I *love* to get a little insight into the lives of my favorite artists, so I asked my favorite super-cute-and-quirky illustrator to answer a few questions in hopes to peek inside her brilliant mind a little, and be inspired. And now, so can you!
Visit Gemma Here: Website, Etsy Shop, Twitter, Flickr.
1. What's your name, and what's your game?
I'm Gemma. I am an Illustrator, Pug owner and fan of musical theatre.
I spend a large proportion of my day drawing and when I'm not drawing I am packing orders for my Etsy shop, writing e-mails or taking Mr Pickles (the aforementioned Pug) for walks... or sleeping.
2. How did you get started doing these lovely things you do?
I drew a lot as a kid and made comics and little books but I didn't really consider illustration to be a viable career option until a tutor at college persuaded me to apply for a Graphic Design course at university (I was all ready to take a sociology or teacher training course). So I ended up studying at the Norwich School of Art and Design here in England and specialising in Illustration. I graduated in 2006 and worked as an Illustrator part-time up until 2 years ago when I became a full-time freelancer.
3. How do you keep yourself inspired and motivated?
It can be difficult, because I get many commissions where I work to a brief set by the client, to stay inspired and motivated. It's important for me to find time to do personal projects and draw in my sketchbook. Also, I'm lucky in that I quite often get jobs that allow me a lot of freedom to work in a way that I enjoy. There are times that I wish I had a normal 9-5 job, but in reality I know I wouldn't enjoy it.
I'm not keen on the accounting and financial side, but it has to be done!
5. Any tips for aspiring illustrators/indie business owners?
I drink a lot of coffee while I work and snack foods keep me going (I do try to snack on healthier things like dried fruit and nuts but they're just not the same as chocolate...) I also listen to musicals. Particularly the Rocky Horror show soundtrack... And I sing along.
7. I'm in love with your 'daily diaries' & 'what I wore today's - how did you get started doing these and what are your favorite ones?
I started drawing the diaries when I went on holiday to the USA a couple of years ago. It was really just a way to document the things I'd seen and done, an alternative to photographs. They proved to be popular (I uploaded them to Flickr) so I decided to draw a diary every day. Here are some of my favourites:
8. If you could travel back in time and tell yourself anything at 16, what would it be? Don't be sad! It will be OK! In 10 years you will have a Pug.
10. A day in your life: what's it like?
My day starts off slowly (I am not a morning person) with answering e-mails, checking twitter, flickr etc and drinking copious amounts of coffee. I'll also go to the Post Office and sort out any admin-type stuff. In the afternoon I'll start working on commissions. I might take a couple of breaks to eat, walk Mr Pickles or read a magazine but I generally work until around midnight, or later if I have a deadline. I feel more inspired in the evenings, so that's when I usually create my best work.
11. Are you buying handmade (or making?) this holiday season? Any favorite projects or internet/Etsy shops you'd like to share?
I'm definately making... I haven't even had time to think about buying yet but the gifts that I do eventually buy will be handmade.
*This giveaway is now closed*
The Giveaway: One limited edition Letterpress ''Ampersand'' print.
How to enter: Visit Gemma's shop, and leave a comment here with your favorite goodie and your e-mail address, too.
The giveaway is open to all until Sat, Dec. 11th at midnight, PST.