Friday, September 2, 2011

The Amy Farrier Interview - "Work. Mess up. Work more."

Let me tell you about Amy. She's a friend and also an Austin illustrator. She's modest, smart, supportive, and talented. I adore her! Here is some insight into the person, her art, her process, and more!


1) What is your least favorite color and why?
I think every color can be beautiful in the right spot. I suppose my least favorite, as someone who works in watercolor, would be muddy colors (where you try so hard to create something interesting but end up with an opaque mess).

2) Have you ever fallen in love with a pencil? If yes, Tell me about the pencil. If no, tell me about what Mr. Right Pencil would be like.
I don't think I've ever had a special relationship with a pencil, though I do like to keep some sharpened 3Bs ready for action. Now pens, on the other hand, that's a whole different story. Staedtler pigment liners used to be my go-to pen for linework, but I haven't been able to find them anywhere the past couple of years. I switched over to nibs and ink. My favorite nib is one I found on etsy as a set of earrings made from antique British Royal Post Office pen parts. Turned out to produce the exact sort of line I was looking for; go figure!

3) Do you like hoarding art materials, or do you purchase things like paper and sketchbooks as you complete them? 
I definitely love to open a drawer and have plenty of watercolor paper of different weights/shades/sizes just ready to be painted on. And art supplies are so beautiful that it's hard not to become a collector (bottles of ink, paintbrushes, colored pencils...). I'm also lucky enough to live a few minutes drive from Jerry's Artarama, so I may be a little more stocked up than your average person; but not in a scary way.

4) If you could be a character in a children's book, who would you be, and why? 
Well, maybe Mary in The Secret Garden or Alice of Wonderland. I've always loved the idea of stumbling into another world or finding one behind a locked door.

5) If you left your sketchbook at the San Antonio Zoo by accident, and you only realized it half-way to Austin, would you drive back for it?
Unless is was for a specific project, I wouldn't go back for it. Mostly my sketchbooks are just caught moments or scribbles, and I like to think of a kid picking it up and thinking he or she had found something cool. Or even better, maybe the monkeys would discover their portraits and be excited.

6) When draw in your sketchbook, do you draw in order, from page 1 to the end? Or do you jump around? Do you date your entries?
I do draw in order. Though sometimes I skip the first page if I'm feeling creatively blocked by all the white space, then come back and do it later. Or never. And I rarely remember to write down the date, but I wish I did.

7) You are painting something. You need a number 8 brush. Unfortunately, you can only find a number 4 and a number 12. Do you go smaller or bigger? Why?
Bigger! It may be less perfect, but chances are that if I use a smaller brush, I'll focus too much on detail and lose spontaneity.

8) How many colors are in your palette? Which ones?
Seriously way too many to name, plus I've got two different watercolor palettes. But the colors I use most often are: cobalt blue, French ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt and raw sienna, transparent yellow, alazarin crimson, scarlet lake, and viridian green. And sometimes Payne's gray.

9) Who is your favorite living illustrator?
Well, I have so many favorites, but my biggest influence is Lisbeth Zwerger. I happened to look at a lot of her work when I first started up with watercolor in 2006; she's a master watercolorist, deeply original, draws incredible animals and people, and is always developing her style. And she's illustrated pretty much every fairy tale out there! 

10) If you could give one tip to aspiring illustrators in 5 words or less, what would it be?
Work. Mess up. Work more.

11) Brag about your illustrations. Tell me what you love about your own work.
Hmmm, this is a seriously hard request because anything I say sounds, well, braggy. How about if I tell you what I love about working. I love when the watercolor and linework come together to create the picture I have in my mind, and sometimes it does! And capturing funny, imaginary moments with animals (deer in smoking jackets, cranky cat pirates with a mission). Taking traditional watercolor subjects like birds and fruit, but making them look modern. Stuff like that.

7 comments:

Julio Kansas said...

Very good. :)

Julian Hector's Blog said...

Great interview! Love Amy's work.

Ted Blackman said...

Wow, her art has LOADS of personality. I see why you're friends.

emersondesigner said...

Gostei desses desenhos aí! Muito legal .Me faz lembrar um pouco os traços de Os Simpsons e Futurama.

Ted Blackman said...

You need to come back to your blog and dust! There's cobwebs everywhere! :)

tiffannysketchbook said...

oh ted. i worked insane hours last week so i haven't had time! plus both weekends! Soon, I promise!

Craig Phillips said...

I love those water colour pieces.