Jannie Ho,又稱 “Chicken Girl Design“,是我一直很欣賞的插畫家。後來因為Lilla Rogers School的課程我們成為「同班同學」,她的作品總是令我印象深刻。Jannie 曾經任職 Nickelodeon, Scholastic, 和時代雜誌(TIME Magazine);成為全職插畫家之後,更是與許多世界知名的大出版社合作童書和兒童商品,創作了近30本童書。除了插畫之外,Jannie也畫漫畫,2011年,她參加了The Sketchbook Project,以她最喜愛的「雞」作為擬人化的角色,把她隨著先生從紐約搬到密西根小城,一個城市女孩要適應鄉下生活的種種趣事,畫成一本漫畫,有興趣的讀者可以在她的Flickr閱讀整本故事。

你是如何成為插畫家的?

我有帕森斯設計學院的插畫學士學位。由於職場上沒有太多全職的插畫師工作機會,因此畢業後我先從事設計工作。於此同時,我知道插畫才是我真正的使命,我開始建立插畫作品集,上課、學習新技巧。後來我找到了一位經紀人,終於決定投入插畫工作。至今已經七年。

How did you become an illustrator?

I have a BFA in illustration from Parsons School of Design. There aren’t alot of full time staff illustrator jobs, so when I graduated, I went into design. In the meanwhile, I knew illustration was my true calling, and began working on my illustration portfolio on the side, taking classes, learning new skills. I eventually got a rep and decided to go into illustration I am. Here I am 7 years later.

為什麼是”chicken girl”?

我很愛雞。不知道從什麼時候開始的,我猜是因為小時候我有一個雞造型的鬧鐘,時間到了它會咯咯叫。也許它滲入了我的潛意識?許多人知道我愛雞之後就開始叫我「雞女孩」。當我在建立自己的網站時,我想用一個有趣又好記的網址。於是”Chicken Girl Design”誕生了。從此它變成了我的網路暱稱。

Why “chicken girl”?

I have a love for chickens. I don’t know when it began, but I suspect it is because I had a chicken alarm clock since childhood. It “clucked” when it goes off. Maybe it seeped into my subconscious? Alot of people found out about my love and started to call me Chicken Girl. When I was thinking about getting a website together and what to use as a domain name, I wanted to use something fun and memorable. So Chicken Girl Design was born. It has been my alias online ever since.

4x9_postcard

什麼事物帶給你靈感?你如何尋找它們?

身為一位兒童的插畫家,我的小嬰兒是我每天的靈感來源。我總是在尋找一些方法,可以讓我的藝術可以啓蒙她的世界,或是教導她新事物。我相信生活本身就是靈感。如果要創作或表達什麼,你必須先充實自己。因此,觀賞其他插畫家的作品,或是逛Pinterest也是尋找靈感的方式。

What does inspire you? How do you find inspiration?

My toddler inspires me every day as a children’s illustrator. I’m always finding ways in which my art can enlighten her world or teach her new things. I believe going out there and living your life is always inspiration in itself. One has to fill the well in order to create and have something to say. With that said, seeing other illustrators’ work or surfing on Pinterest can be inspiring too.

作為一位插畫家,你曾經遇到過什麼樣的阻礙和困境?你如何克服它們?

當然,不管你的成就如何,藝術家的生活總充滿了自我懷疑。作為自由工作者,很難知道下一個案子在哪裡,經濟狀況也時好時壞。我不知道自己是否已經克服這些,不過我學會與它共處,並且接受這也是過程和旅途的一部份。

Have you ever encountered any obstacle or difficult time being an illustrator? How did you overcome them?

Of course. An artist’s life is filled with alot of self doubt, no matter how far along your career may be. As a freelancer, it can be tough to know when the next project may come. Finances go up and down. I’m not sure if I have overcome them, but I learn to live with it and accept that it is part of the process and journey.

