fine liner pen and make sure your lines are solid and can be coloured in easily (no pencil or brush lines please). Lots of small intricate spaces to colour in are good, but it’s okay to intersperse these with larger areas of plain ground.

Please make sure your pages work together: they could make up one large image when viewed together, or tell some kind of story next to each other. They should not be based on the exact same image. Please have fun with this concept; this will not be a twee colouring in book, so please get inspired by ideas beyond the usual. And of course, have fun with colour…

Size, Bleed, File type:
This book will be the same size as all my publications: 200mm wide x 245mm high. However you should produce your original artwork so it would fit an A2 sheet; 400mm x 490mm at a 300 dpi resolution.

Please also include a 3mm area of bleed around your artwork, as it will be printed full bleed in the book. This is a 3mm zone that you do not mind losing parts of when the pages are cut to size (so don’t include anything important).

Each of your two images should therefore be sized 406mm wide x 496mm high at 300 dpi, which includes the 3mm bleed zone around each side.

Create your colour artwork using the CYMK colour mode for lithograph printing and save as a tiff or psd file. Please create the line art for your colouring in page using the Grayscale mode in Photoshop or as an Illustrator file. The line art should be very black please.

Exclusivity:
Your artwork should be created exclusively for this project: please share tasters on social media using the hashtag #ameliasccc but do not share the full piece online until the book is published if you are chosen for inclusion.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Luke Best colouring in pages
Luke Best, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Send Me:
Please title your email ARTWORK FOR AMELIA’S MAGAZINE COLOURING BOOK.

Please ensure your artworks are labelled with your name or I may lose them.

Please send me a small version of your artwork: my Gmail account cannot cope with large files, so please ensure you resize each page to be no larger than 1MB. If you are shortlisted I will ask you to send a larger file via Wetransfer.

Website and Social Media:
You must have a professional active presence on social media channels, preferably on at least twitter, facebook and instagram.

Please include all relevant links in your email, including a link to the personal website which best showcases your work.

Please do start sharing news on the project using the hashtag #ameliasccc. I’d love to see your progress on twitter and instagram.

Words:
Please send me a 100 word description of your artwork: including inspiration, process and meaning if applicable.

Please also send me 100 word biography.

Amelia's Magazine issue 4 Babak Ganjei colouring in pages
Babak Ganjei, Amelia’s Magazine issue 4.

Credit:
All artists will receive a complimentary copy of the book. If the book is taken up by a publisher I will endeavour to agree some kind of payment for all featured artists: but please note that if I self publish this book I will not be able to offer any payment. *So I can’t promise anything at this stage.*

Deadlines:
You have all summer long to work on your images, but please submit your artwork to art@ameliasmagazine.com by Friday 28th August 2015. My plan is to publish this book before Christmas, making it the perfect gift item for all those who have recently discovered (or rediscovered) the joy of colouring in, but are looking for something a bit different from the average offering.

UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED until midnight Monday 14th Sept 2015. Thank you so much to over 60 artists who have submitted work so far, I have received some wonderful colouring in pages. My baby girl arrived 18 days after her due date so she is only 4 weeks old at the time of writing, and in order to ensure this book showcases a diverse range of styles I am keeping the brief open for a further two weeks. I am especially keen to receive innovative and thought provoking narrative artwork with lots of decorative detail to colour in: think landscapes, surreal, buildings, gardens, outer space, tattoo art, underwater, fashion, people, dinosaurs, monsters, stories. And if you are a guy please do get involved! I can’t promise anything but I will be showing the top entries to a major colouring book publisher who is interested in working with me.

Publishing Plans:
At present I anticipate self-publishing this book through Kickstarter in the same way as I did with my limited edition 10th anniversary celebration book That Which We Do Not Understand: now sold out. However I am also actively looking for a publisher who understands my vision and is able to better promote and distribute this book once it is published. I don’t know which way it will go at this stage, but suffice to say that if you are a publisher or work for one and would be interested in chatting with me then do get in touch: I’d love to talk.

Disclaimer:
I am nearly 38 weeks pregnant and hopeful this birth will go well and I can get back to work as soon as possible, but there’s always the potential for unforeseen problems, and if something does happen then I will have to postpone this project. So I am just putting that thought out there: I could not wait to post this brief and look forward to seeing what you produce.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Babak Ganjei, ,Birgitte Lund, ,Colin Henderson, ,Coloring, ,Coloring In, ,Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring In, ,illustration, ,Jim Stoten, ,Kickstarter, ,Luke Best, ,Open brief, ,Serge Seidlitz, ,Special Colouring Companion, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,Wetransfer, ,Zakee Shariff

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing Color On! Magazine: An Interview with Mary J. Winters-Meyer

Meditations-On-Serenity Mary J Winter-Meyers
I found entrepreneurial colouring book artist and magazine publisher Mary J. Winters-Meyer when I was searching Facebook to find groups that might like to know about Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion and came across her huge Coloring Books for Adults group. Following the links led me to Color On! Magazine, her new venture that caters to the international adult colouring community, featuring exclusive downloadable artwork from colouring artists. Mary is now a full time artist thanks to her new found love of colouring: proof, if ever there was needed, that colouring is a creative endeavour. This brilliant interview explains the lure of the colouring craze, and offers a fascinating insight into the rapid growth of this creative hobby.

Your first colouring book Dragons, Knots, Bots and More! features a lot of different styles, but you seem to be particularly inspired by Celtic knot patterns and Tibetan style Mandala designs. Where does this love stem from?
I’ve been interested in different cultures and mythology for as long as I can remember. I have an entire bookshelf of mythology books – Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse, etc. The Celtic and Norse mythology especially appealed to my creative side – I just find the Celtic knotwork both mesmerizing and beautiful. It may also have something to do with my love of needlecrafts, as it has similarities to the crochet and knitting that I enjoy.

My love of mandalas started when I first saw Tibetan sand mandalas. There was a demonstration at a local art gallery, where the monks came for a week to create one while people watched, and then swept it away at the end of the week. I found the idea of something so beautiful and yet impermanent both awe-inspiring, and also sad. When I got involved with coloring books, and decided to try my hand at drawing, the idea of doing work that was similar to those mandalas, but with themes derived from my other interests, appealed to me as a design that could be as intricate as the Tibetan mandalas, but in a more permanent form.

Dragons Knots Bots book-front-cover
What else inspires your art?
Science fiction, mythology, fantasy, mathematics, religion, games, nature – actually just about anything in life can inspire a design for me. Generally, though, my designs show my geeky side and love of science fiction and fantasy. Books, especially – I love the idea of creating my own interpretation, putting down on paper how my imagination completes the image created by an author’s words.

Where did you study and how did it inform the way you approach art making now?
I actually don’t have any formal art training. In fact, if you had asked me five years ago to draw something, I would have been rather vehement in my insistence that I couldn’t draw! For me, my mother was the “artist.” She attended the Chicago Art Institute, and worked in oil paints. She can take a piece of scrap paper, and in a few seconds draw someone’s likeness. To me, that was what being an artist meant – someone with the talent to create photo-realistic drawings without any effort.

