I’d like to take a second and introduce you to Shamayal Hayat, our newest illustrator at Pandamonium Publishing House! Shamayal will be illustrating Deer Diary coming October 2017 and I wanted to do an interview with her so without further adieu, here she is! Plus, here’s a treat from behind the scenes of Deer Diary:)
- Why did you decide to go into illustration and how long have you been an illustrator for?
I have been an illustrator for 3 years now and currently completing by BA of Illustration at Sheridan College. I decided to go into Illustration because I wanted to create characters that people can relate to. From there, I realized that I really wanted to create children’s book illustrations because of the joy and happiness children get from reading books. I want to create characters that children can look up to and ones that can leave a lasting impression on them.
- How do you think of characters and what they’ll look like?
It takes a lot of rough sketches and references for me to really figure out how I want a character to look like. Before I start the rough sketches, I first compile a folder of references of how I imagine the character should look like. I go through my library of inspiration to figure out styles and colour palette approaches while also keeping true to the personality of the character. I then begin sketching out my ideas in a sketchbook. When I have done a number of sketches and ideas, I go through which character I feel personally relates to the type of personality I want to show. The character that best fits with the story line is the character I clean up and finalize on Photoshop.
- How long does it take you to draw a character?
This depends on what the character is, how important it is to the story and if I have experience in drawing characters like that before. For a main character like Duncan specifically, I spent a lot of time on the initial ideation stage and figuring out how to design him than on the final so that I could get a true essence of his character. I would say that the longest I have spent really figuring out a character has been around 2 days and that is including figuring out style and colour palettes. For smaller characters, it usually takes afew hours.
- What was your favorite book growing up and why?
I wouldn’t say that I had one favourite book but my favourite author growing up was Roald Dahl. I really enjoyed how different and interesting his work was and constantly found myself rereading my favourite short stories from his books. What I especially liked about his work was that his stories were so unpredictable. For someone like me who doesn’t like scary books, it was his scary stories that kept me engrossed.
- Who inspires you and why?
I am constantly inspired by my grandmother who first got me interested in art. While growing up, she would try to involve me as much as she could in her own little projects which really inspired me to pursue art as a career. She has also been very supportive of my journey.
I also look up to a lot of artists and constantly use them as inspiration for some of my own work that I come up with. Some of these artists include Loish, Katherin Honesta and many more.