SA Illustrators: Retha Ferguson

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Name: Retha Ferguson

’n Skrikkel/A Leap, by Retha Ferguson


What is your day job?

Web content manager, photographer.

What road did you follow to launch your career as an illustrator?

I don't have a career in illustration I have a career in other things and I do illustration in the middle of the night after I’ve realised that gazing into the fridge is a waste of time.

In which publications have your illustrations appeared?

Big Issue South Africa, Itch magazine, Between 10 and 5.

What is your preferred medium, and why do you enjoy working in this particular medium?

Pencil and Adobe Illustrator. Because I like erasing the paper to a thin and fragile rag and then scan it in to redraw it in pixels.

Are there specific genres or types of texts that you enjoy illustrating?

For work I love doing editorial illustration; for myself I like doing single-panel cartoons.

Who are your illustration heroes? Were your development as an illustrator and your personal style influenced by the work of other illustrators?

Picasso, Norman Catherine, Will Laren, Dr Seuss. They're not all strictly illustrators, but all of them influence my work immensely.

Are you an avid reader? Who are your favourite authors?

I read many books; I complete few. My favourite book is Woody Allen's Complete Prose and authors I like are Margaret Atwood, Martin Amis and Iain Banks.

What is the one existing text that you would most want to illustrate?

Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, The Meaning of Liff.

Which writer, living or dead, would you most like to collaborate with? What would the fictional book be about that you would work on together?

I'd like to work with Nataniël on an illustrated book which explores the dreams, subconscious and repressed desires of Emsie Schoeman.

Do you have an ideal audience/reader in mind when you create an image or a series of illustrations?

My perfect audience is dirty-minded yet can't let go of childhood; they often buy candyfloss and sculpt hideous creatures with it.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I'm working on a series of single-panel cartoons about social hierarchies in South Africa.

Which one of your illustration projects so far stands out as a favourite, and why?

Doing editorial illustration for Big Issue has been a lot of fun.

Where else can one go to see samples of your work?

Return to the SA Illustrators index page | Keer terug na die SA-illustreerders indeksblad.

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