JannieHo_bunnySquirrel

目前為止,你創作過的插畫案中最喜歡的是哪一件?

這好難回答,它們都是我的小孩!目前我最喜歡的大概是最近的一件插畫案 — 與 Nosy Crow 出版社合作的標籤紙板書。喜歡的原因是我得以畫所有擬人化的動物,並且成為一系列的繪本。我也喜歡與Target(美國大型連鎖超市)合作的嬰兒禮品卡插畫案,那是非常榮幸的事。

What is your favorite illustration project/job so far?

That is hard, they are all my children! My current favorite is probably one of my most recent projects- the Tiny Tab board books I did with Nosy Crow. I love that I got to draw all anthropomorphic animals and they came in a series. I also loved working with Target on a baby gift card. That was a real honor.

你的創作媒材是什麼?

從草圖到完稿,我都用Adobe Illustrator。我有一台iMac和一個舊型的Wacom繪圖板。

What medium do you use?

I use Adobe Illustrator, from sketch to final art. I have an iMac and an old wacom tablet.

你的創作過程是如何?

以前我會先用鉛筆畫草稿,然後掃描到電腦裡。不過現在已經不這樣做了。現在我直接在Adobe Illustrator畫灰色階的草圖給客戶看,甚至有時候我會直接畫彩圖。我會依照創作案的主題收集參考資料和靈感圖片,有時候我會先從選擇有限的色盤開始工作,然後慢慢添加顏色。我利用鋼筆工具畫很多小元素和各種形狀,然後將它們組合在一起。最後的步驟是從Photoshop裡匯入質地肌理的bitmaps檔案到Illustrator,為圖畫加上明暗度和質感。

What is your work process like?

I use to sketch by pencil then scan it into the computer. But I do not do that anymore. I work straight in Adobe Illustrator in greyscale for clients, or sometimes I even work in color right away. I like to gather some reference and inspiration pictures depending on the theme of the project. Sometimes I pick out a limited color palette to start off with and build as I go. Using the pen tool, I draw lots of bits and shapes and trying to fit them together. The final step is to add shading and texture. That is done in Illustrator but I bring in texture bitmaps from Photoshop.

JannieHo_mudpuppy

你如何推廣自己?寄作品明信片、電子新聞稿、或其他方式?

除了有一個可愛的經紀人之外,我也喜歡自我推廣。積極參與網路和藝術家社團,公開分享我的作品,是我主要的行銷方法。我也寄作品明信片,不過我需要寄得更勤一點。(編按:在美國,插畫家常將作品印成明信片,寄給各大出版社和潛在客戶。)

How do you promote yourself? Do you send out postcards, e-newsletter? Any other methods?

Besides having a lovely rep, I do like to promote myself as well. Just being active on the internet and in artist communities, putting my work out there is my top promoting tool. I do send out postcards but I need to do it more consistently.

JannieHo_Animal_ABCs

JannieHo_underthesea

除了畫圖之外,你從事任何其他的創意活動嗎?

我喜歡畫(和讀)漫畫,不過我想這也算是繪畫的一種!

What other creativity do you do besides illustrating and drawing?

I like to draw (and read) comics, but I guess that is considered illustrating and drawing also!

你有什麼建議給新進插畫家或有心從事插畫工作的人?

不要放棄!有時候你只需要遇到一位賞識你的藝術總監,就會打開機會的大門。你的工作是在那天到來之前做好準備。在此期間,持續不斷地畫圖,創作風格統一的作品集。建立一套流程來應對工作。永遠按時交稿。

Do you have any advice for emerging illustrators or someone who wants to be an illustrator?

Don’t give up! Sometimes it only takes one art director to like your work to open up opportunities for you. Your job is to be ready when that time comes. In the meanwhile, keep drawing, work on a portfolio with a consistent style. Have a process for tackling a job. Always meet deadlines.

JannieHo_TinyTabsBooks

Jannie Ho 的網站:http://www.chickengirldesign.com/