Featured Artist – Marie Lafrance
Artwork by Marie Lafrance
How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I’ve always doodled and drawn on any available surface, but thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. When I started working in graphic design I realized illustrating was all I wanted to do. So I did.
What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
As a child I had a thing for royalty so I spent years drawing nothing but people with crowns on their heads.
What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
After many years and many studio mates I’m back working from home, which makes it easier for me to work 24/7. I listen to talk radio all day and music at night.
As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
It’s so tough to take the time, but so important, for fun, and from time to time to break the mold I’ve put myself in.
What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating art that is commissioned?
Frankly, none. My mind takes a trip around an idea to try and zero in on the way to express it, whether I’m the boss or commissioned.
When you are creating commissioned work, how do you take yourself out of the project and focus on the idea that needs to be conveyed?
It’s really a voyage of some kind, trying to see it in different angles, differently from my first idea, sometimes to go back to it in the end. The first sketch is always excruciating, but once that door is open the other ones speed by.
What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
I’m going to have to take the Fifth on that one, seeing that I would make myself guilty of conceit for saying my brilliant child.
Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
M.C. Escher, but was he an illustrator? Henrik Drescher and Brad Holland then.
Do you read criticism done on your work?
How do you deal with negative criticism?
I don’t like it of course, but then I become combative, and I think “Hey, I’ll show them wrong!”
What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
I look at plenty of images to jug my head back in position. And if I have the luxury of time, I take a walk with my dog and sleep on it.
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