I reached out to my friend and fellow illustrator, Bev Johnson, about the inspirations behind her luscious character designs and illustrations.
Bev, your portfolio & skill spans across several areas of illustration-- Character Design, Children's Books, Visual Development, and more.
Do you have a favorite area of focus as an illustrator?
No matter what I'm working on, what I love most is the characters.
I always want their emotions to be clear, and their personality to show through their design. When creating any character, I try to make them feel like a real person even if they're a fantasy creature. When working on a children's book, I'm always channeling my own childhood memories as well as the kinds of characters and stories I loved as a kid. Any project where I can create characters is great, and if it has fantasy elements, that's even better.
Talk to me about your biggest inspirations or influences.
I'm very inspired by: Annette Marnat, Ami Thompson, Glen Keane, Shiyoon Kim, Cicely Mary Barker, Junji Ito, and Hillary Knight.
To be honest, I'm inspired by anyone who makes art from their heart. It's always great to see someone's personality shine through in their art.
As far as other inspirations, I'm inspired by nature, music, fashion, and cats.
If you could manifest your dream gig, what might that look like?
I would love to do character design for an animated feature at some point.
I've been planning and writing a graphic novel, which is daunting but fun.
(Dres: Ha, tell me about it!)
I've also been lucky to be able to work with some singers and musicians, I'd love to do more of that -- art inspired by songs is always super fun for me.
Do you have any personal tips for juggling self care and productivity?
I've been forcing myself not to work on weekends. As an artist it can be easy to overload yourself with projects, and put a ton of pressure on yourself. I still don't think I have a perfect work-life balance, but it's definitely better than it has been in the past. I never want to sacrifice sleep, rest, food, or health. It's setting yourself up for more stress and burnout.
What would be the perfect way to spend your weekend?
Spending time with my wife is always great. We're planning a vacation to Japan.
On the more everyday side, I love yoga, swimming, and biking too.
Lastly, where can people support your work?
Thank you!! 💖
Thank YOU for sharing, Bev!
Your art is such an inspiration to me 💖
Stay tuned for more Artist Features coming each month!