Illustrator Interview: THE UPSIDE-DOWN FISH with Laura Matine

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Introducing Laura Matine, illustrator of my first picture book, The Upside-Down Fish, published in February 2015 with Sky Pony Press…

Kate Louise: Hi Laura! Thanks for stopping by. First can you share with us what techniques and materials you used for the UDF art?
Laura Matine: Hi Kate, I’ve always been interested in mixed media. The idea of using a variety of techniques to illustrate UDF seemed best to sum up this beautiful original story. I wanted to pick a medium that would depict a new departure because the story was so original I wanted the illustrations to be original too! With this in mind, I decided to use a combination of watercolour, inks, wax crayons, coloured pencils and digital washes to create the images. 

KL: Why picture books? What do you love about them?
LM: I’ve always adored picture books; they can move anyone regardless of who the reader is. They enable us to communicate different ideas to a range of people in a way print alone can not.

KL: What do you enjoy most about collaborating on a project?
LM: The process of collaboration brings a project to life. By sharing ideas and combining visions you can find new levels of creativity, this can really help bring a book to life

KL: What was your favourite thing about working on The Upside-Down Fish?
LM: I enjoyed finding ways to use illustration to best compliment the text. It allowed me to bring Upside-down Fish to life and that was possibly the most exciting part. I also enjoyed working on the little nuances which gave different levels to UDF, where the subsidiary characters could help enrich the story – for example the high fiving fish!

KL: Finally, your process – how does the artwork go from an idea/sketch to a final spread?
LM: I usually start by getting to know the character, working out their expressions and their body language. I then start to sketch out scenarios before drafting out a final image for a spread. I will then copy this image onto some beautiful paper and paint!

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