...Creating Beautiful Books

Meet Veronica Rooke, illustrator

Veronica Rooke is an artist/graphic designer/cartoonist. She has illustrated a number of books for Serenity Press including My Silly Mum, Fergus the Farting Dragon and Every Family is Different. Follow her on Facebook here.

Where did your desire to draw come from?

It came from sitting next to a box full of comics as a child. The process of creating my own stories would occupy me for hours.

How did you get your first job as an artist?

In Year 11 I realised I could start ‘training’ myself seriously for a career in art. By the time I’d graduated from school, many courses were too basic, but I still lacked some skills. I got a job in a printing factory and worked my way into the art department. Just as I got to a good role … they retrenched me! I had faith in myself and found a brilliant artist’s job four weeks later.

What advice can you give to someone who wants to draw?

Keep practicing! If you think your art looks awful, don’t lose faith. Every artist in the world had rubbish drawings at the start. We enjoyed art and didn’t care. When you keep drawing, you keep getting better.

What inspires you in life?

Optimism … .well I try. Maybe it’s just pig-headed stubbornness. It’s easy to get down and feel like it’s too hard. Uncertainty creeps in and off you go, down a black hole of self-doubt. Times in my life have been miserable and I just say to myself: “You’re no longer there.”

What is your favourite quote?

Things always turn out the way you DON’T expect! Bad things I’ve worried about in the past, almost the opposite has eventuated.

What do you need to stop yourself doing?

Comparing myself to others! I just have to focus on what I’m achieving and stop thinking I’m doing badly.

In a letter to your 13-year-old self, what advice would you give?

You know that bully that’s making your life hell? Stop hiding and deal with her properly! Oh and she’ll make a fantastic character for your future comic serial.

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