But then a friend got me interested in coloring books. I enjoyed relaxing with them, putting color on paper and creating something lovely. But after I had purchased my first few coloring books, I found myself leafing through them, and not finding any designs I wanted to color. One day, while leafing through a space-themed coloring book, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could create something I wanted to color. Something fun, and geometric (since I still didn’t think I could draw) that just required a ruler and some lines on the paper. Or maybe something geeky, that wouldn’t be difficult to draw because I would have lots of reference materials from the internet. From that idea, I went out and bought a sketchpad, and the next thing I knew, I was creating art!

I was rather surprised to find that drawing wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Sure, I ended up doing a lot of erasing and trying again, but I was creating objects that could be recognized for what I meant them to be! I still remember how excited I was when I first drew a cardinal that actually looked like a cardinal, and a bear that actually looked like a bear. I kept showing my friends and family and saying things like, “Look! It’s a bear! And it actually looks like a bear!” Even now, achieving success at creating some new object or creature has that same sense of thrill for me.

I still approach art the same way I approach anything. I get online and start researching. It might be researching the topic I want to draw, or researching a new drawing technique, or even looking at dozens of images in Google Image to get a sense of the angles and perspective I want to use for a given topic. If I’m creating a mandala with a specific theme, I’ll then decide what kinds of images I want to use for that theme. I prefer to use symbols for ideas rather than concrete images.

For example, in my piece Meditations on Serenity (at the top of the blog), the theme was the TV show Firefly, where the spaceship is named Serenity. This piece was created as a birthday gift for my husband, who is a huge fan of that series. Since the show involves a future where Chinese culture had a huge influence, I created a mandala that has a lot of oriental elements. Each section of the piece represents a different character from the movie. Rather than drawing the actual characters, I drew objects to symbolize them. One of the characters loved strawberries, and often used a parasol, so I used those in her section. Another character was introduced in the first episode killing time by playing with some plastic dinosaurs, so I drew those for his section. It’s a lot of fun for me to research a show or a movie and decide what symbols to use to represent the characters involved.

Mary J Winter-Meyers portrait
When and why did you first pick up a colouring pencil to create your artwork?
When my friend introduced me to coloring, colored pencils were what she was using, so it seemed like the natural medium to use. When I started drawing, I never thought to change to another medium, and even though I now have some art quality markers, I still return to my pencils (or combine markers with pencils) when doing my own art. It’s also great because you don’t have to have any special setup to use them. All I need is my sketchpad and a small space, and I can work anywhere.

I love pencils for their versatility, and especially for the ability to erase mistakes! While you usually can’t erase colored pencils 100%, you can erase them enough that they don’t affect whatever color you use on top of them. I love that about them. I also love that I can create vibrant color with them, which many people don’t think you can do with pencils. When people first see my art, they often ask what medium I used. It’s fun to see their reactions when they learn it is colored pencils. They find it hard to believe you can get such saturated colors with pencils!

What are your favourite type of pencils to use and why?
When I first started, I was using Crayolas. They were the pencils I had purchased to use in coloring books. After my first trip to an art store, though, I quickly graduated to Prismacolors. They had a larger range of colors, and I loved how much more easily they lay down a rich layer of color. It was less aggravating to my hand and wrist! I actually gave my box of Crayolas to my nieces. I sort of regret that now, though, because I do occasionally want a pencil with a harder lead. I tried the Prismacolor Verithins and didn’t really like them. They were almost too hard. So I’ll probably go out and buy myself another box of Crayolas at some point.

nanobot-warmups Mary J Winter-Meyers
How did you get involved in the adult colouring community, and why? 
That’s a rather interesting story actually. I sort of fell into it by accident! As I previously mentioned, a friend had gotten me interested in coloring, but for me, it wasn’t a community hobby, just something I and a couple friends enjoyed doing. But then I started creating my art. I was attending art shows and science fiction conventions and not having a lot of luck selling my work. I wasn’t too worried, though – it was still something of a hobby for me rather than a career.

Then I got laid off. While I was job hunting, I decided that since I had the time, I would work at getting more sales from my art. One of the ideas in the back of my mind over the previous couple years had been doing a “geeky” coloring book from the line drawings I had saved of my various art pieces. So I started working on creating a book, and started doing research into the interest people might have in the idea. (This was before the first news articles about adult coloring, so I had no idea what kind of interest there might be.)

My research indicated a growing trend in searches for “adult coloring books” on Google. An entrepreneur group I belong to encourages people to find a “niche” topic to blog about to raise interest in your own products. So I decided to start a blog about adult coloring. My research had also shown there weren’t a lot of review sites for coloring books, so I decided to focus on that. And of course, my entrepreneur group said posting links on social media was a good idea, so I started looking at Twitter and Facebook, which led to finding several groups on Facebook devoted to adult coloring. I joined a few, before I had finished my website. I wanted to get a feel for what kinds of things the people in the groups were looking for, and what needs I might be able to meet. After joining the groups, I was enjoying the interactions with other coloring enthusiasts, so I stuck around.

Color On Magazine logo
When did you set up your website and Facebook group?
My Facebook group came first. I actually hadn’t intended to start one! My original plan was to set up my website, and point people to existing groups if they wanted to find a community. I figured that way I didn’t have to figure out all the technical aspects of starting a forum on my site. I had even selected a group for that purpose. About three days after I made that decision, the group in question announced it would be closing itself to new members, as the group admins were finding it difficult to keep up with things as the group got larger.

In the meantime, in preparation for my website launch, I had been contacting various coloring book artists to request review copies of their books. One of those artists was very helpful answering my questions about publishing my own book. When I mentioned my dilemma, she suggested I start my own Facebook group, and even offered to point her own group members to it, as her group was limited to posting only colored designs from her books. So I made an impulsive decision and started Coloring Books for Adults. I figured it was still easier than installing and managing a website forum, as I wouldn’t have to worry about technical aspects. That was in late January of this year (2015.)

My website launched a few weeks later in February, using reviews of coloring books I already owned, as most artists and publishers didn’t want to send review copies to an unknown blogger. It took over a month before I was able to get my first review copies. But as with anything, once I had a few weeks of reviews posted, it became easier. I’ll just say that I sent out a LOT of emails and Facebook messages during those first couple months! I was lucky in that a few independent artists were willing to trust an unknown, especially when I promised to link to the reviews in my group.

Mandoade-darasuum Mary J Winter-Meyers
Your Facebook group is huge and very active – how did it grow so rapidly, and what do you think sets it apart from other colouring groups online?
I often refer to the rapid growth as a combination of luck and research. When I was researching search terms in Google for my own website, I discovered that the two terms used most often by people searching for coloring books were “adult coloring books” and “coloring books for adults.” For my website, I was lucky enough to get the URL AdultColoringBooks.com and named the blog Coloring Books for Adults. It made sense to use that same name for the group, and I was lucky because that name had not yet been used for a group.

As for the rapid growth, that’s where luck played an important part. By April, when my book was released, I had about 300 members. At the time, I felt that was amazing and fantastic growth for my little group. Then the first news articles about adult coloring hit the media. Suddenly people were searching for online communities related to coloring. Overnight, my membership requests jumped from 1-2 requests a day to 10-20 requests! Then a month or so later, NBC Nightly News did a segment on the adult coloring phenomenon, and mentioned Facebook groups in the segment. While they didn’t mention my group specifically, several times in the segment they mentioned Coloring Books for Adults, so that term was primed in people’s minds. If I recall correctly, I was just about to hit 2000 members. That same night, within about 4 hours, I had over 500 membership requests, and after that my daily average increased to 100 new members a day. Thankfully, only the week before I had signed on some other admins to help with the group – I needed them!

