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Interview with Artist & Illustrator Georgina Luck

Mike Drew
21 February 2014 15:27

Here @M.Saltmarsh we interviewed Brighton based artist and illustrator Georgina Luck on her career as a freelance Illustrator and which products and techniques she uses.

Hello Georgina, 

What was your key motivation in becoming an illustrator?

I kind of fell into illustration through looking for something that had the structure of a written brief, but that allowed some creative free reign. I had no idea in the beginning that I could really make a career out of drawing. It was a little daunting leaping into freelance work from a full time job, but its the best thing I’ve ever done, I love the freedom of working for myself and it’s something that I feel very lucky to be able to do :) To quote the designer David Carson, “(If you’re not enjoying your job), what the heck are you doing? You’re going to be dead a real long time.”

What was your most exciting break as an illustrator?

Probably leaving my day job at 5.30pm and checking my email, finding an urgent brief from the NY Times Magazine for a cover illustration with a deadline of 2 days. I phoned my boyfriend straight away just to check he wasn’t busy that night :)

Do you work in a studio, from home or rent a hub?

I have worked at home and in a shared studio space, I would always rather work in a studio with other artists - being an illustrator can be a lonely job, and so its great to have like minded people around you to chat and motivate each other. Last year I worked in York Place Studios in Brighton, with about 10 other artists of all types - jewellers, graphic designers, photographers, painters and glass makers, however I currently work from home.

What type of inks do you use and do you have any tips you could share with our readers.

I combine Schmincke watercolours with Schmincke Aerocolour inks and Daler Rowney FW acrylic inks. I would say they are both good quality, all of them have different opacities, suitable for different is tempting to use them straight from the bottle, however they can be diluted a lot and still retain their pigment quality, try using them in a Schmincke empty fine-liner for some fun effects! 

What type of paper and grounds do you use and why do you use them? Are any of them better that others?

I find that the Fabriano Artistico ‘Extra White’ paper is the only watercolour paper which doesn’t dull the colours when they dry. As a commercial illustrator I am required to supply work digitally, and therefore scanning paintings is an important part of the process. For a good quality scan you need a bright white paper background, and you need the inks to retain as much vibrancy as possible. The inks remain vibrant when dry on this paper rather than a lot of other brands which seem to absorb all of the pigment leaving you with a disappointing chalky tint!

Several people ask me how I manage to use watercolour and acrylic ink on canvas. This took quite some experimenting to perfect! As we all know most canvases are primed with gesso primer and the watercolour will slide around finding it hard to adhere to the surface.  I discovered a Schmincke product called Aqua Primer which worked perfectly. A few coats of it allows you to put watercolour onto canvas, wood, anything flat surfaced really.

Do you have any tips for people wanting to try and illustrate like this?

I think it all begins with drawing, my tutor used to say to be an illustrator you almost had to be obsessed with drawing. Don’t be tempted to listen to people who tell you its hard to make a living as an illustrator ( there are a lot of them) Work hard, play hard. Don’t worry about getting ‘a style’ it will come. Keep going! Eat your greens.