MEET THE ARTIST
Introducing Tabitha Ladin, featured artist from the Unicorns & Magical Beasts Special issue…
Tabitha Ladin grew up in Maine and began her life as an artist at an early age. From very young she has loved drawing and painting animals both real and imagined. After attending The Art Centre of Tucson in Arizona, Tabitha moved to Los Angeles to work as a colourist and later a colour editor for Malibu Comics, then later left working to care for her children full time. Now that her children are older she has decided to return to her true passion, fantasy and nature art. Tabitha has published six fantasy-themed colouring books.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I've always been an artist. Since I was four I've been drawing and painting. Usually either animals or fantasy themes. I didn't start creating art professionally until after I went to school for graphic design around 1992. In 2006, after working as a graphic designer, and taking a few years off to raise children, I decided to go back to creating the art that I really loved doing as a child. Painting the fantasy creatures and creating colouring books.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Nature, books, other artists' work. If you look at the hippocampuses I do you can see how I take a mythical creature and apply inspiration from actual fish you would find in nature to create the design and also try to create an environment for the animal based on other elements of nature where a creature like that might be found if it were real.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
My studio/office where I have access to all my tools.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
My computer for referencing. Photoshop, which I use as an aid for composition. My scanner, which I use to digitise my sketches so I can manipulate them in Photoshop. Pencil. Paper. My Sta-Wet palette which lets me not worry about my carefully mixed acrylic colors drying out before I'm done using them. And of course a large assortment of brushes and sponges. Also I keep several sizes of Pigma Micron pens for inking.
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
"Cirque De La Mer" is a favourite. The Lionfish design for the hippocampus was a lot of fun with the fancy fins and the stripes.