Therese Larsson: an interview with an awesome illustrator
Therese Larsson: Life, art and work
Today, we have the great pleasure of interviewing the fantastic Therese Larson.
First we would like to thank Therese Larsson for taking the time to give us this interview and telling us how she works and what it’s like to live you art.
Please check out Therese Larsson works here
1.when did you become interested in illustration/art ?
Art has always been a huge part of my life, I have drawn since very early childhood. It has almost not even been a conscious choice, I’ve always had an inexplicable urge to pick up that pen and just doodle. I was an unstoppable art force as a child. My parents couldn’t afford enough paper in the end so they went and got scrap paper from their offices. Many of my childhood drawings have black type on the back of the paper. Art was my life, my main driving force. However, I started practising seriously when I reached my early teens. At about 12 or 13 I started reading books about how to become a better artist and it was then my journey to perfect my skills started. It still continues today and will continue for the rest of my life.
2. How did you develop your style and how would you describe it?
Therese Larsson: My style is a reflection of myself and what I enjoy, and always has been. I always paint what my heart desires, and then it doesn’t matter what is trendy or in at the moment. I love cute things and I can be such a girly girl at times, so naturally I enjoy to paint cute things and that is almost always animals or made up creatures. I would call my style a mix between realistic and stylised, while I enjoy to draw characters I prefer to give them realistic fur and such.
3. How do you come up with a concept for a piece?
Therese Larsson: It always starts with a sudden strike of inspiration. I can be out and about, doing something, and then that particular situation can result as a sudden idea in my head that literally pops like a kernel. Usually these ideas are really unrefined, so I sketch them down real quick and then think it through for a while. Is there a different angle to this particular idea? Can I make it more appealing? Does it have a twist? Will it make the audience think? My process for working out ideas is usually very long and tedious, and it takes me months to finish a single piece.
4. Can you describe a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.
Therese Larrson: It always starts with a rough sketch. I try to get an idea out, and it’s always a mental digging process. What do I want to get across? What feeling do I want to give the viewer? These sketches are always super rough and can somewhat resemble the scribblings of a doctor. No one else can read it, but it’s all very clear to me. Once I am happy with the sketch, I put it on top of my other layers and I start blocking in the main colours. Colours and light are extremely important, so I spend a lot of time trying to get it just right. I work with different layer styles, such as multiply, hard and soft light, as well as screen. I always start big and then go smaller, so for example while painting fur I would shade out roughly the fur direction and then later go over it with finer details and bring out the different areas of interest. I take my time while painting, half the time I know what I am doing and the other half I am just experimenting and exploring. It makes it more fun! I never really know what a piece will end up like.
5. How would you describe your daily routine?
Therese Larsson: I wake up at around 8 or 9 AM, get up and get myself some coffee and feed myself and my animals. Then I go through my emails and maybe check some blogs I follow. I work mainly as an illustrator for advertising so I do a lot of storyboards and sketches for TV and print. After my work day is finished around 6 PM, I either take some time to work on personal projects or I go outside to see friends. I also do a lot of exercise such a running, gym, and sport climbing.
6. What five things do you believe are really important for every illustrator.
Therese Larsson: The most important quality and what has helped me through all my artistic struggles, is persistence. I cannot stress this enough! You will not evolve if you do not experience hardships and persist through them, and that you will be faced with many obstacles as an illustrator. It is a tough and competetive business. So practise your skills and never give up!
Be humble. If you are humble toward others and yourself, good karma will come your way. Be helpful to others and you will receive help yourself. So share that arty love!
Learn the basics and practise classical painting. There is a lot to learn from the old masters, when it comes to light and composition for example. And those are skills you will need, despite working with more modern subjects.
Be inventive! Try to think of interesting ideas, it’s not always just about a pretty painting. A painting that makes people feel something will have a greater impact on people.
Do what you love, and the praise will follow. If you’re doing something that is trendy, but not something you love doing, you should rethink your choice because that will show in what you create. Passion is a huge boost for creativity, so if you love painting bicycles then you can be the best bicycle painter around. And people will love you for it.
7. Do you have any advice anyone new who starting out on this kind of business.
Therese Larsson: Be prepared for tough economical struggles in the beginning. It took me 2-3 years before the money actually started coming in such a way that I could make a living off of it. You should also be prepared to work extra hard in the beginning to prove yourself, as a new illustrator people don’t know what you can and cannot do. But like I said earlier, persistence is what will get you to your goal. It will get easier, I promise. This is a business that will challenge you the hardest in the beginning.
That’s it for this interview, we would just like to say thank you again to Therese Larsson again. We love your illustations and keep up the fantastic work!
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