Elizabeth Rose Stanton is an illustrator from Seattle, trained in architecture, art history, and scientific illustration. She currently works in illustration, portraiture and fine art, with a concentration on children's book and editorial illustration. With tradeyourtalent she speaks about the creative universe and why creativity is endless.
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Can you remember one of the first illustrations you did?
Elizabeth: The kind of art I have done over the years has all been representational and could, I suppose, be defined as illustration, so there's not really a direct answer for this. As a child, I would endlessly copy images from books and magazines. I studied art history in college, and then went on to graduate school for architecture. As architects, we drew constantly--and it turned out to be great training for an art career--I certainly learned how to get the job done! I then produced a lot of "fine art" and got some training in scientific illustration--all the while doing portrait commissions. About two years ago, I sat down and thought, I wonder what it would be like to do a children's illustration? Inspired by a little pen and ink drawing by Edward Lear, I painted "Old Gran Frog and Taddy Pole." I also penned a little "test" drawing of a traditional,somewhat anthropomorphic mouse--and found that it, too, was really fun. I amused myself no end with it all, and decided then and there that I wanted to concentrate on illustration. So far, it's a blast, and I've met the nicest people.
What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind during the creative process?
Elizabeth: Relax, and tell yourself that you can always do it over again--and that the creativity is endless. You can never run out of it ...it will never go away. It can be as frustrating as it is exhilarating. The trick is to learn when you do hit a wall (and I have by no means perfected this) that it's OK to step away from it. If you let things rest and don't force it, you usually can come roaring back, and usually end up making up for lost time. We all have ups and downs: seize the ups and roll with the downs.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Elizabeth: Leonardo, Ingres, Sargent, Audubon, John Tenniel, John R. Neill, Edward Lear, Arthur Rackham, Randolph Caldecott,Jesse Wilcox Smith, Beatrix Potter, Clement Hurd, Edward Gorey, William Joyce, Wallace Tripp, Shel Silverstein are among some of my favorites. I could go on and on... I also love watching people. I get ideas from just looking around at everyday things.
Have you developed your own favorite characters among the ones you've been illustrating?
Elizabeth: I think our characters are like our children: they are part of us, we nurture and develop them, and hopefully send them out into the world to do good things. And, like our children, it's hard to name favorites.
Do you have favorite artists you like to visit on the web?
Elizabeth: Shaun Tan, Tim Burton, Matt Phelan...and I enjoy taking ganders at the art blogs I follow.
If you could give some advice to some aspiring illustrators, what would it be?
Elizabeth: Study...train yourself...take classes...don't waste time...
be disciplined...share...draw...be fearless.
Remember that the creative universe swirls around us and flows infinitely...you can tap in any time!
For more on Elizabeth visit www.penspaperstudio.com