Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on artist Tim Palin, who will be visiting our 65 James Street store as part of the Bharat Babies creative team on Sunday, March 25, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. Tim Palin is an independent art director, designer and illustrator who works primarily in children’s publishing. He’s designed and illustrated several of the Bharat Babies books for young readers.
Thank you so much for joining us, Tim! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your art style? What can you tell us about your work?
My style can usually be best described as “loose and playful”. I tend not to get too hung up on pin-sharp details. I like to play with shapes and textures. It’s more fun that way! One of my recent projects was an edition of The Tortoise and the Hare. Lots of fun…patchwork trees and funky patterns in Mr. Tortoise’s shell! Super fun!
Technology has affected art and art in books rapidly in the past ten years or so. How has the change in technology demands affected how you create art?
As an Art Director who works so closely with dozens of artists a year, I’ve come to REALLY appreciate art created in “digital layers” as in applications like Photoshop. Being able to efficiently make changes (from overall color story to the smallest details in a character’s dress) is becoming increasingly important in this industry that seems to be moving faster and faster with each passing publishing season. Asking an Illustrator to make a handful of changes to a sweeping, detailed scene that he or she creating in traditional watercolor…it’s just heartbreaking because I know what it will take to go back a few steps. As an artist, I LITERALLY can’t imagine “painting myself into that corner.”
What is your favorite part of being an artist / illustrator? Of the whole creative process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
Ready? It’s kinda corny. Once I started illustrating kidlit, I was completely unprepared for how special that first Instagram post was when I saw a child reading one of my books.
What has been your favorite adventure during your artistic career?
I grew up drawing pictures…right up until college. Then, I sort of put it away. I thought that, as a designer, I should focus on that and not try to draw pictures for a living. I think the most exciting part was picking up that pencil again after a decade or two and realizing, “I can do this!”
While you’re working, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
Music is a great way to keep me focused and energized while I work. A little Tina Turner goes a long way for me. But I also have a big ol’ TV in my studio. If I’m doing illustration work, I MIGHT be watching a Real Housewives of New Jersey marathons for days at a stretch. Or, maybe some old Disney movies. My favorite thing to watch to keep me inspired is the Wayne White documentary, Beauty is Embarrassing.
Writers and artists very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
My husband and I have a little pack of three dogs. Edith, Emmett and Steve…short for Esteban. In fact, as I’m typing these answers, Emmett (the old-timer) is by my feet snoring. They’re such good dogs that spend the day sleeping, offering kisses and cuddles only when I need a break. They’re always there for me throughout the day.
Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re working?
Candy. 1000% candy…and the worse the candy, the better. I love jelly beans. Not the fancy Jelly Bellys, either. I’m talking about old school Easter basket jelly beans.
What do you consider the most challenging part of the artistic process? And how do you overcome that?
Once I get to a stumbling block, I can easily let the anxiety of that block get the better of me. So, now, I’m dealing with the creative block, and the frustration of being blocked. But I’ve learned that the best thing to is step away. I turn my attention to something else. Almost 100% of the time, retuning to it with a fresh head is the answer. Or, I eat more jelly beans. DO NOT underestimate the power of really cheap candy!
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your artistic career?
…that I can do it. It took me YEARS to figure that out.
Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other artists that have helped you in your career?
Once I started meeting and connecting with illustrators on social media, I learned that this industry is a really supportive one. So the “Facebook club” or the “Instagram club” became a place of support and idea-sharing with other people whose talents I admire. I sparks motivation and creativity!
Where can people find your work? (Books, galleries, online sales?) (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Currently, most of my illustration work is available at the websites for Cantata Learning and Bharat Babies. But, I work with many publishers as an Art Director. The best place to see everything all at once is at my site…www.timpalincreative.com.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Follow along!!!! Fun! I’m at the usual spots. Instagram (Tim Palin Creative), Twitter (timpalincreativ) and I have a ‘like’able Facebook page as Tim Palin Creative. Another fun place to see my work is a site called Behance.net (“Tim Palin”)!
Thank you again for the great interview, Tim! We look forward to seeing you and the team from Bharat Babies on Sunday, March 25 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at our 65 James Street Store!