Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Interview with Julia Pott
For one of my projects at Edinburgh College of Art, I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to approach and interview one of my favourite illustrators, Julia Pott who does lovely little animations and illustrations of anthropomorphic animals. I thought I'd share as I feel entirely selfish keeping it to myself and thank you again so much, Julia!
What are the key influences and inspirations behind your work?
As my work stems a lot from personal experience, I draw inspiration from things I enjoy in everyday life. Guilty pleasures like rom coms and kids tv shows influence my work. I was recently able to charge my 'When Harry Met Sally' DVD as a business expense, which made me realise how lucky I was to have a job that allows me to get away with that! As a short film maker I find short stories a great source of inspiration, especially the work of Haruki Murakami, JD Sallinger and Dave Eggers. It can become quite common for your work to slip into a rut, producing work you know will be well received but doesn't necessarily bring anything new to your portfolio, so I am always looking for new sources of inspiration to get me excited about making work again. This can come from socialising with other people in your field who often direct you to good exhibitions, artists or resources, or going to a bookshop, on a trip, having a new experience. I recently met a photographer who ended up being the source of inspiration behind my new short film. If I hadn't gone out and met them, who knows what I would be making now instead.
What types of skills do you think as an Illustrator do you need to showcase your work effectively?
I think it's important to put yourself in the public eye as much as you can. I use a lot of social networking sites such as facebook, flickr, blogger and twitter to get the word out about new projects I am working on. It can take time out from the main reason you became an illustrator in the first place but it will secure future work for you as so many people look to the internet now for new talent. You cannot cut corners in terms of presentation. Taking a beautiful photograph of your work rather than a rushed one on your phone will make all the difference and make you look professional. You should showcase yourself with the same dedication with which you create your work, otherwise you will let your work down.
What makes yourself different from others in your field?
As art is so much an expression of yourself I think it is natural for all artists to be different from other in their field. My work is incredible selfish and deals primarily with issues I am struggling with in my own little world. I think it is important to primarily make work that you like, that you feel connected to, and the public will respond to this. If you go out into the world copying what is already 'fashionable' and taking too much influence from others your work will look forced and people will be able to tell. Go with your instincts when creating your work and your talent will come through with whatever you make.
Who are your audience, customers or clients that you are seeking to reach? Are you local or global?
I tend to make work that deals with relationships, whether they be romantic, friendly or hateful
ones! So I do not work for a specific audience, just people who might see my work and relate their own experiences back to it.
Where would you show your work? Real or virtual space? Public or private venue? Is there one type of outlet or a variety?
I have a lot of my work online, on a website, flickr, my blog etc but I also show in exhibitions on occasion. Organising a show really makes you think about your work in a new way and allows you to deal more with scale and materials because people can see you work in the flesh rather than flat on a screen. As an animator my film work shows a lot in festivals, and my recent work for the decemberists and bat for lashes screened behind the performers, which was an incredible experience and brought a new dimension to the work.
How do you earn your income? Do you offer a product, service or mixture of both?
I am both a freelance animator and illustrator so I make my income from both.
A lot of my constant income comes from selling my work online and in shops. Things like screenprints, tshirts, tote bags etc. With freelance work being quite inconsistent it's good to know there is one source which you can rely on to keep you afloat! However the bulk of my income comes from freelance animation and illustration jobs. Though they can be few and far between when the do come around they tend to pay quite highly and you can make most of your income for the year in a few months.