Gemma Correll is a Norwich soon to be Berlin based Illustrator who was kind enough to answer some questions for me on her work and professional practice.
What are the key influences and inspirations behind your work?
I can be inspired by anything really, but it's a mixture of my
imagination and observation. So I can be inspired by people or animals
that I meet, conversations that I overhear, movies, music or books. My
Pug, Mr Pickles, is an endless source of inspiration and my friends
are a funny bunch who are always providing me with material. The rest
just comes from somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my mind.
What types of skills do you think as an Illustrator do you need to
showcase your work effectively?
Beyond the ability to illustrate, I think it's important to have a
good sense of design (for creating your portfolio and website) and
also a good idea of how to market yourself. You need to be able to use
social media to your advantage and to connect with other people in the
industry. I think it also helps to show your personality- the most
effective blogs are the ones where you get to see a bit more of the
illustrator's life beyond their work. You need to update as often as
possible, with new work, new photos and updates.
What makes yourself different from others in your field?
I'm not sure that I'm all that different but I think that my style is
fairly individual. What made me different from the other graduates in
my year who are not working as illustrators was not talent (there were
people who were a lot more talented than me) but perseverance. It took
me 5 years of hard work and part/full time jobs and not having a
social life to get to where I am now.
Who are your audience, customers or clients that you are seeking to
reach? Are you local or global?
I work with clients all over the world and my blog is read by people
in various countries. It's all down to the internet, it's really
amazing how easy it is to connect with other people, internationally.
Where would you show your work? Real or virtual space? Public or
private venue? Is there one type of outlet or a variety?
I'm happy to show my work anywhere really. It's nice to exhibit in a
real space, beyond the confines of the internet. I'm always a little
nervous about displaying my work publicly, which is silly really
because I do exactly that online.
How do you earn your income? Do you offer a product, service or
mixture of both?
It's a mixture of commissioned Illustration work and products for
sale. I sell things like greetings cards, tote bags and zines
featuring my designs- both myself (in an online shop) and through
retail outlets around the world. It's probably about 50/50 in terms of
where my income comes from.