Paul Farrell is the illustrator of a new set of building cards, Build a Castle. He is the author and illustrator of the book Great Britain in Colour. Also a graphic artist and printmaker, he is based in Newport, Wales.
Q: How did you create your artistic style?
A: My illustrative style is a product of many years influenced and inspired by the graphic arts, my training as a graphic designer, my childhood growing up on the 1970s and generally everything to anything that I have seen based simply on shape and colour.
I enjoy the process of simplifying a subject without losing its identity and meaning.
Literally I create all on my illustrations on an Apple desktop iMac using mainly Adobe Illustrator.
Q: You've recently created a set of cards to build a castle--what inspired these cards?
A: I’ve always been interested in the different eras in architecture and in particular the characteristic features that define each era.
My first book published by Pavilion Books titled Great Britain in Colour features many favourite illustrated themes and created the basis for further work such as Build a Castle.
I also wanted to design a fun educational gift book that gave a little background to the subject as well as an opportunity to create and play.
Q: How did you choose the images to depict in Great Britain in Colour?
A: Great Britain in Colour was published in 2016 and essentially is a collection of over 160 illustrations/imagery that define my Great Britain from the last 50 years of my life.
It is all the details and experiences that I have observed during my trips and it’s a very personal account that depicts the land I grew up in. I travelled to all four capitals and had to include a good portion of subjects from each country.
Q: Which picture books do you especially admire?
A: During lockdown in Newport, Wales, where I am now based, I have been compiling a series of posts on social media titled “Illustration inspiration in isolation” and these feature my favourite illustrators and certainly children’s book illustrators from my childhood such as Dick Bruna, responsible for the Miffy stories; Maurice Sendak for Where the Wild Things Are amongst others; and my current favourite is David McKee, who illustrated many great picture books including Mr Benn.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am also a freelance brand design so I have been busy designing brands, as well as new illustrations for greeting cards and prints that I sell, but mainly developing and illustrating new book concepts such as those for weeds, vegetarian Italian cookery, and a story about a dragon that only a little girl named Belle can see, titled I’m Sure I Saw a Dragon.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I’m hoping Build a Castle and Build a Skyscraper (to be published Sept. 2020) will not be the end to the series as I have many other ideas to share with the publisher. I’d like to suggest a build for a rain forest, space station and deep ocean.
Besides all that I am wishing the days of lockdown away so I can meet up with my family and start to plan for the new normality.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb