Our Illustrator Of The Week is Philip Crabb.
You can find Philip’s latest illustration accompanying the story “Puppy Love”, published in our July 25 issue.
What are the biggest challenges when it comes to illustrating for the “Friend”?
I find the challenges are thinking about what the readers want from an illustration.
Sometimes what you have in your mind is not exactly what the readers would like. So it’s finding a balance that keeps everyone happy.
A colleague once said to me your use of colour in your work was second to none. Can you explain why the right colour scheme can influence an illustration?
Colours to me are very important.
I used to work, and still do a little colouring work, for DC Thomson publications, so I’ve transferred this to my illustrations.
You wouldn’t want to illustrate a sombre or sad story with vibrant and cheery colours, or vice versa.
Do you work on an illustration from start to finish in one sitting, or do you work in stages?
What I tend to do is read the illustration brief when it comes in and, depending on the timescale or how busy I am doing other things, I will have a think of how I want the illustration to look.
Once I start a commission, I usually work on it until it’s done and I’m happy with it. Then it comes back from editorial with loads of corrections — only joking!
Growing up, did you always have an interest in art? If you had taken another career path, what would it have been?
I used to spend hours and hours drawing and copying things from Asterix comic books. My dad was an artist, so I’d imagine it came from his side.
I like making things, and this has probably led me to what I do now. Aside from illustrating and colouring, I have a small picture framing business that I run from home, Philip Crabb Framing.
Apart from working on “The People’s Friend”, what other types of illustrative work do you do?
I’m keen on painting, so when I get the time — which isn’t often — I like a good abstract landscape, which lends itself to a nice and loose style.
What’s your one top tip for aspiring illustrators?
My tip would be learn the basics first, and then find a style you like and keep at it.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, either. Enjoy it!
For more from our Illustrator Of The Week series, click the tag below.
To learn more about some of the authors featured in “The People’s Friend”, click here.