Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 20, 2019

Illustrator Saturday – Reggie Brown

Reginald Brown is an artist and children’s book illustrator living in sunny San Diego,CA.

He loves bringing to life in illustrations the stories of the immigrant experience; discrimination and racism; growing up in an under-served community; perseverance and hard-work; military families; family members with mental health and substance/alcohol abuse -authors writing these stories are also bringing voice to his stories and lived experiences. It would be an honor to have his illustrations depict the heart, spirit, and zest of the stories these authors have to share with the world.

He also has a passion for stories with genres like fantasy, superheroes, and science-fiction, and would love to share his belief that it’s time for a wider array of skin tones to be represented in these joyful stories.

HERE IS REGGIE EXPLAINING HIS PROCESS:

I used Procreate with layers for the whole process.

Initial sketch ..keep it loose

Blocked in foreground and main characters

Added in line art, mouth, and secondary objects.

Added more hair details, shading, and background.

Added the crown and some texture. Added in background cloud in next step.

FINISHED PIECE

Interview with Reggie Brown

How long have you been illustrating?

I have been illustrating since I picked up a pencil at the age of 5! In a professional capacity, I have been illustrating for a few months. Over the last 35 years, I have enjoyed drawing and painting as a side hobby.

What and when was the first painting or illustration that you did where someone paid you for your artwork?

As an avid illustrator in my childhood, I won an art contest through the Hawaii public library and earned my first $100 at the age of 12. I continued with side jobs, painting and doing graphic design on the weekends when I wanted to earn supplementary income. And, now in 2019, I get to make this my full-time passion!

Have you always lived in San Diego?

While I have lived in San Diego most of my life, I was actually born in the Philippines and also lived in Hawaii for a few years.

What school did you attend to study Illustrating?

I’m pretty much self-taught. I took a few life-drawing classes, but otherwise, I continue my artistic develop by reading books and watching YouTube videos. And a LOT of sketching to practice my skills!

What type of classes were your favorites?

I love life-drawing classes.

Did art school help you get illustrating work when you graduated?

Nope, I didn’t attend art school.

What type of illustrating did you do when you first were starting out?

I started with more of a graphic design focus when I first started out.


When did you decide to illustrate children’s books?

I was laid off from the biotechnology company, where I had spent the last 10 years working. This was in April 2018, I had just turned 40, and I decided to see if illustrating professionally would be a viable career path.

Have you had an opportunity to illustrate a picture book?

Yes, I’m currently contracted to illustrate 2 picture books.

I see The CatAgency represents you. How long have you been with them and how did they find you?

I have been with Christy and the Cat Agency since Feb 2019, and she found me through social media.

What do you feel influenced your illustrating style?

Eighties era cartoons, anime, and comic books influenced my illustration style.

Do you work full time as a free-lance illustrator?

Yes

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate a book?

Absolutely, I’m working on one in my spare time.

Are you active in your local SCBWI chapter?

I’m somewhat active, and would like to be more active soon. I have attended a few chapter meetings and went to Austin, Texas conference.

Do you exhibit your art in galleries?

No

Have you ever illustrated a book cover?

Not yet.

Do you have a studio in your house?

Yes

Would you illustrate a book for an author who wants to self-publish?

Yes, I have done this in the past – but I would only illustrate a story that resonated with my style and interest.

Have you worked with educational publishers? Which ones?

Not yet.

Have you done any illustrating for children’s magazines? Which ones?

I have not so far.

Have you ever thought about illustrating a wordless picture book?

I am up for any types of illustrating and think that would be fun.

What do you think is your biggest success?

So far, I’m new to this industry. I think finding an agent so quickly would be considered a great success. I have heard that it can take several years.

What is your favorite medium to use?

Is Digital a medium? If I had to choose, I guess I would be pencil and ink.

Has that changed over time?

Nope.

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

I try to spend about an hour or two a day to sketch and hone my skills.

Do you take pictures or research a project before you start?

Yes, Pinterest is my friend.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Absolutely, my agent found me through social media. She contacted me through my website after seeing my online portfolio.

Do you use Photoshop or Painter with your illustrations?

I was a heavy Photoshop user until Procreate came out.

Do you own or have you used a Graphic Drawing Tablet when illustrating?

I have a Wacom tablet, but I mostly use my iPad Pro.

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

One day I want to win the Caldecott award!

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a chapter book series for Penguin/Random House, a picture book for Bala Kids, and a picture book for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

Buy the highest quality tools you can afford, you don’t want your tools to stand in your way or cause you problems.

Any words of wisdom on how to become a successful writer or illustrator?

Believe in yourself and sketch every day. Share your art everywhere you can.

Thank you Reggie for sharing your talent and expertise with us. Make sure you share you future successes with us. To see more of Reggie’s work, you can visit him at:

Website: http://www.trendingcreativedesign.com

If you have a minute, please leave a comment for Reggie. I am sure he’d love to hear from you and I enjoy reading them, too.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. I think your art is amazing! And to be self-taught is lots of dedication. So, inspiring. Would you say that if you hadn’t lost the biotech job, you wouldn’t have become this?
    I’m not agented but when I get there, would love your art in my bayou books!

    Like


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