Today we wanted to re-share a post featuring an exclusive interview with Author & Illustrator Melissa Wright. Not long after we decided to start a blog at Qamber Kids, we thought it would be fun to interview our #IllustratorTeam. We are very lucky and grateful to have such a fantastic team of artists at our disposal and wanted to share some of that awesomeness with you.
Melissa Wright is the author of ten YA and Fantasy novels and countless to-do lists. She works primarily in watercolor and ink but has been known to experiment with other mediums. Today, Melissa was kind enough to share a little about her process and passions in both art and writing.
Melissa Wright: I grew up in a family of artists, so I was surrounded by creations of all kinds for as long as I can remember. I think the first time I really knew it was something I wanted to keep in my life was around age six or seven. I'd drawn a terrible rendition of a goose to the sheer delight of my grandparents, and it just felt like anything that could bring so much joy and laughter was something I wanted to hold near. Of course, life does tend to get in the way of that, but I've come back to art again now that I have the freedom to choose what to do with my time.
MW: Support and encouragement are important in this line of work (someone sing-songing Just Keep Swimming with you), but on the technical side, definitely being online and having the ability to showcase the work and reach so many has made a huge difference.
MW: I've always worked light and built up detail, so watercolor works well for me. I like to do a pencil sketch and then ink in the design, followed by layers of color and detail.
MW: Acrylic is fun because it forces me to be bold and it's quite the opposite of watercolor. I don't prefer it for most of my work, but it's wonderful to see your choices so immediately and irrevocably on the canvas.
MW: Sketches are fairly quick because I've had a lot of practice at that, but watercolor generally takes two to three hours on the initial work and then another hour on touch up. Knowing when you're done is sometimes tougher than others, but I like to keep working until it feels right. You've got limited chances with watercolor because the paper can break down, so I usually take a day or so before going in for final changes.
MW: I'm quite fond of Lightning, which was created from a simple sketch. It was one of the first times I'd converted my art into digital and I love the feeling it evokes.
MW: Yes! I've got a somewhat secret side project I've been working on in spare time (ha!) and I'm very excited about it. It's full of silly animals and focuses on being yourself.
MW: I'm always writing the next book, and I'm learning hand lettering, which is terribly difficult and just as enjoyable.
QK: Are there any professional goals that you have not yet reached? What do you see for you future?
MW: I'm always striving to do better work, to learn new mediums, and to get more done. It seems my goals are constantly shifting as I go, but I hope my future holds a career in both illustration and writing and it would be lovely if the two could be done simultaneously.
MW: Keep working, keep putting yourself out there, give yourself room to grow. If you're patient and dedicated, you'll get there.
MW: Thanks so much for having me!
To learn more about Melissa's works in progress in both writing and illustration, follow her on Instagram & Pinterest. If you enjoyed getting to know Melissa and would like to show some Illustrator love, please share or leave a comment below.