Copenhagen-based illustrator Pernille Ørum talks about creating her follow-up artbook through Kickstarter, and how she uses social media as a tool for improvement and inspiration...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
I'm a freelance visual developer and illustrator located in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have a Bachelor degree in Character Animation from The Animation Workshop in Denmark. I worked as an animator for a few years, before I decided to go freelance in 2014. Working as a freelancer allows me to work on different projects and I have been working for companies like Disney, DreamWorks and Warner Brothers where I was the character designer on DC Superhero Girls. Beside my work projects, I do my own artwork to examine different themes and techniques and develop my personal style. I share this artwork on social media, especially on Instagram, and my first book, "Blush,” was a collection of my personal artwork made from 2013 to 2015.
3dt: Tell us a little about your Kickstarter project. How have you found the experience?
With this Kickstarter project
, I am raising money to create my second book, "Coral.” I was really happy and honored with the attention my first Kickstarter project got, and that encouraged me to make a follow-up. "Coral” will be a collection of my personal artwork made from 2015 till now. I would love to give some of the digital images posted on my Instagram new life in a book. I'm a great collector of art books myself and I love the idea of being able to collect my work in a beautifully crafted book. "Coral” was funded in 45 minutes, and that was very overwhelming. Everyone has been so nice and supportive, and the entire process has been so giving and positive. I'm extremely grateful.
3dt: What software and hardware do you normally use when creating your artwork?
I work in all kinds of media, but I produce a lot of digital artwork. I work in Photoshop and on a Wacom Cintiq 24” for my professional artwork and, I must admit, most of my private work lately. My computer is at my office, and I have an iPad pro which I like to doodle on when I'm home or on the road, and I get an idea. I enjoy working with gouache for my own enjoyment. Lately I've been able to show some of my paintings in galleries like Gallery Nucleus in LA, which has been a great treat.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
I have not used a portfolio in a traditional sense in some time now. I show my personal work online, and get most of my jobs from my network and mostly with people I have worked with before. If I were to put together a new portfolio, I wouldn't be able to use much of the pieces I show online. It's good for Illustrative work, but most of what I do is developmental work, where the drawings are rougher, and it's important that they communicate ideas fast. It could be showing a character in different looks, angles or with different expressions. In a portfolio it's important to show variation, and to show that you master different ways of solving the job you want to land. It is all about knowing your ideas and showing them in the best way possible.
3dt: Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?
I'm not a member of any specific groups, but I follow many inspirational groups. To mention one the Facebook group "Today's Inspiration Group
” has nice stuff. Instagram works as an inspiration board for me. I don't follow friends, family or people outside the creative business. I strictly use it to check out visual artists, and it's good for that purpose. I started the hashtag #girlsinanimation, and since then it has gotten big. I really like to follow the progress and to see how different people use it.
3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
The last few years have been good for me work-wise, and I have achieved many of my dreams.
Someday I would like to be a part of a larger production again. It is really a giving experience to be a part of a project from the early beginnings to its completion. I always had a big love for animation, and it could be fun to work in that field again. Lately I have been illustrating a couple of books which will be out later this year. That has been a fun experience, and it would be nice to do more work like that in the future. Since I was a child I have been a great fan of comic books, and it's also a dream to work on a comic someday.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
Like a lot of people, I really like Mary Blair. The way she uses shapes and colors is simply brilliant. Anette Marnat's work is also truly amazing. Her sense of color is amazing. I also like the Danish commercial artist Christel Marrot. She did most of her work in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and her techniques and the way she uses color are just wonderful. She used soft watercolors and her work contains a large element of fashion. Her graphic style has really gotten iconic in the commercial arts in Denmark.
As an animator, I truly appreciate the way Glen Kean understands emotions and how he uses body language in his work. Also, I really love his line appeal. The simplicity of Nathan Fowkes's watercolor landscapes is truly amazing, and I'm also a great fan of the way Gustav Klimt uses shapes, color and texture, and of Caravaggio's use of light and shadow.
Professionally I work digitally, and I enjoy looking at well done digital work. However, I find digital work most interesting when it's clear that the artist has a background in traditional working methods. I think it makes the work more tangible. Personally most of my inspiration comes from traditional works of art.
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Head over to the Kickstarter page: CORAL: The Art of Pernille Ørum