Angela Sbandelli

Angela Sbandelli

Angela Sbandelli Interview

Angela Sbandelli

Children's Illustrator

Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?

I dreamt about becoming a children's book writer ever since I first started learning how to write in school. When I was a little girl I used to spend a lot of time drawing and writing stories mostly about cats and cakes. While growing I changed my mind many time, for example at 14 I was sure I'd become an engeneer, at least until I realized I really hated maths. But I have always kept drawing whenever I could.

Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?

Yes I graduated in tradional animation at Nemo Academy in Florence. There I learnt the bases of shape and movement and Adobe Photoshop which is now my main drawing media.

Who or what have been some of your major artistic influences?

Surely Richard Scarry's book had a great impact on my immagination, really loved those funny chacracter and the busy town they lived in. I hope to communicate the same quirky happy atmosphere with my patterns and illustrations.

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Describe your working technique and how you came to perfect it.

When illustratting a picture book the first step is always defining the main characters. Then I make a rough sketched storyboard from which I develop the line drawings and finally do the the coloring in Photoshop.

I don't have a regular sketchbook, I sketch a lot on paper but my drawings are always finished in PS where I add colors, shading and textures.

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What is your favourite children’s book and why?

Astrid Lindgren's Ronja. It's not her most popular book but it's my favorite: there are strong female characters, magical creatures, a pure forest I'd love to explore and it tells the story of a beautiful friendship with all its ups and downs.

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Take us behind the scenes and describe your studio / workspace.

My studio is a mess of books, sketching paper sheet, pencils, markers and since I stared sewing printed fabrics from my Spoonflower shop and unfinished project.

I spend most of my days in there with a cup of coffee and my cat. The radio is always on and I often sing out loud while drawing, unfortunately for my neighbours.

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Which 4 words would you use to describe your illustration portfolio?

Narrative, bright, vibrant and jovial.

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What advice would you offer someone just starting out as a children’s illustrator?

I still feel just starting out myself! I'd say not worry about style and trends as style is something you keep developing all the time and trends come and go. Just focus on what you like to draw and have fun with it.

What are some of your favourite subjects to draw?

Animals for sure! From a quite realistic approach to a cartoon one animals are always my first choice subject.

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