Since the group was intended as a companion for my website, I set it up a bit differently from other groups. A lot of groups limit or ban advertising – understandable for many reasons – but since I intended to review books, and also wanted to advertise my own books, I decided not to do that. I also wanted to encourage artists to participate, as that would give me new sources for books to review. So my group was set up with a bit more leniency than most. I do have some limits – the ads have to be for products related to coloring, and once the group reached a certain size, I also limited people to only once a week so the group wasn’t flooded with ads.

We’ve also adopted a strict “no negativity” policy in the group. Coloring is a way for people to relax, to meditate, or to think of something other than the problems in their lives. Any kind of negativity, which is hard to avoid online, ruins that state of calm. So any negativity is deleted as quickly as possible. We will chat privately with people the first time they post something negative, to let them know that we discourage those types of posts. People who repeatedly post negatively are banned. It may seem harsh, but the group members appreciate that we work hard to have a community that is positive and encouraging. I also have trained my admins not to do any admonishments in public. I have many years of experience with online forums, and I’ve found that anytime you accuse someone, or warn them, or in any way “attack” them in a public forum, it just leads to escalating the negativity. But if you quietly delete the negative post, with a private message politely asking people to not do that, it most often results in an apology and a promise not to do it again.

Despite being singled out as a pastime to get away from the screen, many colorists are turning to online forums to share their art. Why do you think this has become such an important part of the process?
People love to share their hobbies, and things they’ve created, with like-minded people. I think at first, people went to online forums because they weren’t getting positive feedback from their family and friends. I’ve seen many posts from people who said their family thought they were silly, or childish, or stupid because they enjoyed coloring. I’ve also seen a huge number of initial posts from people saying they thought they were the only ones who enjoyed coloring. But online, they find communities of hundreds or thousands of other colorists who also enjoy it.

There also is a fairly large segment of people who find coloring helps them deal with various chronic conditions. It is easy for such people to feel very isolated, especially if their condition leaves them unable to get out of the house. Online communities give them a way to socialize even when they are stuck at home. And finding other people in similar situations makes them feel less isolated. In a way, I’m one of these people. I have a chronic pain condition, and coloring helps me deal with the bad days.

I think what keeps people coming back, though, is not only that encouragement, but the fact that they can interact with the artists who create the books they enjoy. People love to learn about the people behind the art they buy, and that is as true of coloring books as it is of any other artwork. The fact that so many independent artists involve themselves in the online communities is a powerful attraction.

Family-monogram Mary J Winter-Meyers
Can you tell us more about your colouring parties, they sound fun!
I tend to have colouring events, rather than parties. To me, a colouring party is like any other gathering people have in their homes, like a tea party or book club. People invite their friends over for an afternoon or evening coloring together. The hostess will let people pick designs from her collection, or everyone brings their own books and supplies for coloring.

What I do is similar, but in a more public venue, like a library or convention. While it is still a group of people gathering to colour, it’s open to everyone. In addition to having a bunch of pages printed out from my own book and magazine issues, and some basic coloring supplies, I’ll do a short presentation about coloring as adults, highlighting the therapeutic aspects or letting people know what resources are available. I’ll also give short tutorials on colored pencil techniques. And of course, offer to sell them my books or magazines! ;)

For example, this year, Dover Publications created National Coloring Book Day, to be held August 2nd each year. They encouraged people to hold coloring parties, and to color in public. My first colouring event was held at the Northbrook Public Library as part of National Coloring Book Day. Over 50 people showed up! The library received a lot of positive feedback on the event, and they have invited me back. We’re still working out dates, but I will likely have another afternoon of coloring in Northbrook, IL in February 2016. I’ll also likely have another event during next year’s National Coloring Book Day, but I haven’t decided where or when yet.

Why did you decide to start you own magazine? I understand it recently launched, which is very exciting. What can readers expect to find inside?
The magazine is sort of an extension of my blog. As the blog grew, and especially as my Facebook group became so large, I found that more and more of my time was being taken up by them. I was still job hunting, but finding it harder to drum up enthusiasm for the search. I found the blog and the group much more interesting, so I started trying to determine if there was a way to make a job out of my newfound “hobby.”

One thing I had noticed was that many of the same questions kept getting asked in the group: questions about coloring techniques, or about where to find adult coloring books, or even people asking if there was a magazine about coloring. I had also seen that several publishers were putting out “magazines,” but when I looked into them, they were really just coloring book collections that were released on a periodic schedule. Nothing I saw was being published with articles that answered the questions I was seeing in my group.

I was also seeing a LOT of independent artists in my groups, but when news articles were published about adult coloring, they kept mentioning the same “popular” artists or publishers. As an independent artist myself, I felt it would be great if I could help lesser known artists find an audience. I also love researching new things, and sharing that knowledge with others. It’s just part of my personality – learning for me is almost as necessary as breathing.

The magazine gives me a way to combine all these ideas and interests into a single product. When I mentioned the idea to a few friends, they thought it was an awesome idea, and Color On! Magazine was born. I decided to start it out as a digital publication, since publishing a print magazine has a lot of expensive start-up costs. I also knew from my group that there were a substantial number of international colorists, and I didn’t want to exclude them. Digital allows anyone with a computer and printer to access the designs published in the magazine.

Each issue of the magazine has a collection of at least 15 coloring designs from multiple artists. We always have one feature artist, who provides 5 or more exclusive designs for the magazine, and we interview the artist for one of the articles. The rest of the artists provide designs which may be exclusive, or might be from the artist’s existing publications. We never publish designs, however, that are available online as free samples. We’ve actually been very fortunate in our first few issues – most of the artists have been happy to create new designs for our readers.

In addition to the designs, we have a Coloring 101 column with basic tutorials for beginners, a Coloring 201 column with more advanced techniques, feature articles on various coloring topics, personal stories about coloring, lists of the previous month’s book reviews, lists of upcoming releases, and a humor column that might have a fun coloring activity or a humorous story.

JustAnotherRollOfTheDice Mary J Winter-Meyers
Lastly, where can fans get hold of your magazine, and what are your plans for 2016?
The magazine website is ColorOnMag.com, and the magazine’s Facebook page is ColorOnMag. You can also find us on Twitter @ColorOnMag. People new to the site can read one article for free each month without a subscription, although some articles (like the book reviews and new releases) are always available for anyone to read.

My biggest plan for the next two years is to grow the magazine to the point where I can consider this my full time career. While it is off to a promising start, the magazine has not yet reached the point of generating enough income to replace my former job. When I conceived the idea for the magazine, and considering the amount of time I was spending on coloring-related activities, my husband and I discussed if we could afford for me to stop searching for a job. It was a difficult decision for my husband and me, but he’s been very supportive of the idea. I’d like to see that support rewarded! Most small business fail within their first two years, so I figured that was a good timeframe to set to achieve my goal.

