My name is Sarah Gibb and I'm an illustrator. I live with my husband in Wandsworth, London. I was recently asked to be a contributor for House and Garden magazine. These are some of the questions they asked me.
How and why did you become an illustrator?
At school it was always a toss up between art and dancing as a career but I ended up choosing art. I've always loved children's book illustrations and so it seemed a very natural progression for me.
Where did you study/train?
I did my degree in graphic design at St. Martins and then an M.A in sequential illustration at the University of Brighton.
Briefly describe your career to date
When I joined my agency the Artworks about 7 yrs ago that's when things really took off and since then I've been working non stop.
A highlights was winning an AOI Images silver award in the design and advertising section in 2003.
What sort of illustrations do you do?
I have distinct styles. The sort of illustration I do for book covers is sophisticated and humorous in pen and ink. I do all Sue Townsend's book covers for instance where this style works very well. I also have a range of humorous cards that I started about 7yrs ago with the publisher Art Angels that have sold very well. I also do alot of silhouette work which is very decorative and beautiful. I illustrated Jostein Gaarder's 'The Christmas Mystery' in this style. Then for children's books I draw in pencil and colour up on the mac adding lots of sparkle. I do a range of books called 'The Tiara Club' that are now in their 6th series and have sold over 1000,000 copies.
How would you describe your style?
My style is elegant, sophisticated and humorous.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere! I collect children's books new and old, I buy vintage children's books from www.lab-curio.com. I love shopping for fabric, cushions and tableware as interiors are also a passion of mine. I read magazines, House and Garden and Martha Stewart are great for ideas. And blogging sites like www.ohjoy.blogs.com are also good to keep you up to date with general trends. I regularly wonder round galleries and the stationary section of Liberty's and Selfridges to see what's going. Also clothes shopping is helpful (and great fun to). Design is everywhere.
Where has your work appeared?
My work has appeared on many books. As I said I do all the Sue Townsend books covers and I've done ranges for 'Karen Quinn' with the first book being, 'The Ivy Chronicles', Debby Holt, Robyn Sisman, the newly designed Sherlock Holmes series for Penguin. and the Emily Windsnap series with children's author Liz Kessler. I came up with the concepts for Harrods Christmas windows 2003 and all their christmas merchandising. I do cards for Art Angels and Haslitz, the bespoke stationary company. My work appears on the ever growing children's books series, 'the Tiara Club' for Orchard. I've done packaging for Crabtree and Evelyn and my work's been animated for advertising. I've also appeared in many magazines including Elle, Vogue and the Telegraph Magazine.
Here I am with Vivian French, the author of The Tiara Club, doing a workshop with children
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on a new series of Tiara club covers. Orchard have just created a little doll of one of my characters to be sold with a box set of books which is exciting. I'm also doing a couple of book covers for Penguin and 2 new sets of cards for Art Angels. I have a couple of new ranges out called Eco-Chic and some very classy pop-up cards.
I'm going to do a new children's book for Orchard soon and I've got more Tiara Clubs lined up and I'm working on lots of new covers.
I'm also interested in doing more packaging and merchandising and I'd like to do some fashion illustration.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love shopping! At the moment my husband and I are doing up our house so I do spend alot of time in Designers Guild ogling the cushions. The patterns and colours are so beautiful. I also have a flair for floristry and have successfully done friends wedding flowers.
My husband and I also enjoy running together. We run across Wandsworth common, it's really good for the soul.