AMA Funding a colouring book - Wise words from an illustrator and how to get started!

Natalia Gear
Jan 11, 2018

I'll be answering questions relating to my upcoming colouring book located at

Also, I will be answering anything in relation to illustration and freelance illustration! We will explore how I planned the book, also how long it took to compile and what resources I used to get myself up and running!

Conversation (71)

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Let's get started!

Most coloring books are made for children. Are you also making a version of your poetry coloring books for them?

Jan 15, 3:02PM EST0 Reply

I'm not too sure if I will make one for children, but that's not to say I wont!

I will be working collaboratively with a writer in the future in relation to a book on bullying so it may be aimed at children.

I do like the idea of doing a childrens book or even illustrating a childrens book (story book), so it's not to say that it wont happen :)

Jan 16, 4:25AM EST0 Reply

What is your art studio or workspace like?

Jan 15, 12:32PM EST0 Reply

Currently my art space isn't that big at all, but I am moving next week and I will have an art table and art space to myself! Currently I'm sharing my art space with a work desk which means I have to carry all of my art things to the kitchen table and draw there or I stick to drawing on my iPad on the lounge or in bed.

I'll post a picture of my new art space when it's all set up!

Jan 16, 4:23AM EST0 Reply
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Walk us through the creation of a single design or coloring page, what is your creative process?

Jan 13, 2:29PM EST0 Reply

Firstly I use just a plain notebook and even just a plain pen to sketch out a pose, or an idea, then once I'm satisfied with the composition I will take a photo of it and input it into Procreate on my iPad and flesh out the line work into a rough sketch. I then clean the linework up and move onto to either printing it out to use a lightbox so I can do a traditional piece or I will lay down base colouring on my iPad and continue colouring there!

Last edited @ Jan 13, 7:39PM EST.
Jan 13, 7:39PM EST0 Reply

As a Visual Arts graduate, what other work opportunities can one explore in your country?

Jan 13, 1:09PM EST0 Reply

I'm qualified in many fields currently, I can persue IT support, Graphic Design and even freelance illustration. I've been fortunate to be trained in a few fields so I have a wide variety of options to work with :)

Jan 13, 7:36PM EST0 Reply

I can see that the campaign is somewhat successful at this point so it could accumulate more than what was the goal in the next 26 days. How will you spend the rest of the funding that will be gathered beyond the target?

Jan 13, 12:40PM EST0 Reply

Any profit above my goal is going to be donated to which is an organisation to help people with mental illness. This is a cause near and dear to me so I thought it would be something that many people can empathise with an appreciate!

Last edited @ Jan 13, 7:42PM EST.
Jan 13, 7:34PM EST0 Reply

How did your studies on Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication from the university, enhance your artistic skills?

Jan 12, 10:58PM EST0 Reply

I found that the most useful information was about composition and even the use of negative space to enhance a piece. It also helped me with the use of typography (so in hand, designing the actual colouring book) and also gave me the confidence to create my own branding.

I don't regret studying design as I still use it in day to day life. I hope this answers your question!

Jan 12, 11:42PM EST0 Reply

What makes adult coloring book so popular?

Jan 12, 12:29PM EST0 Reply

The fact that they become an outlet for stress and anxiety and even if you can't draw, anyone can colour in. They seems to be on the rise in popularity for these reasons :)

Jan 12, 5:05PM EST0 Reply

How can this project increase children's interest in drawing?

Jan 12, 10:28AM EST0 Reply

It's a lot more detailed than a children's colouring book so the aim for it was towards adults, but there is nothing stopping someone from say age 8 and up colouring it in, the images don't display anything lude but it can also excourage a child to be more creative!

Jan 12, 5:04PM EST0 Reply

What's next for Talleh? Is it possible for you to create another project focusing on teaching how to draw?

Jan 12, 9:45AM EST0 Reply

I'm not too sur on what I'm going to be working on next as a project, but I could definitely look into a book focusing on a process and how to draw based on loose sketches and how I get from draft to finished product! 

Jan 12, 5:03PM EST0 Reply

What do you suggest is the best coloring tool to use?

Jan 12, 8:07AM EST0 Reply

Depends really, digitally I use procreate on an iPad Pro using Apple Pencil,  or my tablet and Krita/Photoshop.

