Anna Goodson Illustration Agency

Featured Artist – Jojo Ensslin


Artwork by Jojo Ensslin

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I always thought that I wanted to make movies, so during my studies I mostly made animations, short movies and music-clips. But for that, and other small jobs that I did, I was drawing a lot and after a while I realized that I could earn my money doing it and became an illustrator.
I was always drawing since the time my brother showed me how to use a pencil. Of course, I didn’t think of becoming an Illustrator when I was young – actually at this time I dreamed of becoming a farmer and growing world famous tomatoes.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Life, love, friends, travelling… well, that’s too superficial. I would say authors like Boris Vian and Douglas Adams, filmmakers like David Lynch and Dennis Hopper. Artists like Warhol and Egon Schiele really made me start reflecting and thinking about my own perceptions. But the wonderful worlds and stories my fiancée and I create are the biggest source of inspiration for me.

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
When I was about 5 years old we lived in Neanderthal (yes, exactly this place). I remember grinding up stones that produced different colours. I did it with a whole big pile of rocks and in the end I had my first piece of “Landart”.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
At night in the summer, with good music (Scout Niblett or Cat Power) and no phone ringing.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
Sure.

What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating
art that is commissioned?

That’s easy. In free work for myself I can do whatever I want to and just listen to opinions or suggestions that I want to hear. In commissioned work I have to satisfy at least two “persons”: the client and myself. Sometimes there are many more (agencies, girlfriends of the Director, the therapist of the Art Director etc.) so it can get a bit more complicated. In these cases I mostly have to forget that I want to be satisfied with the end product as well.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
There is a wonderful piece by Mario Wagner, one drawing by Frauke Berg, one by Moki, a couple of drawings from dasha (RDW) and two woodprints of my own.

What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
Getting through all the pain, fear and throwbacks for months to keep my right hand after I got bitten by a cat!

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
Hergé with “Les Aventures de Tintin”.

Are there any other current illustrators that you feel you identify with or share a similar style?
Not in sharing styles, but humour. One of the greatest for me is Lewis Trondheim and also Tim Biskup.

How do you deal with negative criticism?
If they are right, they are right. But I always remember when, how and under what circumstances things are done or created. So I can also be forgiving with myself.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
Surfing and listening to music. If all that doesn’t work, I grab a sheet of paper and start writing and I stop when the page is full. It doesn’t matter what I write, the only importance is that I don’t stop and think in between. Fabulous output sometimes!

Is there any one publication that you still have aspirations to see yourself in?
Only one? ;) Okay, there would be an animated film on ARTE (French-German broadcasting station) and… well, there are too many. Oh well: childrens Books!

What magazines do you personally read?
DER SPIEGEL, DIE ZEIT, Les Inrocuptibles, and a friend gives me all her fashion magazines, but mostly I don’t read them, I just flip through the pages.

What are your goals for your future as an illustrator?
Become famous and live a good life. Of course, work on my style, become better and faster.


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News published at 7:00 am, Monday, April 14th, 2014

Featured Artist – Tyson Smith


Artwork by Tyson Smith

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
I used to sit down at the kitchen table with my dad and do drawings with him. My dad doesn’t have an artistic bone in his body, but he and I sure enjoyed those times.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
I have a home studio where I can get away and listen to some music while I create my art.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
I don’t do as much as I used to, but I have found some inspiration with my 3 year old son who loves to create art and be creative.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Mostly photographs that myself and my wife have taken.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
Early on I was inspired by cartoonists like Bill Watterson and when I started getting more into art I noticed and admired the work of Dr. Seuss, M.C. Escher, Norman Rockwell, and J. Otto Seibold.

How do you deal with negative criticism?
I am my harshest critic, so when I read some negative criticism, it pales in comparison to what I’ve already thought.


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News published at 7:00 am, Monday, March 31st, 2014

Featured Artist – Vin Ganapathy


Artwork by Vin Ganapathy

Where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from everything around me, events, and friends. I like carrying a sketchbook or notepad when I go out, just to write down ideas. I sometimes take photos on my phone camera as references.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
I work at home, and converted part of my living room into a studio. I start out listening to music (usually something mellow). But as I get more into the project I’ll have the TV on and change the music to something upbeat, it gets chaotic. I only notice all of the noise usually when I’m finishing up a project. I’ve noticed if I try to do work in silence I find myself being distracted easily.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
Yes, always. I find that when I’m working on a project for a client, I have ideas for personal projects that I jot down, or draw a quick thumbnail in my notepad. If the job has a longer deadline I’ll make my own art just to get it out of my system.

