Interview with Illustrator Alice Young

Alice Young studied illustration at The Art Center College of Design. She graduated in 2001 with a B.F.A. in honors and then put a hold on illustration to pursue her other passion which ended in a M.A. in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Biola University in 2009. Now she’s back doing what she does best, which is creating the world through illustrations. She’s currently living in beautiful Southern California creating fantastic works of art for children.
Since this blog’s about offering inspiration to writers and artists, my first question for you is, do you have a favorite quote? If so, why is it your favorite?
“Had they but courage equal to desire?”- W.B. Yeats
This quote reminds me to not be a coward and to meet my desires with the courage to the see them through.
If you could go back in time when you first started creating and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be hindered by a fear of looking like the fool. When I was younger, I did not ask as many questions or go for as many things as I could have because I was afraid to look like the fool. I don’t want to allow that fear to stop me now.
Who’s had the biggest influence on you? What did they do to inspire your art?
I have to say my biggest influence is my mom. She is not an artist, but an appreciator of the arts. She nurtured my creativity and surrounded me with tons of children’s books and art books growing up. I grew up seeing a lot of illustration styles that we don’t always see here in the States. I was exposed to a lot of illustrations from China, Japan, and Europe. I believe the style of my illustrations reflect these influences.
I also learn a lot from her. Like how to make the most of fragments of time. I tend to waste time that does not come in chunks. So she inspires me to get more done!
Are there ever times you feel your creative spark dying? If so, how do you light it back up?
Of course! It happens a lot. When this happens, I read. Reading is always very inspiring and gets the mind going. I also flip through magazines, listen to music, watch movies, or anything that might inspire. But sometimes, you just keep working and pushing through even when you’re not feeling that creative spark. I really believe discipline is more important than genius because I see how hard all the people I consider successful have worked for their success.
Do you have a favorite illustration you could share with us that has a story behind it?
That is a really good question! I have a hard time liking my own work, because I can see how it can be better. But I’ll share a recent piece I made for my promotional card. It is of pickled children. I was inspired to make this illustration after reading George MacDonald’s fairy tale, “The Giant’s Heart.” In the story, the giant eats children and likes them pickled instead of boiled; this is because he likes them crisp. I just couldn’t help myself after reading that!
Have you ever set a really tough goal for yourself and succeeded? Could you share with us what it was and how you accomplished it?
I don’t think it is the toughest goal I could have made more myself, but more than a year ago I set out to figure out how to make a website for myself. I took a few classes and finally launched my website in March. Even now, there are changes I would like to make to my site but I am going to need to do more learning for that!
If you could pick a word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Thank you Alice! And I have to say that your website is, um, WOW! Great job. If you would like to find out more about Alice Young you should not only check out her website but her fun blog as well.

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