Traditionally I prefer using copic markers and watercolours and occasionally I'll bring out the Prismacolor pencils for some highlights or touch ups. Gouache is very good for touch ups too, especially combined with watercolour pieces, it can bring out vibrant areas or fix some mistakes because of its opacity!

Jan 12, 8:28AM EST0 Reply

Could you briefly describe your process of creating an illustration for a coloring book?

Jan 12, 3:59AM EST0 Reply

Sure thing! 

First thing I do is an extremely rough composition sketch on any old paper laying around, it looks like... a bunch of scribble to say the least. After this, I take a photo of it on my iPad and I do a tidier sketch on there, fleshing out the anatomy and such. I then do the final lines with all the details, and I either print it to use for a lightbox (for a traditional piece) or I colour it using procreate on the iPad.

Jan 12, 4:08AM EST0 Reply
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Still taking questions right now, will be available for the rest of the day (Sydney AU time!)

Jan 11, 9:49PM EST0 Reply

What is your typical day like? Do you work on the drawings everyday and how often?

Jan 11, 9:40PM EST0 Reply

Weekdays I get up and work full time and work on sketches and concepts through lunch (most days), then when I get home I'll finalise pieces I'm working on or continue working on other pieces, some nights I just chill and relax.

Weekends for me are for photography and traditional art and even some weekends I wont do any art, it's so important not to burn yourself out as an artist and sometimes some R&R is what you need :)

Jan 11, 9:45PM EST0 Reply

I am here and I'll be answering questions for the next hour!

Jan 11, 8:01PM EST0 Reply

TY TY, reading ..

Jan 11, 9:41PM EST0 Reply

Can you tell us more about Talleh Illustrations and what does it aim to achieve in the coming months/years?

Jan 11, 6:49PM EST0 Reply

I'm hoping eventually to become a full time freelance illustrator, create more projects and work cloely with different companies and publishers to create more projects like this.

On a personal level, I would like to see my style develop more and take a life of it's own, there is always room for self growth and I need to take any criticism on board and run with it!

Jan 11, 7:20PM EST0 Reply
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Where do you see the coloring trend heading?

Jan 11, 4:05PM EST0 Reply

Well, it's been announced purple is the pantone colour of 2018 so I think we will see a lot of autumn inspired pieces a decór this coming year, personally I do like that the year of greenery has gone, but i do miss 2016 which was the rose gold period (even though this is still VERY popular).

Jan 11, 7:18PM EST0 Reply

What materials or resources did you use to finish the book?

Jan 11, 2:52PM EST0 Reply

Once I had the poems and the illustrations, I tidied the images up using photoshop and I compiled the illustrations using inDesign as a layout getting it ready for print. I've also collaborated with my preffered printer to get paper samples and such to make sure it's the right kind of paper to suit mixed media colouring!

Jan 11, 7:17PM EST0 Reply

What has drawn or inspired you into creating an Art Coloring Book?

Jan 11, 12:38PM EST0 Reply

Honestly, I wanted to set myself a challenge and publish a book. I've always tried to aspire to big projects and set myself challenges and I really enjoyed doing this one. 

I've seen a lot of colouring books out there, but I wanted to do something different, which is where the addition of poetry came into it!

Jan 11, 7:16PM EST0 Reply
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How long did it take you to compile the drawings?

Jan 11, 10:51AM EST0 Reply

Once I had the drawings it didn't take too long to pop them into a layout and create the book itself.

Creating the illustrations themselves happened over a period of 3-4 months as I work full time I had to do them all in my spare time!

Jan 11, 7:14PM EST0 Reply

How did you plan out the book and how many pages are there?

Jan 11, 10:50AM EST0 Reply

Roughly I planned the illustrations I wanted to include into this book and then I paginated them myself using my history as a designer. It is a 64 page book including the front abd back covers.

Laying the book out was the easy part! The only hard part is you always have to remember it needs to be divided by 8 to make a book work for print!

Jan 11, 7:12PM EST0 Reply

Are you a self taught artist or did you go to school for art?

Jan 11, 6:46AM EST0 Reply

I am a self-taught artist, I did go to design school where we did have an illustration class, but it was only basic fundamentals in relation to using it in Graphic Design. 

