Thursday, 29 April, 2021

Cory Shaw

Writer and illustrator from Utah/USA

Website: www.bycoryshaw.com


What Brought You to Illustration?
I have enjoyed illustration for as long as I can remember. When I first began to tell stories in the second grade, I illustrated a wordless picture book. I retold the story over and over again in different ways. I still remember the wonderful feeling I would get every time I retold it. At some point, I lost confidence in my ability and it took me ten years to decide that I would have a better chance competing against all the other amazing children's authors out there if I began to illustrate my stories again.

What Does a Typical Work Day Look Like For You?
I work as an Instrument Design Technician during the day and that tends to be my primary focus until evening. The paint comes out after I put my children to bed. I often have to be very careful during this time to use it wisely and limit myself so I can wake up in time for work again in the morning.

Are There Any Illustrators Who Influenced / Influence You?
The first influence I can think of is Bill Watterson. It is hard for me to imagine illustrating at all if it were not for Bill. Other influences include Lee White, E.H. Shepherd, Richard Scarry, Adrienne Adams, and Kimiko Sakai.

What Inspires You? Where Do You Get Your Ideas from?
Nature inspires me. I go on long walks with my dogs and take lots of pictures of rocks, animals, trees, and landscapes. I also spend a lot of time reading folklore and mythology because they give me things to think about and explore more deeply.

"Is there any doubt that the red fox must be my Familiar?" (Cory Shaw)

Do you have a favorite illustrator / artist / author?
Blexbolex. My art is very different from his, but his books are comforting to me. 

Do you like listening to music or audiobooks while working or do you prefer silence? 
It depends on where I am in the process. When I am sketching or putting together ideas I must have complete silence. After I am comfortable with a piece and I know where it is going, I can listen to audiobooks or music. I enjoy doing both.

Is there a particular story that you would love to illustrate?
Yes! I would love to illustrate the Norwegian Folktale, The Blue Belt. I love the epic tale and I think with some work I could do it justice.

"Rumor has it that if a cat jumps over a grave, the dead will rise again as a vampire. So vampires are just people whose cats loved them very much. I painted this for the last day of #moonlightweek2020" (Cory Shaw)

What is your favorite illustration you made so far?
It is usually my most recent illustration or an illustration that felt natural and complete. It is about the creation process for me.

What can you be found doing when you are not illustrating?
I read books. I go on long walks in the mountains behind my house or the gullies. I also garden and play with my children.

What makes the art of illustrating so special to you?
To capture feelings that come and go in an image that lasts forever. To tell a story without words.

What makes a good illustrator?
I think all it takes to become a good illustrator is persistence and a love for the craft. I am an illustrator therefore I must illustrate.


Arya on 26 May, 2021

The paintings look stunning and you are amazing!