Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Interview With Illustrator Rosemarie Gillen

As you all know I normally interview children’s authors, but today I am expanding my blog to include the fabulous illustrator Rosemarie Gillen. Thank you for joining us, Rosemarie.

How did you become interested in the world of illustrations?

I have always loved to paint and draw since I was very young. I remember I would go to a friend’s house and play and their mom would set up watercolor paint with very special paper, watercolor paper which made the whole experience feel like I was a real artist. This made an impression on me and starting me thinking about the possibility of one day becoming an artist.
In the 90’s I remember falling in love with a Van Gogh and I imagined myself painting it. So I went and brought supplies and started painting to satisfy my curiosity and much to my surprise I was able to copy the great masters. I continued to fill the walls of my home with reproductions of Great Masters and I enjoyed it as a hobby until one day I saw an ad on Craigslist adversting for artists for children books which led me to children’s illustrating.

Do you come from a background of artists or creative people?

My mom could draw very well. I think that the ability to draw can be inherited but also learned also.

What types of illustrations do you commonly work on?

I work mainly on picture book illustrations but have also created e-books, chapter books, covers, and promotional materials.

Did you find it difficult to break into the book illustrations business?

Yes, it was extremely difficult to get published. You are not considered published until you have been published with a traditional magazine or publisher.

What do you like to do in your spare time when not illustrating?

I play the piano and paint reproductions of Great Masters. And I relive my childhood through my son. I get my physical activity by playing outside with my son and his friends. We sled down our hill in our back yard in the winter, play basket ball, ride bikes, fly kites and have Nerf wars.

Do you have any advice for young artists?

It is all about hard work and attitude; it is not a get rich quick scheme. It is not something that is accomplished quickly. Be prepared for years of hard work and do everything you can to stay true to yourself. Be unique. Find other illustrators that are willing to mentor you to help you through the difficult job of learning this business and all that it entails. Never try to go it alone.

What do you think is the most rewarding thing about illustrating?

I love the freedom to make your own hours, the ability to make your own deadlines, being home with your child, and creating success for yourself.
Creating art is relaxing it the best part of who you are it gives you the freedom to express yourself. It gives you the ability to touch other people hearts through your work.

Do you have a web site with examples of your work that we might see?

Yes, I have a web site which is located at where you can view samples of my color illustrations, black and whites, covers, educational material, and information on how to contact me.

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