For the magazine, I’m planning on releasing “design only anthologies” – collections of the coloring designs from multiple issues, released as a printed book through Amazon. I’ve had a few inquiries from people who want a printed version, and this lets me explore that option without committing to printing a magazine every month. The first anthology is actually going to be released in early December this year, with the designs from the first 3 issues. I also want to add more video. From the start, I wanted to have videos to demonstrate the techniques from the articles in each issue, but right now I have barely enough time each month to get the issue out. But that is one of my goals for the magazine. After all, it’s a digital publication – I’d like to make use of that technology! There’s nothing quite like watching a technique demonstrated to help people learn.

I intend to continue selling my art, books and magazine at science fiction and fantasy conventions in nearby cities. I already have two conventions planned for next year where I’ll be doing a panel, or otherwise demonstrating coloring techniques.

The first, in January, is an adult ‘Relaxacon‘. This is an offshoot of the sci-fi cons. Members of that community started having “relaxacons” where they gather at a hotel for a weekend without the stress of planning or attending a lot of panels. So rather than a weekend packed with dozens of panels and lots of featured guests, relaxacons are mostly just eating good food, drinking, playing music together, or otherwise relaxing with maybe 3 or 4 panels during the weekend. The one in January, DeConPression, is held in Columbus on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. It is very definitely an Adult only con, so it’s not for everyone, but is a fun weekend for those with a raunchy sense of humor. Instead of guests of honor, the con has ‘Ghosts of Honor.’ This year, they are the convention’s founder Nick Winks, who passed away last year, and comedian Robin Williams. They’ve invited me to do an ‘Adult Coloring Panel‘ with a humorous theme. There will also likely be a coloring space set up in one of the common areas for those who just want to hang out and color. You can learn more about DeConPression here.

In August, I’ll be attending Musecon in Itasca, IL (near Chicago.) Musecon is also an offshoot from sci-fi cons. At most sci-fi cons, in addition to panels talking about your favorite books or movies, there is always a number of panels about music, writing, and other creative panels of various types. Musecon was started to feature just these creative panels. It’s a convention for makers, crafters, authors, musicians and artists, and people who want to try their hand at creating without having to commit to a large outlay in materials. Color On! Magazine will be sponsoring a coloring space, where we hope to have several coloring book artists sharing techniques, as well as small coloring projects that people can finish in an hour or so. You can learn more about the con at Musecon, although they haven’t put up next year’s information yet.

There may be other events or conventions, but those are the only ones I’ve firmed up so far. You can always learn about what’s going on with me by signing up for the magazine’s newsletter. You’ll find a form in the sidebar at Color On! Mag.

You can buy Dragons, Knots, Bots and More! on Amazon and grab a copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion on Kickstarter now.

Categories ,Adult Coloring, ,Adult coloring panel, ,Amazon, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Chicago Art Institute, ,Color On Mag, ,Color On! Magazine, ,Coloring, ,Coloring 101, ,Coloring 201, ,Coloring Books for Adults, ,Colorist, ,Colouring, ,Crayolas, ,DeConPression, ,Dover Publications, ,Dragons Knots Bots and More!, ,Facebook, ,Ghosts of Honor, ,interview, ,Itasca, ,Mandalas, ,Mary J Winters-Meyer, ,Meditations on Serenity, ,Musecon, ,National Coloring Book Day, ,Nick Winks, ,Northbrook Public Library, ,Prismacolors, ,Relaxacon, ,Robin Williams, ,Tibetan sand mandalas

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cover
I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately, getting inspired by the adult colouring community and discovering colouring artists such as Hanna Karlzon, who has created the beautiful Dagdrömmar (Daydreaming), a gorgeous volume chock full of dreamy imagery inspired by nature. Hanna talks to us about a love of Art Nouveau and Vikings, memories of childhood, and longings for summer. I can’t wait for Hanna’s next offering, Sommarnatt (Summernight), due out early next year.

HannaKarlzon portrait
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon cat and bee
I believe Dagdrömmar means Daydreaming – what do you daydream about and how did this influence the images that appear in this book?
Yes, Dagdrömmar means daydreams and I think the illustrations in my colouring book give you quite a good idea of what I daydream about myself. I have been living in Umeå, which is quite a big town in the north of Sweden, for about 15 years, but I grew up in a small village about one and a half hours drive from here. So I have lived my life growing up close to nature and animals but now that I live in the middle of a city I really long for that closeness to nature that I used to have as a kid, and all that longing often ends up in my illustrations. I love nature, forests, growing stuff, flowers, animals, the quiet life on the countryside and I’m really not a city person at all. It’s a little bit hard to explain how or why I draw – I just do and I don’t reflect about it to much, but in a way I feel like I want to capture that closeness to nature I used to have and mix it with that fantasy world I often lived and played in as a kid, and I guess you could say that that’s the essence of my daydreams and my art.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon owls
How did your first colouring book DagDrommar come about?
For years I had been thinking and dreaming about making a coloring book. Just putting some illustrations together and printing it myself, that was my plan, but I had a lot of other work to do at the time so the coloring book idea kinda got pushed aside. But last year in November I got an email from Pagina, a book publisher based in Stockholm, Sweden, asking if I was interested in making a coloring book with them and my answer then was of course YES! They had been looking around for Swedish illustrators and had gotten a tip from a woman (who I don’t know) about me and my instagram account and well, Pagina liked what they saw and contacted me and the rest is kinda history.

Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon 1
Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon crown
There were no clear directions about what kinda book they wanted, more than an actual coloring book, so I got to choose and direct most if it myself so it has been quite a journey since I had never done a book before. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a hard cover and for it to be a handy size of book. I came up with the name Dagdrömmar, the illustrations grew from that, and it took me about 5 months to complete the book, from start to finish. I did everything, from drawing the 100 illustrations to designing the layout of the book. The one thing that my publisher commented on was the cover, so we changed it back and forth a few times but I think the final one turned out nice. Making Dagdrömmar was the biggest task I have ever made in my work life as an illustrator, so far, and I’m really happy and proud that I pulled it off!

Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke 2
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke 2
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tina Locke.

Dagdrömmar has been causing a bit of a stir in Facebook colouring communities (which is where I first discovered it). Have you looked online to see how people are colouring your pictures and which ones are the favourite, and does this influence how you are producing the next book at all?
I’m a member of some coloring groups on Facebook but I actually seldom scroll through those gropus since a few times I read some updates from people who didn’t like my book at all and that was kinda hard to read when I had put my heart and soul into the book, so I stopped looking after that. Of course I understand that not all people like my books but it’s easier for me not to read about I guess, it keeps me sane, haha. But I do look at coloring pics that people post on Instagram and I really like that. It’s so fun to see and I try to keep up and “like” all the pictures that get posted.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtnay Personious
Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtnay Personious
Dagdrömmar coloured by Courtney Personious.

And as to the question of whether all these posts and pics influences me and my work on my next book, well, not really. It might sound harsh but I get ALOT of emails from people who want me to do this and that for my next book, soft cover, bigger format, more details, less details, another paper, less girls, no spreads, one sided print, more flowers, less flowers… and so on and I can’t do all that, I can’t make everyone happy when everyone wants different things so I just have to rely on myself and do what I think is best and hopefully you will all like that in the end. On the other hand we (me and my publisher) try to make a diversity of products, for example postcard books, poster books etc. so that there will be a bigger chance that everyone will find a product that suits them.

Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon
Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon
What can people expect of your next volume, Sommarnatt? Will the pictures evoke midsummer nights for people around the world or will they be quite Scandinavian in feel? (WIP above)
As my first book, Dagdrömmar, was inspired a lot by my surroundings, growing up in the north of Sweden, my next book Sommarnatt (Summernight) will be even more focused on that. I draw the animals and nature that can be found around me but with a dreamy touch as usual. So yes, it most def will have a Scandinavian feel!

Vinterdrömmar Hanna Karlzon
Vinterdrömmar postcard by Hanna Karlzon
You’ve just released a beautiful postcard book called Vinterdrömmar, what are your favourite parts of this time of year? And will this be produced in book format at some point?
To be honest I’m a summer junkie. I love hot weather, sun, blue skies and green surroundings. So, winter is kinda hard for me, at least that part from November to the end of January/February, it’s just really dark and cold, we don’t get a lot of sun hours here in the north during the winter and that really gets to me. But, in the end of winter when it’s almost spring and the sun starts to visit us again and it’s all white outside, glistening snow, and you can spend the day outdoors, skiing with the kids or making a fire, then it’s just so beautiful here! But, winter is not as inspirational to me as summer is, so it was actually kinda tricky to make the Vinterdrömmar (Winter dreams) postcard book, the illustrations doesn’t come to me as natural as they do when it’s a summer theme. So there is no book format planned for Vinterdrömmar, I have a hard time to imagine that I actually could come up with 100 illustrations on that theme, haha. But there might be another postcard book next fall, who knows!

Poster by Hanna Karlzon
Poster by Hanna Karlzon

How do you create your drawings?
I have a small studio in an old house almost in the center of the city. It’s really cosy and not big at all but I have everything I need here; it’s my own space. I have two kids and I leave them at kindergarden/school every morning and then I take my bike down to my studio and work about 8 hours before I go back home. My work days vary a lot depending on what commissions I have, but right now when I’m working on my book I usually draw almost all day. And when I draw I’m doing it the old school way, just a pen and paper, nothing fancy at all, no computer. Thats the way I like it. I often listen to a podcast on Swedish science radio with a history theme, and I love listening to that while working. The programs cover everything from everyday life at Versaille, to Vikings, to what did people eat 500 years ago and so on, super fun and nerdy, love it! If I’m not listening to that I’m hanging out at Spotify listening to everything from Country to Punk and Thrash Metal, it depends on my mood.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Tonya Gerhardt
Dagdrömmar coloured by Tonya Gerhardt.

Which pens and pencils do you recommend for use in your colouring books and why?
I recommend that you use the kind of colored pencils that you can sharpen, for example Staedtler ergo soft or Faber Castell polychromos. With them you can blend and make nice shadings. If you want colored (ink) pens Staedtler triplus fineliners with a fine tip or Steadtler triplus with a little thicker tip are good, they don’t bleed through the paper as other pens might do. I know that there are a lot of different pencils/pens out there and some might like another brand better but I like these, it can actually vary a lot what kind of pens you like depending on the way you hold your pen while drawing so the best thing is really to try different ones and see for yourself what kind you like. And keep in mind that when publishers in other countries make translations of my book they might use a different paper inside the book than the one we use in the Swedish version so always try your pens in a small corner of the book to see that they don’t bleed through.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Stephanie Rose
Dagdrömmar coloured by Stephanie Rose.

You draw a lot of birds, why is that, what do you find so appealing?
Well I don’t know why, it has just ended up that way I guess. Maybe it’s because you can alter the pattern of the feathers every time, I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just because I love watching the swallows during summer, how they fly… well, haha, I don’t know, can’t answer that, next question!

Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker 2
Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker 2
Dagdrömmar by Allison Camille Tucker.

You have said you are quite influenced by the art nouveau period, what other time periods have had a bearing on recent work and how?
Well, I’m a nerd when it comes to old things, people and time periods. I love thinking about “how was it then, what did they think about, what did they eat, how did it sound, smell“… and so on. I don’t know why I find that so fascinating, I just do, and all that spills over into my art I guess. Now I have really been into the Viking age for a while and I’m really inspired by the jewelry and craftsmanship from that age, but I don’t know if it shows as much in my art as the Art Nouveau inspiration does. Art Nouveau is really decorative and it feels like it has a natural part in my art but the Viking stuff is more in the background. A few years back I was all about Marie Antoinette and drawing BIG hair… well, wait, when I think about it I might just still do that, haha.

Dagdrömmar coloured by Angelina Victoria
Dagdrömmar coloured by Angelina Victoria.

I see you have some tattoos and have read you are fascinated by tattoo culture, how has this influenced your approach to art making?
I just admire the skill of tattooing and the many great artists that perform this art so brilliant. It’s something really cool and terrifying about the fact that you only get once chance to make a good job, you can’t erase and start over. I like the thought of that.

Mural idea by Hanna Karlzon
You have done some amazing murals – where are they and how did they come about?
Well, I have only made one actual mural so far, in an apartment building here in Umeå, but I made this little project on Instagram that got a lot of attention. I snapped pictures of boring buildings that I passed on my way to work and then I photoshopped my illustrations onto these buildings and uploaded on instagram under the tag #mittumeå and it got a lot of positive attention amongst people and media. With the pictures I wanted to show that maybe the city we live in doesn’t have to be that static, maybe it could look another way, maybe it could be happier, more people friendly, less boring? Maybe we, as residents, could change our city together? And as I said, I got a lot of positive feedback and I think that shows that we often take the city for granted, the way it is and looks, but if someone shows you a better/different picture of the city, we start thinking “aha, maybe this is what it actually could be like, what can we do to change it?!“. I find that really interesting.

DagDrommar by Cheryl Doerner Vogel
Dagdrömmar coloured by Cheryl Doerner Vogel.

Where did you study art (and what discipline?) and how has your style evolved since you left college?
I have always loved art, and I have been drawing since I was a kid and I have an art teacher degree from Umeå University. My style of drawing has evolved just over the last 2-3 years, ending up in the ink drawings I make now but before that I used to paint a lot and before that I was into graphite drawing. So, my style changes over time, thats a natural process I guess, you want to try new things. In the future I hope to be able to make more art oriented ink drawings, black and white, super big and with lots of details and shadings. I kinda miss shading doing all these coloring book illustrations that are really clean, if you understand what I mean.

Dagdrömmar by Jessica Harrison
Dagdrömmar coloured by Jessica Harrison.

Why did you study to be a teacher and why did you make the decision to go freelance and run your own business?
Studying to become a art teacher wasn’t really my plan, it kinda just happened. I did realize after a year or two at the university that I didn’t really like the teaching part, it was just the art part I was after, but I decided to finish and graduate anyways. After graduating I had some different jobs (factory, shops etc) but after being unemployed for a while I decided it was time for me to start my own business. This was about 3 years ago and I have been working full time on my business since then. But now I’m kinda thinking about that teaching part again, maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. I have been doing some lectures lately, talking about my job and so on, and I really like that now so well see how that evolves and how I maybe can incorporate that into my current business in the future.

Dagdrommar by Shannon Dager
Dagdrömmar coloured by Shannon Dager.

