Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandie Sonke.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve been a creative person my whole life, and I’m fortunate to have a very supportive family who encourages my artistic pursuits. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a children’s book illustrator, but I never really did anything about it. I did study illustration in school, but I felt my dream of illustrating children’s books was unreachable. A few years ago I was tired of saying “maybe one day” and decided to take some steps forward to achieve my dream. I just had to try and be OK with failing. There was a lot of work that I needed to do to develop a good portfolio. I joined critique groups, took online classes with Make Art That Sells and The Children’s Book Academy, shared my art regularly on social media, and connected with a ton of other artists with similar goals. The first two books that I illustrated were published last year, and I have more in the pipeline for 2019. I also got an agent in August. Hopefully, I will be illustrating full time in the near future.
Please tell us about your art.
I mostly do children’s illustrations, and I like to work digitally on my iPad in procreate and in photoshop. Inspiration is all around me, but I would say I’m inspired by my two children Cole and Annabel most of all. My kids have been models for a lot of my characters. I’m also inspired by folk art and old Disney movies. Anything whimsical and colorful gets me excited to draw. I believe art should be fun and spark joy when you create it. Hopefully, people see that joy in my illustrations.
When I begin a new project I start with research, then I do a lot of sketching and make notes. Sometimes when I’m stuck, I just start drawing and eventually ideas start to emerge.
What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
I think that with platforms like Instagram it is easier for artists to showcase their work and be seen by art directors and clients. I have had that happen myself, so that’s great because it’s free advertising. It can be overwhelming too though. There is a ton of amazing art out there, and it can be intimidating at times. I think that’s just a struggle many artists have. We just need to move past it and continue developing our skills and keep creating art!
The way artists thrive is when people invest their art. People should be encouraged to purchase original artwork. Supporting small business is the way to go!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can view my work and purchase prints on my website www.sandiesonkeillustration.com and instagram/sandiesonke.
My books “The Little i Who Lost His Dot” and “Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush” are available on Amazon.
- Website: www.sandiesonkeillustration.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/sandiesonke
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/sandiesonkeillustration