Keira Gillett (Author): Greetings everyone! The second book in the trilogy, Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword features some amazing artwork from Eoghan Kerrigan. Be sure to check out the other parts of this interview series to see more of his artwork. We’ve been having a lot of fun talking about the book and the artwork. So Eoghan, what is the hardest part of illustrating a story?
Eoghan Kerrigan (Illustrator): The hardest part is challenging yourself to draw things out of your comfort zone if the story demands it of you. These drawings take a bit longer because you need to gather reference material to make the drawing more convincing.
Keira: I laughed when I saw your Twitter status on drawing ships. I knew you were referencing Zaria’s adventures in book two. So what is the easiest? The most fun?
Eoghan: The easiest and most fun are the same thing – drawing fun and visually interesting characters and creatures.
— Eoghan Kerrigan (@EoghanKerrigan) August 31, 2015
Keira: I really love your characters and creatures. They have such life to them. It’s been a lot of fun to see what you’ll come up with for each chapter. Do you ever experience a creative block similar to what authors call writer’s block?
Eoghan: All the time! I don’t think there is a single creative person who doesn’t experience this at some point.
Keira: How do you get past it and what do you do to stay motivated and fresh?
Eoghan: Various things can knock me out of it. Some fresh air, listening to music, seeing a piece of art I really admire. But the most effective way I think is just to take a break. Forcing yourself to do something doesn’t always help, but the desire will always return eventually.
— Eoghan Kerrigan (@EoghanKerrigan) April 6, 2016
Keira: I did something similar when I was stuck on a scene in the first book. I’d stop writing for the day and focus on other things so I could start fresh the next day. For book two when I was stuck, I sat down and plotted pieces of the story that I wanted to see. Not all of it stuck, but it did help to unstick me. What type of drawing tools do you use to create your illustrations?
Eoghan: Pencils! That’s really it. A blue or orange pencil for the rough under drawing and a 2B graphite pencil for the finished lines. I’m very comfortable with traditional media.
Keira: I can tell! You could knock me over with a feather if readers aren’t as thrilled as I am about the work you’ve done. Thanks for joining us today! Eoghan and I look forward to seeing readers’ reactions to the new illustrations.