Natalie Hughes is an illustrator from Norfolk, England. She graduated in 2009 from the University of Gloucestershire and is currently looking to find a publisher for her children's book, she is also available for commissions (firstname.lastname@example.org). With TYT she speaks about her favorite creatures, never getting bored and why it is fun being allowed to act like a kid.
I adore your crowd of creatures. How do you create your favorite creatures?
Natalie: Thank you so much! I start off by doing a bit of research.. looking at lots of photos, making a few sketches and getting an idea of its basic shape. Next I draw out the character in my own style, scan it in and add colour and texture using Photoshop. Since uni I've been collecting/creating scanned in textures which I collage together.
What is the best part about being an illustrator?
Natalie: The best thing about being an illustrator is never being bored. I always have something to do and a new illustration to plan. The other best thing is being allowed to still act like I'm a kid...being an illustrator means you can use your imagination... writing stories and designing characters is always fun. I have a valid excuse for still reading children's books !
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Natalie: Travel is my main inspiration. When I can't go travelling I day dream about travelling.. the thought of all the endless possibilities out there, all the different people,cultures and places to see. I'm really inspired by the natural world too.I had a really nice childhood surrounded by pets and trips to the countryside, I think this had a massive impact on me. When I need a bit of inspiration I watch movies..I'm obsessed with movies!
Do you have favorite illustrators you'd like to collaborate with?
Natalie: I've got quite a few collaborations in the works..including a charity colouring book called the Oh GOSH Project. Off the top of my head some mega talented illustrators who I'd love to work with are James Burlinson or Bart Aalbers . I'd love to collaborate with an animator too, it would be great to see my characters come to life! In my dreams I'd work with Shaun Tan or I'd go back in time and collaborate with Charley Harper or Edward Gorey!
Can you remember the first creature you ever illustrated?
Natalie: I can't really remember, but I do remember the first drawing I did which I was proud of. I did a drawing of a wicked witch, with shelves behind her piled up with bottles of colourful potions. I wonder if I still have it..... and I wonder if I saw it now whether I'd recognise any of my style in it!