Artist Spotlight: Emma Clarke

Yay!! We have another awesome interview for you and today we have the lovely Emma Clarke aka @emmaclarkeillustration

Please can you give us a brief little introduction about yourself?

Hi! My name is Emma and I live in Scotland, where it rains an awful lot! I am an English and Drama teacher but during the first lockdown I started to do 'a drawing a day'. Once I started, I couldn't stop! I have discovered a passion for children's illustration and will always look at this as a positive to come out of the awful circumstances of the past year! I summoned the courage to start posting my illustrations on instagram at the end of 2020. I had huge imposter syndrome and often still do but I have found such a warm and welcoming community on instagram, mainly due to Friday Doodle Club!

What inspires you?

Everything! I know that sounds a bit far fetched but I am always on the lookout for inspiration. Lots of ideas come from my children and my life around me.  

What is your favourite thing to draw?

Animals! I love being able to show their character or create a story through my illustrations. I am a huge lover of picture books and write my own, so whenever I am illustrating I always think about 'would this fit in a picture book'. Sometimes, my illustrations will spark an idea for a story or vice versa.

What art goals do you have for this year?

 I want to challenge myself to create larger scenes, such as full page spreads. I tend to just draw characters at the minute as I find that easier. After that I'd like to develop my lighting in illustration. I am always in awe of Jim Field and David Litchfield who create such magical illustrations that always have such beautiful lighting. I also want to work on sequential images. I write picture books so it would make sense to me if I was able to illustrate them too! There is SO much I want to achieve, I'm not sure how I'll fit it all in!

What techniques/supplies do you use?

When I started out last year I hadn't done art since I left school, other than the odd painting. I bought myself a set of HB pencils and started experimenting. I then went on a buying binge which finally resulted in my treating myself to an ipad, procreate and an apple pencil. This was the best decision I made. I love it, though to be honest I tend to use the 6B pencil all the time on the ipad - I cannot be torn away from it!

What advice would you give to another doodler/artist?

I initially started drawing by finding images I liked in books and copying them. I obviously didn't share these but there are so many 'draw this in your style challenges' on instagram that are great for newbies and old hands. I think no matter how long you've been illustrating you will always look around and think this or that person is better than you but...only you can draw or illustrate like you and I think that's what makes your work keep at it....experiment...and enjoy! 

Where can people go to learn more about you or see more of your work?
I should have mentioned that one of my goals for this year is to create a website to showcase my work but for now, you can see what I'm doing on instagram. My handle is @emmaclarkeillustration. I'm proud to share that handle now but I can't tell you how silly I felt at first when I added 'illustration' to my name!

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