Spotlight: Interview with Conor Rawson

We’re excited to get to know Conor Rawson, a Swindon-based illustrator who creates bright, playful images to make people smile.

What are the childhood memories and adventures that come out to play in your work?

So many things. I have a very vivid memory of my childhood. Holidays to the seaside, Sunday afternoon car drives, school holidays and time with family all play a big part. I wrote little stories and drew together with my Dad and he made these wonderful wooden toys. His shed was very much like an elves workshop at a certain North Pole. I was certainly never short of inspiration or encouragement as a child.

As we grow up, our books tend to have fewer pictures – why do you think this is?

I think as we grow up we gather more and more life experiences and in turn we are able to to picture things in books for ourselves. Having that marriage of words and pictures in books is not only helpful but also a comfort to children. However I do feel that books with pictures should not be seen as solely for children. Some of the best books i’ve ever read are picture books and if my shelves were filled with books with only words I think they would be pretty bare.

Your playful illustrations are obviously appealing to kids, but how do you appeal to the inner kids of parents and teachers?

There is normally an element of nostalgia in my illustrations, which I hope evokes happy memories for a parent or teacher. On another level I also make my illustrations as happy, safe and secure as possible. I think that’s probably the three main things a parent or teacher want their children to be.

The clean shapes and bold colours in your work are achieved through your skill with digital technologies – what’s the most useful thing that hasn’t been invented yet?

That’s a tricky one. Digital technology certainly enhances my work but everything I do always begins with a pencil, a technology that I feel will always stand the test of time and be more useful than anything that is invented in the future. I’ll jump in my DeLorean and get back to you just to be sure though.

What’s your dream brief?

Definitely a 32 page picture book. I love creating characters so it would probably be about a big friendly monster, or dinosaur or something like that. It would start with a pencil as always and end with books on shelves in well known bookstores. That’s always been my dream.

To see samples of Conor’s work, click here

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