I'm an illustrator + comic artist from the UK, AMA!

Lorna
Jul 20, 2018

Hi! I'm Lorna and I'm here to answer any questions you might have about illustration and art.

I have a BA (Hons) degree in illustration from Plymouth University, UK. I won an award for my self-directed collaborative zine project in my graduating year, Girlzine. I

Shortly after graduating, I illustrated a book called Sleep is for the Weak by Emily Jane Clark. 

My main interests are making comics, designing characters, and drawing fanart. Most of what I do is inspired by witches, tarot and my extensive hoard of succulent plants. 

I have ADHD and make a lot of work inspired by my struggles with it. One day I plan to put it all in a zine! 

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What do you think the potential and impact of new digital advances is for art and how people experience it?
Jul 21, 4:45AM EDT0
Besides hard work and talent, what other traits has led to your success?
Jul 21, 3:07AM EDT0
Is the illustration field competitive? If so, how do you keep your skills up to date and ahead of others?
Jul 21, 12:35AM EDT0
What is the Zine project all about? Where can people learn more about it?
Jul 20, 8:16PM EDT0
What do you wish you’d have known starting out as an illustrator?
Jul 20, 2:12PM EDT0
Do you feel illustrating is something that only comes naturally, or do you feel people can learn to create this form of art?
Jul 20, 12:17PM EDT0
Does coping with ADHD aid or hinder you in developing and completing your illustrations? What aspect of ADHD do you find creates the largest barrier in illustrating? Which aspects of ADHD do you feel help you to be an illustrator?
Jul 20, 6:25AM EDT0
What was the award you won? How did you come to know about the award and what was your initial reaction?
Jul 20, 6:21AM EDT0
Does a person illustrate digitally or do you hand draw them? What are the current technologies and software programs for illustrators?
Jul 20, 5:32AM EDT0
How long was it before illustration became your primary source of income? And how do you keep a constant stream of projects coming in?
Jul 20, 5:29AM EDT0
What inspires you to create illustrations? Are they all original illustrations, or do you draw ideas from other pieces of work?
Jul 20, 12:01AM EDT0
Have you thought of partnering with a mental health organization to promote your illustrations while also communicating to others about ADHD? Why or why not?
Jul 19, 6:13PM EDT0
Generally speaking, how long does it take to create an illustration? Is an illustration a collection of drawings like in the book you worked on? Or can it be only one picture? Why do you say so?
Jul 19, 2:53PM EDT0
Do you freelance as an illustrator or does one company hire you? In either case, what process do you follow when working on illustrations?
Jul 19, 1:17PM EDT0
Do you have any upcoming illustration projects? If so, what genre are they and how long does it take to complete?
Jul 19, 12:58PM EDT0
What types of illustrations do you prefer to create? Do you have a specific genre?
Jul 19, 12:58AM EDT0

Hi! I am inspired by comics and cartoons, so my drawings are always pretty characterful and fun - I'm interested in fantasy as a genre, and how we use fantasy to escape real life. 

Jul 19, 10:49AM EDT0
Generally, is an illustrator's income competitive? Is it feasible for it to be a full time job? Is there job security in illustrating?
Jul 19, 12:57AM EDT0

It depends which area you go into - freelance editorial and children's book illustration are both very competitive, but there is always work out there if you look for it.

Job security is dependent on the area you're into - freelance illustrators work on a temporary basis, so you get commissioned for 1 illustration at a time. For example, I did none this month, but two the previous month. It depends on how in demand you are! However, if you work in-house at a studio, you could have a salary. It's generally not great though. 

Right now, I work part-time for rent money, and all my other time is spent on art. It does make money, but it takes a long time to build up to full-time work. 

Jul 19, 10:55AM EDT0
Is illustrating the same as drawing? Does it involve drawing? Painting? Software programs?
Jul 18, 10:11PM EDT0

Drawings can be illustrations, but not all illustrations are drawings!

Illustrations are images that describe or accompany other information - like an illustrated book, or the picture next to an article in a magazine. So, by definition, an illustration could be ANYTHING that helps expand on the information in a piece of media. It can be paintings, drawings, blueprints, photographs, sculptures, etc. 

Most illustrators nowadays will either make their work entirely digitally, or make it traditionally and then scan it in and tweak it in photoshop or a similar program. I ink paint my illustrations, scan them and edit/clean them in photoshop.

Jul 19, 11:00AM EDT0
For someone just getting started with illustrating, where do you suggest starting? Do you have any links to information that could help point those in the right direction?
Jul 18, 9:49PM EDT0

It depends on which country you're in! In the UK we have the Association of Illustrators, which costs money to join, but gives you access to agents, employers and any information you might need. I think America has a similar thing. 

I'd say the most important thing right now is to have some kind of web presence - that way you have somewhere to direct people to see your portfolio. After that, it's getting the right people to look at it. 

This question depends on which area of illustration you want to go into - I'm a comic artist mainly, so I am making a webcomic which I intend to attract regular readers to, who might be interested in buying merchandise.

Think about the sort of work you want to be paid to do, and do it by yourself - put that in your portfolio, and show it to the people you want to be working for. Email them, post it to them, anything! Don't let rejection stop you. 

Jul 19, 11:07AM EDT0
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