Holly Hatam [hollyhatam]
What is your specialty in illustration?
Watercolor and oil. I love creating very whimsical, inspiring illustrations.
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I have a BA in Fine Art as well as a BA in Graphic Design
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
My first full assignment was painting a portrait of a couple that had just gotten married.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
Oliver Jeffers and Chris VanAllsburgh
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
I always loved anything whimsical and fantasy, so I brought those two elements from my childhood drawings to my adult drawings.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
I actually never read comic books. I have always been a huge bookworm, and my favourite thing to do as a kid was to go to the library on a Saturday afternoon and spend the whole day reading and discovering new books.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I have a very particular style that I am known for especially in the wedding industry. I design invitations for a living and have carried my little character drawings into my invitation work. My style is very loose, whimscial, almost childlike. I love working with monochromatic colours.
What is hardest to draw?
I try not to think that anything is too hard...I always try to have a positive outlook and tell myself that I can do anything with a little bit of patience and practice.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
A lot of classical
Do you have a favorite work of art?
Yes, it is a acrylic painting on an old vintage book. The painting is of a little girl flying through the air with a balloon.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
Ask them specific questions about why they don't like it so that I can get a sense of their style and what they are looking for.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
Painting on books and using ink and a lot of typography.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
For paintings and illustrations everything is done on paper, but for invitations, the initial sketch is done on paper and then it gets digitalized.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
My research comes from my everyday life. I never know when inspiration may hit, whether it is a particular colour, a rusty door, a particular song etc. I work from my heart and emotions.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
Yes, I would love to publish my first wordless picture book which I am in the process of creating. I would love to win the caldecott award.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
What are you working on now?
I am working on my wordless children's book.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
I always say work on your unique talent or style. Don't try to copy any other artist because I have found that trying to mimic someone I admire makes my paintings look horrible because I'm not working from the heart, from my spirit. As long as you have confidence in yourself and your ideas come from an inspiration or emotion, you will find that you will always love your work.