Saturday, October 29, 2011

Interview with illustrator Anita Kunz

Anita Kunz has been illustrating for print for the past 30 years. Here is a recent interview posted on "The Artfulls".

  • How did you first get into illustration?
  • My uncle was an illustrator, and through his example, I decided that's what I wanted to do as well. His motto was "art for Education" and he illustrated books and film-strips and also made sculptures, rugs and painted in oils for himself. Sadly he died when I was 13. I went to art school in Toronto and began freelancing when I graduated
  • How would you best describe your style of illustration?
  • I guess it's social and political commentary. It's highly figurative, conceptual and fairly detailed. 

  • Please take us through your design process, where do you start?
  • It's all about the idea. Without a strong idea the work is merely decorative. The concept is where I spend most of my time and effort. When I'm doing a job, I usually email one or two quick pencil sketches, and when there's approval, I do the finished art with watercolour and acrylic, working in layers, on Crescent Board #100
  • What tools do you use for your work?
  • Watercolours and acrylics. I'm old school! Occasionally I'll tweak something in Photoshop but not as a matter of course.

  • When illustrating, do you sometimes get blocked for ideas? If so, how do you overcome that?
  • Sure...I think everybody does. The best thing to do in that event is just to do something else for a while! Jog, sleep, read a book, or anything else that lets your mind work on the problem. Usually the visual answer will come soon enough.

  • What would be your ultimate goal as an illustrator?
  • Actually it's more fine art related and not illustration related at all. I do love working for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and other similar magazines, but as information is moving from print to the web I feel that I want to make my own visual statements without text, and it seems that the best direction to move toward is the gallery area.

  • What style music do you mostly listen to when you work?
  • I actually like silence. Or the CBC radio. I used to watch CNN all the time in case Time magazine called with a tight deadline...I needed to be very up to date with politics, but now as I'm working on my own work, I don't want distractions. Plus listening to the news al the time really stressed me out!

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?
  • Find your own voice. Trust your instinct. Work very hard and promote yourself well.
  • What web sites would you recommend viewing?
  • Any of the TED talks. I've been attending that conference for years, and any and all information is amazing, even if it's not something you might agree with. An intelligent well rounded well informed artist is the best artist!

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