Hi Avalon, could you please introduce yourself to everyone?
Hi! My name is Avalon Nuovo, and I draw things :)
How did you first start off with illustration?
I guess before "illustrations" it just started with drawing all the time, which I've done since before I can remember. The older I got, the more it took over my life, so I think I always just knew that was what I was going to do!
What tools do you use for your illustrations?
Depends on the circumstances! But I prefer analog. Usually gouache and colored pencils, sometimes fluid acrylic watered-down to mimic watercolor if I need to make sure the paint won't re-constitute when I add more layers on top. I keep sketchbooks religiously, and when I'm traveling or just not at home I use colored pencils and Zig Colorbrush pens, since I prefer to draw with a brush.
What inspires you most? How do you find inspiration?
That's broad! In a couple of words, old things. I love folk art and older incarnations of "illustrations" — like illuminated texts, mythological imagery, that sort of thing. Especially from the British Isles and Scandinavia. Usually when I'm uninspired it seems to be just a matter of going out into the world and doing something non-art related that I find interesting.
Please tell us a bit about your short title sequence you did for the film Ophelia?
Ah! I did that while I spent an exchange semester at Konstfack in Stockholm. We got this crazy one-week crash course in After Effects, and then had to make a title sequence for a movie of our choosing. Ophelia's not a real film (yet), but I sort of liked the idea of Hamlet told from the perspective of a female character who's sort of treated as a prop in some ways in the original play. It was great fun, and I got to test the waters of hand-drawn animation as well.
How would you best describe your style of illustration?
Maybe... Representational, and dryly silly? I like making things that don't look goofy, but are goofy once you look at it for a moment and realize what's going on.
What project have you enjoyed working on the most?
I think I had the most fun working on project about nuns last year. I invented little stories about the secret hobbies I imagined nuns to have, or their lives before they took their vows. I remember texting my friend the little story bits I wrote, and giggling about it a lot. That's the great stuff, when you come up with an idea and write it down and can't wait to get home to draw it.
Do you get full design freedom when it comes to working with clients?
I don't think anyone ever does, unless they're so famous that people are scrambling just to work with them at all! It's always a delicate dance of concept and taste between the art director and the illustrator. But that's part of the challenge.
What kind of music do you like to listen to when you illustrate?
Different things for different moods, but it usually hovers between funky stuff and folky stuff and occasionally my old playlist of the Andrews Sisters and Ella Fitzgerald and the like. A lot of times though, when the ideation is done and it's time to just sit down and draw for a few hours, I turn on Netflix. Usually The Office or 30 Rock for the thousandth time, unless there's something new and good.
Have you come across any good sites or publications you would like to share?
There are so many! I consistently love the illustrators that Ballpit Mag shares on their Instagram. And recently I've been perusing Kiblind—they have great content too. Also, Jacobin magazine—it's a political magazine, not an art one, but the design is FLAWLESS and an illustrated dream. Especially the most recent issue.
A big thanks to Avalon Nuovo for taking the time to do the interview!
For more information and amazing works from Avalon Nuovo, please visit: http://www.avalonnuovo.com/All artwork featured in this interview is copyrighted and owned by Avalon Nuovo. Please do not use any of the images without written permission from the artist.