Friday, 26 August 2016

5 Minutes With.. Judi Abbot

Each month, we are going to be celebrating a different one of our fantastically talented and brilliant artists in the '5 Minutes with...' series of interviews. We will be asking them a few questions in an attempt to gain an insight into their world as a children's illustrator! So grab a cuppa and take five, this month, we begin with the wonderful Judi Abbot.

Where do you live/work?

I live and work in London. My studio is a room in my flat, a tiny room with a huge window, so there is always a lot of light! It’s like my nest!

What do you love about working there?

I like being surrounded by all of my artwork on the walls. Before it was my studio, it was the baby's bedroom, and on one of the walls I hung some of my artwork. When my baby boy changed rooms, I didn’t take down any of the illustrations from the wall, it’s a nice reminder of my history!

What are your dislikes?

Perhaps it’s a bit too small…I’m running out of space!

What do you love most about being an illustrator?

When people ask me “what are you working on?” I love answering back with things like “ I’m working on goats and pigs!” and watching their faces and their reactions!

How do you work – what are your techniques?
I work with acrylics and pencils, but also digitally with photoshop, it depends of the kind of book I’m creating.

What is your favourite thing to draw?

I love drawing animals, starting by copying them from reality and then simplifying them! I think I have a crush on elephants. And lions!!

Are there any tricky parts to being an illustrator?

Being freelance means work coming in can be unpredictable sometimes, but in the end something always comes up!

What or who are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by nature first of all. Then I really love artists that communicate strong feelings with few lines and colours, like Picasso, or Kandisky. I really love the work of Lionni, I’m reading his biography right now, and he's such an interesting artist!

What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not illustrating?
I’m really curious, when I’m not illustrating I just relax and observe people, the world around me. Of course when my kids are not around, otherwise, I'm playing with them!

How did you get into illustration?

At the end of my high school degree I really didn’t know what to do. I knew I wanted to say in the art business, but I couldn’t see myself being a proper painter. I needed a real job. I then discovered a show near my city about children book illustrations and I was fascinated by this world! The illustrations were so beautiful, so artistic, but with a marketable purpose! That's when I decided - "I want to be an illustrator!"

What are your three top tips for aspiring illustrators?

1. Never stop if you find something different coming out your hand. Change is fine, it's a way of growing.

2. Be modest, but believe in yourself and your creativity

3. Be friends with other illustrators, there are so many of us out there, sharing tips and feelings is very important!
What’s your ultimate dream?

Creating a book that will make me rich!! ahahha! :-D

We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about Judi and seeing her beautiful workspace, we certainly did! If you want to hear more from her, Judi regularly updates her blog which you can find here: and to see more of Judi's work, visit her PP portfolio here!

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