5 Minutes with… Rebecca ter Borg, illustrator

4 years ago by

After seeing her work around locally, and being totally inspired by it, we recently grabbed a quick five minutes with Auckland-based illustrator Rebecca ter Borg.

Hi Rebecca, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you first got into illustrating?
I have been drawing, slightly obsessively, since I was a kid. I never considered any other option than to study something art-related and to try and make it my career and life-path. When I found out that illustrating was a thing I was away. Massey Design School in Wellington had an illustration programme that involved lots of life-drawing, print-making and getting messy and I loved it.

I live in Auckland now and, after a slow-down period of a couple of years to do a bit of travel and hanging with my kids while they were little, I’m back into free-lance illustrating, working on my own extra-curricular projects, drawing on the streets with the Quick Draw Sketch Gang and teaching illustration at Unitec.

Where do you work from?
I work out of Inky Palms in La Gonda arcade, K Rd, when I’m feeling like being in the outside world. It’s a relaxed shared space with some other friendly illustrators and a few fun machines like the Risograph printer. When I’m really nose to the grindstone I work at home where I have all my stuff and there’s food and no distractions… till the kids get home.

How would you describe your work and your illustrative style?
I really like drawing people and I feel like there’s always a bit of a narrative going on in all my pictures. I like to create a sort of familiar yet strange atmosphere with surreal colours and slightly exaggerated characters.

Who are you inspired by?
People who wear great colour combos, illustrators that have a different quirky approach that I would never have thought of, my studio mates…

What does a typical working day for you involve?
My working day is truncated by school pick-ups so it’s not very long, I often work at night too. I don’t have a typical working day it really depends what I’m working on and what stage I’m at and what chores can be ignored. Once I’m into something it’s very absorbing and can be hard to drag myself out to think about prosaic things like what’s for dinner.

There is a stage of brainstorming which can happen at any time, while driving or in the shower, then finding or creating, reference material if it’s needed, lots of fun sketching and drawing and creating textures. Everything ends up on Photoshop to be layered and tweaked.

What project, personal or professional, are you most proud of and why?
I had a kinda thrill when I saw a book that I had an illustration in in the public library the other day. I’d already seen it in print but somehow seeing it in the library seemed so official and real, and I love libraries.

What excites you about what you do?
I am endlessly inspired by illustration and visual art. I am always thinking about new things to try and pictures I want to create that I can already kind of see in my minds eye.

What’s in the pipeline/what’s next for 2017?
I’m working on illustrations for two book projects that I’m quite excited about. They’re both aimed at young women, have an element of social conscience and involve drawing people which is awesome.

And finally, where can people see more of your work?
www.rebeccaterborg.com or follow me on instagram @rebeccaterborg_illustration

Thanks for your time, Rebecca!


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