Meet Penelope

In Issue 22 you’ll find four of Penelope Dullaghan’s fruit images. She also collaborated with us for the Flow Book for Paper Lovers 5, where she created a beach-scene poster with stickers. Here, she tells us a bit about herself.

Penelope Dullaghan is a freelance illustrator and mother of one, and she lives in Indianapolis, US. She’s currently working on a bunch of different projects—pattern banners for a publisher’s website, a book cover for a Young Adult novel, a series of animations that will launch in a few months and her first children’s book. Her ongoing thought is: How will I get it all done? “But in the end, it always works out.”

Can you tell us more about the beach poster and stickers you made for the latest Book for Paper Lovers?
“The beach poster and stickers were so fun to make! I used acrylic paint to paint all the parts and pieces, and then collaged them together digitally using Photoshop. I find that way of working interesting because it gives the work a lovely texture, but also gives me the flexibility to adjust the color after the pieces have been painted.”

What is your favorite subject to draw?
“I love drawing just about everything, but get particularly excited about drawing things from nature, like flowers, seed pods and leaves. There is always a huge variety in what you can draw from nature—you can make it subtle or bold, bright or soft, abstract or realistic. The possibilities are endless.”

How important is your work to you?
“I love my work and feel that it keeps me sane a lot of the time because it gives me a way to connect with other people. I tend to be somewhat introverted and tend to live in my own, self-made world a lot of the time, but my art gives me a reason to reach out and stay in touch with people outside my bubble.”

What is your work schedule like?
“I homeschool my daughter, so my work fits into the schedule she and I have established. We try to build in a lot of free time for her to play and read, and I use that time to work. But sometimes I get up early and work in the early hours of the morning. And sometimes I work late into the night (but I don’t like to do that if I can help it).”

What inspires you the most?
“My husband and daughter. My husband is the very best at finding the magic in everyday life. He’s endlessly compassionate and kind, and he inspires me to be that way too—and to bring that into my work. And my daughter is always making and creating something—her infinite imagination inspires mine.”

What do you do when you have a day off?
“Good coffee, bonfires and hiking are little pleasures in my life. If I have a day off, I like to do all those things!”