It’s time to meet the illustrator of Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones, Maïlys Pitcher!
Why did you decide to become an illustrator, and what are your future goals? Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to work with pictures. I would spend all my time reading illustrated books and admiring the artwork, and drawing myself of course. Giving a story life through drawings has always been my passion. How can one make the emotion in a scene evident through composition, colors and expressions? How can I make the reader smile, feel sad, dream and love? How can I best accompany the story with my drawings?
As I grew up, my passion didn’t leave me, it only grew. I knew I had to follow it.
I hope to continue illustrating children books, get better at my art and live through my drawings. Eventually I would like to write my own children books and comic books.
Where do you get your ideas from? Most of my illustrations are based of memories from my life and childhood. I find it’s the best way for me to show my feelings and emotions. Sometimes I’ll think of a moment in my past and want to use the feeling in a drawing. Sometimes it’s in the moment itself. I think, “Ah ! I want to draw this feeling – this moment!” I love going on walks in the nature. It gives me loads of ideas.
What is your favorite topic to illustrate? Childhood wonder is a topic I’ve been drawn to more and more. Maybe as I’m growing up, I miss it more and more. I love how, as children, we can get lost in games for hours, living in the imaginary worlds. There’s especially this feeling of freedom and carelessness which feels sweet and makes me happy. Everything feels weightless.
Who are some of your favorite artists? My biggest inspiration is Pascal Campion. He captures emotions in the simple daily moments of life. He makes you appreciate these little moments: the light at the end of the day, spending time with loved ones, a coffee in the morning. His illustrations aren’t very rendered, but I prefer it that way, it feels like a sketch done in life. What he does is very pure.
I also love Béatrice Blue, her colors and imagination are great! I admire Wouter Tulp and his lines and character design too…
What artistic styles influence your artwork? As I’ve done animation studies, I feel like the whole animation movie style for visual design is a big inspiration for me. I also grew up reading mangas and French comics, which influenced me a lot.
Impressionism, and Fauvism are inspiring me more and more also. I love the working of colors, and how it gives feeling and atmosphere to the scenes. I’ve studied many paintings of that style.
How easy is it to work on book and cover illustrations for authors? Any tips for illustrators looking for work? As long as there is a good communication between the author and illustrator, I think, it’s easy. I like working with lots of feedback from the author. Once you know exactly what the author wants and if the direction I’m going is good, I can make fast progress. It’s a balance between respecting what the author wants and giving of yourself also. The result is then, hopefully going on paths than neither of us imagined. That’s exciting!
I’m myself in a transition period. Finding work isn’t always easy, I feel the best you can do is practice a lot and show what you do. Contact many people, ask for advice and feedback… And draw, draw, draw to continue loving it!