5 Mins, Illustration 4 years ago

Thereza Rowe on working, playing and networking.

Thereza Rowe is a London based illustrator and author and we LOOOOOOOVVVVE her work.

The cut shapes and silhouettes give Thereza’s work a highly original feel and a hugely versatile spectrum of storytelling potential. With clients like Bloomsbury books, Urban Graphic and Merlin Entertainment clearly we aren’t the only people that think so…

Thereza took some time out of her insanely busy day working with hand cut shapes and silhouettes to talk to us. Here’s what she said.

Could you give us 3 tips that you’d say have got you to where you are today.

Work, play and network everyday.

I believe finding a healthy balance between the three is key to a happy and productive creative life.

Cut shapes Tereza Rowe Illustration

Tereza Rowe – Illustration for the V&A Museum of Childhood programme booklet

Why did you feel cut shapes and illustration is best suited to you? What excites you about it?

Pretty much any form of visual communication excites me. But drawing, in all its forms, is my favourite as it is such an instant and fluid way of conveying ideas, and representing the world as I visualise it.

I also like the whole process of editing and playing with possibilities. This is also the part I get to talk to my characters and make sure they’re comfortable and happy with playing their part in that particular illustration, etc.

Give us an idea of your average day, how you work and how do you get your creative ideas done?

I’m an early bird.

I love mornings in the sense that the head is fresh and full of room for new ideas.

My day usually begins with coffee and my moleskine. I jot down ideas and sketches and normally by 9am I’m ready to make a proper start.

As for the way I work, there isn’t really a set process. The main thing for me is to get the form right. Say if I’m working on a character, I will sketch and paper cut it several times until I’m happy with its shape.

Then I scan it in and edit it on photoshopillustrator or both. My work is very much colour based working with cut shapes. It’s important that those forms are flexible enough so I have plenty of opportunities to play with them.

Cut Shapes Tereza Rowe Illustration

How do you attract new work?

I have Instagram and twitter accounts and often post work in progress and upcoming stuff.

As a result I find that networking in that way you get to build a solid base. Both with potential clients and fans of your work. The whole keeping up with social media thing can be distracting but great fun too. And I got to meet so many ace fellow illustrators and clients through them.

How long have you been working with cut shapes and would you say it’s your career?

I took the plunge of becoming full time in 2009 and have never looked back.

Thinking about it, it is definitely my career and I cannot imagine doing anything other than what I do. As it’s an endless journey of discovery, there’s never a day the same as the one before and that keeps the excitement alive.

Cut Shapes Tereza Rowe Illustration

What’s the best advice would you give to someone starting out?

I’d say that talent alone is not enough in this business.

You have to have clear aims and really commit to what you wish to achieve.

Always remember, work ten thousand hours, find your voice, be yourself. And importantly, love what you do and get your work out there both online and offline. Out of this, positive results will definitely materialize.


Check out more of Tereza's work on her site



I'm co-founder of Crazy Animal Face, host of the CAF Podcast, and compere of our CAF events. My views are my own.

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