Date of Success:
I have illustrated for most of my life using different materials to eventually find my own style. I have always wanted to create something and share it with other people. The journey of creating and illustrating a children’s book is the most fulfilling to me. I find illustrations enhance a story and linger in a child’s mind long after the reading. Storytelling through illustration is a unique way I like seeing the world.
There is a great simplicity when working with watercolour pencils that allows me to bring life and colour to my illustrations. I also experiment with different types of paper and I am constantly amazed at the different results that can be achieved.
I am interested in exploring any subject but find Australian animals, fantasy, and Science Fiction as my favourite subjects.
I am currently working on writing and illustrating my own children’s book. I look forward to the journey.
My first illustrated book is titled “Long Live Us” written by Edel Wignell and published by Interactive Publications Pty Ltd and will be due out in January 2011.
You can visit Peter on his web site: www.peterallert.com.au
Over the last 4 years there have been many ways that the CYA has helped me on my journey. With the help of Ally and Tina at CYA I have found I have grown both as an illustrator and storyteller. While attending different sessions at each conference I have picked up information that has allowed me to build my skill and knowledge creating images I did not think possible.
The CYA Conference is the soil in the garden of my possibilities and as I grow I find I am in a field of friends and the sun is shinning brightly indeed.
CYA has been responsible for many ideas that have come in handy when honing my craft, here are a few I have found very useful:
Create an area to work
Create a place where you can work undisturbed and make it your own. NO HAWKERS!
Make a place for yourself to work on your writing or illustrating regardless of other commitments otherwise you will be too easily distracted.
Have belief in yourself
CYA gave me the courage to believe in my work and what I was doing was ok. It is very easy to assassinate yourself and believe what you are doing is no good but you are a better person setting your sites on your qualities. Set yourself achievable goals and be fair with the assessment of your work and abilities.
Learn for what has gone before
Create you own reference library in which to draw ideas and learn from what has already gone before.
“How did another artist or illustrator approach this situation?” Shaun Tan ~ CYA 2007.
When working on a project the CYA asked me to broaden my mind and research the area I was developing. By researching you can overcome some basic problems others have come across before. A suggestion might be to follow the work of an author or illustrator whose work you can identify with or that is similar to the work you wish to do and see how they approached a particular situation.
Keep a Journal
Buy a small hand held sketchbook with blank pages and keep it with you at all times. This way you can write or draw every idea that comes into your head instantly and have a permanent record of it. Perfect when writing or illustrating your first book.
Pencils, Paper, Action!
Try different methods, ones that are out of your comfort zone. If you find that you have reached a certain level and can go no further try different methods. When I was starting out all I thought about was what kind of pencils did I have and how hard do I press down to get the colour I want. When I started exploring the effects different paper could give me and that there was more than one type of pencil and how to use them a whole world opened up for me. I became better.
Remember having patience is an important component to the process of creating. Sometimes your mind may want to move forward when you need to focus and write or illustrate your ideas before they become confusing or disappear.
Share experiences with others
Mix with likeminded people and share your experiences. I have gained many friendships from CYA, some have developed my skills as an illustrator and others have improved me as a person. Involvement with others of a common interest will broaden your mind, abilities as a storyteller, and scope of thought. CYA draws together the skills of experienced people and allowing them to share with you.
Peter has made a short video of the creation of his book: Long live us.
You can view it on Youtube.