We asked Pauline Ellison to run through a typical working day and tell us a bit about her interests and inspirations.
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?
My work is watercolour, tones and colour, no line, quite detailed, a fondness for plants and animals.
How did you start off in the arts? How/when did you realise that you were an artist?
I left art college in Cambridge and went to London, took my portfolio round and got work and just went on from there. I was very fortunate in that print media and advertising were expanding fast at that time (late 60s) and there were fewer illustrators than now to exploit that.
Artist is such a loaded word, I never really considered being one or not, I was just preoccupied with making the work.
Please describe a typical day of art making for you.
Lots of black coffee, then a long hard look at the previous day’s work gets me started, lunch with my husband ,who also works at home, some exercise afterwards if time allows, then work, emails and phone calls when my concentration lapses.
What contemporary artists or developments in illustration do you find interesting right now?
I’m interested in the use younger artists make of the new electronic tools, it’s fascinating what can be done by a generation who’ve grown up fluent in the use of computers, tasks that took hours or days are done in minutes now.
How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
I’m quite fast at visualising and drawing out an image, but quite slow and laborious at producing finished artwork, I’ve often worked through the night to meet a deadline. Left to myself I’ll tinker about for ages perfecting things.
What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you’re not creating?
I love travelling with my husband (the painter Poul Webb) to find subjects for his work, playing with my grandchildren, just being outside generally, going to look at exhibitions and art galleries.
Any advice for aspiring young illustrators?
If you love illustration, then have a go , if you don’t succeed then you’ve learnt something, and that’s better that always wondering ‘what if?’