An interview with illustrator Paul Howard
One of our newest residents at Blick Shared Studios (Hill St.) is Paul Howard, Illustrator & Author. With several published works and specialising in children’s illustration, Paul has a wealth of experience. Here is a short interview with him and a few tips for illustrators starting up their own businesses!
When did you first realise you wanted to be an illustrator and what inspired you
I always enjoyed drawing from a very young age and loved reading, especially Roald Dahl’s books with Quentin Blake’s illustrations. It was only when I was older that I realised that I wanted to be a ‘commercial artist’ of some sort but then rediscovered children’s book illustration whilst at art college which steered me down that path, thankfully.
Name one or two of your most exciting projects to date
I have been very lucky to have worked with some of the best children’s authors and was given the gift of a project in illustrating a poetry collection for children, selected by Michael Rosen. It was a dream job as I was able to illustrate each poem in whatever style I felt best.
Years later, I have started to write and illustrate my own stories which has allowed me to discover new ways of working, including digitally.
What is the illustration scene like in Belfast?
I only know a couple of other children’s illustrators in Belfast but have done a little bit of part-time lecturing at the University of Ulster. There is a growing interest in illustration and the creative arts in the city, I think, and having met some of the art students, I feel it will only continue to develop.
What tips would you give to freelance illustrators and illustration startups
Illustration is a very competitive field. You need to be determined and prepared to be adaptable. I would recommend finding an agent willing to represent you. Agents have good contacts and will steer you in the right direction, making your work more marketable. If you’re thinking of children’s publishing, it would be of benefit if you can write and illustrate.
A big thanks to Paul for this interview and we look forward to welcoming him to Blick Hill St.!