gemma correll: an interview

Happy Summer everybody! Here in Berlin today we have 38°C OMG it is so warm and I am working on my MacBook with a fan just by side. We are supposing to go to buy a new bike for our guest, but it is too warm to go outside now.
Below you will read a little interview that I made to Gemma Correll, a sweet and smart illustrator from Norwich, UK. It is not only an interview because I also want to show you few pieces of her art.
Hope you like it!

Me. Who are you? A little introduction of you:
Gemma. Hello, I'm Gemma. I am a freelance Illustrator and I live in the east of England.

Me. How did you discover that you have creative tendencies?
Gemma. I have always enjoyed drawing. When I was very young, I started making my own "books" where I'd write and illustrate a story in old notebooks that I found. I also made my own comics at primary school. I would draw them and then photocopy them. I'd spend my pocket money buying "Penny sweets" (sweets that cost 1p each) and sellotape them to the front cover of the comic. Then I sold the comics at school for 20p each.

What sparked your interest in illustration? Did you attended to any school?
Gemma. I enjoyed illustrating all the way through school, I'd always be asked to make posters for events, or booklets for the school play. After I left, I went to to study a foundation degree in Art and Design followed by a BA (hons) degree in Graphic Design, specialising in Illustration, at the Norwich School of Art and Design.

Me. Where do you find your inspiration?
Gemma. I find inspiration everywhere I go, but mostly from people that I see. My work is very narrative-based so often I am influenced by overheard conversations, or something that I read in a newspaper.

Me. Tell me a little bit about the process of researching inspirations for your creations, where do the ideas come from?
Gemma. It varies. Sometimes, an idea will just come into my head without any research. At other times, I'll draw some ideas in my sketchbook, and also look through old sketchbooks, to find ideas. I usually sketch lots and lots of things and then choose my favourite idea from these drawings. There are always so many ideas in my head that I have to get them onto paper to try and make sense of them.

Me. Are a full time illustrator? Can you describe your typical day at work (since morning till night)?
Gemma. Yes, I am a full time illustrator. My day is like this: 8am. Wake up because my pug, Mr Pickles, is licking my face. He is a very good alarm clock (I don't like waking up in the morning!) Have coffee and breakfast and check e-mails. 10am. Start packaging orders from my online shop and also any wholesale orders for shops. Maybe do some drawing too. Take Mr Pickles for a morning walk. 2pm. Lunch (usually something like quinoa salad or a sandwich) and then walk to the Post office with Mr Pickles. We post all of the packages and have a chat with the man who works there. Sometimes we look in the charity shop next door afterwards. 3pm. Home and back to work. I find the most inspiration in the afternoon and evening. 4pm. Coffee and cake break with my boyfriend, Anthony (he's an Illustrator too, so he also works from home). 4.30pm-2am. Work work work coffee work play with Mr Pickles work work work dinner work work work.

Me. How do you decided to open a webshop? And how do you choose to create a new product instead of another?
Gemma. I knew that the products that I made were popular from taking part in craft fairs, so I decided to open a webshop. I have online shops on Etsy, Dawanda and Folksy and soon, there will be a shop on my website too. I choose the products I make by thinking about the designs and concepts that are the most popular. For example, I know that a lot of people like cats so I often make products with cats on them.

Me. What are your plans for future? How do you see it years from now?
Gemma. My favourite area of illustration is narrative and journals. I would really love to make a kids book. So I hope, in a few years, I'll be working more in that area. Hopefully, I'll be writing and illustrating my own books. I'd also love to have a regular comic in a newspaper like The Guardian or the New York Times, but I don't think that will happen!

Me. You also manage a blog, what is the triggering reason that makes you create a blog?
Gemma. I think a blog is a good place to promote products and things like exhibitions and other events. But also, it's a bit more personal that a website, I like posting things that aren't neccesarily related to my work, like photographs and things that I have bought from other artists and webshops.

Me. Which are your favorite blogs by the moment? And which illustrators?
Gemma. I love reading. A Beautiful Mess: You are my Fave: Pikaland: and Pugly Pixel: although of course, there are lots more! I love to read blogs. Some of my favourite illustrators at the moment are: Flora Chang (Happy Doodle Land) Evgenia Baranova Mia Christopher Lili Scratchy and Sol Li But, again, there are too many to mention!

Me. Any closing comments?
Gemma. I love Milk Tooth's Rain :)
Me. wow, thank you soooo much for everything!

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