Andrea Turk; Illustrator & Print Designer from N. Ireland.

Andrea Turk is an Illustrator and Surface Print Designer from Northern Ireland.

For 12 years Andrea was employed by various Children's companies, where she designed, directed art and managed designers. Andrea has travelled all over the world designing, working with factories, and researching trends, and particularly loves the shops in London, Paris, Barcelona, and Tokyo. She then spent a further 16 wonderful years with her own creative agency designing surface patterns and prints for the Children's market. Honestly there doesn’t seem to be anything she won’t try creatively.  

Andrea works traditionally in watercolour, gouache, colouring pencil, hand painted collage, acrylic inks and finishes the work digitally. She is proficient in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Find out more here….

When did you start illustrating?

I have always drawn and been interested in characters and arty subjects. My earliest memories, are of the colouring in books that I received as a child and big thick felt tip pens, which I treasured. That love of art materials has stuck with me and I keep my tubes of paint in a mahogany cutlery stack of drawers that I bought from an auction. I have gone through many different mediums, including digital, but my heart is happiest with the traditional kind, good old tubes of paint.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career?

I am very fortunate, in that I get different support from many sources. My husband has been so supportive financially, while I transitioned from being a Fashion Designer and Trend Forecaster to Surface Print Designer. Then after many years I needed to fulfil an ambition to illustrate children’s picture books and more editorial work. My husband has been there again while I have spent years learning.

I am part of a group of female illustrators called Cardboard Crowns and we communicate regularly, supporting each other on a daily business. We met virtually and chat on zoom meetings, but in March 2023 we met face to face in Bologna at the Bologna Children’s BookFair. They are a lovely, talented group of women, each very individual in their style, but between us we have so many years experience, that at least one of us will have good advice if there is something that any of us are unsure of. I have a kindred spirit in a lovely friend who is Northern Irish, like me, but lives in Portugal. She is also an illustrator. We met virtually on a course and have become good friends and we support each other and chat regularly.

The most recent person who has been of immense support is Emily Coggins from Illustration Initiative. She gives great advice and is so approachable.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

Yes, most definitely. I remember when I was about 12, I couldn’t decide between fashion designing and architecture, but fashion one in the end. It is so funny how my career has evolved. I have always stayed with art in some form. The physicality of creating and thought process that you go through mentally is so cathartic. It really is food for the soul.

What is your favourite subject to illustrate?

I wish I could say one thing, but I love to draw people, animals, nature and birds. There are definitely topics that I gravitate to. When I am feeling a little stuck, I paint birds, flowers and butterflies, as they are all about colour and pattern. That tends to unblock whatever is there.

How would you describe your style?

Traditional with a touch of quirk and decorative flourish

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

I worked on a fabulous story called “Do Kangaroos Have Eyebrows?” by author Bob Walker. I got to draw all of my favourite things, people, animals, nature, flowers, it was so cool.

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

Amy Milligan and I met at the B.C.B.F. I loved how she talked about the agency and her illustrators. The ethos of the company resonated with me. She immediately put me at ease and we just chatted for an hour about the company and my portfolio. I had that gut reaction that felt right about Illo Agency. I am a great believer in going with your gut.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

It’s another one of those, that I have loads of. I love rhyming books, so Catherine Emmett, Rachel Bright, Julia Donaldson, Andrea Beaty… I could go on.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I am currently working on a piece about Elvis Presley. It is the imagining of a young boy and who and what he will become as an adult.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

3 Point Perspective podcasts are my favourite. I think it’s because these guys, Lee White, Will Terry and Jake Parker are really good friends and that is very obvious the way they chat and the natural rapport that they have. Their advice is honest and comes from years of experience in the industry.

If you have a project in mind for Andrea or you’d like more info, please contact her agent [email protected]

At illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.