I was honoured to be featured in this weeks issue of PASS IT ON. Thanks Jackie Hosking. https://jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com/

Vaughan Duck


Please describe your chosen illustration. Is it a personal piece or is it for a particular project?

The illustration was done for the SCBWI ‘Draw This!’ monthly challenge. The Theme was ‘Dance’ it represents my quirky, light-hearted approach to illustration.

How long have you been illustrating? How old were you when you started?

I have been illustrating professionally for over 25 years. I was always drawing something as a kid, probably started by copying Peanuts characters.

Have you ever been paid for your work? What was the first piece you were paid for?

I have always earned an income from illustration. (Yes it is possible.) I don’t know what my first paid piece was. Like most illustrators it was probably for a family member.

Did you study art beyond high school?

I studied Visual Communication at RMIT. Surprisingly I had no interest in studying fine art. I was drawn to designers like Seymour Chwast and illustrators like Norman Rockwell who were working in advertising and magazine publishing.

What type of classes did you enjoy the most?

The RMIT course, taught a little bit of everything: Graphic Design, Photography, Film & TV, Typography. But I enjoyed the Illustration classes the most.

What made you decide you wanted to illustrate for children?

I don’t have any special affinity with children, which might seem strange. I just enjoy having fun with my illustrations and kids love that.

How do you find illustration work?

I am an introvert, networking is way outside my comfort zone. When I first started I sent folios to every publisher and followed up with phone calls. Over time I have built up a list of contacts, who occasional get a folio update from me.

Do you have an agent that represents you? If so, how long you have been with them? If not would you like to find representation?

Australia is a small market and everyone knows everyone. I wouldn’t mind linking up with a US agent.

Have you illustrated a picture book, yet?

I illustrated ‘The Ant Explorer’ for Lothian and was Shorted Listed for their Centenary Award. I have also illustrated a number of Chapter Books for author Morris Lurie.

Have you done illustrations for any children’s magazines? Which ones?

Not recently but previously for Pearson’s Explore magazine.

Have you worked with educational publishers? If so, which ones?

Most of my work comes through educational publishers. I currently work for Macmillan Education, Cengage Learning and have previously worked for Oxford University Press, Pearson Education, Hinkler, Hodder, Random House

What materials do you use to paint your illustrations?

When I work traditionally I love using inks and acrylics. Most of the work I do for educational publishers is hand drawn, scanned and coloured in Adobe Illustrator.

What is the one thing in your studio that you could not live without?

CD Player.

How much time do you spend illustrating?

I illustrate full time. If I don’t have a specific project on the go I draw something for stock illustrations websites.

Has the Internet been helpful for you?

Brilliant for picture research. The internet has made the world smaller, I have worked on a couple projects for US and UK clients. I am currently providing designs for a Chinese company. I love the internet.

Do you use much technology with your illustrations? Computer programmes or drawing tablets?

I know people love their drawing tablets, but that hasn’t clicked for me. I still love the feel of pen on paper.

What are you working on now?

Preparing kids designs for a Chinese bag factory. They will screen print them onto a range of products and show them at trades shows in Hong Kong. I have been working for them over 10 years.

Do you have any tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

“Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us sit down and get to work.” I can’t remember where I came across that quote but I force myself to draw something everyday. I am always looking for non-traditional ways to supplement my income. I sell stuff on ETSY and contribute to stock illustration websites.

Where you can find me…