Not long after we decided to start a blog here at Qamber Kids, we thought it would be fun to interview our #IllustratorTeam. We are very grateful to have such a fantastic team of artists at our disposal and wanted to share some of that awesomeness with you.
This week we are excited to introduce Illustrator Danielle Styles. Danielle, a freelance illustrator from the suburbs of Detroit, completed her Bachelors of Fine Arts at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, majoring in Illustration. She has skills for digital and traditional painting, as well as for fused glass. Today, Danielle shares a little about her process and passions behind her art.
QK: Danielle, thank you for taking the time to share with us today. To begin, can you tell us about your journey into illustrating what led you to pursue your passion?
DS: I have always loved drawing and expressing myself through art. I am not the most talkative person, so drawing and painting really allowed me to communicate my thoughts and imagination in a way that words have never been able to do for me. Going through school I grew a love for art that just stuck with me, especially the illustrative kind. Once I started college I couldn’t imagine myself going into any other field. Although it is a challenging-as-heck field, I wouldn’t trade it for any boring desk job ever!
QK: Illustration can be a tough market to break into. As you developed your career, what helped you most?
DS: Oh it is incredibly tough and competitive! I would say the people I have met and have made connections with have helped me grow my career the most, especially the lovely Qamber Kids!
QK: We see you favor both digital and traditional painting. Can you describe your technique?
DS: I do! I always start out with rough thumbnail sketches first. Once I find certain ideas I like the most (and that the clients have shown interest in), I will refine them more and more until I get a final drawing. Then I paint! The actual painting is my favorite part (Especially the detail work!!). For traditional works, I mostly use acrylic paints,and for digital I mostly work in Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop.
QK: Is there a medium you love but don’t get a chance to use often in your work?
DS: There are a bunch! I have really enjoyed lino-cutting, jewelry making, wood carving and oil painting but I havent had the time/opportunity to use them lately. I would love to try pottery out too!
QK: How long does it take you to complete a project, typically and how do you decide when it is done?
DS: It definitely depends on what the project is…But if it is a project for a full single colored image I like to give myself at least 2 weeks to complete it. Its done when both the client and myself are happy with it!
QK: Any projects from your portfolio you are especially proud of and would like to share?
DS: The mural I did last year for my sister-in-law and her beautiful family was probably the most exciting and refreshing project I have done recently. It took me over 80 hours to do it, but it was such an amazing learning experience, and it was just so much fun!
QK: While working on so many wonderful projects, have you been inspired to write a picture book of your own?
DS: I am not a great writer AT ALL. I have had ideas for kids books over the years, but I’ve never been able to sit myself down and write one out. I would love the opportunity to fully illustrate an entire children’s book with the help of an author though!
QK: Are there any new projects you’re working on that you’d like to share with us?
DS: I just finished a set of infant flash cards that were super fun to work on! Currently I am in the process of finishing a pet portrait of this beautiful cat for a lovely couple. I’m really happy with how its turning out!
QK: Are there any professional goals that you have not yet reached? What do you see for you future?
DS: YES. MANY. I would love to be at the point where I can sustain myself with only freelance work/or have a shop that is profitable enough to not need a part time job! I love my part time work (at a local glass studio), but if I could draw and paint for a living that would be amazing. I would like to have a successful brand for myself in the future with lots of awesome clients and fun projects to work on. I would also love to do more murals!
QK: Do you have any advice or insight for illustrators who are trying to break in?
DS: Hmm. I would say make as many connections with other creatives and people as you can. You never know when your dream job/project might come your way. Also practice, practice, practice!
QK: Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Danielle!
To learn more about Danielle’s works in progress in both writing and illustration, see her portfolio here:
If you enjoyed getting to know Danielle and would like to show some Illustrator love, please share or leave a comment below.