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Q&A with Louise Forshaw

Illustrator and author

Hey there! I’m Louise Forshaw, I’m an illustrator (and sometimes author) from the North East of England (just outside Newcastle).

Could you describe your daily activities in illustration? What are your typical tasks, and who are the people you collaborate with?

Each day is a little bit different depending on the projects I have on. I’ve just started using a diary/planner so I can keep track of my deadlines more easily. So usually I’ll look through this to see what needs doing. This can be anything from research for a book, first roughs, second roughs, sometimes third and finally coloured artwork.

Checking my emails regularly throughout the day is a must, especially if I’m waiting on feedback for a project. Can’t refresh enough! And most days I’ll receive emails from my agents (Advocate Art) about new work or updates to my folio. I actually get a little worried if my inbox is ever quiet!

What was the most valuable thing you got in Newcastle College? Did you meet like-minded people there?

Learning how to use Photoshop definitely. I actually studied Illustration and Animation before realising I was much better at just one of them. My work at college was much more adult than what I do now - depressed clowns, crazy cat ladies and drunken monkeys! I also met some of my best friends there. One lovely lady in particular is also an amazing artist and has always been really supportive.

Tell a little bit about your studio. Is there something you would like to change in your work environment?

I have a nice, cosy studio with two desks, bookshelves filled with picture books and walls filled with artwork which I rarely work in…

I spend most of my time working from a portable desk in my sitting room, on a comfy couch surrounded by my three Jack Russell terriers. It’s very comfy until I’ve been working 14 hour days then my back feels it a bit. I think if I had a couch in my studio I would work in there more often!

Where do you like to work for a change of the scenery besides studio: cafe, park, library?

To be honest, I never work anywhere else besides home. If I’ve left the house it’s usually to take a break from working and clear my head. I don’t think I could work anywhere too busy or loud – too many distractions!

What are the famous cartoonists whose work you grew up on and who were your

There is only one cartoonist that comes to mind and that’s Matt Groening. I started drawing around 4 years old but it’s only when I got to 7or 8 that I discovered The Simpsons. I realised that I could actually illustrate for a living. I started out copying The Simpsons before creating my own characters and then writing my own comics. My favourite teachers would usually get a drawing from me or a comic book I’d done.