Interview with writer & illustrator Claire Powell [2nd part]

Claire and I are sipping on our Starbucks coffees, intermittently speaking about how and when she started drawing, which gives Big Ben a pass to bash hell for leather into my ears again, I can relate to a lot of the things she talks about. She had a hide away under the stairs made by her Dad, all encompassed with shelves and desk to draw on when she was younger, I had a closed off den surrounded by a diahorrea of 70’s patterned carpet and walls. She drew constantly…and so did I.

 Illustrated by Claire Powell

‘My mum says that she suggested that I do illustration as a course-which I don’t remember, but apparently I said “but all I do is draw the things around me” Claire recalls, smothering a thick layer of modesty on top. ‘But many illustrators-artists observe this life which surrounds them, studying form, proportions, and a whole manner of things, I understand that now.’

I query her style of drawing, which presents itself as being beautifully clean, with an easy linear feel to it, she has a great knack of honing down subtle expressions through her character[s] body language and facial expressions, not an easy thing to do. ‘I’m still trying to figure out my style, which is an ongoing process you can’t just sit down on a Sunday and be like ‘What’s my style?’ and then by 6pm you have it nailed.’

True. But I don’t think she has to try too hard her style is coming through nice and clearly.

So what about future projects? Claire can you hear me? Claire?? ‘Yeah I can hear you, I just can’t tell you anything’ NOOOOOOoooo But I want to know, we all want to know, OK OK fine, but I want to be the first to know. I ask if she uses humour in her books ‘Yeah, and that’s actually been quite surprising to me, I don’t necessarily draw to be funny, but my characters usually have funny expressions. I sort of gravitate to drawing animals people are just, hard’ she goes on to tell me about the life drawing classes she occasionally attends, pushing herself out of her comfort zone. Although looking at her work you wouldn’t ever believe she struggles with the human form, she makes it look so easy.

Illustrated by Claire Powell

Where can we find out more about Claire Powell? Claire takes a deep breath and reels of a number of popular social media sites, when she gets to the end of her list we both can’t help but belly laugh.‘It’s crazy isn’t it?’ she grins ‘Seriously,I’m trying to keep up with it all!’

Being a writer, illustrator does she think that there’s a fair playing field between the two disciplines? ‘I don’t know…There’s this thing called ‘Pictures mean business’ going around Twitter at the moment, have you heard of it?’ I shake my head.‘It’s where illustrators are getting together to make their voices heard. I suppose asking for similar recognition to that of an author-It should be equal. One person has written the work the other has brought it to life with pictures, and the child is connecting with both.’

If she could illustrate for anyone in the world who would it be? She takes her time to think… ‘Toon Tellegen. I love his latest book ‘The Day No One was Angry’ I’m scribbling his name down furiously as I don’t know who this guy is, and I’m curious. I’m also curious about the two books Claire has in the pipeline, she must be drawing more than ever? ‘Oh my goodness yes, in fact I can’t wait to get back this afternoon, whack on the music and do some drawing!’

Well, I shan’t keep you any longer Claire, especially as we’re intrigued to see what you’re going to do next. Keep us posted!

Claires film short:

Write now. Worry later.




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