What do you like to do to relax and zone out?
Well, when I get home from work I just hang out with my family and do as little as possible and when the kids are in bed I watch series to relax, like Vikings, Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders and stuff like that. On weekends we often visit my mom who lives in a really beautiful place, near the forest, with a big garden and nature around the corner. It’s my favorite place in the world. But, when I’m not a nature (or history) nerd I like to go to Punk Rock shows and hang out with my friends. Haha, It’s a good mix of this and that I guess.

Hare by Hanna Karlzon
Hare by Hanna Karlzon

What other projects are you working on and what are your hopes for 2016?
Well, right now I’m working on my second big coloring book, Sommarnatt (Summernight) that will be released in spring 2016. And, I have some other fun projects with my publisher that also will be released next spring/summer. My schedule is fully booked until August 2016 with new books/postcardbooks etc. that need to be made and after that’s done I’m hoping to get some time off work in August to spend some time with my family. And my hopes for 2016 are, first of all, that my family and I will be healthy and happy, and when it comes to my work I hope that my new book will turn out well and that everyone will like it and I hope, hope, hope that I will have the chance to keep doing what I do today; draw.

If you live in the US you can buy Dagdrömmar through Allison Camille Tucker at Colouring Creations, many thanks to Colouring Creations members for their lovely coloured artwork. Other photos are taken from Hanna Karlzon‘s website and instagram feed. Dagdrömmar (Daydreaming) is currently unavailable in the UK but can be ordered online from the Pen Store.

Categories ,#mittumeå, ,Adult Colouring, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Allison Camille Tucker, ,Angelina Victoria, ,Art Nouveau, ,Cheryl Doerner Vogel, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Creations, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Courtney Personious, ,Dagdrömmar, ,Daydreaming, ,Downton Abbey, ,Faber Castell Polychromos, ,Facebook, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,illustrations, ,instagram, ,interview, ,Jessica Harrison, ,Marie Antoinette, ,Pagina, ,Peaky Blinders, ,review, ,Scandinavian, ,Shannon Dager, ,Sommarnatt, ,Spotify, ,Staedtler ergo soft, ,Staedtler triplus fineliners, ,Steadtler triplus, ,Stephanie Rose, ,Summernight, ,sweden, ,Swedish, ,Tina Locke, ,Tonya Gerhardt, ,Umeå, ,Umeå University, ,Vikings, ,Vinterdrömmar, ,Winter dreams

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Simone Ludeman: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman talks about her enigmatic underwater artwork for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion and her plans to launch Ochre Design, offering graphic design and illustration services.

Simone Ludeman
What have you been doing since you graduated from Westminster Uni in 2013?


Since Uni I’ve spent my time prepping my portfolio as I’m planning to approach some illustration agencies in the coming months. Alongside this I’ve been doing some freelance work, entering illustration competitions and teaching myself new software. 



Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman
Why do you find a narrative focus so engaging in your artwork?


I think the narrative ties in with my love for fantasy, surrealism and folklore. I like creating images let you imagine your own story. I have a pretty active imagination so it just a natural way for me to work.

Simone Ludeman



What is your preferred process of creation?


Process is really important to me and I’m always challenging myself to improve my technical skill as well as technique. I love hand drawn techniques with meticulous pen work combined with digital colouring.

Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman

Can you describe your studio space?


My studio space is my bedroom and will probably always be my bedroom! My room is filled with little collectables and is a very therapeutic and calm place to make my work. I can quite happily shut myself away for hours, listen to music and be in my comfiest clothes.

Simone Ludeman


Many of your scenes are very fantastical – what inspires these?


A lot of my inspiration comes from science, nature, folklore, fantasy, sci-fi, mythology, spiritualism, surrealism and generally anything with an unusual topic. I’ve also had dreams, which I’ve then turned into illustrations. I find creating fantastical illustrations relaxing and an escape from reality.

Simone Ludeman
What kind of feel were you aiming to create when you set out to draw your underwater scene?


I wanted to capture the detail and vibrant life you find in the ocean. I think it offers a playful scene to colour in, with lots of different patterns and hidden creatures to find. 



Simone Ludeman





Where did you find inspiration for the creatures?


The ocean is filled with so many unusual creatures. I’m fascinated by deep sea creatures in particular. They are so alien and it’s like a whole different universe down there. They have evolved to be bioluminescence which looks so beautiful in the black of the deep sea. I wanted to focus on this within my coloured page.

Simone Ludeman
You are about to launch Ochre design – can you tell us more about what services you will be offering?
Myself and my friend Callum will be launching Ochre Design in the coming months so keep your eyes peeled! We will be selling products and offering Graphic design and Illustration services. We have friends who specialise in different areas and have strengths in various platforms from graphic design, videographers, printmakers, 3d and we are hoping in the future to get people involved to offer a whole creative service along with a range of different products.

Simone Ludeman
Simone Ludeman
It’s been lovely to meet Simone Ludeman. Keep your eyes on this website for the launch of my Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion Kickstarter campaign, coming soon…

Categories ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Ochre Design, ,Simone Ludeman, ,Westminster University

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Steph Moulden: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

steph moulden budgie blue
Steph Moulden has created a surreal space scene inspired by her own life activities for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. The Hereford College of Arts graduate shares her journey from graduation to professional illustrator.

steph moulden portrait
What persuaded you to pursue illustration rather than fine art?
I thought I was a fine artist for a while. I always liked to paint surreal images but would end up frustrated when trying to be photorealistic (and failing). My college tutor, who was totally brilliant, introduced me to a graphic novel by David Mack called Kabuki Dreams. It’s miles away from my own style now but it opened up a lot of new creative processes, taught me a bit about narrative and helped me link together what illustration was and could be. The same tutor also said that to not have the structure of illustration would be dangerous for my mind! Best advice I’ve ever had!

steph moulden dog over moon
What was your course at Hereford College of Arts like, and what were the best things about studying there?
Hereford College of Arts was a strange little university. Freshers nights were all about local real ale testing and picnics at the local art centre as opposed to the more traditional day glo events. But this setting made everyone who went really close from the beginning. I shared studios with animators, graphic designers and filmmakers alike. For a small place we had a great host of professional illustrators and makers come in. Mostly as requested by the students! Top lectures I can remember were by Laura Carlin, Karoline Rerrie and Dominic Owen.

steph moulden angry heads
Can you tell us about the Little Boxes Collective?
It was at HCA I met two other illustrators and we formed a collective before the first year was even up. That summer we even shared a sketchbook diary and posted it to each other week by week. We developed a way of producing 3D displays using cut out cardboard that we’d paint and draw on. Not a very typical route for illustrators to follow but it meant that Little Boxes Collective has been the gateway to some of my most loved projects that perhaps would not of been commissioned as a single artist. At the end of our degree the university asked us to create a signage system, leaflets and a huge window display advertising the 2012 Summer graduate show.

steph moulden stb bris window
steph moulden wooden dog
What did you do during your time spent living in Bristol?
My favourite Bristol project was an installation we did in the window for Start The Bus. It was a 3D ‘winter camp’ made entirely of painted cardboard and cut out characters. We all lived and worked together in Bristol selling wares for Made in Bristol Christmas Fair and creating cardboard installations for local shop windows and events. After nearly two years, I moved back to Hereford.

