3 & 1/2 Questions: Lorna Scobie


If you’ve ever seen Londoner Lorna Scobie’s illustrations, you’ve probably noticed one thing: she often draws animals. Lions, giraffes, cats, rabbits — you name it! She draws them. I adore her animals — they’re so charming and full of character — and wanted to share her work with you. Luckily, I was able to steal Lorna away from her studio for a brief 3 & 1/2 interview!


Are there any animals that you find challenging to draw?

I find monkeys SUPER difficult to draw; they have so many legs and arms and tails, it gets a bit confusing! I’m ok at their faces — it’s the rest of them I struggle with! Other animals I find difficult to draw are hippos, unicorns, sheep and lions. Sometimes when I am struggling with how to draw an animal I look at a picture, but usually I use my imagination. My favorite animals to draw are antelopes, tigers and lizards because I love drawing their patterns.


Your animals look like they could almost talk. Are they inspired by people you know?

That’s an interesting question – they aren’t deliberately based on people I know, but I’m sure traits in my family and friends turn up in my drawings. I think my gorilla drawing is a bit like my dad, but I have only thought that afterwards. My dad doesn’t look like a gorilla… I think there is just something in the eyes that remind me of him. I reckon most of my animals are probably just versions of me, although I’m not as spaced out as they are!


If you could recast a book or film with your own drawn characters, which would you pick, and how would you do it differently? (For instance, if you picked Goldilocks and the Three Bears, would you change the animals or the Goldie?)

One of my favorite books is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and I try to read it once a year. It’s about a South American family over several generations, and all the family members basically have the same name (Arcadio or Aureliano) so it’s a challenge to keep track of what is going on! I would recast my drawings of lizards as the family, so that each character would be a different color – it would definitely be easier to tell the difference between Red Arcadio and Green Spotty Arcadio!


Please complete this sentence:  I like to draw ____.

Animals. All the time. Even ants.


Thanks for sharing your awesome animals with us, Lorna! You can follow Lorna on Twitter and Instagram. All images courtesy of Lorna Scobie.



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3 & 1/2 Questions: BoyGirlParty


Susie Ghahremani (pronounced “Gair-uh-mah-nee”) is the amazing talent behind BoyGirlParty: the brand for her illustration work and uniquely-drawn gifts. I would equate her artistic sensibility to a folksy, woodland wonderland, evident from her muted, cool palette and stylized depiction of animals and nature.

I recently saw her work as part of an exhibition for IRL Digital Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse curated by LA Gallery Iam8Bit, and was reminded that her work would be perfect to show as part of our focus on Nature. Happily, she agreed! Here’s our 3 & 1/2 Questions for Susie.


Your work often incorporates a pattern or recurring motifs. We’re curious if there was an inspiration for this?

The patterns and motifs come from those I observe in the wild (like the intricate feathering on a bird) combined with my background as a crafter — the way varying patterns combine together to form a cohesive design, as in a quilt or Japanese woodblock print!


You have a stylized way of drawing nature. Do you still use reference or is much of your work imagined?

Both! Usually it’s imagined. Typically I’ll reference nature and draw it in my sketchbook to study forms and features to develop my version of it.


Are there any creatures or plants that you find challenging to draw?

Large, distant fields of grass are tricky for me, because I want to draw every blade with utter clarity and detail!


Please complete this sentence: I like to draw ____.

Animals (clearly)!
They’re curious and relatable, independent of age, race or gender. Animals represent us all.


Love that answer — thanks for sharing your work with us Susie! Check out more BoyGirlParty and Susie’s shop here.

All artwork courtesy BoyGirlParty


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3 & 1/2 Questions: Bill Sullivan


The artist (above) with a very personal piece.


I want to introduce you to New York-based artist Bill Sullivan, an accomplished painter/photographer/publisher who, like Chuck Close, has also specialized in portraits in his career. Bill’s photo-realistic oil paintings are a contrast to Justin Garnsworthy’s loose molten-plastic portraits we featured last week. The work presented here were all from “People I Know,” shown at the Sasha Wolf Gallery in downtown NYC.

