Raise your hands, who doesn’t know The Magical City? Everyone does? Thought so. But just in case, go read the review HERE if you need to and come back to join us in our chat with the cool and fun Lizzie Mary Cullen, the author of many awesome books, The Magical City just being one of them, the one that won my heart personally.
Lizzie, BT artbox First Direct campaign / Agency : Story
Iris: How old were you when you started to draw?
Lizzie Mary Cullen: I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember, but my first muse was Ariel. I didn’t know how shell bras worked back then, so it often looked more like a necklace than effective bust support.
I: What was your favorite subject to draw then and what is it now?
LMC: I loved drawing women with long flowing hair. I love long hair. I think now it’s the world we live in, I’m really fascinated by architecture.
London Transport Museum print
I: How did you come to creating coloring books?
LMC: After the success of the great JB’s Secret Garden there was lots of buzz in the publishing world about colouring books. It was a gift to illustrators like me who work in black ink – I was in the right place at the right time!
I: Do you paint or draw for other projects as well? Can you show and tell us a bit about it?
LMC: I do mural for brands and companies, and I write a lot. I just love keeping creative and doing work that makes me happy.
Mural / Zizzi / Harborne
I: Which of your books is your own personal favorite? Why?
LMC: I think my favourite it Magical Journey, because when I look at it I think of all the people I met around the world, and all the places I saw. I’ll remember that trip all my days.
The Magical Journey / Penguin, book review and flip through HERE
I: How do you create a coloring page? What is the process for you?
LMC: I just draw, and hope for the best!
I: How long does it take for you to create a whole book?
LMC: It really depends on how busy my schedule is.
I: What are the challenges of being an artist for you?
LMC: Keeping fresh and knowing when you’ve gone off the boil. When I realise my work is suffering, I go for a walk or gallery, see a film, see friends. Anything but worry. Easier said than done!
Mural / Harvey Nichols
I: Can you describe your day as an artist?
LMC: Get up, coffee, walk pointlessly around for a bit. Brush teeth. Mutter inanely to myself. Go for walk. More coffee. Draw for a few hours, radio always on. Sometimes I put an old movie on in the background. Do some more inane muttering. Draw some more.
Music video for Universal, watch the video HERE
I: What are the tools you can’t live without?
LMC: My 0,3 rapidograph pen, and ink. And paper. And coffee. And drugs. JOKE!! Kind of.
I: Do you have any tips for complete beginners in coloring?
LMC: Just enjoy it!!
I: Is there something in the works for the future as well? Can you share a bit about that?
LMC: I’m working on a picture book. I haven’t pitched it yet though, so don’t hold your breath!!
I: You seem to travel a lot, judging by your books. Can you tell us a bit about your favorite trip?
LMC: I LOVED Japan. I loved Perth, Australia – I met a beautiful family at the local pub who I lived with for 3 months. I miss them. San Francisco was amazing. I met a kindred spirit there, and we had some beautiful moments.
I: I’m curious, you have done coloring books for French and Spanish, what languages do you yourself speak?
LMC: If I’m in France, I can ask the way to the hospital in a very loud voice. I also learned the phrase for ‘Is this alive?’ in Japanese but I’ve forgotten it now.
I: And last, for fun, if you could be any fairytale or fantasy character, who would you be and why?
LMC: GREAT QUESTION – I think I would be a hobbit. They love eating, gardening and a simple life. But there’s always the possibility of an adventure…
Thank you, Lizzie, for taking the time to chat with us a bit! Fingers crossed for the picture book! I’d love to see it!
Lizzie’s books are available at Amazon, Bookdepository and many other well stocked bookstores, online and physical.