steph moulden pinapple
How does your day’s work reveal what is going on in your head?
I love to draw creatures or people. It’s my biggest procrastination at the desk but also a little insight into what’s going on in my mind. My fiancée will come home and look at the funny faces I’ve doodled and can work out my mood quicker than I can explain how my day has been. I also have two budgies so they appear quite frequently in sketches.

steph moulden little boxes work
steph moulden inky sketch
What is your favourite way to produce an illustration?
My over active imagination means I dream a lot and if I’ve had a good dreaming night I’ll have a good drawing day. Although I rarely use a pen or pencil. I’m most comfortable sketching with a paint brush and some cheap ink. I also love folk art acrylics, which were used in my colouring book entry. A quid a bottle and such beautiful thick colours you wouldn’t guess their value.

steph moulden double page update
What inspired your surreal space scene for my colouring book?
My colourful space scene is inspired about a few of the things I loved doing over the summer. Exploring the great outdoors, the season of garden sitting, warm days wild swimming and sadly, as a tribute, walking my dog for the last few times. My surreal universe is brightly painted and then collaged on to Photoshop. I wanted it to feel like an invite a party you wanted to go to. Admittedly, I’ve also caught the space bug brought on by the new Star Wars films…

steph moulden doone
steph moulden sign work
How have you set about finding work in your home town?
As much as I rely on Instagram, Twitter etc. to network, I have had more opportunities from selling myself face to face. I installed a blackboard wall at my place of work and covered it in hand lettering and illustrations. Another business then got me to do their blackboards and now I have a wall to design for a new shop opening for The Great British Florist.

steph moulden budgie sketch
You have only recently set up shop as a freelance illustrator with a stand alone website – why did it take you so long and how has it been going?
Moving away from the Little Boxes Collective has propelled me to take on a new identity. I feel like even though I graduated in 2012 I’m brand new to this all over again. Style never stops developing and you never stop learning. Although I have finally let myself have a website! I always put it off for fear of it looking fake but it just gave me reassurance that I can call myself a freelance illustrator. It is really good to have old contacts back again. The biggest challenge has been balancing a creative and work lifestyle. Since moving to a cheaper city I’ve made the brave decision to drastically lower my day job hours so I can properly focus on Illustration. I have a spare room studio all to myself. I want to build it up though to include a printing area. It’s a slow and steady journey it but has been rewarding already. In a month I had my first magazine commission for Fourth Trimester Magazine who are gearing up to print soon. And with the work in the running for some local businesses, it’s the first time in years I can say things are happening!

It’s been great to gain an insight into the world of Steph Moulden. Make sure you place a pledge on Kickstarter (coming soon) to grab your copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featuring her delightful work.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,David Mack, ,Dominic Owen, ,Fourth Tri Magazine, ,Fourth Trimester Magazine, ,Hand Lettering, ,Hereford College of Arts, ,illustration, ,Kabuki Dreams, ,Karoline Rerrie, ,Kickstarter, ,Laura Carlin, ,Little Boxes Collective, ,Made in Bristol Christmas Fair, ,Star Wars, ,start the bus, ,Steph Moulden, ,The Great British Florist, ,typography

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Súa Agapé: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Sua Agape Artwork 2
Súa Agapé is another fantastic instagram find for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, creating cosmic illustrations inspired by a love of cacti and imaginary worlds. Read on to find out more about this Guatemalan artist.

Sua-Agape-potrait
How did your parents inspire you as a child?
I remember when I was a child I always saw my dad drawing. He always had me next to him with his rapidographs, ink, pencils and rulers. I still own some of his art tools; it’s like a childhood memory for me. My mother is an Industrial Fashion Designer and also a Visual Art Teacher, so I grew up watching both of them doing a lot of designs, drawings and projects. They gave me their art supplies and tools to play with and I really enjoyed interacting with their everyday tools. I remember I used to paint all the walls of the house, creating sketches with different materials, because my parents invited me to create even as a small child.

Sua Agape Artwork 9
How does your country inspire your work?
Guatemala is a multicultural and multi-ethnic country with many languages and Mayan heritage, so you can take inspiration from every place; and I often get inspired by the colours and patterns of the traditional costumes of each ethnic group. It’s great to have a beautiful country with such amazing wildlife and fauna to explore on new adventures!

Sua Agape Artwork 6
Where did you study and how did you move into illustration more recently?
I studied Graphic Design at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and Digital Creativity at Digital Invaders in Mexico. These careers complement my passion for illustration and they helped me to develop my skills as an illustrator. A few months ago I decided to start working on my own as a designer and freelance illustrator and it’s awesome. For now I’m working on some new projects to develop my illustrations for designs on textiles prints for shoes, t-shirts and bags. I really love working on interesting new projects or collaborations so feel free to contact me.

Sua Agape Artwork 8
How easy is it to get good work in Guatemala and how have you found work abroad?
Every year in Guatemala the number of designers in competition for work is increasing as in all growing cities. But if you’re a good designer or illustrator with a good portfolio then you’ll find work easily. I find work abroad through posting my artworks online and submissions, etc. Internet and social media facilitates the work life!

Sua Agape Artwork 5
Can you tell us more about your various exhibitions around the world?
Last year I had the opportunity to participate in the ‘Dibuja Guatemala’ project for the Guatemalan Cultural Center of Spain. All the artists worked on a traveling sketchbook, drawing and capturing the Guatemalan streetlife and the sketchbooks than travelled to Spain and were exhibited in a gallery. I also had the opportunity to participate in the Glug Birmingham & Inkygoodness Poster exhibition. They called for illustrators to participate on a poster design competition so I participated, and although my poster design didn’t win all the finalists ere featured in the event exhibition, so I was very excited and happy to have my poster in London! This year I’m participating in the Sketchbook Project, so one of my sketchbooks is traveling around the United States in a Mobile Library. I love this project because I can share with other people my inspiration at a specific time, stored in the sketchbook.

Sua Agape Artwork 7
When did you first become interested in the Cosmos?
If I were not an illustrator I would love to be an astronaut. But I much prefer to draw and be an illustrator. So I will be an astronaut in another life. In the meantime, I will draw the entire universe. :)

Sua Agape Artwork 1
Why is purple your favourite colour?
It’s been my favorite colour since I was a child. All my things were purple; it’s a colour that makes me feel at peace and in another world because it’s so magical and mysterious at the same time. I love to see how purple can mix with other colours.

Amelias-Magazine-by-Sua-Agape-web
What inspired your colouring book artwork?
The mystery of other worlds. I love imagining what might happen in another dimension, universe or time. What happens when you take part in your own dreams? I hope people who see these pages will feel like an astronaut traveling to another fantastic world. It’s an invitation to see and stay in my cosmic world.

Sua Agape Artwork 4
What kind of products and images do you like to embroider and screen print?
All kind of textile products like t-shirts, bags, patches, pillows, shoes and maybe some jewellery. But I still want to print on paper too. I’m really excited about working on my new project and learning a lot of textile printing techniques.

How are you building your own brand and what does it encompass?
Before anything else I will focus on design and illustration for textiles but I’ll always be working as an illustrator for different projects. More surprises are coming soon!

