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Meet The Artist
Welcome to another exciting edition of Meet the Artist! We have the pleasure of introducing you to the whimsical and immensely talented children's book illustrator, Deb Hudson. If you've ever wondered about the creative mind behind those enchanting and colourful illustrations that bring children's stories to life, you're in for a treat.
Deb's journey as an illustrator has been a delightful exploration of her childhood passions. From a young age, she had a deep love for drawing bright, happy, and colourful things. Her imagination knew no bounds, and her mother fondly remembers her as a child who was often "off with the fairies," lost in her own dream world. In those early years, she could be found dancing about in dress-ups and engaged in conversations with imaginary friends.
Today, Deb's artistic universe revolves around the magical and the simple wonders of nature. Her drawings are a celebration of birds, flowers, and occasionally, dogs, rabbits, unicorns, people, and many more beautiful and natural elements. Each stroke of her brush and every vibrant hue she chooses encapsulates the essence of childhood wonder and innocence.
Deb's artistic journey took a significant step when she illustrated her first children's book, "The Golden Thread," a heartwarming tale written by Amelia Donnelly and published through Lake Press in 2018. Since then, her creative talents have continued to blossom, and her latest illustrations grace the pages of the beginner reader series, "What Zola Did," authored by the award-winning Melina Marchetta and published by Penguin Australia. These captivating stories hit bookstores in June 2020 and have been captivating young readers ever since.
Residing in the vibrant city of Melbourne, Australia, Deb shares her life with her husband, three kids, an energetic border collie, and a bright yellow canary. This eclectic mix of characters in her everyday life is undoubtedly a source of constant inspiration for her artwork.
Join us on this artistic journey as we delve deeper into the world of Deb Hudson, a creative force that brings joy, wonder, and whimsy to the pages of children's books.
Inspiration and Style: In your bio, you mention finding inspiration from various sources. Can you share some specific experiences or sources that have greatly influenced your bright and colourful art style?
I love drawing flowers, love their varied colours, shapes and sizes and leaves too. Drawing these makes me feel calm and relaxed. I love the process of beginning with a simple sketch and working all the way through with tones and gradients of colour. I have worked with many companies who have come to me because of my flower drawings that they have seen online.
Illustrating Children's Books: Illustrating a children's book is a unique artistic endeavour. Could you describe your creative process when working on a children's book, from initial concept to final illustration?
The process of Illustrating a children’s book begin similarly to other projects. There’s lots of research to begin with, looking online, in my community and in books all depending on the manuscripts theme. I then start with scrap paper as it’s great to scribble down all of my ideas.
Creating a storyboard is the next step, showing the layout of the entire book in rough sketches on one large page. I go through my scrap paper sketches and take photographs of the best sketches and add then to the storyboard layout. Once the storyboard layout feels finished I begin working through each spread in colour and detail.
I work in a program called Procreate where I draw with an Apple Pencil directly onto a screen. I draw everything, just like on paper but the best part is that I can make changes easily as I work in many layers. It’s my favourite way to work as I can also work anywhere, in a cafe, on a train, boat and best of all in my children’s room as they drift off to sleep.
Diverse Subjects: Your illustrations cover a wide range of subjects, from birds and flowers to dogs, rabbits, and unicorns. How do you approach the challenge of capturing the essence and character of each subject in your artwork?
I think capturing the essence of a character comes through drawing many, many sketches. Refining as you go and looking back on what you have drawn to find the best fit.
Career Milestones: You've worked with notable clients like Penguin Books and Disney Plus. Can you share a memorable or particularly fulfilling project in your career as an illustrator and how it impacted your artistic journey?
I feel so grateful for the amazing clients I have worked with. It never gets boring and I’m often pinching myself in surprise. There have been many fulfilling projects, but one that came to mind was serving my children boiled eggs and toast in the cutest egg and plate set I created with Ashdene. Cutlery too. My children, although little, were very proud of their mum.
Living in Melbourne: Melbourne is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. How has living in Melbourne influenced your creativity, and are there any local aspects that you incorporate into your illustrations or find particularly inspiring?
It has to be the people I have met and continue to catch up with from my artistic community. We get together share ideas over food. Attend special events together. So many fabulous book shops too. There’s such a lovely vibe here in Melbourne.
As Deb Hudson continues to weave her creative magic with her brush strokes, we can only anticipate more captivating tales and whimsical characters brought to life through her art. We hope this glimpse into the world of this extraordinary artist has left you as inspired and charmed as we are.
You can discover Deb's debut collection with La La Land, 'Festive Forest' here, and keep your eye out for some sweet Christmas goodies in our launch early October!