The 15th guest on Meet An Illustrator is Paddy Donnelly, an Irish illustrator now based in Belgium. Visit the feature’s backpages to discover who previous illustrator guests have been.
Paddy Donnelly’s illustrations have recently been seen in two picture books.
And just published by the independent Yeehoo Press, Paddy’s debut author-illustrator title:
As a child, what were the first illustrations you remember being pleased with?
I do have a vague memory of a drawing I did of an eagle in school with pastels. I was drawing from a young age, but I do distinctly remember being quite impressed with how this particular one turned out.
Who/what inspired you when you were young?
I was (and still am) a huge nature lover when I was younger. I was just fascinated by animals and the natural world. That definitely still has an influence on me and there’s nothing I love to illustrate more than animal characters, natural environments and landscapes.
Who inspires you today?
Picture book authors and illustrators. I’m just addicted to buying picture books now. My bookshelves are heaving, and I particularly like to buy books by illustrators who work in a completely different style to me. I find it super inspiring to look at work I couldn’t create.
Did you study art/illustration?
I don’t actually have any formal illustration education. My background is in web design. I worked as a UX Designer for many years and then gradually messed around with some illustration. I ended up making kids apps for the iPhone, which I really liked and that’s what eventually encouraged me to look into illustrating for picture books.
What is your favourite artist tool/product?
The Kyle Webster brushes in Photoshop are truly amazing. There are so many and while I do have my favourites, I occasionally like to experiment with new ones.
Where do you buy your art supplies?
Everything I do is 100% digital, so a computer store usually. 🙂
What software/apps do you use?
I use a Wacom Cintiq & Photoshop. For years and years I used a Wacom Intuos, which was great, however recently I made the jump to a Cintiq and it has completely taken my productivity up a gear. I can get so much closer to the work now.
What was your first commission?
In children’s publishing my first project was an early reader book called ‘Jack and the Jungle’ with Bloomsbury.
What are you working on at the moment?
A bunch of different picture books, all at various stages of completion, as well as a few middle grade covers. The most exciting project at the moment though would have to be my second author illustrated picture book – Dodos Aren’t Extinct, which is scheduled for Spring 2022.
Twitter or Instagram? As I used to work in the tech industry, I joined both platforms early in their lifetimes. I’d have to say that I’m a lot more Instagram than Twitter these days since moving to illustration.
Coffee or tea? I drink more coffee than tea, but when I head back to Ireland it switches to about 10 cups of tea a day as there’s always someone boiling the kettle at any moment.
Cat or dog? Neither, but if I had to choose then I’d say cat.
Grape or grain? I shuffle between both, but at the moment grape.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise. I always love rising early and feeling like you’re getting a headstart on everyone else.
What do you listen to when you are working? Progressive House music.
This is a regular weekend feature, publishing every Saturday.