Dropped off by egrets, in the Middle East, Alicia Souza’s folks had a hard time keeping up to her experiments of drawing on doors and burning them because its faster than erasing. She followed her gut of studying down under only to find absolutely no sheep in the city. She. hence, decided to huddle to India and is now smiling happily that every morning she can drink chai and grin at cows at a safe distance. They grin back, she insists.
Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I did attend a design school in Melbourne and hold a Bachelors in Communication Design.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My brother, because he was and is incredibly smart. He still is my go-to person when I don’t feel like reading Wiki or searching Google.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
More than a particular person, I just have an incorrigible love of illustrated children books, which developed in my 20’s and that was when I fell in love with pictures all over again. It was like finding new love.
Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Advertising agencies get illustrations only if it suits the brief. There is also the competition of having photographs instead. I work with publishers a lot more.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Yes, when I just started. It’s hard making something you love, a job too. But I didn’t have a choice and had to make it work and now I love it excessively.
Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
MANNNNYYYY times. Unfortunately, it involves a budget that I look to invest in the future.
Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
Nilofer Suleman amazes me with her detailing! I think I’d call her an ‘artist’ more than an ‘illustrator’ though!
What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing?
I got my first freelancing illustration project at graduation. But I believe I was a full-time freelancer only a year and a half ago, when I left my previous position. I did’nt feel I had much of a choice in that regard. My previous engagement ended abruptly and I din’t want to join a place yet I needed to earn, so I started freelancing. In the beginning it was slow and now I feel like I’m running all the time. I’ve been lucky:)
Do you have any favourite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
I have a million favourites but my recent love are these blokes (I think) who do this comic called Toon Hole. I think they are hilarious! I don’t frequent works as often as I’d like to, so my other resource is general information at google.
You have such a wide experience as a top working professional. What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on Illustration as a career option? Is it paying well enough?
You have to realise that there’s more to taking up illustration as a freelancer than just drawing. You have to be proactive about getting to know people, advertising or marketing your work and have a basic plan about how you want to grow. Money is definitely not ‘the’ incentive in this field and you make how much you want to make. The more projects you take up, the more you get paid. Simple.
Tell us something of your personal projects.
My personal project is my daily drawings. The ones I put up on Facebook. It’s become a personal space to showcase my work and also gives me freedom to do anything I want, daily.
My other personal projects involve me growing as a person. So every year I take up something new to learn or do something that I’ve been wanting to and never did. I can’t tell you about my current year plans till the end of the year but last year, I learnt a bit of a language, started to cook a wee bit, got my hands dirty with gardening, grew my nails out a bit, and brought up another dog.
What is your dream project?
Having to draw about 3 greeting cards every month. I love greeting cards!
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Richard Gere. Or my parents. Absolutely not together.
What’s on your iPod?
Country music and Christmas classics.
Mac or PC?