Interview with Lincoln Agnew - Presenter SCBWI Collaboration Conference Calgary Oct. 1

Lincoln Agnew will be presenting at the SCBWI Canada West Calgary Conference Collaboration on October 1st, 2011.

Lincoln attended the Alberta College of Art and Design, where he obtained degrees in both illustration and photography. Lincoln made his debut as a picture book illustrator with Harry and Horsie, for which he won the 2009 Society of Illustrators "The Original Art" Founder's Award as well as the Marion Vannett Ridgway Award. And his book has a strange and unusual connection to David Letterman.  

I had the pleasure of interviewing him (actually I just emailed him the questions and when he was finished devouring a bag of Doritos Sweet Chili Heat - he emailed the answers back to me). 

Q. Illustrating is largely self-taught. What tools did you use to learn your craft and develop your talent?    

A. In the beginning I just used a pencil and watched a lot of, studied ninja movies.  I spent a lot of time drawing ninjas as a child, I haven't been asked to do it since but the process definitely helped me understand the structure of human form as well as the awesome power of Ninjutsu.  

Yes, well who doesn't love ninjas!?

Q.  Illustrating is a solitary pursuit and involves a lot of time in the Sasquatch cave (or what I like to call butt in chair time). How do you stay connected with the illustrating community and how does that help you develop as an illustrator? 

A. I stay connected mainly through the internet, I would like to get out more but the sun burns my eyes and I'm afraid of the dark.  It's a problem. 

Illustrating and writing sasquatches the world over feel your pain.

Q. How has attending conferences contributed to your development as an illustrator and your professional career? Why is it important for the aspiring illustrator to attend conferences?

A. I enjoy these conferences because it gives you the opportunity to meet others who share similar struggles.  Not everyone understands the difficulties of being a freelance illustrator so it's nice to meet those who are far more successful.  It not only gives you hope, it also fuels your bitterness and hunger which in turn strengthens your artwork.

Q. Was there a turning point in your career when you went from trying to be an illustrator to 'wow, I'm really doing this and making it happen'? 

A. I think the turning point was quitting my 9-5 job.... I didn't have any plans at the time to be an illustrator, but I did have plans to do something more creative. Every mistake that I've made since that day has led me to this moment but I wouldn't be here without the love and support of family and friends.  It's not an easy road, it still isn't... but something inside of me won't let me stop.  They made this "happen" more than I did, I'm just trying to make them proud.  

Q. I've been open on this blog about my somewhat disturbing addition to sour ju jubes. Is there a sweet treat that makes your pen sing?

A. I'm not a big sweet tooth, I like salty snacks.  I have a small addiction to Sweet Chili Heat Doritos but I can't eat them while I draw because the artificial flavouring gets all over my sketchbook.  I thought at one point that it might add the look of my work, but sadly no... the aesthetic of orange fingerprints enhances very little.  

Harry and Horsie - Lincoln Agnew Illustrator
Lincoln Agnew will be presenting at the Collaboration Conference October 1st, 2011. Registration is now open. Contact Pamela for more information or check the SCBWI West Canada web site.  


Angela Ackerman said…
Great (and funny!) interview!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse
Jan Markley said…
Thanks Angela! It was a fun interview to do. Stay tuned for the next one!

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