Alya Markova [alyamark]
What is your specialty in illustration?
I'm specializing in children's illustration now. I started illustrating professionally in a children's book project and after that a kept looking for similar works, as it's a branch I really enjoy.
That's was the way things came to me, but aside of it there are lot's of projects in process in a quite different working style and addressed to a more extended public.
In terms of technique, I've used pencil, ink/brush and pen/, some watercolors, and since the last few years, I mostly work on the computer, with Photoshop and Illustrator. Digital process speeds up work, that's the true.
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
I still don't have regular clients, I've just started. The clients I'd collaborated with till now have been all related to children's books, textbooks and tales.
I suppose clients always expect one and most important thing: to have what they were expecting to, or something better. To have it in the fastest way and with the higher quality. I would expect the same in their place, so I've never disappointed a client till this moment.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
Web is about to be reconstructed, so here are the addresses of my blogs:
Coming soon (probably soon) a flickr set with moleskine sketches. I'll update this when done.
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I should answer: both of them. However, studying and practicing are crucial for everyone.
I've completed several art courses, starting with a technical drawing short one in my teens, then going on with an art course specialized in figurative drawing and painting associated to the Sofia University of Fine Arts (Bulgaria), and then a couple of years of studying in the Professional School of Drawing (ESDIP) in Madrid, Spain. I started working with an editorial meanwhile that, so formal studies had to finish earlier.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
First assignment was that editorial project which ended my carefree student life. It was a collection of pop-up books for kids and suddenly I was to be one of it's illustrators.
I had the great luck of having a father-designer; he was into that assignment as a paper engineer and asked me to work with him, even knowing that it was a serious charge for someone new... but we did it all and did it good.
It was a big experience indeed and I learned a lot.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
Tough question.. There is a large list. Not necessary in an increasing admiration order: Pete De Séve, Sempé, H.Craig Hanna, Hugo Pratt, disney's animators and cartoonists of course, Jim Davis, Will Eisner, Frank Miller, Yuko Shimizu, Hokusai, Tolouse Lautréc (always thought of him as an illustrator), Walter Trier...too many to be written.
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
hm. Curious point of view.
I think they are the same.At the heart. Only with a little more thinking.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
Aterix and Obelix
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
Yes, I have lot's of particular styles.
At this moment a must have one, job demands it.
What is hardest to draw?
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
Music and drawing are very close. I like them to be synchronized but it isn't always the same type music. Rock, blues, soul, classic, swing, jazz and silence.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
One and only, no. Any Da Vinci or Toulouse Lautrec for example.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
Find a solution to it.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
The truth is I haven't been experimenting very much lately, work eats all experiment possibilities now.
I have a pending one experiment with paper mass and watercolors, even though that's a little distant to illustration.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
By now I've done all of my works digitally, I prefer it because it makes easier all the process. It's always faster to correct or change things that way than on paper, where many times a mistake can be disastrous.
Anyway, the pleasure of paper will never be displaced.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
If there's not many time, as it usually happens, Internet is a good source. Of course.
I suppose if a could, I would research going out and drawing.
No matter how, I'm very careful with that part of the work. It often depends on it to have a good result at the end.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
Of course. It's part of the hole thing.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
Being better. Being wiser.
And more particularly, I've always liked to be part of an animation studio team someday.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
Another tuff question.
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a couple of Primary Education textbooks (5-6 year old children).
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
I avoid giving advices, people are too different. If I had to, I'll first ask that person to define "liking". I like cooking, even love it, but I certainly am not going to be a professional cook. Not now.
If you realize that you will never can stop drawing, you do it good and makes you feel good, well maybe it's because you're made for it. Maybe not. Who knows, try to find it out. That's my advice. Train your hand, train your eye, go to a good college if you can effort it or work hard, if you can't. Be persistent and initiative.
There're no tips for life.
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