We’re so lucky that busy Bill had time to “sit down with us” for an interview!


Can you tell us a bit about your work process?

  1. After choosing a model, I photograph the person quite close in several different lighting situations. The way the light shapes the face is probably the single most important thing about the whole process and eventual outcome. You can take the same face in light of four different ways and sculpturally it will be an entirely different thing each time. After taking 200 or so photographs those are edited down to about 10 which I study for a while and eventually decide on a single one to really begin to fine-tune.
  2. The next step is building a very accurate mock-up of where the eventual portrait goes.
  3. Then I paint directly from a 17 inch laptop, projecting the image onto the canvas.
  4. I double-check the accuracy of the painting by photographing and overlaying it over the original image, repeating this five or six times.

And at the end of the process the two become the nearly the same.


How long does it take to produce one of these masterpieces?

From beginning to end, it usually takes about a month including the photography and mock-up stage. The oil paint takes about 3 to 4 days to dry for each coat so the painting part takes about three weeks or so.


How old were you when you did your first painting?

It’s funny—I’ve been doing this since I was about 16 or 17, so for over 30 years. It was a skill I knew I had quite early on: to create a likeness of someone that people found interesting or pleasing on some level.


Please fill in the blank: I like to draw __.


Bill’s work is proof that having good reference to work from can really make a difference in your final drawing. Good lighting provides highlights and shadows that help shape your drawings and make them more life-like. While his impressive technique can blow us away, KCD wants stress that this is only ONE style of working, and is not necessarily the goal for everyone to work this way. We encourage everyone to develop their own voice with practice (and to share them in our shows).

Thanks for sharing your work with us Bill! To see more of his amazing portraits or other projects, click here. Please tell us what you like most about Bill’s work below.

All images courtesy of Bill Sullivan.


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3 & 1/2 Questions: Justin Garnsworthy


A few years ago we went to the opening of “Alien Societies” at the Queensland College of Art’s Webb Centre Gallery (Brisbane, Australia). The show was comprised of these crazy-amazing molten-plastic portraits by local artist/illustrator Justin Garnsworthy. Justin is famous for transforming mundane objects such as Blu Tack or plastics into works of art. I wanted to share them with you since we’re concentrating on portraiture this month, and we’re chuffed that Justin agreed to an interview! We asked him how he created these original relief drawings.


Can you please describe your process of working with the polymer?

I’m very fortunate to have access to my uncle’s plastic master batch company, a supplier of colored plastic pellets that can be heated and fabricated into domestic and industrial products such as rain tanks, drinking bottles, golf tees, etc. The process I work through is dripping hot extruded molten plastic onto a large brush that I form from chicken wire and then begin to create intuitive high relief drawings onto the factory floor. Soon after the plastic solidifies to form three dimensional drawings. The action is like Jackson Pollock’s action painting using the effects of gravity to create imagery by dripping plastic. There is an element of chance to my practice where accidental blobs and varied line weights formed dependent on the speed of motion the molten plastic is drawn with large chicken wire brush.


What challenges did you encounter?

There are many risks that set boundaries while working within a factory environment in the creation of artwork:

  1. Minimal floor space – Due to lots of machinery and vehicles entering factory, I was confined to a small area to work within, so space was an issue.
  2. Restricted movement – For handling molten plastic material at 200 degrees celsius, wearing heavy industrial heat resistant gloves and clothing was necessary, but it restricted my movement.
Plas9_smHosier Lane, Melbourne


Did you use reference when you “drew” these, or did you draw them freehand?

The artwork is intuitive—working from memory and allowing also the plastic organic lines to talk to me to configure portrait outcomes.

 Plas7_smHosier Lane, Melbourne


Please complete this sentence: I like to draw __.

I am drawn to caricature from my professional career in visual journalism that included illustration and art direction for major Australian newspapers such as The Age Newspaper, Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Newspaper. Many of the briefs called for drawing political figures and noted people in the community for feature stories. I am also inspired by everyday crowds of people and their varied personalities which influence my portrait artwork.

