Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Interview with Christy Croll: Artist

I met Christy on facebook. I fell in love with her artwork, so I visited her website and asked for an interview. 

I'm so glad she said yes. Christy is full of valuable information for illustrators an artists. 

And if you find her designs as adorable as I do, please visit her website below.

Here are the questions I asked her:

1. What was or is the toughest part of illustration for you?

The toughest part of illustrating is not really the illustrating, but keeping the creativity consistent---

Sometimes there are weeks when I can’t think of even one new idea and then, on the opposite end, weeks when I can’t get all my ideas down on paper. 

So the acceptance of my creative ebb and flow is the hardest part for me.

2. How did you self-teach yourself to draw and illustrate?

I taught myself to draw, by drawing something every day....simple as that. :) 

My process for more than 5 years was to draw something---anything. I no longer draw every day, but up until the last year, I drew multiple things each I draw 3 or 4 times a week. 

Amazingly, it is still fun most of the time. I also ask my family a lot of questions, like “What do you think of this?” If I get a mediocre response, I usually trash it and start over.
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I also had a critique done on my illustrations at an SCBWI conference a year or two after I started illustrating and the suggestions really helped me analyze my work and I ended up changing a lot of my work and getting braver. 

Accepting constructive criticism has been an invaluable tool in my growth as an artist.

3. Do you have any suggestions of great art classes to take?

No, unfortunately I don’t have many suggestions as I haven’t really taken any outside classes, but I have to give a shout out to I love her silly classes idea even if I haven’t taken her class---she just looks like she would be fun to hang out with.

4. When did you first fall in love with art and drawing?

I knew there was something undefinable about creating art when I was 5 or 6 years old
and I watched my mom paint a blank canvas with oils. She was so into her painting (it was a beautiful scene with cheetahs and African grasslands) that I knew “art” was special. My mom continued to do all sorts of art as I grew up including watercolors and batiks.

5. What time do you get up and what do you eat for breakfast?

I am a night owl and I could sleep all day and draw all night given my choice; however, that is not conducive to being a mom or functioning adult. hehe So when I am not teaching, I
sleep in at least a little. It is a really great Saturday if I get to sleep until 9:00 AM.
I don’t have a set breakfast food...I just eat what is around: fruit, oatmeal (the old-fashioned kind), or eggs.

6. What medium do you love to work with?

I love to color with Copic much fun to blend the colors.

7. Give 3 words/phrases of advice to a newbie illustrator:

Draw what you love. You will be grinning when you are done for the day if you do.

Don’t publish or create simply for money. It will leave your soul unfulfilled and empty.

Refine your work until your character feels alive.

8. Where is the best place to get a great cup of Joe or Tea in your town?

I don’t drink coffee, but if you want tea, I have a tea pot at my house....the nearest coffee
shop is an hour away, but it is a very cool spot if you make the drive---it is called the Standpipe.

9. How often do you draw/create during the day? Are you working 3 hours 8?

I usually work in the evenings and the weekends. I teach science during the day, so I am pretty busy one way or another. I don’t want to know how many hours I work each day--I would be aghast, I am sure, if I actually counted...I try to keep it a secret---even from myself. hehe

10. Do you belong to any illustrator associations? Which ones and why?

I am a member of my regional chapter of SCBWI and a national member too. I joined a few years ago when I thought I wanted to illustrate books...turns out I don’t really like drawing
books for other people. I much prefer to draw what I see in my head. 

SCBWI has invaluable resources for illustrators however and I would highly recommend joining.

11. On your website, you create digital and clear stamps. Please explain the difference between
the two.

A digital stamp is high-quality black-and-white line art drawing which is downloaded
and then resized and printed for use in personal art and scrapbooking projects. 

I prefer digital stamps as the storage is very easy and you can resize the images or make digital projects too. 

Clear stamps are acrylic photopolymer physical stamp sets that are made in the USA. The crafter has to stick (mount) the stamp onto a clear block and, using an ink pad, ink the image. 

Some people prefer the physicality involved in stamping and the feel of using the “real deal.”

12. What are customers saying about your artwork?

People really seem to enjoy the Wryn images I based on my daughter. Wryn must
somehow project or translate my joy in my daughter’s quirky sense of humor and her true delightful self because the stamp character is more popular than I would have imagined.

13. Who is your biggest cheerleader?

My daughter is my biggest cheerleader. She loves to color my images, but she keeps me grounded too and tells me to get off the computer and come swing with her...

14. If you knew then, what you know now, what would have done differently?

I would not change much. I have done what I could do when I could do it and have loved
almost every minute of it. 

Each one of my mistakes has translated into a lesson and helped me become a more authentic person and illustrator.

15. Where do you advertise your illustrations? Facebook? Twitter? And what seems to attract the most users?

I don’t often pay for advertising nor do I post anywhere except Facebook and my blogs.

The fan page on Facebook seems to garner the most attention and support because it allows people to post their own creations. 

It is always nice to see comments and be able to chat with the creator of the project...makes it all a little more personal.

16. How hard is it to draw humor?

Illustrations with a sense of humor are a natural part of what I do...most unintentionally. LOL I don’t usually set up trying to do something funny, but they often end up feeling quirky or funny. 

The illustrations with a sense of “something humorous” are my favorites....they connect
with me inside and with others too.

17. Who are you reading right now?

I recently read Brene Brown’s new book, Daring Greatly and a totally silly crime novel
called Double Take.

18. Have you ever thought of turning any of your characters into a children's book?

Yes..I think about creating a children’s book all the time, but I don’t really enjoy the process of coloring each scene and keeping things consistent from page to page. 

I prefer creating different characters doing different things and coloring them different ways. 

I guess I am waiting for a book idea or character to speak to me---then I will put in the effort it takes to illustrate a whole book.

19. What is your blog about?


My blog is mostly a way to introduce people to the new images in the shop and to
cultivate fans of Tiddly Inks. I don’t share my personal life much....Since the photos posted on the
internet never go away, I choose not to share pictures of my daughter. I feel she should have the
right to do that when she is older and ready to understand the consequences of never having her picture go away....I don’t want her future employer pulling up her name and picture from when she was 9 years old.

20. What one word best describes you?


(I wanted to say mom, but I think learner includes mom too....being a mom
teaches you more than anything else)

21. How can my blog readers help you to become an even bigger success?

Go to this Website:

Word of mouth advertising is the best form of any advertising there is, so any time your
readers want to become crafters and use Tiddly Inks images it would help. 

I love to see folks using my images on a project and sharing it on a blog or sending it to someone. 

People love to
see how to use crafty images and there are some amazing artists out there who create something better than I envisioned when I drew it.

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