Interview with Author-Illustrator Georgie McAusland

Georgie McAusland is a British illustrator and printmaker based in Barcelona. She works in a variety of processes – monoprint, lithography, ceramics, wood, paint, pencils, and crayons. Georgie loves to tackle subject matter based on strange habits, magic, the supernatural, superstitions, or events based in the past or present. Today, I’m welcoming author-illustrator Georgie McAusland to speak about her inspiration for books as well as receive a preview of her debut picture book GRANDMA’S MEMORY PALACE, which is published in simplified Chinese in Mainland China, by Yeehoo Press.

1. Can you give us a short introduction to GRANDMA’S MEMORY PALACE? What inspires you to create this book?

The story evolves around an older lady called Gwen finding a list and forgetting why she had written it. She and her grandson Pea go on an adventure through her dreams to find out what she had forgotten. I was very inspired by the bond between family and the feeling of nostalgia.

2. How is the creative process? Are there any difficulties you met and how did you overcome them during the process?

This was my first children’s book that I’d ever illustrated so it was a completely new challenge and I’ve learned many lessons from it! Time went a lot faster than expected.

3. How do you describe your art style? And how did you find your art style?

I would describe my style as wonky but neat. I use different materials depending on the project, for instance, I am working on a book using collage, paint and ink at the moment. I use painted materials a lot and I think the shapes of the objects and bodies of characters link my style together.

4. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer/illustrator?

I was always a keen artist and knew I wanted to do something creative, but it wasn’t until foundation that I realized you could do a course in illustration. It all grew from there!

5. What does your family think of your writing/illustrating career?

They think it’s great as they get buckets of prints and ceramics at every Christmas and birthday! They are very supportive and involved, almost acting like behind the scenes agents.

6. How do you start a book project? When do you know it is ready and finished?

I start by reading the text and making notes in my sketchbook, then I research the world including the era it’s set in and I try to focus in on motifs I like. Then I’ll move onto thumbnails and roughs and then it’s just a matter of making the images until they’re finished. Sometimes it takes a while to hit on the tone of the book so some pages could go through 3/4 changes until I’m totally satisfied.

7. What is your work schedule like when you’re creating a book?

It’s all-encompassing. I normally keep to a work schedule from Monday to Friday but I work from 9 am until I’m ready to finish for the day. I always take weekends off as it’s important to create boundaries unless there’s a deadline coming up!

8. What do you like most about being an artist?

I like that I can create worlds in which people can escape into.

9. Do you have any suggestions to help the fellow artist become a better illustrator? If so, what are they?

Stay experimental! Try new things and take a step back from your work often.

Visit Georgie McAusland at https://georgiemcausland.com/

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