FAQ's from You ...
Do you only illustrate picture books and middle grade books?
I illustrate all kinds of books and other things too. My drawings can be found on coffee cups, pillows, on posters, hanging as original art or as interior design objects in homes. You can drink from my art, sleep on my art, exercise in my art, it's so much fun to do that.
What do you mean when you say you design things, is that a lot of work like illustration?
Designing is a bit like painting and illustrating but with words and images. It's about making all the elements on the page look like they belong together in one unified picture. It is a lot of work, but I love seeing everything come together, especially when I'm working on other peoples illustrations. It's so satisfying.
Are your illustrations made digitally or traditionally?
Both and sometimes both in the same piece of art!
I start drawing on paper using pencils or biro, I like biro the most because it's permanent, it forces me into being bold and less precious about what I sketch. It's ok to have ugly sketches! Then, I keep tracing over the sketch with tracing paper and a pencil until I get the drawing right. Then I colour it. I also scan my drawings into the computer, where I fix and colour them digitally. I like to use textures I personally make using paint, fabric, paper and other materials or using digital textures in my art when I'm drawing on the computer.
Here's an example of my sketching process, this one uses pencil, tracing paper and biro:
How much do you charge?
Every single project is different, it depends on factors like the size of the job; the size of the client (are you a big international corporation or a small emerging business?); the deadline (are you in a hurry or can I take my time?); and what the illustrations are going to be used for.
Will you illustrate my children's book?
If you are a self-publishing author offering an adequate budget, please feel free to contact me to talk about your book project.
If you're considering sending your work to a publisher, please be mindful that publishers like to choose their own illustrators, this means getting your text illustrated is usually not necessary.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from stories, my imagination, looking at other artists and designers work on the internet and in magazines. Traveling, art galleries, down the street, in the shops and feelings. Ideas are everywhere!
What are your favourite subjects to illustrate?
Oh boy, I love so many things and will tackle just about anything that poses a challenge or can be crafted differently. I think people are the hardest to draw. Drawing people scares a lot of illustrators because everyone knows what a person should look like and can tell when we get it wrong.
Is Takara your real name?
Takara started out as my 'nom de plume' or illustrator pen-name, now it's become so popular my friends use it as my nick name. Takara is Japanese for treasure or jewel, I'm not Japanese but I'm a diamond in the rough :) My real name is Kellie which my mum told me means brave warrior... I'm happy with that too!
What's your advice to emerging artists, illustrators, designers & creatives?
My advice to anyone would be: Don't wait to be picked. Pick yourself. This means start making stuff, finish it, then make more stuff. Personal projects are the new portfolios. Make sure you enjoy what you are doing and remember some self care & self love along the way.
I think it's really important to have good friends around you, I also love to have my own space and a lot of quiet time too. A good balance is perfect for me ... here's a video that shows some of the things I like to do with my friends.
Value friendships create Community
My Creative Friends Project
Have inspiring friends around you. Life is about living, sharing and connecting.