June 12, 2012
Rebecca Chew is an illustrator based in Malaysia, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Nottingham Trent University.
Talking about how she begins a commissioned piece, she says, “When it is an editorial piece, I would start by reading the article. I try to get the gist, the tone and the essential message of the written piece and start brainstorming from there. Sometimes I get a spark of an idea while reading a sentence, and sometimes I get it while researching the subject at hand, either through books, magazines or the Internet. But it’s always helpful when the writer or editor sends the article over, rather than have someone summarize the piece for me because the summary is often colored by the individual’s understanding and perspective. Something could be missed through that process.”
She says she got interested in illustrations after being introduced to Quentin Blake’s work, and adds, “His illustrations were what got me into reading. They opened up a new world to me.”
Rebecca admires Maira Kalman’s work for her narratives and what she terms as her “wide-eyed optimism.”
Is there any motif or theme that she is attracted to, in her work? She responds, “I’m partial to the content I am illustrating for, not the theme or style.” As for inspiration, Rebecca says it exists everywhere, not just on sites devoted to illustration alone. She explains, “The New Yorker magazine is an inspiration for both its writing as well as illustrations. The New York Times is another great source as it publishes a wide range of illustrative styles on a myriad of topics. Book covers are also interesting. But it’s best not to limit the source of inspiration.”cargocollective.com/rebeccachew