sorry for the lack of updates readers of nonslick - June was a busy busy month for me - July has been too, but there are tonnes of interviews ready to be posted - so get ready :D Now, without further ado - Sister Arrow...

where are you from and how long have you been illustrating?
I'm from London, England and I guess I've been doing commercial illustration in my spare time for the last year or so. My main focus has been animation as that what I specialised in at university.

so, i guess its fair to say that you started your career as an animator, why the transition?
Well it's not really a transition, I'm still going to be doing animation - i'm obsessed by it. But animation tends to work in these intense blocks of time with periods of rest inbetween so thats where I need to fill the gap. Also because I direct my own animations (alongside Hugh Frost in our collective O W L S) it's about getting funding for projects rather than being paid to do a job. I need illustration to be my trade, and I want to spend my time drawing so it makes sense.

what are some major differences you see telling a story with one image as apposed to numerous images as in animation?
Illustration really makes you use your brain in a different way - that single image has to convey a message / idea and I find that can be so hard without making it move! I really envy concept illustrators, I'm much more of the symbolic imagery kind of illustrator. I need there to be meaning but I want it to seem very simple.

what challenges do you face as someone just starting out?
It's hard getting well paid work, and also getting a good list of client contacts. Another thing is just knowing what you want to achieve and what ADs actually want - to try and make that the same thing. I find it hard because I can draw in quite a few different styles and it's taken me years to concentrate on just a couple.
have you given thought to how you plan to market yourself / your work?
Yeah I have blog, which needs to get more traffic though and I'm working on website. I have a PDF of my most recent work that I'm sending out to ADs and other contacts I have. Hopefully when things are moving a bit more then I can send a mailout - I can't wait to do a new card, last time I did one was at uni! I'm also doing a group exhibition with some other illustrator friends soon which should be fun.

who are some dream clients you're hoping to work with?
I would like to work for more record labels doing music artwork, I've done a bit of that before and I feel comfortable in that industry as I understand how it all works and of course I love music. I like the freedom you can get sometimes when working with music artists. I am also hoping to work for some of my favourite publications; Wired magazine, The Believer, The Guardian.

thoughts on the current state of the uk illustration industry?
I think it's a shame some of the big publications are forcing illustration fees down because of the economic downturn but I hope that ultimately illustration will carry on being valued and people will carry on commissioning. I think that the UK has it good compared to some other European countries, you can still make a living here if you try hard enough, but you do have to try really, really hard. I see good illustration a lot, but I know that it hasn't always been paid for.

what are some major influences in your work?
The natural world, strange faces, puppies, cute stuff generally, scientific facts, geometry, botany, Japan
why the name "sister arrow" as apposed to your actual name?
I just like it

at this stage, as an AD what can i expect from you if i approach you with an assignment?
Versatility, fun ideas, a colourful & clever illustration on time!

advice for new illustrators?
Well I'm a new illustrator so not yet!

advice for older / established ones?
Definitely not

All images copyright Sister Arrow and O.W.L.S. Thanks G-Money, cant wait to see what you'll do next!