Find Súa Agapé and many other artists featured in my upcoming Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, funding on Kickstarter very soon!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Dibuja Guatemala, ,Digital Invaders, ,Glug Birmingham, ,Guatemala, ,Guatemalan Cultural Center of Spain, ,inkygoodness, ,interview, ,Sketchbook Project, ,Sua Agape, ,University of San Carlos of Guatemala

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Suzanne Carpenter: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter is a hugely busy illustrator and designer who I have admired on instagram for some time, so I am so glad she found time to submit work for my upcoming Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, creating a beautiful image inspired by her ongoing love of fish, and her daydreams of turning into a mermaid.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
How did you first discover Amelia’s Magazine?
My daughter Holly first introduced me to Amelia’s Magazine when she was an art student and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’m married a to a designer and we’re more than a bit proud to have produced two new designers.Both based in London; Holly specialises in eyewear and Joe does a combination of graphic design and window vinyl. They roll their eyes if I say too much about them as they hate me being boastful. If only it was allowed I’d tell you that they’re both extremely beautiful and very, very talented. If you’re following me on instagram you’ll likely see news of them and their work cropping up from time to time. We often visit exhibitions together or share links to inspiration but they’re both a bit bemused by my enthusiasm for social media.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
I believe you began your career as a graphic designer, how did you make the move into illustration?
I trained as a graphic designer but I always had a niggling need to make pictures. Not long after I graduated a friend and I jointly won a Welsh Arts Council competition to illustrate a poetry book and Staedtler employed me to travel around the country drawing with their new range of brush markers. From then on I had regular illustration work but being a butterfly brain I mixed it up with a dollop of teaching, a dabble of writing, a pinch of cushion plumping and staggering amount of staring out of the window.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Why did you settle on the name Illustrator Eye for your brand?
@illustrator_eye seemed like a fitting tag – my life is like an intense game of I Spy – constantly attracted and distracted by patterns around me. My illustrator’s eye effects my every move, from making pictures, prints and patterns to rummaging around in charity shops.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Why did you choose to draw fish for my colouring book?
I have a thing for fish. Not fin flapping, live, swishing fish but paper, wood and fabric fish. Fishes painted on dishes and things. Mid Century ceramic fish filled with abstract pattern provide oceans of decoration inspiration. Our lives, like the tides, are dependent on patterns and so I chose to impose my compulsion for pattern on flamboyant, fancy fish going with flow and teeny tiny fish that swim against the tide. Like us, all so different and yet the same.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Who or what inspired the mermaid?
When I’ve sat too long, run too far or stayed up too late, I visualise myself as a mermaid being towed along through tropical water by beautiful fish. Amazing how it helps the tensions wash away. It’s one of my more relaxing daydreams!

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
You are ridiculously busy, how do you manage all your different projects and stay sane?
I’m not always this busy but the small amount of sanity I’ve retained can probably be put down to a good dose of pavement pounding. Running is a good antidote to work and keeps me from becoming a moody old witch (most of the time). I did Cardiff Half Marathon earlier this month and swore it would be my last but to be honest I’m already thinking about next years. Leaving the car behind and cycling around the city has it’s blissful moment too – weaving in and out of Cardiff’s parks watching the seasons change pumps a bit more oxygen into the brain!

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
What is your involvement with Stills?
Stills is a branding and design company set up by my husband Chris and a partner. I’m a director and over the years I’ve been involved in lots of different projects from illustrating to creative writing and social media support for some of our clients. It’s based in a lovely old coach house on the edge of Bute Park but we’ve also set up a small studio at home and next year will be spending much of our time focusing on our own patterned dreams. You’ll soon be able to find us at @patternistas

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
How did you get involved with Uncle Goose wooden blocks?
Once upon a time on Instagram I posted a paisley pattern that I’d designed. I literally jumped for joy when Pete Bultman at Uncle Goose got in touch to say he’d love to put it on his handmade wooden blocks! That one is still in the pipeline but in the meantime I worked with him on their Hindi language blocks and their Swahili block set which has just been launched. They do a great job of screen printing the designs and are a dream client!

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Can you tell us more about the Shed Project?
The Shed Project is the amazingly dedicated and beautifully bonkers mission of Lee John Phillips to draw every item in his late grandfather’s shed. He estimates it will take around 5 years of intensive work as he has to draw in excess of 100,000 items. His story has captured imaginations right across the world and his following is growing by the minute. We initially became friends through instagram when it became apparent that not only were we from the same Welsh Valley but we both had a thing for fish! I’m over the moon that he’s suggested that we collaborate on some images for prints. His tools and bolts and my plant patterns (or planterns as he’s named them). We’re going to do some vector and some line images and we may even put them on coffee pots.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
I believe you are working on a big Christmas campaign for a shopping centre in the USA, what kind of work are you creating for them?
It’s all ginger bread, santa houses, snowflakes and sparkles in my world at the moment. I’m working on the Christmas campaign for The Grove and Americana at Brand in LA. The commission came from them seeing my work on Illustration Mundo. They were looking for a very graphic, patterned, vector style and so I happily my work fitted the bill. I’ve got a great long list of images to get done by the end of Oct so I think I’ll be hanging a few baubles from my ears and getting the Christmas albums out to keep me going.

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
What else are you working on at present?
I’ve just finished a mural in the garden of a local organic cafe – I’d love to do more of that. Through my agents Artist Partners I’ve recently illustrated the cover and sample pages for a book about the wildlife of the rainforest. I’ve just had news that it went down well at Frankfurt Book Fair and so fingers crossed that more of my days will be spent growing leaf patterns and putting legs on insects! Along with Chris I’m working on a series of videos for Interface (sustainability champions and the worlds largest manufacturer of contract carpet tiles) – they’ll be used to help train their sales team. I’ll be doing the scripting and storyboarding and Chris will be videoing my live drawing. I’ve done a couple of prints for the 5th anniversary exhibition of Sho, my favourite local gallery. I’m doing a few days as a visiting lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan Uni this month – helping run a collage/layout project with a lovely group of 1st yr graphic students. I’m developing some ideas for a pattern book which I hope to present to publishers as soon as I can find some extra hours in the day to finish visualising them. I’ve taken part in ‘Out Fox’ a 3D paper project by Proyecto Ensamble who are based in Chile. They supply the fox head template and 13 illustrators from across the world have designed a pattern to feature on them. The set are just launching – see them on instagram @ensamble

Suzanne Carpenter Illustator Eye
Where can people find you online?
You can find me on instagram at @illustrator_eye, on twitter at @illustrator_eye, on etsy here, at Stills and at Artist Partners.

Find Suzanne Carpenter and many other talented artists in my upcoming Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, available soon on Kickstarter, the perfect alternative colouring book to gift this Christmas.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,@illustrator_eye, ,@patternistas, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,americana, ,Artist Partners, ,Brand, ,Cardiff Half Marathon, ,Cardiff Metropolitan Uni, ,Colorado State University, ,Coloring, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,fish, ,Frankfurt Book Fair, ,I Spy, ,illustration, ,Illustration Mundo, ,Illustrator Eye, ,Interface, ,interview, ,Kickstarter, ,Lee John Phillips, ,Mermaid, ,Mid Century, ,Out Fox, ,Proyecto Ensamble, ,Shed Project, ,Sho, ,Staedtler, ,Stills, ,Suzanne Carpenter, ,The Grove, ,Uncle Goose, ,Welsh Arts Council

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