Thanks so much for sharing your work, Justin. See more of Justin’s work here. Hope his work inspires you to experiment drawing with unusual materials!

Images credit: Justin Garnsworthy


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3 & 1/2 Questions: Fashion123


In celebration of New York’s Fashion Week (February 12–19), we’re so thrilled to query special guests Yoon Chang and Dorit Landau, the creators of Fashion123, a fantastic fashion design and illustration program for school-aged kids based in New York City. Not only did they share some answers, but they treated us to some amazing student work as well!

3 & 1/2 Questions: Fashion123


The pretty pair met while designing for Cynthia Steffe, and after becoming parents, decided to share their passion with budding fashionistas. Most of their classes are held in local schools, but they can also bring the fun to you with their art-based fashion parties. Here’s a bit about them and their teaching:



Do you have any tips for drawing the fashion models? (Is there typically something that the students have trouble with, for instance?)

The proportions of the fashion figure is much longer and taller than the average person (8-10 heads tall vs 6-7 heads tall) because clothes tend to look more elegant on a taller figure. The challenge is to get our young designers to elongate and exaggerate the poses which makes them more dynamic. We tell them to imagine that the figures are made of plasticine and can be pulled and stretched out, especially the arms, which often end up looking like they belong on Tinkerbell 😉 Another great way to break down the figure is to imagine each body part geometrically such as ovals, rhombus, rectangles etc—these are great visual tools for the students.

It was a revelation for our model drawing students to realize the difficulty of drawing from a live figure, especially one in motion—quite different than from drawing from your imagination!

unnamed-15 unnamed-13

What is the best thing about teaching fashion and drawing?

The enthusiasm and passion that these young people possess—we love witnessing their creativity being unleashed into clothing designs!


What fashion or design influences did you have growing up?

Yoon: I grew up in an artistic family—I was surrounded by art, interesting people and was constantly drawing, sculpting and styling myself and friends in Canada. My passion led me to a scholarship at Parsons the New School for Design (New York City), which gave me the opportunity to study a year abroad in Paris—experiences I will never forget!

Dorit: Growing up, I always knew that I would end up in an artistic field but wasn’t sure exactly which one. Always inspired by colors, shapes and composition, I was drawn to the field of textile design and found my passion in designing fabrics. I enjoyed walking through the process of designs from yarns to textures, fabrics and then a final garment or home textiles. This all fascinated me! In the end, I chose to specialize in knits. It seemed the obvious path for me into the world of fashion.


Please complete this sentence: “I like to draw__.”

Yoon: …EYES! They are INDEED the windows to the soul!

Dorit: …Fabric textures as this process of rendering is truthful to its own distinct details and properties…it’s a form of meditation for me.

Please find out more about Fashion123 by clicking here and don’t miss the stylish Fashion123 Student Show in our Gallery. They’re also teasing a secret special project which we hope they’ll share with the world in 2016—wonder what that could be? Thanks again for sharing the beautiful work!

All images courtesy of Fashion123.


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3 & 1/2 Questions: Laura Carlin


3 & 1/2 Questions: A World of Your Own by Laura Carlin


Last autumn, I found this gem at my favorite bookstore in Brooklyn, NY. It’s a picture book + drawing guide, and I adore it because it captures the essence of what we try to foster at Kid Can Doodle: creativity through drawing. The author/illustrator, Laura Carlin, invites us to create A World of Your Own by showing us how she creates her own wonderful world in the book. I love how she combines different media, and charms us with her imagination.


We’re tickled pink that Laura’s graciously answered our 3 & 1/2 Questions:

In your book, you suggest looking at life as a starting point, but you have the courage to abandon reality, and invent a new world. How did you learn to be so free with your drawings? How can we do the same?

