Illustrator Interview: Alyssa Coombs

Alyssa Coombs has spent most of her working life based in Melbourne (Australia) and has worked with a wide range of clients, on a wide range of design and illustration projects. She studied graphic design at university, finishing her degree with honours. She has always enjoyed creative pursuits, and is very dedicated to both her work and her computer. She also really likes cheese and coffee.

1) How did you become an illustrator of children’s books or similar works?
I studied graphic design at university, and now work as a graphic designer and illustrator. I always enjoyed drawing and colouring as a kid, and creative subjects were my favourite in high school, it was inevitable that illustration would become a large part of my design work, since it was something I had always enjoyed. As a graphic designer my favourite design projects are ones that require use of both my illustration and my design skills.

2) Describe your illustration style.
I would describe my illustration style as playful and bold, with a hint of whimsy and nostalgia. A large proportion of my illustration work is vector based, so Adobe Illustrator is my closest creative friend!

3) When did you realise you could make a living from your talent?
Ever since I started studying design at university I knew that I wanted to make a living from my creative skills, and I never really doubted that I would.

4) Who are your biggest influences in your artistic career?
In terms of illustrators/designers whose work I admire, to name just a few, my list would include Paul Rand, Eric Carle, Charley Harper, Marc Boutavant, Ayumi and Aaron Piland.

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?
Asking as many questions as possible before starting a project is the key to getting a good understanding of the message that needs to be conveyed. Providing concept illustrations/roughs, and getting ongoing feedback from a client/author as a project progresses is always best, in order to make sure the project is heading in the right direction.

6) Tell us about the proudest piece of work you have done.
I wrote and illustrated a book titled Frances Learns About Diabetes a few years back, and it has since been sponsored/printed in multiple countries around the world, I would like to think it has helped many children who have been diagnosed and are living with type 1 diabetes.

7) What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators?
I would advise any aspiring creative individual to persist, take creative inspiration from wherever they might find it, and not sell themselves short – getting paid to use your creative skills is a very fortunate thing, but use of your creative skills should be properly compensated.

8) Please provide a short brief of each of the pictures you have submitted.

Illustration 1. Privately commissioned illustration for child’s room.

Child Eating Ice Cream
Illustration 2. Character concept illustrations for children’s book.

Kids Skipping


Should you wish to know more about Alyssa Coombs, here are her pertinent details.

Website: Alyssa  Coombs
Alyssa’s social media connections:


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