I interviewed children' book illustrator Lane smith.
Lane Smith is most known for his illustations for James and the Giant Peach and working as art director for Disney film adaptation of the story. I was given the opportunity to pick his brain and ask a few questions, here is the result.
- There are moments for some that spark a definite interest in the arts, and for others, its seems that they simply stumble upon it. Which is the case for you? Was illustration always the plan?
I always liked to draw but didn't know one could make a career of it till high school.
- Where did you attend college and how did that, if at all, influence your choices to work as an illustrator? What was your training like? What part of your skill set did you learn/aquire in college and what parts have you learned on your own?
Art Center College of Design. It was very disciplined. Like boot camp.
- I must ask; who is your favorite artist/illustrator, and how have they influenced your work throughout your career?
I have many: Klee, Gorey, Hopper, Schwitters, Calder, Charles Schulz...
- When working on personal projects, what is your process? How pivotal is thumb-nailing and preliminary sketching to your creative process? Describe your process from concept to execution. What is your typical work day like?
I work all day. I don't do personal projects, just books. Which are personal.
-What is your process in reference to work with clients and editorial work?
Don't do editorial. Haven't in years.
- In your work i see a nice incorporation of multiple materials from watercolor,ink, and cut paper to a fair use of digital attributes. If there is one, what is your favorite material?
It's all collage in one way or another. Juxtaposing textures and line and color. Whether digital or traditional.. it's all the same.
- Your work is full of very rich textures, as in your illustrations for "Waiting for Godot", that i absolutely love, how do you apply those?
- How was the transition from student to working professional?
It was easier actually. School was much harder than real life.
- If you had to give one piece of advice to an illustration student what would it be?