Moonlie Fong-Whittaker is a London-based children’s illustrator with a warm cup of tea in her hands.
We came across Moonlie’s work when we were first introduced to and worked with Pathways; they provide illustration courses that nurture aspiring illustrators and writers, as well as opportunities for young people to learn about publishing. Their courses are for anyone who wants to make children’s books, but they also create special opportunities for aspiring artists from backgrounds that are under-represented in children’s books.
Moonlie Fong-Whittaker is a London-based children’s illustrator with a warm cup of tea in her hands. Moonlie is very proud of her Chinese-Malaysian roots; she was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Belgium. Moonlie is enthusiastic and passionate about illustration, and she loves inventing quirky characters and stories. Her go-to mediums are watercolour and ink. Moonlie is especially drawn to colour, textures and expressive lines. Moonlie is vocal on social justice issues around ethno-racial equality and Chinese diaspora identity. She is also part of the Imperial College Race Equality Charter Group and Imperial As One (BAME staff network and advisory group), and is a volunteer for the BESEAN (East and South-East Asian Network). Impressive isn’t it? You can find out more below…
When did you start illustrating?
I drew a lot when I was a kid but paused it when I had to study something more ‘serious’ and do something ‘serious’ with my life. After university, I re-ignited my passion for drawing by enrolling in evening classes.
Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?
Definitely my husband. When I got back into drawing, I took different evening classes, and I would come home with hundreds of sketches. He always made time to look at each one of them, including drawings of which I’d cringe at the sight right now. And also, all the teachers and mentors for believing in me while I didn’t. I always felt held back as I don’t have a creative degree, but they made me believe that there was a space for someone like me.
Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?
It is something I wanted but postponed for a long time. I suffered from imposter syndrome badly, and I didn’t feel good enough. It is only in the last few years I have had the confidence to own up and say that it is a possibility for me.
What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?
Animals, the fluffier, the better!
How would you describe your style?
My style has been described as warm and atmospheric. Colour, textures and expressive lines especially mesmerise me. My medium to go is watercolour and ink.
What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?
I was very impressed by the different styles and the progressive message Illo Agency is spreading. When I talked to Amy, it sounded like joining a larger community.
Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?
My primary influence has been children’s illustrations, as it is a versatile medium (anything goes). Therefore, I admire all artists. I also love anything 90’s, especially films and music.
Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?
I paint a portrait of my baby daughter every week. I became a mum this year, and it’s been a wild ride since she was born! Making a portrait every week allows me to sit still and capture those tender moments.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?
If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [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.