What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating art that is commissioned?
I find that commissioned work will always be the clients final opinion, so I would make it the way they wanted the piece. I usually set up steps for clients to make sure it is the direction they wanted. For my own work, I usually just have an idea of what I want to convey and draw it out. I like the spontaneity of ink drawings, mistakes and all are captured.

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?
For commissioned work, I focus on what the client is describing. I would imagine a scene or whatnot and try to create it as described. I find that being an illustrator you have to adapt to whatever the client asks for, but also offer alternative ideas that might work better. Usually when a client approaches me for a job and they have a specific piece in mind, I’ll send them sketches of what they ask as well as an alternative (maybe a different style or approach). I try to put myself in the shoes of the clients’ audience, it’s important to try different angles to make sure what would be the proper fit for a project.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
I would say Kent Williams when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember seeing his rendition of Wolverine (an X-Men comic book character) and it was so different than regular comic book stuff, it was a figurative art painting, that blew my tiny mind away.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
I like to go for walks around my neighborhood in Brooklyn into Manhattan. I usually listen to music and walk for miles. I like getting out of the house it unlocks a different way to look at a problem I’m struggling with.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Figurative.


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News published at 10:17 am, Monday, March 17th, 2014

Featured Artist – Hanna Melin


Artwork by Hanna Melin

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
My sister and me always did Christmas decorations together with our mum. I can remember being around 5 and painting pine cones and gluing them together with felt to create some Christmas ornament.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
I work in a studio, but I used to work at home. I don’t really mind where I work, as long as it is quiet. When I get into my studio, I put my headphones on and I get into my own world. I don’t like people watching me while I work, I like to just be “alone amongst all the people”. I listen to audio books and crime stories from the radio.

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?
I keep going back to the brief and rereading it over and over. I start to do sketches, and then go back again.
Am I being clear enough or can I put in some more details to emphasise the “plot”? Even when I am finished with the final image, I go back and read the article/brief.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Posters from museums all over the world. My favourite museum is “Louisiana”, Denmark. I have artwork from shows there, a favourite being William Eggleston.
I also frame the pictures we get from my boyfriend’s cousin, aged 5. There is a new arrival at the moment where she has written ” poo, wee, bum”. I like that one a lot.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
Go out. Get some air and look at people. Or if I am lazy, just look on Google images.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Fun.


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News published at 6:30 am, Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Featured Artist – Nathalie Dion


Artwork by Nathalie Dion

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
In the last few years, my schedule has been filled for weeks in advance, so my sketchbook has become the playground where I create art for myself. Still, I do use every opportunity to sit down, preferably not in my usual work environment, and follow the inspiration of the moment.

What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating art that is commissioned?
The sketches I do for commissioned work are very precise and if approved, ready to go to final. To make the transition between work and sketchbook I have one rule: No sketch allowed. The first draft is the good – or bad – one . Straight to paintbrush. Judgment-free!

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Framed prints from some of my favorite illustrators: Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Maira Kalman, Miroslav Sassek, Michel Rabagliati… An original Aron Leighton collage I bought on eBay. And a constantly evolving cork board – at present filled with stuff I picked up at Montreal’s Expozine.

What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
Making a living as an illustrator is in itself my biggest accomplishment – a cliche, but oh so true! I am still grateful for it after all these years. The “Urban Babies” board book series is especially important to me. The adventure began five years ago with “Urban Babies Wear Black”. Initially, it was meant as a single book. But we were asked to create a follow up. One title after another, it turned into a successful series. Michelle Colmann Sinclair is now working on the next manuscript, so I’ll soon be sketching the 10th volume.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
I doodle freely and watch the idea unfurl on the page.

Is there any one publication that you still have aspirations to see yourself in?
I’d love to illustrate a children’s book story that’s been in my mind for years.

