Animated Personality: Aglaia Mortcheva
When did you first think about art as something you wanted to do? Were you encouraged or discouraged by family, friends, teachers, mentors?
I always loved drawing, but remember deciding to become an artist at age seven. I had just started school andhated it. Mostly hated getting up so early! I was under the impression that artists don’t have to wake up early or go to school.I was sorely mistaken! My family always supported me. My parents are artists and very bohemian. They hardly noticed what I was doing, but were supportive to a fault. Still are.
What kind of kid were you? What were your influences?
I was very independent kid and quite wild. I grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria. It was a communist country back then, very closed off and repressed. But as kids none of it affected us too much.My parents made sure to shield us from a lot. My biggest influence was my dad’s amazing library of art books and literature. Nothing was off limits, there were no age restrictions and no censorship. Also, my grandmother Daphna’s crazy stories, very picturesque and saucy. She would embellish them daily, depending on her mood.
Your style is very unique. Did you work on developing a style or is that what naturally came out of you?
It came naturally, but I lost it along the way, especially during my years in art school. I went to art school in Bulgaria. It was very rigid – Socialist Realism all the way, as you can imagine. My weird creatures and playful color pallet were not appreciated.
It took me awhile to get the confidence to bring my natural style back. Illustrating children’s books and working in animation as a character designer helped a to free me and get back to what I love.
You work in a few different areas like children’s books,
animation, magazine illustration, etc. How did that happen?
Mostly it all happens by accident and also very naturally…
I am a very curious person and I can’t say no to work. I say yes to all kinds of projects. Often I will take any little job that comes my way, at least half of the time it leads me somewhere interesting and brings more opportunities, and more contacts with great people.
I just think of artistic challenges as adventures. Some people jump off cliffs and swim with sharks, I face a blank canvas and it thrills me.
How has the advent of the computer affected your work? Do you work traditionally and digitally?
I work both ways. I love the new technology. More fun tools to play with and it keeps me learning new stuff. Also, I have become a bit of a clean freak and minimalist in my old age, so when I work
digitally I like how clean my studio is! Also it keeps my toddlers from eating the paints and drinking the solvents…which is very useful!
For More of this interview go to https://issuu.com/lonfellow/docs/ij.best_of_2018_v2
If you want to be an illustrator then don’t expect riches. I’ve struggled with this aspect of being an artist my whole career and now I’m finally ok with that. The solution I adapted was to become a real estate agent for money and an artist for the love of it. During my career as a creative director in the entertainment business I bought, renovated and sold real estate. What I made in real estate eclipse my salary. When I left Warner Bros in 2006 I decided to illustrate children’s books. This is not a path to riches I assure you. Along the way I bought some run down homes, fixed them up. (mostly doing the work myself ) and sold them for profits. This allowed me to navigate my artistic endeavors the way I wanted to. It took quite a while to get to the point where I was satisfied with the direction I was headed but I stuck with it. I am still in the process. I can honestly say I love creating imagery and learning new ways of approaching my work every day. The most that I hope for is recognition among my peers and helping others succeed.
Xanatemedia is proud to bring you the spring issue (volume 6) of the “illustrators Journal”. It’s gotten a whole new look and design as well as all new articles and interviews! We sit down with children’s illustrator, Bob McMahon, take a look at legendary gaming creator/writer Christy Marx and talk with master of lighting art Bruce Munro. In addition, LPIK, our photography magazine debuts with three new interviews; James Vaughan, Justin Rosenberg and Tony Donaldson. Please let us know what you think and offer any suggestions you like to enhance our upcoming issues. We are always on the look out as to how we can make a better read! Editor
Read Mary’s entire article in the Spring Edition of The Illustrators Journal magazine coming out in March.
After a long absence the Illustrators Journal is back. The design is new, the vibe is new and in this “best of” issue you will see and read some of our best pieces of the past year and a half as well. There is an interview with the Journal’s newest member and very talented illustrator/writer, Mary Longshore. And a second interview where Mary talks with well-known gaming artist Jon Wong Park. Both interviews sport great illustrations as well.
Finally the Journal previews it’s new photography section, LPIK. This sneak peek sports the photography of the publisher, Lon Levin, to show what future issues will look like. Interviews and articles are being lined up now to fill out the LPIK section of The IJ’s Spring issue.
As always please comment and let us know what you think and suggest things you’d like too see and read.
Click on the image or use this link to see the new issuehttp://issuu.com/lonlevin/docs/ij.5.mag.layout.alt
Sometimes in my zeal to learn new things every day I forget that this blog is called the Illustrators Journal.By all rights it should be the Illustrator’s Journal, because it’s really about my journey as an artist. So sometimes I’m writing, sometimes I’m talking photographs and almost every day I’m drawing. So, to honor that part of what I do and have done here are some of my favorite illustrations. Most are painted with water oils which I like a lot. They don’t smell, they’re flexible as far as usage and they dry fairly quickly.
Wow, have I got an issue for you. I have five great illustrator interviews and /or editorials that will appear in the Spring Issue of The Illustrators Journal.
Joanne Lew Vriethoff is an illustrator who contacted me or I contacted her through Linkedin (I think) I saw her work and was dazzled. I learned she and I are both Art Center Alumni and I learned she’s an ex-patriot living in The Netherlands. (Love the Netherlands as they are big fans of the Journal).
I have a feature interview with Leslie Cober-Gentry whose father Alan Cober was a teacher of mine and one of the best illustrators of the last half century. However make no mistake Leslie is a fabulous talent on her own and her candid interview will give readers an insight into what it takes to be a top illustrator today. In addition through a bright PR marketing strategist named Susan Raab I was able to get interviews with Roxie Munro who is a childrens illustrator who has turned her talents loose in the digital world of apps and digital content. I preview some of her upcoming work and it’s really stunning.
Also Steve Light, a former corporate designer (I can relate) who struck out on his own a while back, became a teacher of young children and a children’s book illustrator. Over the course of his career he came up with the”Storybox” combining his talents as a storyteller, illustrator and sculptor to create an all-one-box that employs everything you need to tell a children’s story.
And finally a lady who I’ve known since first grade. Mona Shafer-Edwards is a renown court illustrator who has witnessed history by sketching the courtroom drama on cases like OJ Simpson, Paris Hilton, Michael Jackson and most recently Lindsay Lohan. If that wasn’t enough she is a talented fashion illustrator as well. Books featuring her artwork have been in bookstores for years. I had the pleasure of sitting with Mona revisiting our past and her career and she is a wonder. All in all this issue is going to be a great read and I will do my best to make it fun, informative and enlightening. Of course we’ll have the usual features, Lonfellow’s Corner, The Masters View and Mark Susnow’s Inspire Possibilities. And for all of you who love fantasy art the Journal will have a section where we unveil our five favorite fantasy artists and a small tribute to Frazetta and Boris Vallejo. So stay tuned, browse the site and keep a watch out for the Spring Edition schedule for release 3/22
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The winter edition of the IJ contains technology reviews, interviews and articles with gaming artist Mike Cressy, Childrens Book writer Merrily Kutner, CF Payne update and Victor Juhasz draws in Afaganistan. In addition we feature a special tribute to World War 2 artists and our favorite 5 childrens book illustrators.