Zoe’s love of reading fairytales inspires her quirky hand drawn illustrations. Zoe studied Illustration at Dundee University and then Publishing at Plymouth University and now works as a children’s book illustrator from her home on the Isle of Wight.
How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I have been drawing ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon and I have been illustrating professionally since I completed my BA (Hons) degree in Illustration at Dundee University in 2004. I think it’s always what I was meant to do and what I was drawn towards, even if I didn’t realise it at the time.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I live on an island so I get a lot of inspiration from the sea, the coastline and nature. I like to take inspiration from everyday places and give them my own quirky and magical spin. I also read a lot and take much of my inspiration from my love of fairy tales, fantasy and magic.
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
I have a little studio at the bottom of my garden. It is my peaceful, tranquil space.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
I love my dip pen and my pot of ink as well as my Rotring Rapidograph drawing pens. I love the fine points they give for creating intricate detail and the really black quality of the ink. I colour all my own work with acrylic and watercolour.
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
It is definitely my Dark Arts piece, which is the one with all the potion bottles and magical creatures on the shelves. I am super proud of this piece and have recently made it larger and even more detailed as it will be released as a 2000 piece Ravensburger puzzle next year.
I never use pure black as a colour. I only ever use black ink for outlines and my black and white work. If I do a colour piece my blacks are usually mixed using variations of very dark blues, browns and purples.