I enjoyed this class a lot as I already drawing quite frequently and working on a short comic with a friend.

I constantly like to view art online, models on pinterest and other modes of learning (YouTube etc) to further develop my style and techniques too!

Jan 11, 7:08AM EST0 Reply

What’s the one message you would want to convey to all the people who would like to get the book?

Jan 11, 6:44AM EST0 Reply

I would love everyone to enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed creating it, a lot of work went into the book. I wont lie to say it's great exposure and I would LOVE to work on a similar project again. It was so much fun and is such a wonderful combination of words and images. 

In short, I want people to enjoy the book and its creativity, either to be inspired themselves to create something similar or to relieve stress and anxiety as books like these can be very therapeautic!

Jan 11, 7:05AM EST0 Reply
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Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into being an illustrator?

Jan 10, 11:20PM EST0 Reply

I'm 30 and live in Sydney Australia, I currentlhy work in I.T and Graphic Design, fun facts about me is that I enjoy adventuring to new places and photography, I also am missing a joint in one of my fingers (don't worry, it's not noticable haha)

I started being creative and drawing from a young age, but in my 20's I stopped besides a few sketches here and there and focused heavily on my design work. Last year as a New Years Resolution I took it upon myself to start drawing again daily and the results from pushing myself daily is what made this book happen, I chose a goal and I stuck to it. It was hard going but I got there, so I'm hoping that the book is funded and sent out to a bunch of people and that they really enjoy it.

My dream is to be a full time freelance illustrator, might happen one day we will see!

Last edited @ Jan 10, 11:26PM EST.
Jan 10, 11:25PM EST0 Reply

What does an average day in your life look like?

Jan 10, 8:08PM EST0 Reply

Currently I work full time so my day is I get up and I do my day of work, some lunch breaks I will sketch out a concept or doodle in my sketch book and then after dinner and work is done I'll either work on a digital piece while watching some netflix in the background.

My weekends I reserve for traditional work as I prefer the natural light when working traditional, call me weird, but that's just my preference!

Jan 10, 9:50PM EST0 Reply
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Are these drawings done traditionally or digitally? Which are you comfortable with?

Jan 10, 5:32PM EST0 Reply

Some of the line work was done traditionally and some digitally. I've recently taken a liking to doing digital on my iPad and many moons ago (2004) I got my first graphics tablet so I was exclusively doing digital.

These days I do a mixture of both traditional and digital. With my traditional work I mainly use watercolour and copic markers along with some inks (gold/silver/black) and the general other things like irridescent paints :)

Jan 10, 9:48PM EST0 Reply

Has any artist influenced your work? How so?

Jan 10, 6:18AM EST0 Reply

Oh gosh, there is such a long list! My main influences are Danica Sills, Lighane, Qinni and many more artists online. I love looking at their pieces and see their thought processes on how they do their work and I always find it so interesting how they all differ. I've picked up some sound advice from their instagrams/YouTube channels and it's been great to integrate that into what I have been doing to develop as an artist myself.

Jan 10, 9:46PM EST0 Reply
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Who creates the poetry? Did you make them yourself?

Jan 10, 5:45AM EST0 Reply

I have a very talented friend (Lisa Thornton) who is a self published writer/poet. Once I finished linework for a piece she would take it and interpret it into some wonderful writing to accompany each artwork :)

Jan 10, 9:44PM EST0 Reply

What are some of the challenges you encountered while working on these drawings and what's the best part?

Jan 10, 1:01AM EST0 Reply

Some of the challenges I faced were content, I wanted to make it cohesive and fluid while still maintaining varied artwork. The best part was coming up with the concepts themselves, I did initially write a list of concepts, but eventually they flowed freely :)

Jan 10, 9:40PM EST0 Reply
How do you get over an “art block” if you ever have one?
Jan 10, 12:45AM EST0 Reply

I think "art blocks" is they bane of every artist, personally if I'm having a bad day or I just can't produce anything worthwhile, I take a break, step away for a couple of days but I always have a mini sketchbook at hand, or even my iPhone and if I come up with a concept I'll doodle it down.

Best practices personally, don't let it get to you! You'll always come back with a fantastic and well thought out piece!

Jan 10, 9:42PM EST0 Reply
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