Sunell Lombard [sunelllombard]
What is your specialty in illustration?
I enjoy working in pen, brush and ink, gouache, oils, watercolour and scraperboard. Each medium has different strengths, so I guess the project would dictate the medium.
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
I have recently graduated and have only had a few commissions, but from my experience you have to be able to meet deadlines and have a clear understanding of the client's requirements and vision.
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 studied Fine Art at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and then completed my Masters Degree in Illustration at the same institution.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
My first full assignment was to illustrate and design a little once-off comic book about a dog. I did a religious mural after that - that one was intense!
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
present:Chris Ware, Tom Gauld, Tom Dieck, David Shrigley, Katshuhiro Otomo, Joe Sorren, Anna Sommer, Conrad Botes, Haruki Murakami
past: Francisco Goya, Katsushika Hokusai
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
Surprisingly similar! I used to draw our dog all the time and years later I am still at it (we have had quite a few fox terriers over the years...). I think my technique has improved though!
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
Asterix and Obelix - I bought them religiously!
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I work in a variety of mediums and a variety of styles.
What is hardest to draw?
Hands and trees - so I tend to do those a lot.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
Music definitely inspires my art, but I don't necessarily listen to only one type. I am currently into Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Radiohead, Fiona Apple, The Black Keys, Air, Weeds Soundtrack, to name but a few.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
No. I can narrow it down to about a hundred. Maybe.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
I would go back to the drawing board.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
I am working on a graphic novel and mainly use pen, ink and brush, and qouache. The challenge has been to make tactile, textured black & white characters jump out from the page. To solve this problem I have filled the backgrounds with colour.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
All my work starts out on paper or canvas. Originally I mainly used Photoshop to clean images, and adjust contrasts, size, bla bla bla for reproduction purposes, but recently I have started experimenting with it and it's quite addictive!
What research do you do for your illustrations?
Doing an illustration is quite a process.
The first step would be to familiarize myself with the subject matter by gathering information about it and finding visual references. The next step would be to do a series of drawings to get an anatomical/structural feel for the subject.
Thirdly I start working on the concept/layout/composition, depending on the project, and make couple of mock drafts.
Fourthly I start experimenting with style and medium.
And then, if the project has been ok-ed, I start working on the final product.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
That was the great thing about University - during crit sessions you could discuss ideas, concepts etc. and get feedback and suggestions from other students. Since graduation is has been tricky. I constantly pester my poor husband, because you need a second pair of eyes.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
I want to write and illustrate my own graphic novel, have it published, then picked up as an animation series, make buckets of money in the process, and then start on my next novel - ad infinitum.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
What are you working on now?
I have just had an exhibition at the BSOA in Bermuda titled 'This Is Bat Country', featuring the first 15 pages of my graphic novel "The Chronicles of Leonard & Jobe" and a selection of paintings.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
I have a job and do my art in the evenings, so I have not cracked the code. Yet.