Caroline Bonne Müller
Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?
I have always been fascinated by picture books ever since I was a child. When I got children I couldn't stop buying beautiful illustrated picture books. This is when the seed was planted, and I wished to illustrate picture books one day!
Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?
I have a bachelor in Fashion Design and worked for 14 years as a fashion designer.
Where do you currently live and where did you grow up?
I live in Switzerland, I grew up in the Netherlands and my children are born in Spain. We also lived in Malaysia.
Was creativity part of your childhood?
As a child I was always busy with my hands, drawing, sewing, wood craft, jewelery making, knitting. I loved creating.
Do you have a favourite picture book or recall one of the first picture books you saw?
I grew up with 'gouden boekjes' en 'Jip en Janneke'. Bij Kiki thuis, illustrated by Mary Blair and Pietepaf, illustrated by J.P. Miller were my favorite gouden boekjes en ofcourse all the illustrations from Fiep Westendorp from Jip en Janneke
What piece of software or hardware could you not live without and why?
I can't live without my Cintiq, all my traditional artwork I scan in photoshop, to make digital manipulations.
What is your favourite medium to work with and why?
My favourite medium is Acrylic paint, I combine it with all other kind of media, like colour pencils, crayons and pen.
Talk us through the process of creating one of your latest illustrations or books.
Because of the little time frame we had for my latest book, I started after receiving the text and art directions with a sketch on final size. After the sketch was approved, I redrew the sketch another time and over this artwork I started painting. I often layer my colors, till I find the right one.
How long does it take on average for you to finish a spread, from initial sketch to final colour?
I prefer to have a week for this process, it doesn't mean I am working full time on it during the week, but I need sometimes a lot of looking to my work to be sure where to put my colours. Sometimes I change in photoshop colours, but I prefer to layer, if I don't like what I did, I go over again with a new layer of paint.
What do you hope children take away from your drawings?
I hope I will stimulate their imagination, to tell their own story inside the visual story I told.
Share your favourite piece of artwork from your portfolio and walk us through its creation.
I like this illustration very much, it was an experiment which turned out in the good way, I started to paint loose spontanic layers of acrylic ink over my sketch, as underpaint, which gave it more life.
Do you have a favourite soundtrack you listen to when you’re working?
I love to listen to Giangrande.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
People buy your joy by Lilla Rogers.
When you are not drawing, how do you like to relax?
I love reading in a warm bath with a nice cup of tea.
If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be doing?
Having a cat shelter in Malaysia.
How do you overcome a creative block?
Walking in the nature and let my thoughts flow free.
What are some of your favourite subjects to draw?
My favorite subjects are people, animals and flowers.
Animals feature heavily in children’s books – do you have a pet?
I have four cats, who are often appearing in my illustrations.