Illustrator Interview: Narelda Joy

PROFESSIONAL BIO: Illustrator Narelda Joy
Specialising in unique textural two and three dimensional illustrations, characters and models.

As an Illustrator I work in both traditional and digital mediums, and specialise in textural illustrations and collage, as well as unique three dimensional illustrations. I am passionate about Children’s Books. As a 3D artist I produce models from concept to 3D pieces, characters and puppets.

I also specialise in bespoke textile constructions, and am qualified in Fashion and Theatrical Millinery with Distinctions and 1st Place prizes in both courses.

I won the State Medal (highest marks in the state) for Design Cert IV in 2010. I was accepted in the prestigious NIDA Bachelor of Costume course in 2011 and received a High Distinction Average. In 2012 and 2013 I chose to return to the Design Centre, Enmore and study an Advanced Diploma in Design and Illustration Skills and I graduated with Distinction.

1) How did you become an illustrator of children’s books or similar works?
Back in 2009 I was feeling unfulfilled in my job, and made the brave decision to leave full time work and return to full time study. I chose to pursue a career in Design and Illustration and I have never looked back! I have always loved Children’s Books and collect them for my own enjoyment. I can often be found sitting in the children’s section at the local library or bookstore! There is something magical about a book – being transported into another world through words and pictures. It is pure escapism.

2) Describe your illustration style
I specialise in unique Three Dimensional Illustration using many mediums. I also produce two dimensional textural images, collage, and detailed drawings. I work in both traditional and digital mediums. As well as my illustrations I make sculpted 3D models, hats, textile art, characters and puppets. I love creating anything!

3) When did you realise you could make a living from your talent?
When I started studying Illustration I had a wonderful teacher, Dee, who saw my three dimensional illustrations and told me that I would definitely get work in the industry, and that I could make a living from it. I had no idea that these work possibilities existed. I’m forever grateful to her for her guidance.

4) Who are your biggest influences in your artistic career?
I grew up with a wonderful creative mother who had a large sewing room full of all sorts of interesting bits and pieces. I was encouraged to be creative from an early age and had access to lots of different materials. I learnt to use a sewing machine at the age of 6, propped up on an old bread box so that I could reach the machine foot! I used to make models, collages and puppets from anything I could get my hands on. I’d sit out in the garden and draw the plants and animals. I was always creating and experimenting. Apart from my mum, my incredibly talented teachers have been instrumental in helping me on my journey.

5) When collaborating with an author or a client, how do you ensure you are able to translate their words into art and convey the message they are trying to portray?
I have been blessed to work with clients who are great communicators. I will often ask questions about their initial brief to define what it is they are asking me to do, and check my interpretation of what they are looking for is correct. Roughs are a great way to see if I am heading in the right direction.

Some clients give me complete creative freedom which is lovely. Rowena Wiseman, the author of Aunty Arty and the disquieting muses, and Kim Muncgal, the editor, were wonderful in that they let me create the world Aunty Arty lived in. In this particular case, Rowena’s words were rich in descriptive text, and I could instantly visualise the world she described in the story.

6) Tell us about the proudest piece of work you have done
I have just completed my first illustration for The School Magazine. Unfortunately I can’t show you as it won’t be published until Issue 1, in February 2015.

I am thrilled to have been accepted onto their 2015 Illustrator list. This magazine has been published by the NSW Department of Education since 1916. I remember reading it as a child, and I know a lady in her 70’s who loved it as a child too, so I’m honoured to be able to contribute to it.

7) What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators?
My advice to aspiring illustrators is to keep practising your art, draw everyday, and pay attention to the wonderful things around you, large and small – inspiration is everywhere. Always carry a sketchbook and camera. Follow your heart and soul and believe in your ability to create.

8) Please provide a short brief of each of the pictures you have submitted
Bark is one of my fun Three Dimensional Children’s Illustrations with the word bark spelt out in objects relating to the word bark– dog collars, a dog house, a dog and a tree!

Bark! by Narelda Joy

The Chimpanzee is one of my animal collages in paper and textiles.

The Chimpanzee by Narelda Joy

The rabbit outside his house is one of my textural digital illustrations.

The Rabbit by Narelda Joy

Aunty Arty is the cover of the soon to be released Children’s Book Aunty Arty and the disquieting Muses.

Aunty Arty by Narelda Joy

Should you wish to know more about Narelda Joy, here are her pertinent details.

Website: Narelda Joy
Book: Aunty Arty and the disquieting muses
Narelda’s social media connections:

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