I decided to contact one of the illustrators I've been following on Youtube. Jess Bircham. She has some really fantastic tutorials for digital illustration. She was kind enough to answer my questions regarding her career as an illustrator. NSM: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Jess: Sure! My name is Jess Bircham and I am a professional Illustrator. I work full time as an Illustrator for a charming company called Bunnies by the Bay. I illustrate children’s books, create art for fabric, apparel, art for catalogs, website and social media. I also do commissions and some personal art. I am originally from England but now live in Washington state in a log cabin on 11 acres in the mountains. I am a Mum of two boys, wife of a loving hubby, and farm girl of 4 horses, 3 dogs, 3 cats and 18 chickens! My home is very inspiring to my work! NSM: Describe the first time you remember making art? Jess: That’s a tough question! I don’t remember ever not creating art - it’s just always been …
This is an illustration I did for Summer Shorts Anthology. It's a scan from the book. It was a poem about having to go on the high dive. With all the other kids waiting behind you. I'd feel confine if I was afraid of the height and had only 1 way out.
I recently checked out a book by Uri Shulevitz, pictured above, from the library called "Writing with Pictures". It's an older book about how to write and illustrate children's books. Mainly it's about illustrating them. I enjoyed the variety of the illustration examples and the depth that the book covered. Uri Shulevitz is well know for his books "Snow" and "The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship". I think it's a great starter book for illustrators. Some of the material is dated such as the "color preseparation" portion of the book. Reading it made me appreciate the advancements in printing. I can't imagine having to color separate your own artwork. Still a book worth checking out.
Reference: Shulevits, Uri. (1985). Writing With Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books. Watson-Guptill Publications. NY, New York.