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Malgré les demandes de votre métier d’illustratrice, trouvez-vous toujours le temps de créer pour le plaisir ?
Ces dernières années, mon agenda est complet plusieurs semaines à l’avance. Il est difficile de prendre le temps pour des projets personnels d’envergure. C’est pourquoi mon cahier de croquis est devenu mon terrain de jeu. Je profite de toutes les occasions pour dessiner en dehors de l’atelier; salles d’attente, cafés, bibliothèque…

Comment effectuez-vous la transition entre la création sur commande et la création pure ?
Les croquis que je produis à des fins professionnelles sont très précis; prêts à passer à la couleur dès qu’ils sont approuvés par le client. La règle d’or qui distingue ma création personnelle de ma création professionnelle est simple : Croquis interdits ! Le premier jet est le meilleur (ou le pire, dans certains cas ! ). J’y vais directement au pinceau. Sans jugement.

Qu’est-ce qu’on peut voir accroché aux murs de votre maison ?
Des impressions encadrées de quelques-uns de mes illustrateurs favoris : Jean-Philippe Delhomme, Maira Kalman, Miroslav Sassek, Sara Fanelli, Michel Rabagliati… Un collage original d’Aron Leighton acheté sur eBay. Et un babillard de liège en perpétuelle évolution. En ce moment, il y a un tas de bidules dénichés au salon Expozine 2009 de Montréal.

Quelle est selon vous votre plus grande réalisation personnelle ?
Le fait de vivre de mon métier d’illustratrice, c’est déjà beaucoup en soi. C’est peut-être un cliché, mais c’est tellement vrai. J’en suis toujours aussi heureuse après toutes ces années. Ceci dit, je suis particulièrement attachée à la série de livres pour enfants Urban Babies. L’aventure a commencé il y cinq ans avec Urban Babies Wear Black. Au départ, il ne devait y avoir qu’un seul livre. Puis on nous a demandé une suite. Les titres se sont succédé, et c’est aujourd’hui une série populaire. Michelle Colmann Sinclair rédige présentement le manuscrit du prochain livret. Ce qui veut dire que je vais bientôt commencer les croquis du dixième volume de la série.

Quelle est votre méthode favorite pour sortir d’un blocage créatif ?
Je gribouille sans trop réfléchir jusqu’à ce qu’une idée surgisse.

Y a-t-il une publication dans laquelle vous aimeriez voir vos illustrations paraître un jour ?
J’aimerais beaucoup illustrer une histoire pour enfants que j’ai en tête depuis plusieurs années.


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News published at 7:01 am, Monday, February 17th, 2014

Featured Artist – Laura Pérez


Artwork by Laura Pérez

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
When I started my degree in Fine Arts, I realized that I prefered to draw and paint to create illustrations rather than painting on a big canvas or doing performances. The first time I saw an illustrator’s book was decisive to me. I also always enjoyed looking at illustrations from magazines, books, newspapers and children’s illustration books.

What is your earliest memory of creating art?
I always loved taking paper and pencil in hand and creating something. During school, I was always drawing things for my friends, teachers and family. I was very happy seeing my drawings hanging on the wall.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from lots of places, but especially from everyday life. Sometimes I can find inspiration at a coffee shop, or in a restaurant, shops, parks, maybe from a stupid or strange situation, etc. I never leave my sketchbook at home. I don’t know when inspiration is going to come.
Most of my inspiration comes from city-urban scenes, fashion design, lifestyles. I also like retro postcards, clothes, handmade typography, animals…

What type of environment do you prefer to work in?
I normally finish my work at home with my computer but I can start sketching the project or personal work anywhere. Maybe when I’m with friends I can see someone or something that inspires me… I don’t have a particular place to start working but I normally like to finish it at home.
I love listening to music or the radio while I work. I always listen to music no matter what I´m working on. Music is a good source of inspiration.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
When I have a creative block I do a few different things. I like to read, go for a walk, do some exercise, hang out with friends, watch a movie, visit museums and art galleries…

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Mignon.


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News published at 7:00 am, Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Featured Artist – Isabelle Cardinal


Artwork by Isabelle Cardinal

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I know it sounds clichéd, but of course I was always doodling on the back of my school books and I have numerous drawings from when I was 8 or 10 that my mom kept (of course!).
But I really got to realize it was possible to actually do that all year long as an illustrator while in a class at university. After meeting with the teacher, who had just showed us the editorial illustration he had done for the Chicago Tribune or the Washington Post, I said “This IS what I want to do!!”

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I am big “sketcher”… I know it is kind of rare for a digital collage artist, but I just love to draw a lot. I have found that the more I sketch, the more the result (idea) is clear and fun. I also travelled a lot in my 20′s and so I guess I incorporate a lot of what I have seen, heard and felt. I also love to collect old 1900′s photos and drawings and find they are very inspiring to look at.

