*An excerpt for 2001 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market.
Illustrator Theresa Smythe was offered – and followed – career advice from her own subconscious. Smythe graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in film/video and worked in animation (including Warner Bros. Quest for Camelot). She tried watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil, pen & ink, and scratchboard looking for her artistic voice.
“One night (and I’m not kidding), I had a dream in which I heard a voice. It simply said, ‘Do collage.’ When I woke up those words were etched in my mind,” she says. “I eagerly grabbed all the colored paper and scissors we had in the house and snipped away. Never once did I use a pencil – and in that I found complete freedom.”
The rest, as they say, is art history. Smythe confesses, “It took me a while to trust this inner voice.” But then she created a snowman collage just for herself, for fun. When she finished she decided to mail it as a promo piece to see what happened.
“And lo and behold, I got responses. Book publishers requested more samples. Greeting card companies asked me to submit samples as cards. Soon I began to realize that collage was for me.”
Since the initial mailing of her snowman postcard, Smythe has done work for Chirp magazine (illustrating an A. A. Milne poem, “Furry Bear”) and a cover for New Moon, as well as other magazine and greeting card work. She continues to send out postcards showcasing her collage style and is thrilled with every assignment she receives. “This business sort of makes you feel like a junkie waiting for your next fix! Nothing compares with the highs!”