To celebrate the release of our new White Logo Collection puzzles, we're getting to know some of the talented artists who illustrated and designed the artworks!
This week, we spoke with Tabitha Brown, the illustrator behind our wonderful Lazy Sunday puzzle. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we did!
Hi Tabitha! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Tabitha Brown. I am a freelance illustrator from Illinois, United States. I've worked as a freelancer illustrator since 2008 and learn something new every single day.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My main inspiration is nature. Trees, flowers, leaves, every type of botanical provides such rich color and shapes. I enjoy pulling nature's elements into my work.
What ideas and messages do you aim to portray through your artwork?
The main thing I try to portray in my artwork is the happy life of black women. It can be difficult to find artwork featuring black women that isn't about suffering or overly religious. We, black women, are rarely seen in art as: happy, nature lovers, music lovers, gamers, bookworms, etc. I want my work to show the humanity of black women.
What is your creative process like? How do you decide what image you want to create and what sort of tools do you use?
I usually begin with a general idea of what I want to draw. I then sketch it out in a sketchbook or a scrap of paper (whatever is on hand!). The sketch is transformed into an illustration in Illustrator and Photoshop. I use a Wacom tablet to draw elements in Illustrator. In Photoshop, I add scanned papers to create textures and also play with color. When the illustration reaches Illustrator and Photoshop, the art pretty much takes on a life of its own. That's the fun part of creating art.
What motivates you to work for yourself? Do you have any habits to keep you creatively motivated?
My mantra is, "if no one else will create it, I'll create it myself." I think that's what motivates me the most.
I've gotten into the habit of trying to sketch everyday, even if it's just a doodle on a memo pad. Another way to stay motivated is to keep your old art. It is always encouraging to look back at your old work to see how much you've grown as an artist. Keep that old notebook of sketches from high school! You may even find art in that notebook that you want to recreate with the skills you've learned since then.
If you could have any piece of art in the world in your home, which one would it be and why?
I'll cheat a little with this question and say that I would love any illustration done by author/illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. I adore his illustrations that combine paint, paper, ink and fabric; my art style was inspired by his. Any illustration from his books, The Snowy Day, Jennie's Hat, or Peter's Chair would be perfect for my walls.