Monday, March 12, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Holly Blackman

1)  What inspired you to start writing children’s books?

During the second year of my illustration degree I had the chance to illustrate a children’s book. This is when I started to write down the stories I had floating around in my head. I loved the freedom it gave, to create my own illustrations around my words. I was excited to know I had created it all myself.

2)  Which came first: a love of writing or a love of illustrating?
Illustration came first and I never actually thought that I had any writing abilities.

3)  What books have you written? Where can readers buy them?
I have written a range of books but unfortunately my books have not been snapped up by publishers yet. 

4)  How did you find your publisher?

I exhibited my work at New Designers in London which was a great place to show work to a range of people in the creative industry. A few publishers got in contact with me; I had meetings and sent off dummy books. I only received feedback (which has helped and is brilliant to get constructive feedback from the creative industry) until I was contacted by Dorling Kindersley. I worked with them and other illustrators to create Doodlepedia which will be available to buy in shops or online in May.

5)  How have you promoted you work? What strategies have been the most effective?

I created a website, blog and Facebook page. I also have a twitter and Linkedin account. Keep them updated and check for updates. I think knowing people within the industry will help you get a foot in the door so email and call people.

6)  What advice would you give to budding author/illustrators?

Don’t give up. Keep emailing people even if they don’t get back to you, but be polite. Look out for competitions and enter as many as you can. Always keep at notebook or sketchbook with you; you never know when inspiration may strike. 

7)  What is your definition of success?

To be happy and confident within my work and life.

8)  What is next for you in 2012?

I am working with a couple of local people on a new children’s book which should be available in May. I hope to push my illustrations so they can work on textiles and a range of accessories. I will also be writing and illustration lots more children’s books in the hope to get them published.

Artist Bio

Holly grew up in a town just outside of Brighton and spent most of her childhood climbing trees, jumping in puddles and drawing cartoon characters from books and films. After GCSES she went on to study her A levels in 3D design, graphic design, and photography. Once finishing her foundation degree in Brighton she studied at University College Falmouth where she finished a BA Hons degree in illustration. Since leaving beautiful Cornwall and moving back to her home town with her inks, paint, pens and large box full of children’s books in June 2011; she has had a range of clients including East-West Acupuncture, Kingston University, Eastbourne Borough Council and Dorling Kindersley to name a few. She hopes to continue creating and making for the rest of her days.

Contact Holly 

Twitter: @Holly_Blackman

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