Category Archives: Artist Interviews

Artist Interview: Erika Oliver

ThreeGoodThingsColoringBookErika Oliver was one of the first adopters of the coloring for adults trend. Back in 2007, she created her first self-published coloring book for adults to combine her love of coloring with her affirmation work as a corporate trainer. “I noticed that whenever I used crayons in my communication, leadership, and planning workshops, people enjoyed the process more. I believe it helped their learning and retention,” she said.

Erika designed her coloring book, Three Good Things, to be a simple reflection on the power of nature and creativity to affect your mood. This means it’s perfect for days when you want a quick and easy project that you can finish in just one coloring session. Her book is available on her website in hard copy form or as a downloadable PDF file.

Want to learn more about Erika? Her answers to my interview questions are as follows:

When did you first start drawing?

My cousin says that she remembers me drawing when I was very little. I remember being interested in drawing and in middle school I was picked as part of the team to do a holiday mural on the front windows of the school. I guess I draw whenever I can!

How would you describe your artistic style?

Intuitive. That’s a grown up way of saying that sometimes I draw realistically and other times I am just drawing what I feel.

Do you have any mentors who have influenced your work?

Helen who owns The Art House in Vicksburg, MI was my first formal art teacher in my mid 40s. Helen taught me that art is a science and she changed how I look at and do art. SARK and her illustrated books have been a huge influence too.

In your opinion, why has adult coloring become such a popular hobby?

I think people have been coloring all along and some grown-ups finally admitted it and then the research came out that showed the health benefits. Together that made it “cool” to color.

What’s your personal favorite medium for coloring?

Markers – Sharpie. Crayons – Crayola. Colored Pencils – Prisma. Paint – whatever is left over from the house! I like mixed media – drawing something with colored pencils and then using Sharpies to accent, for example.

Do you have any coloring tips to share?

I’m still learning but one thing I have been doing lately (for budget and fun purposes) is looking for something to use that I already have before I go to the store and get something new. Challenge myself to be creative with my tools before I am creative with my art.

Artist Interview: Miryam Adatto

Miryam AdattoThis week, I’m so excited to share a short interview with Miryam Adatto. If you’re a fan of the Creative Haven coloring books from Dover Publications, you’ve probably seen her work. Miryam is the artist behind Fanciful Faces, and Dreamscapes. Her newest books, Floral Frenzy and Magical Landscapes, are currently available for pre-order via Amazon.

When did you first start drawing?

Drawing has always been a part of my life.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Fun doodling, with flow, continuous shapes, surrounding and interlacing embracing the beauty of nature.

Do you have any mentors who have influenced your work?

I have no mentors. I believe in the freedom of drawing.

In your opinion, why has adult coloring become such a popular hobby?

Coloring is entertaining and relaxing. There’s always a happy thought when you’re surrounded with colors. Most adults like to color, but they think it’s only for children. Coloring for adults became a trend because it allowed us to color with dignity, style, and appreciation.

What’s your personal favorite medium for coloring?

Color pencils.  Since I was 4 years old, my favorite gift has been a box of coloring pencils. Every year for my birthday, I asked for colored pencils. The best:  Prismacolor. I bought Faber Castell thinking it was finer, but I didn’t like them. I love Pelikan too. The colors are intense.

Do you have any coloring tips to share?

Color in many layers and different colors, not only light and dark.

[Photo is courtesy of Miryam, showcasing her book and her gorgeous set of Prismacolor colored pencils — which she describes as one of her best gifts ever received.]

Artist Interview: Agy Wilson

Do you ever find yourself coloring an illustration that you love and wondering about the artist who drew it? Personally, I’m a huge fan of getting the “inside scoop” on my favorite creative minds. So, I thought it would be fun to start interviewing a few creators of adult coloring books.

My first interview for this blog feature is Agy Wilson. Agy is working on her second all-ages coloring book. Her first book, Precious Pets: Kittens & Puppies & Old Places is available through Amazon and CreateSpace. Her followup coloring book, Angels & Fae: Fabulous & Fantastic Female Forms will hopefully be available by the end of this month.

If you’re a fan of Agy’s work, you can follow her online at www.agywilson.com or via Facebook.

When did you first start drawing?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. My dad was a paper engineer, specializing in designing papers and paper coatings. So, I was spoiled rotten with that. If people wanted to shut me up, they’d send me off drawing. It still keeps me occupied.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I actually have a few styles. I studied then taught calligraphy for about 35 years and designed rubber stamps for awhile. I call it a semi realistic. But I also do caricatures and cartoons, so I’m a bit all over the place. I want to create the piece of art that is suited to the idea or piece of work. 
 
Do you have any mentors who have influenced your work?

I look at many people’s works. Most of the influence has come more from painters and illustrators. I write and illustrate for children, but I was one of those weird brainiac kids, so most of my stuff is the stuff I would have loved or found interesting at the age I’m writing for. Kid’s illustrators I love include Pat Polacco, Ponder Goembel, Kadir Nelson, Floyd Cooper, John Steptoe, Lita Judge, and Will Terry, to name a few. I love well conceived and executed work.

In your opinion, why has adult coloring become such a popular hobby?

There are many reasons. A few years ago, I was telling people this was a thing, and no one would believe me. However, I would have people “secretly” share with me that they did this and wished they were able to draw.

I think we ALL have a creative drive that is easily thwarted. Coloring speaks to it in a way that isn’t threatening and comforting. Many people color with kids they love. It harkens back to easier times. When you become immersed in what you do. If  you’re enjoying, it literally changes your brain. Your brain releases endorphins and you can often go into a zen/alpha wave state. It’s a healthy way to destress and honor the creative you, all for a very little bit of money.

What’s your personal favorite medium for coloring?

Right now, it’s all about the Photoshop. My eyes are challenged, so I can blow things up, and there’s so many neat things to play with. But I actually love working in coloring pencils — I’m a big Prisma and Derwent fan. I used to love to work in Sanford watercolor based markers and water. The truth is I’m not a colorer, per se, and never was good at it as a kid. I hated staying in the lines, and often found the lines wanting (I love a nuanced scribal line! Nothing like a great flourish!), but I do love coloring my own work.

Do you have any coloring tips to share?

It really does depend on your material. If you use a water-based color, you can sometimes pick up “mistakes” by re-wetting and then sopping up. and carefully “pick” out the color with an X-acto by removing the top fibers of paper. But the paper has to be a good one and you must be VERY careful. You can also add salt to watercolor based paintings for an interesting effect, and protect whites and some colors using rubber cement or maskit.

If you’re using  coloring pencils, be careful NOT to drop them. If your lead keeps breaking off, it’s probably because it was dropped. You can use a colorless blender with Prisma colors (or a white or cream if you want a tint) though I would suggest that building up the color so the surface goes from light to dark and is saturated. You can also use a small bit of acetone (nail polish remover) on a Q-tip to blend.  Again good paper.

Finally, YouTube can be your best friend. I love watching process videos there.