Questioning Creatives


This article was written on 16 Jan 2013, and is filled under illustrators.

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Amyisla Mccombie

Hey, I’m Amyisla Mccombie and im a recent illustration graduate from Falmouth University. I’m currently getting my illustration started and interning with set designers and hoping to bring elements of illustration into set design.


When did you decide you wanted to be illustrator?
My work was never  traditional illustration but when I was in art foundation all my ideas came from narratives and stories. I would create installations and sets based upon these stories with illustrations throughout. So from then on I knew that i knew illustration was the way to go.

Would you recommend studying at art school?
Studying was the best thing for me. I loved it. I think its so important to be around fellow creative people to bounce ideas off each other and give inspiration. Working in a studio with other illustrators was the best thing I could have done and it’s something I miss everyday. It also gives you structure and has given me motivation which is so important. I’d say  ‘yes’ to studying at art school, you will learn lots, but most of all you will have the best time and meet amazing creative people.

How long was it before illustration became your primary form of income?
That is something I’m still waiting for! I’ve had some work here and there and I’ve recently set up an etsy shop selling limited edition prints, so i can afford to go interning in London. But it’s a slow process and it’s something that you have to work for… well in my case.


Could you describe your typical day?
A typical illustration day involved getting up around 7:30ish and going on a jog! I need to get the fresh air into my system to start the day properly and also I find all the wildlife a constant source of inspiration, so I often get ideas when im running.  After that I have a huge mug of coffee (the uni art studio constantly  had a coffee aroma, must be an illustration thing!) I get straight on to my laptop check emails, twitter, and so on. After that I start the illustration process. I like to have a collection of books on my desks, from bird books to fashion magazines so I can flick through to get inspiration when I’m stuck! After a day of experimenting and drawing I often upload my days work to my blog. This keeps me motivated and by doing this is, it always means I have something to achieve by the end of the day.

What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
Not to worry! I spent a lot of time worrying about my style and that my work never fitted in! Worrying is a waste of energy, and you need that creative energy to create your masterpieces, ha!

What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
You get to draw and play! What more could you want, drawing, painting and experimenting, doing what you love, you’re pretty lucky if you can do that aren’t you?


What’s the worst thing about being an illustrator?
I personally love to work with people, and as I said earlier I think its so important to interact with other people, regards to your work and your peace of mind. I think it can be pretty lonely, which is one of the reasons I’m keen to bring my illustration within set design.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
If I couldnt do anything with in the arts world, I love museums so I suppose I would like to be like Indiana Jones, an archaeologist. That would be amazing, but I know for a fact id spend all the time drawing the artifacts.

Any other tips you could share?
You can never have too much inspiration! I collect lots of things, have lots of books and constantly go to museums and galleries. It rare that an idea appears from nothing!


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