Nosheen Ahmed

Nosheen Ahmed

Nosheen Ahmed Interview

Nosheen Ahmed

Children's Illustrator

Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?

I have always loved drawing. Being creative is a part of me, it's like breathing. Creativity in some way, shape or form has always been a part of my childhood, my whole existence. If I didn't draw I think I would go insane.

My working technique is that initially I have to sketch out a lot of ideas on loose sheets of paper, or sketchbooks that I have made. I love to draw, so everything starts off with a drawing first. I like to incorporate some sort of pattern in my illustrations and textures, if I can. After the drawing stage, I may use some mixed media and then move on to Photoshop. I like using Photoshop because I feel I have more control over my colour palette, however from time to time I will use paint, pastels etc. I am fascinated by how colours evoke emotions. I especially love how Eric Carle, Brian Wildsmith, Adolfo Serra, as well as designers such as Orla Kiely use them in their work.

I have a dedicated art space, but I tend to spend more time working in the living room, as I enjoy being around my children whilst working. I love drawing so much that even in my spare time I will be drawing. It's almost like an obsession! I love to draw anything and everything, but I especially love how letters can tell a story. To overcome a creative block or resistance I do a lot of affirmations and yoga. When my mind and body are relaxed, I find that usually helps.

I feel the character is so important in a children's book that I like to focus on it quite a bit. Ideas of a character come from research and observing. I might find something interesting in my children and incorporate it somehow in a character. When drawing a character, I like to keep on drawing until it 'feels' right. Sometimes I may need to experiment a few times before I get it right.

Growing up and coming from a background where art is not seen as a career, has pushed me and made me even more determined to illustrate. I have always wanted to push the boundaries of what is possible and what can be done, and wanted to break stereotypes, and hopefully encourage and inspire others along the way that you really can create a career from making art. Despite having 2 dental degrees, my passion for art was so strong that I went back to university and studied part time whilst working, and got an art degree from the Manchester Metropolitan University. I hope children, whatever age or background are inspired by my work and take something positive from it, and never stop beliveing in their dreams.

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