Artist Spotlight: Pam Wishbow
August 29, 2018 • 0 Comment
Pam Wishbow is an illustrator based in Seattle. She uses processes inspired by printmaking to create illustrations and products that are often inspired by the weird and spooky things in life.
- What do you do for a day job?
I’ve been a full time illustrator for a little over a year now, previously juggling that with working in coffee. As far as what being an illustrator as a job is, pretty much anything from client work to making things for my online shop.
2. How did you get your start?
In the last year of school or so I started selling work online. A lot of trial and error, putting stuff out there that I wanted to make, but really word-of-mouth helped me get seen by art directors who were happy to take chances on a new illustrator.
3. Do you have any hobbies outside of art?
I love to garden, which sadly in my current apartment isn’t much of a thing I can do but I manage to get as many plants as I can in window boxes. I also work with my partner who teaches blacksmithing and enjoys woodworking to design projects for around the house or just for fun.
4. What are some of your early influences that got you drawing?
Cartoons got me drawing as a kid, things that stood out were usually the backgrounds for whatever reason. Particularly the ones in 101 Dalmatians and Looney Tunes. I watched A LOT of Looney Tunes.
5. Do you have a personal project that you’re stoked on?
I’ve been doing a lot of linoleum prints, it is really satisfying to actually touch real materials and learn something new after staring at a computer screen all day. There’s only so much you can control and I enjoy it more when something unexpected happens.
6. What does being a creative professional mean to you?
It means learning a lot and continuing to do so. I don’t currently have a creative job where I do in to an office or have any sense of a typical day so it also means staying flexible and planning ahead for lean times.
7. What is your favourite image/series you’ve worked on and why?
I recently put out a new divination deck inspired by a lot of heraldry and grave symbols. For how long it took you’d think I would be sick of it but I’m still pretty in love with it!
8. What’s some advice you’d wish you’d gotten when you were starting
I wish I had more, or any, guidance on what it was like to run a business. Taxes, filing for permits, etc. It is really confusing and I would have loved someone to sit down and really explain what it all meant. I still don’t think I know!
9. What recharges your creative batteries when burnout creeps in?
I recently had a really rough burnout and am crawling my way out of it. Walking away and doing something physical helps, using my creative mind for something other than my work. I usually do a project for the house, paint a room or rearrange the furniture. It usually exposes some new ideas while my mind and body is at work with something else for a while.
10. What’s your tool of choice for making images?
I’ve gotten pretty attached to my iPad, something I never would have predicted a few years ago! It’s made things a lot easier to jump into so I don’t spend a lot of time getting my workspace ready which usually makes for a distraction from what I really want to get done.
11. Anything new debuting at the market that you’d like to tell us about?
I am hoping to have a set of printed banners!
12. Do you listen to anything while you work? What is your go-to?
If I have to do any kind of idea generation or planning I can’t have any voices or lyrics so I tend to have atmospheric music going on. I like to set the mood according to what the project is so for me that is usually something a little spooky and dreamy. Otherwise I love to listen to conspiracy theory or ghost story podcasts!
13.What is one of the biggest challenges of being an independent artist today?
I think staying in the eye of, for me, potential customers is my biggest challenge. I feel like I produce a lot of work but for every illustration I make it appears on the feeds of twitter or instagram for a split second and it’s like it never happened. I forget how much I’m putting out there because the speed of consumption is so fast, I feel like I must keep up making new things to make sure people remember I exist.