My guest illustrator today is Catherine Lindow. Catherine was one of the last intake of mentees within the 'Picture Hooks' scheme for developing picture book illustrators http://www.picturehooks.org.uk/. Five illustrators were paired with established illustrators and met throughout the year for advice and discussion. Catherine was mentored by Natalie Russell. The work they produced is currently on show at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh until 26thFebruary, and will tour to Stirling and Dumfries & Galloway thereafter.
Catherine studied Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art. She worked as a scenic artist and as a theatre designer for 8 years before having children, often painting stones and bricks. She painted to exhibit and to commission (lots of house portraits – stones and bricks again) until her youngest daughter started school. Since then she has been focussing primarily on illustration. Stones and bricks? Not a problem.
Here are some of Catherine's fantastic illustrations.
I asked Catherine to tell us a bit about herself
What sort of illustrations do you like to draw?
I like to draw children engaging with the world around them. I've always loved drawing people and places, and the way children respond so physically to the world around them brings a location completely alive. I also love drawing brick walls – a hangover from my days as a scenic artist! I'm very engaged with my materials and I am very happy to let them take the lead... sometimes a new discovery (a delicious grainy watercolour or a deeply pigmented ink) can give rise to a whole strand of work.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I enjoy wearing yellow trousers. If I lay down in a gutter I could be mistaken for a double yellow line (almost). That's why I never lie down in gutters.
What was your favourite children's book when you were a child
I still look at lots of the books I loved when I was young, especially the picture books. Probably my memories are skewed by having some of them around me but I loved 'The Lion in the Meadow' by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jenny Williams. It has a wonderful balance of reality and non-reality which is a rare thing in books I think, and the illustrations have a great 70's texture while being completely unselfconscious.
What's your top tip for new illustrators?
I'm a new illustrator myself so I'm not well placed to offer tips. I would say, though, that continuing with my own artwork alongside my illustration work is a great source of sanity. Perhaps my advice would be to preserve a place where you can develop new work without scrutiny. Or without looking for scrutiny anyway.
Where to find out more about Catherine:
1. Website: www.catherinelindow.co.uk
Thanks for dropping by and talking to us about your work, Catherine.