Q&A with Anna Zobel

Q&A with Anna Zobel

Anna is the illustrator of Who’s Your Real Mum?, released in April 2020.

1. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I find inspiration very deliberately. If I’m working on a particular project I expose myself to lots of art and writing and music, and make heaps of notes. When I look back at my art for this book I can see the illustrators I was obsessing over at the time (Posy Simmonds, Edward Gorey…)

2. Do you ever get illustrator’s block and, if so, how do you get the creative juices flowing again?

When I’m in a slump, I go back to basics. I practise fundamental skills such as life drawing, and I experiment with different mediums.

3. Is there a certain song/music you like listening to or prefer peace and quiet?

It depends! If it’s the beginning of the drawing process and I’m doing lots of thinking, I prefer to listen to ambient music. I played Malibu’s EP ‘One Life’ about 1000 times during this phase. When the thinking is done and I’m drawing final copies, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I listened ‘On the Come Up’ by Angie Thomas and ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi when I was drawing ‘Who’s Your Real Mum?’. I had to keep a hankie handy.

4. Do you like drawing in a certain location, ie near the seaside, in a park, in your garden or at a cafe?

I like drawing everywhere – especially if I’m not supposed to be drawing. My favourite drawings are always quick scribbles. I sketch on everything – receipts, shopping lists, even the corners of my work! At high school my teachers gave up trying to stop me scribbling. I worked on one page and sketched on the other.


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