Music. Art. Culture. Writing.
When Jaime Anderson was seven years old, she illustrated a book called Scary Is, a collection of her childhood fears. She has been hooked on illustration ever since. Currently, she is an illustrator living in the rainy, but beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, focusing on the editorial, advertising, and publishing markets with recent assignments from American Express and The Wall Street Journal. She studied illustration and earned an MFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her work has been featured in numerous publications including: Applied Arts Magazine, American Illustration, CMYK, Creative Quarterly, and the Society of Illustrators West.
Recently, Anderson was interviewed by DPI Magazine based in Taiwan, and her work was featured on the cover page of the September 2010 issue. Print editions are not available for sale in the United States. An excerpt from the interview is featured below.
What’s the material you prefer to use when creating? Further, what’s the material attractive to you?
I work traditionally and digitally using both watercolor and digital techniques. By combining these mediums, I’m able to maintain the beautiful nuances and imperfections of watercolor, while incorporating the endless possibilities of digital techniques. Oftentimes I will create a grayscale ink wash, bring it into Photoshop, and color the illustration digitally. I consider myself to be more of a drawer than a painter, so being able to speed up the coloring phase saves me valuable time. Many artists work this way, including illustrator Yuko Shimizu, who has been a great influence on my work.
Also another work, “swan dive”, how about this work? What’s it for and what’s the story of the swan women? Also, when you illustrate, do you have stories first in your mind before you draw?
“Swan Dive” is another promotional mailer I sent out to various publishers and art directors. The image was created to express the idea of confronting change. It’s the moment before the jump, or a leap of faith.
Sometimes I will have a story in mind before I start sketching, but this illustration was inspired by an old photograph I found from the 1940’s which showed a group of ladies at the pool in their swimsuits. It would appear that this was the first time they had been out in public in their swimsuits, and among the sea of women, a few ladies stood with their arms wrapped around themselves in complete uncertainty. I wanted to capture that moment of uncertainty and apply it to the general idea of change. The illustration is also a play on the words swan dive and features the hybrid women in a surreal and dreamlike environment.
Coincidentally (or unintentionally) during this time I was bracing myself for my own life change as I decided to switch gears and commit myself fully to the field of illustration. Everybody has been up on that diving board at some point in their lives, and I think we can all agree, it’s an exciting and terrifying place to be!
Would you please share your philosophy of art with us?
For me art is a means of visual communication, a way to communicate an idea through witty concept and creative imagery. Illustration provides a wonderful, continual challenge to create something that is engaging, entertaining, and brought to life by a voice and style that is truly your own. Illustration is a competitive field, that’s for sure, but I find it helps to stay connected in the illustration community through sites such as Illustration Mundo and Escape From Illustration Island, to name a few. Most importantly art should be fun and enjoyed with cupcakes.