I’m Eleanor Harbison, a student at OCC. I’m working on completing the Illustration Certificate and hoping to break out into the children’s book illustration field. I currently have a website (though still a work in progress). Check it out to see more of my artwork: www.eleanorharbison.com.
Below is my artist statement we’ve been working on in class. And below that, well, something just for fun–one of my favorite stories I’ve illustrated, Three Billy Goats Gruff.
I am an illustrator with an interest in the dramatic. Illustrating means creating my own theatrical production in order to engage an audience in a story. I construct the characters, the setting, the mood, looking for contrasts of themes, emotions, and visual language.
My process for illustrating is often the same. A life experience, a conversation, or a narrative can trigger a scene in my head. I sketch multiple thumbnails of the scene, create a final drawing, and explore value and color possibilities. While watercolor often helps me create the movement and expression I desire in a piece, I am constantly pushing to use other media such as fabric, acrylic paint, and digitally created textures. I enjoy combining these elements with watercolor to discover their effect.
Since children’s books are, at their core, a theatrical experience, I focus my creative efforts on this avenue of illustration. My current work is a mix of fantastical fables and daily life vignettes, primarily centering on the concerns and joys of childhood. I will explore these themes while stretching my style in new directions with exciting combinations of media. My goal is to develop a vibrant, versatile body of work to present to publishers and editors for children’s book publication.