Introducing Charli Vince, Illustrator
Today I’d love to share with you all a little Q&A I had with Charli Vince.
Name sound familiar? It should, she’s the very talented artist who drew the cover for Strange Matters!
Charli kindly answered a few questions for me about her work. She clearly did a great job on my cover and she has a host of other fine work on display on her website, at www.charlivince.com. Now that Strange Matters is in print and her art is being shipped all over the place, I thought it time to let others know more about her. This is Charli in her words:
“I’m a Norwich (UK) based illustrator with a love and fascination for the animal kingdom, intrigue, and colour. If I’m not at my desk doodling myself into a coma, I can be found drawing people in Norwich city, gawping at other people’s dogs, or getting punching stuff at Kung-Fu training (of which I am a black belt, not to brag or anything).”
So, here’s our little Q&A!
First up, obvious question… what got you interested in art/illustration?
For my whole memorable life I’ve constantly been drawing whenever I can. When I was little I had endless piles of paper with sketches and creature drawings, a huge blackboard covered in doodles, bookshelves full of ‘how to draw’ books, I think it was clear to my parents which direction I was going in! I enjoyed having a task to complete that had no right or wrong answer, it was a big grey area of ‘do whatever you think will work’. This is why I simply couldn’t get along with other, more academic subjects; there were too many wrong answers and not enough right ones. The freedom and sheer number of potential successes within the arts is one of the main things that drew me in.
This state of constant drawing soon converged with my love and admiration for the animal kingdom. As I started to take art and illustration a bit more seriously – perhaps around the age of 16 or 17 – I started to study anatomy and the basics a lot more closely than I had previously. This new found
ability to draw things, and draw things correctly, brought about a new lease of confidence in my own work, so improvements came in thick and fast. Years later, I now have a whole bunch of art qualifications, growing client list and high hopes for the future!
How do you describe your style?
This heavily depends on the project, so it’s pretty tricky to answer. A lot of the time I’ll find my work is very sketchy and textured with a clean cut outline creating a strong silhouette whilst still maintaining the graphite-y nature of traditional drawing. Colour is often added through either water colour or Photoshop, depending on the complexity of the illustration.
Most of my work does centre around animals and nature, either as characters or as more scientific studies. I do draw human beings as well, but there’s something more dynamic and different about animals and creatures which will always lead me back to drawing the beasties.
Is there something in particular you like about drawing animals? Are you an animal lover yourself?
I am a huge animal lover. From seething and scowling at fox hunts in my village as a child to donating all my spare pennies to dog’s charities as an adult, animals of all shapes and sizes will always form a huge part of my life.
It’s the under representation of the diversity of the animal kingdom that draws me in the most, I think. The sheer number of cute illustrations of rabbits or cats you can find makes me want to draw cute spiders and cute slugs. Too many species are ignored and/or demonised for no rational reason, so this is often a driving force for me to shed new light on these particular creatures and change public opinion about them for the better. Also, drawing animals is just super fun. There’s nothing more to it sometimes!
Have any recent works of art or new trends caught your attention?
Unfortunately for the illustration world, trends fly in and out of date in a blink, so getting too into current trends can be a risky venture for your career’s future. It’s often worth looking at past trends which have elements worth reviving. Scientific illustration has always been a huge influence for me and my work, especially the more traditional, old-style illustrations.
On the other end of the scale, the quality and diversity of styles in current concept art for things like films and games is pretty amazing. So much can be achieved with digital painting techniques and combining methods of image making, browsing through concept art galleries always sparks interest for me.
And lastly… what’s next for you- any big projects in the works?
There’s lots of little bits going on at the moment! I’m planning on releasing a colour version of my book, ‘Spiders Aren’t Scary’, I’m working alongside a few authors on some illustrations for their books, and an ongoing project with a game developer in the US is still chugging along nicely. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some progress on these projects soon!
Pretty cool, huh? You can catch Charli’s blog at charlivince.wordpress.com or follow her at twitter.com/Charlillustrate and www.facebook.com/CharliVinceIllustration. If you haven’t seen the gorgeous cover she drew for Strange Matters yet, have a gander below. Click for the full sized poster!