Interview with Illustrator – Liz Adams

Liz Adams is a freelance illustrator based in Los Angeles known for her cheerful, delicate and feminine illustrations. Her drawings have graced the pages of: Teen Magazine, Girl’s Life, American Baby, Vogue Girl Korea, Disney, Today’s Parent, Venus Zine, Adorn Magazine, Curve Magazine, Nails Magazine, ELLE Girl Korea and many more publications. Because of her colorful style and beautiful hand-drawinging full of fun and imagination, she is a regular contributor for the most well known magazines. Also she created her own pattern that is incredibly adorable and she has been working on her new book that is coming soon. Definitely Liz is a busy girl!

So enjoy this exclusive interview with this talented artist and loving person. To learn more about Liz Adams’ illustrations, please visit her website.

Jellyfish Girl

RH: Tell me about your workspace and your creative process? Does it matter where you live as an artist?

LA: I work out of a room in my apartment. I have a table where I can paint and draw and another area with my computer setup. I don’t think it matters where you live as an artist as long as you find ways to get your work out there.

RH: Self-taught or formally educated? (or mixture of both, mentors etc …)

LA: I think of it as a mixture of both. I was a mixed media art major in college and mostly focused on making weird sculptures. I didn’t realize that I wanted to pursue illustration until a couple years after graduating. I worked as a photo retoucher and fine art printer at the time which really helped to train me technically. I was drawing a lot and started painting. I thought my work could possibly be marketable so I did tons of research, put together a portfolio and started promoting.

RH: How do you stay inspired? Can you share some of your ideas?

LA: I can usually get inspired by just tuning out and doodling. If I get bored with something I’m working on or the way I’m working I try to find ways to make it fresh to me either by playing with different tools, materials or techniques or reassessing my original idea.

RH: Once a client has handed off an illustration job to you, how do you first tackle the job? Could you give us a quick overview of your process?

LA: I’ll usually start by making a few quick thumbnail sketches. From those I’ll pick two to three that I’d like to make into larger sketches with more detail that I do with pencil and paper. I scan them in and either add some gray tones or colors if I already have a color scheme in mind. I send them to the client and either it gets approved or I revise the sketch until it’s perfect for the client. At that point I’ll start drawing my final illustration. I’ll put my sketch down on a light table and make a new drawing in pen over it. I may paint or draw various elements like textures or backgrounds. I scan everything in and work on it in Photo shop. I use a wacom tablet to clean up, color and assemble everything.

RH: What are your goals as an artist? How do you see yourself progressing?

LA: I just to want to do work that I’m excited about. I’d really like to work on a children’s book and do projects for animation or games. I love illustrating things for teen girls so I hope to do more of that too.

RH: What are the best and worst parts of being a working artist?

LA: The best parts are doing what I love and seeing my work out there. The worst parts are dealing with some of the business aspects in this economy—slow periods, late paying clients and lower budgets.

Flying mixed media on watercolor paper

RH: What other interests do you have outside of art?

LA: I like to watch TV, play video games, cook things and walk around my neighborhood.

RH: Current and upcoming projects?

LA: I just finished some work for a couple magazines. I’m working on a book dummy that I’m hoping to pitch soon. I’m also learning animation software.

RH: Are there any thoughts or anything else you’d like to say?

LA: My best advice to anyone who wants to do art is to never give up and have a place online where it’s easy to see your work.

Illustration in the March/09 issue of ELLE Girl Korea

PS: All images here are used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

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