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Kelly O'Gorman is an artist/illustrator from Hertfordshire who first graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a BA in 3D Modelling and Animation, however it was after graduation that a desire to escape the computer and return to hand drawn imagery led her to restart her journey as a visual artist. Now, as creator of the A-Z colouring series of books, she designs intricate and detailed works, inspired by the natural world and also the make believe.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I have been drawing since I can remember, I loved art at school, after school I went to Art college and then on to University. At University I studied Model making and Animation, but the part I enjoyed most was Character Design. After about 5 years of mainly working at a computer I started to draw in the evenings as a form of relaxation, I had almost forgotten how much I loved it and I couldn’t stop, I started to exhibit and sell my work and I got a really good response, I’m so lucky to be doing something I love.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from many places, I love being out in nature and am fascinated by plants and animals. I’m also inspired by folk lore, fairy tales, the strange and unusual. my favourite illustrators/designers/artists to name a few are William Morris, Aubrey Beardsley, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
Alone, if I’m working on a big piece I like to work on the floor, but for smaller pieces on my lap, with a cup of tea and an inspiring movie or audible book on in the background.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
A pencil, A really think black fine liner pen, my favourite nib is a 0.5, my light box, which is about 20 years old and paper. If I’m colouring, I do like the Derwent Inktense colours, I had a beautiful box gifted to me and a love the quickness and depth of colour you can achieve with them.
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
That’s a difficult question, but I would have to choose my ‘Alice’ in wonderland picture, the film and the book had such a great impact on me as a child and the story still continues to inspire me.
I hear a lot of people saying that they feel nervous about starting a piece because they do not want to ruin it, the reason why I love being creative is that you can really express your uniqueness, so just go for it, jump in, if you are not comfortable with sharing your progress with others, then you don’t need to, this can be a personal journey, find what you like and what works for you, I love looking back at my older work and seeing the progression I have made and techniques I have learnt myself by just allowing myself to experiment, the main thing is to enjoy yourself! I always love to see how people colour my work in their own way!