Interview on Radio Dacorum with author Leslie Tate, talking about my work developing animal characters like Tom Mouse, work with Michelle Porte-Davies on Paddington Bear, Create and Craft and my childhood influences....
Listen on Mixcloud here
Thrilled to announce that I've been accepted as a fellow with the RSA, a societal change organisation.Take a look at the latest thinking and areas of work here
May 2022-Interview With #LondonBookFair
My 5 minute interview @LondonBookFair up here - discussing #illustration, Cornwall, Sun the pit pony and the Metaverse. Yep.
5 Minute Interview with Joanna Scott
What do you love about your career?
'I love the expression of art and illustration, how parts of yourself manifest through the drawings, I’m driven to draw, so doing it as a job is a dream come true. I enjoy creating illustration for picture books in collaboration with the art director, graphic designers and sometimes the author, it’s an amazing process of giving birth to something bigger than any one individual. I like that illustration of a text adds another narrative for the viewer that complements the words, but also has its own narrative.'
Where do you go, or what do you do to find inspiration?
'I do like taking a sabbatical in Cornwall just to do some oil painting or drawing of animals, flowers, sea and sky, and just soak up the magic of the county. It’s a wild and beautiful place that gives me such inspiration. Also I’d say just going and doing something in the arts that is completely different to publishing but is still storytelling, like an installation or issue driven participation work. It clears your mind and gives you a new perspective to come back to book illustration.'
Who or what is your biggest artistic influence?
'From the very beginning I’ve been inspired by animals and the natural world. I was brought up on a small holding by my grandmother. She rescued a pit pony from the coal mines in Doncaster and we called him Sun, he was white but had coal marks in his fur that wouldn’t come out, I always thought that was quite poignant… we also had goats and a donkey, loads of chickens, geese, guinea pigs, cats and dogs. You name it, they were all welcome. All were very much my friends and playmates as an only child, I’d draw stories about them as super heroes and villains! Animals inspire me to create, to close the gap between us and them, it’s not exactly a mission of mine but it does come easily to me to show the humanity in animals, especially for children. We aren’t so different animals and humans.'
You’ve won an award for your work in children’s literature. What is your favourite piece in your portfolio, and why?
'Yes I won an indie award, a Purple Dragonfly award, for an ebook I worked on with a client in Greece, who submitted it to the competition. I still like my Alice In Wonderland work, which were one off pieces for the then Alice Gallery on St Aldates in Oxford, site of Lewis Carroll’s Old Sheep Shop. I worked on a watercolour painting called ‘Hello Magazine Turn Up Unexpectedly’, which showed the White Rabbit trying to hide a giant Alice behind a curtain as he poses for the unexpected photoshoot….its a traditional/contemporary feel, one off illustration, and felt just right for the time of reality TV shows and the scrutiny of celebrity lives.'
Not only are you a successful illustrator, but you have also appeared on TV demonstrating the wonders of your craft, and you run related workshops. Of all your achievements, of which are you most proud?
Yes I did a short stint on Create & Craft on Sky TV as a guest presenter, to demonstrate drawing animal characters and watercolour painting. Breaking down the illustration into smaller shapes that you build up into a meaningful drawing was helpful for viewers. The drawing guide I created was a bit hit on the show. People really want to know how to draw beautiful things by hand. It was fun and a bit nerve wracking as it goes out live! I think though, I am most proud of working on the illustrated brand guide for Paddington Bear with Michelle, again the collaboration was fantastic and being part of Paddington Bear’s history means so much to me. He’s been interpreted many times over the years and it was just lovely to be part of a new set of drawings of him, all be it for products as opposed to books.
You are an experienced artist and illustrator; what advice would you give to someone starting a career as an illustrator?
'I would say that the market for illustration changes swiftly, fashionable styles go in and out, so you must be adaptable. I’d also advise to learn another skill, such branding or coding. The Metaverse is going to be more and more important, animation and character building software will be in demand and I’d advise the next generation of illustrators to be ready for that. Keep your hand in with hand drawing though as it might become a lost skill!
Christmas 2021 - Little Bear
So pleased to have been awarded a Purple Dragonfly award for excellence in children's literature alongside talented writer Agatha Rodi for 'Amelie Gets Busy!' The book has now developed into a duel language book called 'Amelie Is Impressed', available as English to Greek and French to Greek textbooks and published by 24 Grammata.
Order for your school https://24grammata.com/product/2108/
Art Wow are now making some of my designs into home and giftware as well as stationary and prints. All the products are handmade in the UK and are a beautiful quality, so I'm really pleased to have my work accepted onto the site. Take a look at some of my illustration here at Artwow.co
I'm excited to work in a new style and am looking at characterisation for children's books in this bright pop art look. The work is inspired by Majolica pottery from the 19thC, all whimsy and colour, but of course also pop art with a touch of Dia De Los Muertos, Mexican Day of the Dead bright sugar skulls and ofrendas thrown in.
The much awaited picture book 'You Can Do It Tom Mouse!' is available from the end of November at all good book shops and via new publisher www.tommouse.co.uk
There is also a small batch of plushy toys that are just adorable, and definitely worth grabbing before they are all gone!
I'm pleased to say that I am now the Associate Expert Illustrator for Fundamentally Children. The company founded by Dr Amanda Gummer is behind the Good Toy Guide, offering expert accreditation for games, apps and books. Fundamentally Children also offer consultancy, retail play days and pre production services, among a whole range of other assistance. Take a look at their website and my profile here https://fundamentallychildrenhq.co.uk/additional-services/meet-our-associates/
I've been working with some brands one of which is Dinosaur Roar - here's me showing you how to draw a couple of the many Dino characters, filmed by Pete Bilk. We had a roar of a time or a Rarrrr of a time doing this. Books for all the Dino's will be published by Macmillan Children's Publishing and you can find out more about the world of Dinosaur Roar here! https://www.dinosaurroar.com/
I'm pleased to announce that I am now represented by The Illustrators Agency! They are a global agency working with some amazing brands and represent some of the most versatile and established illustrators - take a look at my page here http://theillustratorsagency.com/joanna-scott/
What an exciting year! I've been working with a major brand on children's books, which I cant tell you about yet! We successfully completed The Herts Hidden Heroines project, on which I worked as Lead Artist.A beautiful book has come out with some of the women we uncovered and that I illustrated. So at this point I'd like to wish you all a restful and happy Christmas period and a fresh and dynamic New Year! Phew!
The British Quinoa Company Packaging - May 2016
This year I was lucky enough to work with the lovely people at The British Quinoa Company on the illustration for their new organic quinoa boxes. The design below was adapted from a sticker that I had already created for BQ in pencil and watercolour. I worked on the new elements and altered the sizing in Photoshop so it would fit the new box.
The graphic design was done by Steph at Source Design and I think works perfectly with the illustration.
Its lovely to see the work produced at such a high standard in print and the suppliers of the boxes are growing, its now available in lots of different farm shops and organic produce outlets...
Herts Hidden Heroines - Lead Artist and Illustrator Sept 2015 - November 2016
In September 2015 Trestle Theatre won funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund to discover and celebrate the historic and everyday heroines of Hertfordshire. I worked on many aspects of this project, one of which was creating interactive elements for the exhibitions - below is the large colouring page which we had at A1 size so that people could colour and perhaps remember some of the women we have uncovered.
Its a wonderful project lead by Producer/Writer Anna Reynolds, a heroine herself, and has achieved so much - click the drawing above to go to the website to see, not only my illustration work, but the large amount of community work created by schools, groups and organisations to celebrate the forgotten women of Hertfordshire.