A few spins on her wheelie chair usually helps put Alicia Souza in the right frame of mind to illustrate.
My starting pointers are: Always keep an eraser handy because you WANT to make mistakes and if you’re restless, get up.
She almost always starts with an A4 size sheet of paper. “I either have something in mind of what to draw or have a brief to follow. My process is a bit in pieces. Because I have less time than hands, I usually sketch out, in pencil, a whole lot of illustrations and ink and colour them later. I think I spend the quietest time in the day doing my sketches without interruptions. I can ink drawings when I’m taking calls or listening to music. My starting pointers are: Always keep an eraser handy because you WANT to make mistakes and if you’re restless, get up,” she says.
Alicia says she recalls drawing all the way through school but doesn’t remember loving it as excessively as she does now. “My main interest in illustration got stretched a mile when I had access to a library, which was very late in life and couldn’t stop flipping through picture books,” she adds.
Alicia did her Bachelors of Communication Design from RMIT University, Melbourne. She says there wasn’t much to go by training in the field of illustration but she did illustrate for almost all of her design projects through college.
I am very, very partial to drawing animals and since adopting my first two canines, I’d have to say I’ve drawn more dogs in one year than I have my entire life.
Ask her about an illustrator whose work inspires her, and she responds, “Quentin Blake, hands and pencils down. Something about his loose lines and colour always makes me smile like a child on seeing his illustrations.Also I never had the patience to use watercolours so that amazes me even more. Such a beautiful but unforgiving technique.
Animals are a recurring theme in her work. “I am very, very partial to drawing animals and since adopting my first two canines, I’d have to say I’ve drawn more dogs in one year than I have my entire life,” adds Alicia.
As for daily inspiration sources, Alicia would have you believe it’s the good old fridge in her kitchen. “More than nature and objects, I think I get more inspired by funny actions and conversations. I’m a very shy drawer—I don’t sketch in public but if I see someone doing something funny, I jot it down as a note (like ‘man slips on banana peel and kicks himself on the head) and draw it later as a picture,” she reveals.
This interview was published in Kyoorius Magazine 12.