I am struck down by the same insecurities as everyone else! Because of being surrounded by stories whilst growing up, as well as being dyslexic, I was always finishing stories for myself. I also have ‘themes’ which I seem to return back to again and again…

While it can all sound pretty self indulgent to reflect on what interests you and why, I think it’s especially relevant nowadays when we’re swamped by imagery and, in our own insecurities, can latch onto what we think we should be drawing or what we think we should like. You have to rely on what sparks your imagination and what you have to work on to embellish it. I think it shows.

The idea of the book is that you use reality as a starting point (it can be difficult to conjure up something from nothing!) but then expand it in your own way. And, most importantly, there is not a right or wrong way of doing so—everyone’s should look different.


Do you have favorite materials or a medium of choice?

The book started out in my favourite mediums of acrylic paint mixed with coloured pencil. I became so engrossed with My World using these that the book became quite closed off for the reader. So the idea of using mixed media throughout was to again encourage the idea that there isn’t one way of drawing/painting/making something. Some children will just read the book, some will respond to a drawing and some might like the wooden peg dressed up as a soldier.


Is/Are there any artist/s who inspires you? Whose world would you want to live in?

Picasso is an obvious choice. John Broadley… But most of all, Andre Francois—I think it would be poignant but funny in his world.


Please complete this sentence: I like to draw __.

Kittens and Soldiers

Thanks again Laura!

We highly recommend that you check out A World of Your Own by Laura Carlin, and do see more of her gorgeous work too.

Images credit: Phaidon


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3 & 1/2 Questions: Christoph Niemann


Christoph Niemann is a brilliant illustrator, artist and author. He is proof that in the land of drawing, ideas are king. His work has graced the covers of magazines such as The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine; he has authored several books (our favorite is I Lego N.Y.), and we especially love his New York Times blog, Abstract Sunday, especially this post, and this one. (Both are inspiration for our Show&Tell, Lollygadoodling.)

We’re completely chuffed that he answered our 3 & 1/2 Questions! Thank you Christoph.

How do you come up with your ideas?

Sadly (or maybe fortunately) there’s no magic. It’s mostly doodling and staring at a piece of paper. One thing I do consciously do when I’m stuck though is trying to get all the stupid, and obvious ideas out without holding back. Often they are good starting points.


Did you experiment with lots of different objects, and then come up with the drawings, or do you have ideas and then pick the objects?

The whole story HAD to be with Gummi Bears, since my lifelong obsession with candy is 99% related to them. I did once try to explain the electoral college system with M&Ms though.


Were you encouraged to draw when you were younger?

Apparently I had asked for pencils and paper when I was three. What I mostly remember about my childhood was being in competitive but inspiring drawing battles with my slightly older brother.


Please complete this sentence: I like to draw ____.

Nothing is easier and nothing is harder.

See more of Christoph’s work here. Little Dude also recommends checking out Petting Zoo.

All images via Christoph Niemann


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3 & 1/2 Questions: Javier Pérez


Javier Pérez, aka cintascotch, an award-winning graphic designer and audiovisual producer from Guayaquil-Ecuador, is also prolific doodler. We enjoy following him on Instagram or tumblr and seeing his simple sketches, often combining objects such as his hands, or Doritos in a cheeky way. His drawings have been featured several times on boredpanda.com, and he even has a legion of imitators who post images with the hashtag #javierperez.


We were thrilled that Javier indulged us with an interview!

How do you come up with your ideas?

The ideas come from the hard work. You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to create everyday. Book, movies, art books help the brain “get in shape.”


Did you experiment with lots of different objects, and then come up with the drawings, or do you have ideas and then pick the objects?

I am inspired by an idea or an object. Sometimes I see an object and then I have an idea, sometimes it’s the other way around.


Were you encouraged to draw when you were younger?

When I was a child I drew all the time, like all kids. I watch a lot of cartoons to see the style. I created many characters and comics, then I sell them to my family. I’m not a professional illustrator or photographer. I just take photos of my work.


Please complete this sentence: I like to draw ____.


Javier’s mantra is “Create every day. No matter your skills.” Thanks Javier! We will!

All images courtesy Javier Pérez.


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