Children know how to play. Everything is possible for them. Everything has the power to amaze them. I love their minds, their ability to fly. What is there not to enjoy and love about making their little hearts sing?
What type of children's books would you like to illustrate?
I’m really new to the book-illustrating business, but I do love the creative process of taking a story and making it fly, using my art to add magic to it. There’s so much drama in our lives, and so it brings me joy to be able to add happiness to the world through my art. I love happy and shiny.
Describe your process.
First, I do an observational study of whatever I’m going to draw—animals, bugs, plants. I capture the detail, the structure, what makes them what they are. That is my sketching stage. Then, I add to the sketching process by finding my way, my style when drawing them. Once I have decided how I’ll draw them, I begin the first stage of the artwork, the painting stage. At this point, I use a very loose expression of the animal’s shape and colour. Next, I add the contours. The inking stage is usually the last step. Finally, I do a last check-up, inspecting the piece for all the fine details.
Of course, in the case of illustrating a book, I will have to do extra sketches and put on paper my ideas for every scene. I’ll have to express through my art the core message of the book. It will be a wonderful process where I will need to get in touch with the author’s feelings and thoughts for that particular scene, and then see what I can add to that.
What stylistic choices do you make in order to instill so much joy and fun into your illustrations?
I love impressionism, the use of colour and expressing the core of things without needing to create perfect contours. I love lines. Lines add strength and structure. While loose lines make us feel relaxed somehow. I love naivety too, and I try to infuse a naive sense of perspective into the space and volume of the piece. I love the happiness I find in colours. I love happy. Mostly, I try to create something that instills part of my soul into whatever I’m creating.
Yes! Since I was a little girl, I loved to craft, to paint, to draw and create all kind of things. When I was five, I invented a stamping process for myself. I made tons of landscapes with trees using ink. I even sold them! I made clay sculptures and sold them, too. I held weekly drawing contests with my best friend and we had a lot of fun selecting a theme for it and choosing the winners. My friend and I took the drawings to a professional art teacher, my mom’s friend, and she critiqued the drawings. She was lovely and taught us a lot during those two years of contests.
What was your path toward being a professional illustrator?
I graduated college with a degree in computer science. I moved to a small town, apart from my parents, and started working as a computer-programming teacher at the local university. In the meantime, my dad sent me a surprise gift—a small drawing tablet. I loved it. It was like starting my creative process all over again! Many years later, after developing my own digital style, I got in touch with my current mentor and art teacher, Carlos Palacios. I’ve been his student for four years now. He has been teaching me how to draw portraits and academic drawing, using paper and pencil--old-school stuff. The learning process has been fun and hard work, a rewarding experience.
How has living in Argentina influenced your artistic style?
Hmmm. I’m not sure it has influenced me at all. I supposed there must be an influence, as I am Argentinian, but I can’t tell you exactly what it could possibly be! I am online a lot. Like a lot. I’m always admiring amazing artists and illustrators. And I’m always taking online courses.
Have you been able to quit your day job in order to illustrate full-time?
Not yet. I am still teaching about computers at the local university. But I do sell my handicrafts, hand-painted journals, and art locally. On my online store, I sell hand-crafted miniatures and prints of my work on bags, mugs, shower curtains, pillows, clocks... I’d love to one day have a big art studio where I can work all day long, but right now, when my day-job is done, I go home and make my crafts, or paint, or go to my computer and do what I love—create art.
Carina Povarchik is a fine artist, sculptor, and children's illustrator, born and living in Argentina. Her artistic focus is on children illustration and tiny-scale sculpting. She can be found on Twitter @by_catru. Her work may be purchased on her Etsy Store and at Kess In House. Carina is represented by Storm Literary Agency.