From time to time I feature other authors and artists on my blog.Today I’m excited to have someone very special on my blog. Welcome Martin Kaspar! Martin is the talented illustrator for my Prism Walker series. The Prism Walker books are fantasy/adventure books for ages 8-12.
Martin was born in 1989 in Prague where he still lives now. He studied math at university and works as a data analyst. He spends most of his free time illustrating books and drawing for fun.
Martin, thank you for joining me today.
Heather: First, of all, let me just mention that not only that I’m delighted to have you as a guest on my blog but that working with you on the three Prism Walker books was a complete joy. You were very easy to work with throughout the entire process and you have a knack for understanding the vision of the writer and conveying it in a beautiful illustration.
Now to my questions:
How long have you been drawing?
Martin: I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid. I really enjoyed it so I started going to drawing lessons after school when I was around 12. I was getting ready for studying architecture at university but I changed my mind and went to study math instead. I stopped drawing completely for a few years but then I got back to it and now it’s my favorite way to relax.
Heather: What are you working on now?
Martin: I am now working on illustrations for a children’s book my friend is writing. Besides that, I make drawings just for fun that are usually larger and quite detailed. Most recently I’ve been drawing black and white city landscapes.
Heather: Can you share with us a little about your process for creating your art?
Martin: The first thing I do is looking for reference pictures on the internet. For example when I want to draw a person riding a horse, I need to find a photo of a person on a horse. It’s very hard for me to draw animals and people from memory. Then I draw the picture with a pencil. This is the part where I’m figuring out what will be on the drawing, positions of things etc. When I’m happy with the pencil drawing I move to the last part which is adding details and finishing the drawing. This can mean using black markers, colored pencils, or finishing the drawing with pencil. The last part is the one I enjoy the most.
Heather: In addition to the children’s books you have illustrated for me and others what other art do you create?
Martin: Apart from illustrating the children’s books I am drawing just for fun. So it’s usually a drawing of something I like – anything from a Star Wars character to an interesting building. Drawing is a hobby for me, not a job, which means I can spend only a limited amount of time doing it. I also like trying new techniques like digital drawing, but I always get back to pencil and paper.
Heather: What tips do you have to someone that wants to break into the field of book illustrating?
Martin: I think it’s important to find the right person to work with. The way it worked for me was to look for an illustration job on one of the websites for freelancers (like elance.com or freelancer.com). It takes some time to find the right opportunity, I did go through a few illustration jobs that weren’t great and didn’t work out. Then I found you on one of these websites (or you found me, I don’t remember exactly) and Exaltia was my first proper illustration project. So my best advice is to be patient and keep trying.
Heather: What is your process for taking a brief description of the drawing from the writer and seeing how it should be conveyed?
Martin: I like the author to be involved in the illustration process so I usually ask questions in the beginning. But the simplest way to find out what the author really wants is to draw something and show it to them. That’s why I always do a quick pencil sketch of the illustration. Then the author can easily tell me things that should be changed, added, erased and so on. My method is flooding the writer with pictures and updating them using the feedback I get.
Heather: Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me today. Where can our readers find out more about you and your work?
Martin: You can find more about me on my website www.martinkaspar.eu or on my DeviantArt profile https://kinobuta.deviantart.com/