Carla-ShaleP1020020This is my interview with Carla Shale.

What inspired you to write this book?
 This book was the brainchild of Geoff Blackwell from PQ Publishers, a lovely publisher to work with and a good friend. He gave me plenty of room to play. We wanted to capture a more personal voice using handwriting. It’s part of a series of 6: to Sister, Father, Friend, Lover, Grandmother and Mother. You can see a sample of the full set at pqblackwell.com

What other jobs have you had?
 I used to work with Disney, Warner Brothers and other character creation studios through an illustration agency in London. I’ve worked in advertising and graphic design and even done some body painting for TV …along with the usual retail and hospitality when a student. I’m much better as a behind the scenes worker, happiest creating my own strange little world.

Which people and situations influenced you to start illustrating? Probably my mother, who studied art in Paris when she was young. One of her besties created illustrated cookbooks for kids. At art school I did some freelance illustration and it grew from there. And I read lots of comics and fantasy, all kinds. We kids had a well-loved comic book chest that’s now at the foot of my son’s bed.

What’s the hardest part of your job?
 There is never enough time! (Actually that’s a good thing too as I’m a master procrastinator given half a chance.)

What was the best thing about writing this book?
 Some in this series came out in German and Dutch. Being hand-lettered, I got to re-write the quotes in these other languages. I’m hoping I will remember some words in these languages, a least a little bit? Ja?

What was one of the best things that happened because of this book? I have received some lovely handwritten notes from readers, telling me what they have enjoyed about the book they have, or have given to others.

Do you have a favourite image in the book? I think my fav in “Mother” is the cross-stitch image (p53) because for me it shows that all the little things contribute to the whole, and the care and attention to detail mothers offer.
I also like the sugar and spice and all things nice photo (p34).
 (My favourite book in this series is Handwriiten Notes to my Sister, for my sis.)

What are your favourite products?
I love combining the old techniques with the new. The fun of getting messy with paint, paper and crayons, then bringing it all together using Creative Suite and the my fav tech tool, the Wacom tablet.

Do you collect anything? Books, books, books, all kinds. Still comics. Movies. Music. Art, mostly made by my friends. I also love collecting pre-loved or handmade items with a history all of their own.

What is something that most people might be surprised to know about you? I studied maths and sciences all through school, not art. Then after art school went on to study philosophy at uni. And I’m a sucker for hardware shops. You can make things with that stuff.

Read my review of ‘Handwritten Notes To My Mother’ here.



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