Tuesday, 10 January 2017

5 Minutes with.. Claire Shorrock

It's our first interview of 2017 and for this instalment of the "5 Minutes With.." series, we've been catching up with Claire Shorrock. From her love of dogs to her favourite childhood books and how she creates her gorgeous illustrations, let's take five to get to know a little more about Claire..

Where do you live/work?

I live in Bristol and work from a studio near the centre.

What do you like about working there?

I do occasionally work from home but I love going in to the studio, it’s just nice to be around people as illustrating can get a bit lonely! It’s also useful when you get stuck on something to be able to have someone else look at it and give you an honest opinion.

What do you love most about being an illustrator?

I love being able to communicate ideas and stories through my drawings, and I find painting really therapeutic. I also love being able to set my own hours and seeing my work in print is really rewarding. 

How do you work – what are your techniques?

I start with ideas in sketchbooks, then use gouache and coloured pencils for the final artwork, but also edit the final images in Photoshop. I have actually just treated myself to an iPad Pro which is amazing for editing so I'm experimenting with that too at the moment!

What is your favourite thing to draw and why?

Dogs. I wish that question wasn’t so easy to answer but it’s my default.

What or who are you most inspired by?

People, nature, interiors and patterns in spaces in general. I love travelling and going to galleries, which I don’t do enough.

Do you have a favourite illustrator?

I love the work of so many illustrators, but to name a few, John Burningham, Miroslav Sasek, Quentin Blake and Beatrice Alemagna are all so brilliant.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not illustrating?

Walk the dogs, read, go to the cinema, eat and drink with friends, also, do yoga and (begrudgingly) run.

How did you get into illustration?

I went to Leeds College of Art to do an art foundation, with an interest in interior design, but then realised that what I loved most was drawing and so I applied to do Illustration at the University of the West of England.

What is your top tip for aspiring illustrators?

Just draw all the time. This is something that I didn’t realise the importance of when I was in my first year of uni as I was more concerned with how everything looked. You spend more time worrying about what you want the final piece to be instead of just drawing, and actually, this is the only thing that will make you progress!

What were your favourite books when you were younger? 

The giant Jam Sandwich, The  Tiger Who Came to Tea and when I was a bit older, The Solitaire Mystery. (So good, if you haven’t already, read it!)

What was the last book you read? What did you think? 

The Wind up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Maurakami. I really loved this book and love Murakami’s work in general. He writes about modern day Japan and never leaves out the mundane details but there is always mystery and magic.

What are your aspirations for 2017?

I want to publish more of my own books, I have at least three in the pipeline but finding time to work on them, amongst the other work is sometimes tricky! I also love illustrating books for other writers so more of that too.

What’s your ultimate dream?

To be doing exactly what I am to be honest, with more books under my belt and loads of dogs!

We really hope you've enjoyed getting to know more about Claire's life as a children's illustrator! You can find more of Claire's incredible work on her PP folio page here or on her own website and blog here!

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