We sat down with artist Sandra Rushton to ask her a few questions about her life, her art work and how she came up with the fantastic illustrations for Katy Sue Designs’ newest venture: Adult Colouring Books!
Sandra, Noreen and the books will be available on Create and Craft TV on Thursday 29th October. There is a show at 12pm for the UK and at 5pm GMT/10am PT for both the UK and US!
How did you first become interested in art and crafts?
It’s always been there, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t have a collection of paper, pencils and scissors.
Have you always wanted to work as an artist?
I dreamt of being an artist when I was at school but it was not meant to be at that time. I pursued it as a hobby, which led me into teaching in the creative subject areas. It is only recently after watching lots of students following their dreams that I realised it was about time I did the same.
Did you study art or design at university?
I studied art and design as a mature student at college but then went on to completing a degree in Design and Technology so that I could work with lots of different materials, progressing onto a Masters’ degree specialising in computer aided design/manufacture in education.
What do you do now?
I now run a micro business where I produce my own range of printed clothing using my artwork. I provide a custom service for a range of businesses and of course, have been working alongside Katy Sue Designs creating colouring books.
Where do you work?
I share a studio/office space with my husband in Shirebrook in Nottinghamshire and because I am self employed I do occasionally work from home, particularly when creating new images.
Where do you get the inspiration for your illustrations?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Mostly it starts from a doodle in the corner of a page which then mixes with something that has caught my attention. I doodle in a sketch pad and record snippets of things that I like the look of. Sometimes my friends challenge me to see what I’ll come up with. The shoes for example started with a flute and high heeled shoe combination, mixing my two passions; music and shoes together for a challenge, this was followed by the masquerade shoe in the book as I was asked: how would I go about drawing a ‘fluffy’ feather?
How long does the average illustration take? Is it different for a pattern page and a main image?
Some illustrations take shape quicker than others and some I go back to over a period of time. The shipwreck in Nautical adventures for example was completed over a couple of days but the land ahoy shoe took around a week.
What materials do you use to create your work?
Each drawing begins as a pencil sketch using a basic mechanical pencil then once I’m happy with the outline I like to define and add detail to the image with a fine tipped pen. My choice of paper varies depending on what I’ll use to enhance it. I work mostly in coloured pencils and oils but enjoy watercolour and acrylics from time to time.
What’s the creative process like for you? What do you do from start to finish?
Once I start an image I become obsessed with it and it becomes a huge part of my life over a period of time; even if I leave it for a while its always in view. The idea is not always complete in my head before I start; I just have an idea of where I want it to go then allow it to develop naturally. The detail within the image for the most part is drawn freehand using a pen. There is always something in progress, my workspace is always scattered with paper and pencils.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
Never give up on your dream, think it and it will become reality.