Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 3, 2016

Illustrator Saturday – Sue Maib

sueSue was born in the Sunflower state (Kansas), now living in northwest Arkansas with her husband, two cats (Lily and Luna), and a dog (Dobby).

She recently left the corporate world where she was a multimedia designer for nearly 20 years. For as long as she can remember, she has wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. Now she’s working full-time on this dream.

Most of her drawings are about the antics of her furry friends, but food, flowers, and memories of a great childhood inspire her. She’s the oldest of seven children so she has lots of tales!

Website http://www.suetinchermaib.com

Here is Sue discussing her Process:

maib-process1

I always start by creating a few thumbnails.

 

maib-process2

Once I’ve decided on a design, I use tracing paper or vellum to draw it. I use a lightbox to experiment and help place things on the page.

 

maib-process3

When the drawing is done, I print a copy of it and make a value study.

 

maib-process4

Using the lightbox again, I will redraw the image onto watercolor paper using ink. Then I’m ready to start adding color.

maib-process5

I like to work in light layers and build up the color.

maib-process6

I let each color dry before glazing with new paint or color.

maib-process7

Slowly, the colors get brighter and bolder.

maib-process8

Final illustration.

How long have you been illustrating?

I’ve been illustrating for 25 years.

cat-with-muff

Where do you live?

Rogers, Arkansas

magicmonday-walkdogWhat was the first thing you painted where someone paid you for your work?

I used to design t-shirt artwork. I’m not sure I’ve done any paintings where I’ve been paid. I tend to give them away!!

teaParty

 

Did you go to school for art? If so where and why did you pick that school?

I don’t have an art degree. My first time in college, I had a scholarship to study foreign languages. In my early 30s, I returned to school to take graphic design courses.

little-red-cape

What did you study there?

I have a degree in Graphic Design. I also took Multimedia courses.

joey-birthday

Do you feel College helped develop your style?

Maybe not my current painting or drawing style but I did learn a great deal about design layout and color theory.

lunchroom

What type of work did you do after you got out of school?

For the past 30 years, I worked for a large corporation. The first 10 years my job was in the word processing department. That job is now extinct! I returned to school to study Graphic Design. I changed to a new position in the company where I did mostly print design. Then everything went digital. So I did multimedia design – created websites, video, animations, infographics – things like that.

lost-balloon

Have you seen your work change since you left school?

Oh, sure. Hopefully for the better!

watermellon

What type of illustrating work have you been doing?

I was laid off from my corporate job last December. It was then that I decided to give myself permission to work full-time on my dream of becoming an illustrator. So, I’ve been putting together a portfolio. I give myself assignments. I’m hoping to find an agent and keep illustrating full time.

rainyDayFloat

 

When did you decide you wanted to illustrate for children?

Probably ever since my mother read stories to me at bedtime! I studied the illustrations as she read the words. I knew then that I wanted to draw pictures for storybooks!

bluehead-bird

Have you illustrated a book yet? If so, how did you get that contract?

No, not yet.

 familyPhotoDo you have any desire to write and illustrate your own book?

I have written a few books and illustrated them. Maybe someday I will be published. A girl can dream!

mixFlowers1

 What do you think is your biggest success? 

Raising a wonderful daughter and getting her through nursing school. As far as my artwork…it hasn’t happened yet.

can_of_flowers

Have you ever tried to do a wordless picture book?

Yes, it’s very difficult!

cat fish

Do you have an agent or an artist rep? If so, who and how long? If not, would you like to find an agent?

Not yet, but that would be great!

fairy-bluehair

 Do you illustrate full time? If not what other things do you do?

Since I got laid off, I still get up early every day and head to the studio instead of the office. I love putting in a full day doing artwork. I always have something to work on and the days really fly by.

Once a week, I go to the library and read books in the children’s section. I find this comparable to visiting the Louvre and studying the Masters.

goodnight-kiss

Do you have a favorite medium you use?

Watercolor and ink.

girl-on-bike

Do you take research pictures before you start a project?

Sometimes. Especially if I’m drawing a person in a certain pose. Mostly, I just use myself as a model or use a mirror to help see poses or facial expressions that I’m having trouble drawing.

flueriste

Do you use Photoshop with any of your work?

Yes, mostly just to clean up a picture or tweak it a bit.

goddess

Do you have and use a graphic tablet?

No.

pen-glamor-girl

Has any of your work appeared in magazines?

A few years ago, I submitted some drawings to Weight Watcher magazine. They did a small feature on me because instead of WRITING everything I ate I used to DRAW it.

restaurant

Do you studio a studio in your house?

Yes.

sue-maib1

Do you follow any type of routine to attain your career goals?

I start early every day. Most days I’m in the studio by 7:30.  I’m definitely a morning person.

I give myself assignments. I write stories and illustrate them. Sometimes, I just illustrate a fairy tale or a fable.

old-man

Do you think the Internet has opened any doors for you?

Most definitely. I’ve met some great illustrators through their blogs and websites. I’ve been blogging for many years. It motivates me to keep creating and to share my work.

Earlier this year, I joined SCBWI so I’ve met a few writers and illustrators there.

monsters-bus

What are your career goals?

I would love to find an agent and work full-time illustrating books and magazines for children. That’s my dream!

tuesday-32

What are you working on now?

I have a series of picture books about a very imaginative little girl. I’ve been working on making dummy books for these stories.

princess_cats_stm

Are there any painting tips (materials, paper, etc.) you can share that work well for you? Technique tips?

I prefer Arches cold-press watercolor paper. My paintings are layers of glazing and Arches seems to handle lots of water very well. I like to start light and build up to dark, bold layers of color.

Micron pens are great but I also use Uniball Vision pens. Both of these are waterproof and come in different line weights.

Vellum or tracing paper helps in the early stages of a drawing.

fairy-greenhair

Any words of wisdom you can share with the illustrators who are trying to develop their career?

Draw every day. No one gets good at anything unless you work at it.

Create a website or a blog. Put yourself out there!

Never give up on your dream.

feather-in-her-hair

Thank you Sue for sharing your talent, process, journey, and expertise with us. Please make sure you keep in touch and share your future successes with us. To see more of Sue’s work, you can visit her at website at: http://www.suetinchermaib.com/

If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Sue. I am sure she’d love it and I enjoy reading them, too. Thanks!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Responses

  1. Very colorful!

  2. Your style continues to make me smile! ♥♥♥♥

  3. Sue, I love all your illustrations!
    You are very talented!
    I admire your work ethic and your artwork! Wishing you the best and your dreams coming true. I will look forward to buying one of your books to read to my grandchildren. I know my three year old granddaughter, Emma, would enjoy your stories about the imaginative girl!

  4. Hi Sue! I loved your illustrations! Keep going!

  5. Sue, so happy to see your whimsical art featured on Kathy’s inspiring blog. I love art style. Thank you for sharing. 👍

  6. It’s wonderful to see your work, Sue! I love the bright colors and character’s you’ve created! Keep doing what you’re doing…your dream is coming true! All the best!
    Vicky (Jetwoman) Hershberger

  7. wonderful interview great to learn more about Sue, so talented!

  8. lovely feature, wonderful to learn more about Sue, so talented!

  9. Sue you are an inspiration. I too have worked in the corporate world for many years pre children but ideally want to be a full time artist/illustrator. Your work is so childlike and imaginative.

  10. What a great article!!! Sue we so look forward to you capturing your dreams!!!


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