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
I drew so many horses – I’m just amazed by those animals – but also princesses (what can I say, I’m a girl).
Also I have good memories of my mother taking out her watercolors and painting incredibly well. I was amazed with the colors, the blending of it all (most probably why my collages have an average of 70 layers in Photoshop!!). And then she bought me a big set of dry pastels and I was hooked.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
I admit I have been neglecting that for years. I was too busy, and with a young child it is tough to “find” time for personal projects. But the child is growing up and it’s less frantic then it was 5 years ago, so I have more time to create for “myself”. I have been participating on Illustration Friday’s site for a little while now, and find it so much fun and refreshing to have one theme to work on. I think it is good for the soul.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
I have made an “inspiration wall”, where I paste everything I have found in print or on the web that I like.
It can be textures, art, pictures, toys, tickets, postcards, patterns – you name it – and I try to add to and change it all the time. Very inspiring.

What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
Well I know it’s another cliché (sorry) but being able to work at home also means being able to see the first steps of your child (first everything, in fact). It’s nice to be able to do both, and enjoy every moment. Professionally, I remember my first editorial job as being with CIO magazine and I was sooo proud, thinking
“wow, my art will be printed in a magazine!!”. That was years ago, but I still remember that feeling and I still think it is the best job on earth.


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News published at 7:01 am, Monday, January 20th, 2014

10 Pennies Interview: Marisa Morea


Artwork by Marisa Morea

Marisa Morea has been interviewed by Creative Notebook, an inspirational blog full of creative interviews and visual nutrition. Highly interesting!


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News published at 11:38 am, Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Featured Artist – Katrin Funcke


Artwork by Katrin Funcke

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
Whilst studying graphic arts, a new Illustration Professor came to our University. Under her instruction, I pretty soon realized this was the field that was most interesting to me and that I was best at.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Music. glamour. aristocracy. Old Hollywood. You know, just everyday life…

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
At the age of four or five I found my youngest aunt and her boyfriend kissing in the garden. I immediately portrayed them as bride and groom.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
In my studio with my illustrator friends.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
Yes, but too little!

What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating art that is commissioned?
In creating art for myself the picture is just to please me. And often the process is the best part. I try out and test myself.
In creating commissioned art the intention is in my focus. The process is more straightforward. I put everything in that I learned by doing personal stuff.

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?
I never thought about this. I think that is simply the job: to look at it from the clients’ angle.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Pictures from fellow artists, old photos, vintage prints done by my grandad, anything that fits in with what we call “The Family Folklore”. We also have a display cabinet stuffed with illustrated vintage packaging design and everything that cannot be pinned to the wall.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
Walter Trier and Réné Gruau, maybe.

Do you read criticism done on your work?
Yes. But there is little.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
Listen to music and let go. The music must be pure drama, overwhelming.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Vivid. Or, in two words: weirdly beautiful.

Is there any one publication that you still have aspirations to see yourself in?
Vogue.

What question do you wish an interviewer would ask you?
Would you like to meet Ella Fitzgerald? Yes, please!


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News published at 7:00 am, Monday, December 16th, 2013

Featured Artist – Terry Wong


Artwork by Terry Wong

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
I was 3 years old, I was in my parents office with my Father, I drew a character from the Pink Panther cartoon.
After I had finished I ran to my Mom to show her in another room, she looked at it and as my Dad walked
in she asked if he drew it. I remember she was so surprised at how good it was she didn’t believe at first that
I had actually drawn it.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
I like to work in my home office, I tried working at the coffee shop down the street but that didn’t last too long – they were really insistent that I not wear my bathrobe and slippers. Needless to say working at home suites me better :)

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
I actually just moved into a new place so I only have 2 pieces of art hanging on my walls currently.
A Bauhaus poster and a print of Andy Warhol’s image of Elvis.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
I dunno if he actually counts as an illustrator but I remember being enthralled as a child with Mr. Dressup. I used to love watching the segment of the show where he’d sit at the drawing board and illustrate scenes with K.C and Finnigan.

How do you deal with negative criticism?
What?! There have been negative criticisms of my work?

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
I had an illustration instructor in college who used to go get doughnuts to get out of his creative block. I’m still searching for my inspirational junk food.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Fun.


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News published at 7:43 am, Monday, December 2nd, 2013