A brief biography of Christopher Corr -
Christopher was born in London and studied at The Royal College of Art. His round the world travels provide much inspiration for his work. His first trip to India in 1986 resulted in a one person show entitled "Wel-come To India" which was followed by a book and a short BBC TV film of the same name.
Commissions range from book jackets, posters, the World Aids Day 1996 campaign, artist for Qantas, artist for Windstar Cruises.The Royal Mail sent him to Bosnia to paint SFOR ,the Peace-Keeping troops for a commemorative stamp in the Millennium Stamps Project.He has recently been working on some children's books.He is working with 'Katha' on some of the forthcoming children's titles and was also in Delhi to judge the Katha Chitrakala contest - a Katha initiative to applaud upcoming writers and illustrators.
It was a pleasure to conduct a brief interview with Christopher and here are his views on his inspirations, challenges, projects and much more...
1. Do you consider yourself to be a born illustrator?
I always liked drawing and painting but I didn't think about it as a career until much later.
2. Did you always want to be an illustrator?
I wanted to be a vet! I like animals very much and thought I'd like to work with them.Thinking about it now, I'm not at all suited to medical work. I had a great art teacher at school, Julek Heller, who also worked as an illustrator. He encouraged me to apply to art school and directed me towards illustration.
3. What is the best part of your work?
It's great to work in a creative way; I enjoy the freedom of making pictures. It's a wonderful way to spend your time.
4. What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?
Travelling inspires me and helps develop my work. I like to look at art, architecture, books from other countries, other cultures, other people and how they live their lives.
5. What are you working on now? Which kind of projects do you want to do and what are you next projects in 2010?
I'm working on 3 books for Katha, one is about the GT Express from Madras to Delhi. I have just made the journey and am putting my ideas together for them.
I'm finishing an animal dictionary for a publisher in Korea, a book about 2 tigers for a publisher here in London and I'm also working on a book about Mexico.
6. Did you have any formal training in this field? Do you think it’s necessary to have some basic training?
I studied art for 7 years, 4 years in Manchester studying Graphics, and 3 years Masters in Illustration at the Royal College of Art in London.
7. Which medium do you use for your pictures?
I work mostly with gouaches on paper. I like strong bright colours. I buy a lot of art materials, different kinds of papers and paints. I've found some great acrylic gouaches from Japan, beautiful colours and beautiful paper from India.
8. What do you love most about being a children's book illustrator? What is most challenging about it?
I like creating a beautiful world in a book. It feels good when it works. I like researching and developing a project. Deadlines can be difficult ... they sometimes arrive too soon.
9. We see a lot of Indian flavour in your illustrations, what are the things that most fascinate you about India to make them a part of your pictures?
I've been to India many times to paint and travel and explore the country. It’s a very inspiring place for me. I think it's where I discovered strong pure colour. I love the animals that you see everywhere, the variety of life you encounter, all kinds of people, architecture, landscapes...
10. What advice would you offer to aspiring illustrators?
Spend time exploring image making, draw & paint with passion and an open mind. Look around at art, books, fashion, architecture, be open to inspiration anywhere!
Thanks Christopher for sharing your views with us…