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People: Amy Adele - Illustrator
Talking with Amy Adele, an illustrator, maker, artist (13th July 2011)
Rochford Life: Amy, everything I know about you says you are some form of artist.., tell us about your work.
Amy: It used to be based upon imagination. At University I was very much into reportage projects, real life, documentary stuff, so I did a project on a Bingo Hall and another on some allotments and then a cowboy re-enactment village.
RL: Ah, hence the book of yours I’ve seen on your web-site?
Amy: Yes, that’s right. I went to visit them every weekend and got to know them and interviewed them and drew there and took photos and turned it into a book. There wasn’t any story with it; it was just documentary, When I left Uni I had two years of part-time work, and was able to paint what I wanted to paint which where my tighter work came and it was all imaginary and stylised, for children’s books .
RL: And after that?
Amy: I’ve been doing a Masters degree and I’ve gone back to doing the reportage stuff again but I’ve been adding my own stories into it. I’m two months off finishing that now. We’ve had three projects, the first two being ten weeks each. In the first project book I did about my granddad and then in the second project I tried to illustrate Cornish folk tales. I came up with a story at the end of the second term, that I’m still working on, about a town, Port Quin, just down from Port Isaac in Cornwall, where a fishing fleet was lost. The town was just left with widows who all left for Port Isaac, and so Port Quin was left abandoned and all that is left now are National Trust cottages that you can stay in. There was a legend of one widow who stayed behind and watched out to sea every night. I took that story and tied it in as well.
Illustrator and the tools of her trade
RL: There’s a lot of competition out there isn’t there?
Amy: Yes, I’ve just got to make sure I don’t get down about rejections. I’m going to make a promotion package and send that out. I have a couple of things lined up from friends. Somebody wants me to do an album cover and there are various little bits like that which will keep me with projects to work on. I’ve got to be careful and make sure I don’t sign in to any long period that might stop me doing my own work as well.
RL: Have you displayed anywhere apart from your web-site?
Amy: Yes, a group of us did a show in March. We hired a venue in Falmouth; it’s an old theatre where they have a couple of gallery spaces. I put things in the Westcliff Art Trail last year, so who knows what I’ll be doing in a year’s time
I was also looking at different lighthouses and there was a story about an old wooden light house that caught fire, and so I was looking at the stories of lighthouse keepers and that ties in with Cornwall. I’ve got about another three weeks work to be done on the book before it is finished, and who knows someone might like to publish it.
RL: You’ve got two months left on your Masters. When you complete it, what do you hope to do then?
Amy: The plan is to use the completed book, make some rough mock-ups and get some nice printed spreads and send them out to publishers who might be interested in it. While I’m waiting for responses I’m going to totally clean my studio here and make it a nice working space, update my web-site and, as well as doing my own stuff, I do want to illustrate children’s books as well, for slightly older children. The topics I like dealing with tend to be more real-life issues best suited to older kids.
RL: Well thanks for that Amy. I hope your Masters get finished successfully and the work opens up for you to do more illustrating - and some more books perhaps! All the best!