I am very pleased to welcome Val Cox here to DarkFaerieTales.com to talk about her illustration work.
DFT: How did you get started in the illustration field?
It was a sort of a learn to walk, start drawing, haven’t stopped since kind of process Professionally, I started about 8 years ago.
DFT: How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
I have always leaned towards an adult comic/graphic novel style which I find I perfect and grow into a little more every year. As my characters develop, they still sneak up and surprise me at times.
DFT: How long do you generally spend on a project?
It really depends on the project… Any given illustration can take up to 10 hours, depending on complexity.
DFT: What are some important things to keep in mind when pursuing a career as an Illustrator?
It is important to have a unique style that’s yours, one that’s easily recognized. Having samples of your work on hand to leave with or mail out to prospective clients is a great way of getting yourself recognized.
DFT: Do you have any advice for an artist that is interested in doing illustration work?
Have a print portfolio and/or the above mentioned samples ready to show and go after what you want shamelessly! If you have your eye on a project it never hurts to ask for what you want.
DFT: Do you accept private commissions?
Of course! I’ve done personal portraits and couples portraits, they’re always lots of fun. People like being immortalized as their own personal version of a kick-ass comic book character.
DFT: What is your process when working with clients? Can you run us through a typical job? What is your creative process?
Each project is unique – it has everything to do with the client and their need or vision. Usually clients come to me because they like my illustration style and they want me to come up with the designs from scratch. Other times the client’s input can be surprisingly insightful and inspiring, taking me in a direction I wouldn’t have thought to go. That’s always a nice surprise.
DFT: Which author would you love to do a book cover for?
Oooooh – Neil Gaiman!
DFT: What is the best part about what you do?
It’s hard to narrow that down to one thing! But I would have to say that it is wonderful to have the kind of work one can get lost in. To be creative for a living is a very lucky thing.
DFT: Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?
Well, on a deadline you’ve just got to push through. Luckily I haven’t had a lot of that problem yet!
DFT: What was one of your favorite projects?
Working with Judith Graves and Kitty Keswick on illustrating their amazing young adult novels (Under My Skin and Freaksville, both published through Leap books) was amazing. Any projects with character development are definitely favourites.
DFT: Describe your work setting.
I always have a coffee going, music playing, often a pug snoring… Music is instrumental in my creative process.
DFT: Do you have any current projects that you would like to tell us about?
Currently, I’ve just finished up doing some funky swag pieces for Judith Graves’ Under My Skin book launch (March, 2010, Leap books). I’m also working with local Edmonton poet, Lorraine McFaddin, on designing the cover of her poetry collection, Steel Wool and Honey.
DFT: What is your favorite fairy tale? Why?
Hansel and Gretel. Candy!!
DFT: What do you like to read for pleasure?
I’m a sucker for celeb gossip mags and Henry Miller.
DFT: Many thanks, Val – I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by.
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