Abigail Nottingham [abigailillustration]
What is your specialty in illustration?
Cutesy, happy, surreal characters.
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
A bit of everything at the moment. As I'm just starting out I don't tend to turn jobs down, but it means I get all sorts of interesting work from personal portraits to corporate flyers! :)
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I've gained a 2:1 Illustration BA (Hons).
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
Professional assignment? I designed a logo featuring a saint, working with a design agency. They saw some work on my blog and picked me for my ability to convey emotion with very little detail.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
Gemma Correll! Scott Cambell! Karl Kerschl!
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
Not very I don't think? Although I maybe there are similarities I don't see. Certain obsessions seem to be carried through life, and I'm sure that will affect my visual style.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
I like the x-men. As a teenager I loved manga, especially FLCL and anything by Clamp.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
My work tends to be very stylized, simple and cute, although I can move outside it if needs be.
What is hardest to draw?
Uh. Dragons? I always wanted to draw dragons as a kid.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
The soundtracks for musicals. For some reason it helps me focus.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
I do, but it will be different tomorrow.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
Ask them why. Even if someone can't pinpoint exactly what they dislike, by asking open questions and listening carefully you can get a feel for what it is they're after.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
Not exactly new, but I've had a return to painting of late. I spent a lot of my uni days working digitally so it's been great to start working on canvas again.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
It depends on what I'm doing. I like to mess around with elements of both. :)
What research do you do for your illustrations?
A lot, especially if it's not a subject matter I'm familiar with. Visual and contextual research are both important, looking at time periods, target audiences, the company the illustration is for, etc.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
My former classmates! And my boyfriend, who is also an illustrator. :)
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
I want to try a bit of everything. I love variety in personal projects, and have a bit of a passion for publications, so I would love to keep pushing that.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
DesignTaxi, Illustration Friday, Carbon Made, Illustration Island and lots more!
What are you working on now?
An illustrated book with my friend who has written the story. It's all going to be done in watercolor, and has lots of wonderful characters and animals to paint!
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
Be determined. You don't always get what you want straight away, but if you want it enough you shouldn't give up.