Here is Ed sharing his process:
Two Pictures books below.
Interview Questions for Ed Briant:
How long have you been illustrating?
Since 1980 (35 years. Yikes!)
What was the first thing you created where someone paid you for your work?
An editorial illustration for a magazine called the Tatler. This was humorous piece about school dinners.
How did you end up living in the USA after being born in England?
Around 1985 I began doing regular illustrations for Mademoiselle and Glamor in New York. After a while it just made sense to move here.
In your bio you do not mention if you went to college to study art. Did you study art in Philadelphia? What did you study?
I studied Illustration at Central St. Martins in London.
What helped you to develop as an illustrator?
My girlfriend at the time, Caroline Nisbett, probably had the biggest influence on me. She basically taught me how to draw during a bus journey in Brighton England.
How did you get involve in News Papers and Magazines?
I was a motorcycle dispatch rider for a photo processing business, delivering black and white prints to magazines and newspapers.
How many years did you do that type of work?
Only about six months.
Did you always work full time illustrating?
No. I also teach and write.
How many children’s books have you illustrated?
10 in total. I’ve written two books that I didn’t illustrate.
What was the first picture book that you illustrated? When did that happen?
Paper Parade. It was initially based on paper sculptures I made for my new-born daughter, Rachel.
How did you manage to get that contract?
Do you think your style has evolved since you attended college?
I used to use gouache for all my color work. Now I use acrylic.
Do you use Photoshop in any of your work?
Yes. My comics.
Would you consider working with an author who wants to self publish?
Yes. Depends on the book.
Have you worked with educational publishers?
If so, which one’s? Oxford University Press.
Have you done any artwork for children’s magazines?
Are you represented by an agent?
Do you do any types of promotion on your own to get your work seen by publishing professionals?
I send out samples to connections on Linkedin. It seems fair as it’s a business connection platform.
Have you gotten any work through networking or the Internet?
Yes. Linkedin and Facebook.
Do you use software for painting like Photoshop or Painter?
Do you own a graphic tablet? If so, how do you use it?
I draw out the line work using traditional pen and ink, then scan the drawing, and use the tablet and photoshop to add color/ texture/revisions.
How much time do you spend illustrating?
I illustrate when I’m not sleeping, writing, eating, or walking my dogs.
Do you have a studio set up in your house?
Yes. I love my studio, but I’m breaking it down now as we are about to move.
Do you still do artwork other than for children?
Yes. About half of my illustration is for children, and half for general audiences.
Do you ever exhibit your work?
Yes. Usually about once a year there’s a show somewhere.
Any picture books on the horizon?
Always. It’s the horizon that varies.
What are your career goals?
To keep making art until I can’t see any more. Although Monet kept going after he was blind.
What are you working on now?
A picture book and a middle grade novel. I’m also putting work together for a possible exhibition.
Are there any painting tips (materials, paper, etc.) you can share that work well for you? Technique tips?
Draw every day. Fill a sketchbook a month.
Any words of wisdom you can share with the illustrators who are trying to develop their career?
Be persistent. Don’t give up. And remember that happiness is not necessarily linked to commercial success.
Thank you Ed for sharing your talent, process, and journey with us. Please make sure you keep in touch and share your future successes with us.
If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Ed. I am sure he’d love it and I enjoy reading them, too. Thanks!