Emma is a UK-based children’s book illustrator. She creates her delightful illustrations from a barn studio in the village of Tickenham, on the outskirts of Bristol, England. Dreamy, right? She has illustrated over ten children’s books, and she also has a lovely shop featuring illustrations, cards, and other clever creations.
Gallery images courtesy of Cale Atkinson.
Emma: Firstly I draw lots of thumbnails to work out the rough composition. Then I start to rough out my chosen composition, drawing over it again and again until I have something I am happy with. When I have a final sketch with the characters all finalised, I scan it into the computer and roughly colour it in using photoshop. When I am happy with the colours and the sketch, I print it out in black and white onto hot pressed watercolor paper, which I then use to paint it with gouache paint and colouring pencils. This I then scan in again, and perfect it by adding finishing touches in photoshop.
Emma: I had to really work hard on figuring out my style for a few years, even after university. It took me a long time to start getting book commissions, and Plum Pudding (my agents) were amazing in helping me to get my work to where it is today during that time. It was challenging to keep going - but I am so happy I persevered.
Emma: Ah yes it is lovely thank you! It is in North Somerset, in a barn full of other freelancers in a collective called ‘Hullo Creative’ which is great. I find it important to work with like-minded people! (They are pretty lovely too.) It’s cosy and cute, with wooden beams throughout, and if you walk up the hill you get a beautiful view of the fields and the nearby town of Nailsea - perfect for when you’re stuck for inspiration!
Emma: Probably at about 5pm, I suddenly feel very creative!
Emma: I always loved drawing and reading a lot as a child. So one day I realised, a way to combine these two loves would be to become an illustrator! My mum and dad are both creative too, so they would always encourage me to paint and draw when I showed an interest in it.
Emma: Recently I worked on a picture book with Penguin Random House: ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ And I absolutely loved working on this title, creating all of the patterns and crazy little characters. I think I drew at least forty maids-a-milking! I also loved seeing my illustrated book for the Bible Society: ‘The Well Good News of Christmas’ being made into an animation last year. It was amazing seeing my illustrations brought to life like this.
Emma: I love spending time with my little baby boy Herbie and my husband Max, reading, shopping, cooking (and eating!) and cycling my little blue bike.
Chocolate of course! And roast dinners.
To see the Northern Lights. We went to Iceland to see them one year but it was too cloudy to see them!!