Imogen Clare
Imogen Clare






2008 – IMAGES 32

Imogen tries to observe life as closely and sensitively as possible. Her work is underpinned by a commitment to drawing, a love of the fantastical and an interest in exploring issues such as bereavement, illness and war.  To her, the world is very beautiful and complicated.  It is the illustrator’s privilege to depict what he sees in his own way.

A uniquely beautiful alphabet book from the winner of the Macmillan Prize 2007. When the central character, Lucy, goes to market she finds everything she needs, from an asparagus angel and a delicate dragon, to an invisible igloo and a pair of wacky wellingtons. But will they all fit in her doll's house?

Following Imogen's AOI award's success she started to become nominated for other awards. "My favourite was being shortlisted for The Heart of Hawick’s Children’s Book Award; books are assessed, judged and the winner chosen by children for children.”

BRIEF: To illustrate a picture book for The Macmillan Prize 2007.

MATERIALS: Paper, pencils, rubbers, cotton buds, the corners of tissues, baking parchment, crayons, 1 scanner, 1 laptop, a bit of Adobe Photoshop and a sense of humour.

RESEARCH: Drawing my lead character over and over, allowing her to occupy my thoughts and dreams and lead me around the world on fantastical adventures where anything is allowed and everything is possible.

PROCESS: Light line work followed by lots of rubbing out/correcting before adding detail and tone in pencil. Lots of listening to Harry Potter. More rubbing out.  Work day and night until drawings are complete. Lay drawings out on floor. Assess. If adequate, scan in and use Photoshop to add light washes of colour.  Send to publisher and reach for glass of wine.

RESISTANCES: Marrying heavy pencil technique with humour.  Learning to add colour in pieces that were essentially painted in pencil.  Managing the fear that accompanies facing a dream.

INSIGHT: The journey is more important than the destination.


NUMBERS: 1 basket, 1 dragon, 4 flamingoes, 13 garlands, 6 children, 1 jar of jam, 19 lampshades, 5 tins biscuits, 3 feathered quills, 1 rainstorm, 10 strawberries, 1 pair of wellingtons, 1 writer, 1 illustrator, 1 thesaurus, 256 pencils, 345 sheets of paper, one 3cm tall little girl with brown hair, a big nose and a bold heart.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I seek to create worlds that are enveloping and transporting, that involve strong characterisation and a focus on relationships.  Nowadays, my drawing strives to tell stories that are thought provoking and touch on what it means to be human.