We catch up with Kiwi illustrator Angela Keoghan to find our more about her work for Idealog magazine
Computer Arts: Tell us about you work for Idealog ...
Angela Keoghan: Bimonthly, I create six illustrations for Idealog, a creative and business industries magazine here in New Zealand. The illustrations are for six editorial columns based on a variety of subject matter ranging from marketing, business, politics, sustainability, technology and social commentary.
The art director sends me the written text from the columns and a basic layout of the page so I can see what format the illustration will need to be. I have a quite a lot of freedom to then concept up a few ideas for each. For example, Save the Planet: this article was titled Creative Capitalism and it spoke about how by aligning themselves with green or environmental issues, businesses can impact their growth and success. Part of the article used the analogy of a homeless polar bear so I drew up a few concepts and this is the one we went with.
CA: What's the creative process like for you?
AB: I love the creative process: it starts with the brief, and involves some research and brain-crunching to come up with concepts. Lots of sketching, presenting ideas clearly to the art director, then sketching the final with pencil, scanning it and adding layers and colours using Photoshop. Sometimes I make more textures and shapes using printing techniques, paint or pencil from the computer, and scan them in.
Then I combine it all together into a final piece. For these illustrations, in particular, I roughly have one week for concepts and one for producing finals, which can change depending on when I get the brief or feedback from the art director. I find the concept stage can sometimes be the most challenging. Some subjects, especially the political or technology issues need to be researched quite a lot. It can be time-consuming but you learn so much in the process.
CA: How did you get into illustration?
AK: Originally, I did a media arts degree, which actually means I studied painting and graphic design but majored in photography. After I completed my honours year, I realised I was actually interested in image and text, and illustration became my full time passion.
There weren't as many illustration papers around so I did all that were available and gained all other knowledge through books, the internet and practice, lots and lots of practice. I think my style is always developing but you could describe it as whimsical or naive. Texture and layering play a huge part in what I do.
See more from Angela Keoghan at thepicturegarden.co.nz