Tuesday Interview - Amberin Huq
I still remember when I first saw Amberin's character work on Twitter. There is something really playful about her work - strong, confident illustrations, yet fun and playful too. It's refreshing to come across work that doesn't take itself too seriously. We were therefore really chuffed when Amberin was happy to share some of her character work with us!
Bangladesh and Scotland have been her homes in the past, but now resides in her favourite place, London. She completed a degree at Falmouth College and an MA at Kingston University, and now works full time as an illustrator creating comics, characters and stories for one and all - when she's not busy being an adult!
1) Hey Amberin, can't believe it's April already! How's your year going so far?
Great thanks, I’ve just finished up working on some big projects so looking forward to some downtime now. I’ve had loads of fun working on two comics that should be out later this year. They involve a lot of dragons and mischief.
2) Cool! Now that the comics are done, what are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m doing a bit of writing and some work for new children’s magazine Stew. I’m also adding bits to an animation for ‘When Spring Comes’ which is a show I helped on for The Half Moon Theatre a couple of years ago. It’s being remounted and performed at The Spark Festival in Leicester which is pretty exciting. Other than that I’m creating some new characters and worlds for them to live in.
3) You're now our third artist to come from Falmouth College, along with Sophie and Steph. Why do you think Falmouth is a popular choice for creatives?
Well, I did the Illustration BA and it was a very thorough course. We weren’t encouraged to work in a certain way and were able to find our own style. We also had a lot of professional practice lectures in the last year which prepped up well for the real world. Oh and we got to go to New York as well!
4) Well you can't say fairer than that! Looking back, what's the most important thing you've learnt from your degree?
One of the things that I learnt was the importance of drawing from life. We had life drawing lessons every week for two years straight and it was such a help. We were told we’d miss them when we left the course and I guess our tutor was right.
5) How have you noticed your illustrative style evolve over the years?
I’d like to think that my drawing and compositional skills have gotten stronger! But I also made the move from a traditional to digital process which allowed me to be much tighter with my details. I’ve also found that working digitally is much more flexible and sympathetic to mistakes or spontaneous sessions of imagination that come late in the day.
6) And where do you get the inspiration for all your characters that we love?
Usually from stories I’ve read or people I’ve seen on the street. Sometimes I just have an urge to draw a certain kind of character, just depends on my mood at the time or what movie I’ve watched the night before.
7) What do you love most about being an illustrator?
I love being able to work on such varied projects. No two days are the same and I find that pretty exciting. I get to make up worlds and live in them for a while, there’s nothing better than that!
8) What advice would you give illustrators looking to pursue a career in illustration?
Be prepared to work hard and get knocked back. And draw every day. You can always be better at what you do.
9) And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island, what luxury would you take?
Give me a self-replenishing library and I'll be forever happy.