Hello adult coloring book fans! Today we present you a colorist from a country known for love and passion. Meet Christina Simon from France who can colour all day everyday!
Q: First of all tell us little something about yourself.
My name is Christina Simon. I am in my forties and live in the South of France, just beside Monaco.
My hobbies are drawing, colouring, reading, photography, watching good movies and TV shows, gardening, have long walks in nature.
I have a bachelor degree in Product Design, worked as Interior Designer before moving to France where I worked on luxury retail and as a freelance Graphic Designer for many years.
I started drawing and colouring again a few months ago and hope it will become more than a hobby.
Q: How did you start to color?When did this attraction begin?
I was just more than a baby actually. My late mother used to tell me I couldn’t even walk well enough but was always grabbing paper and pencils to « draw » something. At this time, I used to do it with both hands simultaneously.
Q: Do you use coloring as a small getaway from the real world?
Yes. But more than this it really is something I love to do. Today I can’t imagine myself doing something else. I draw and colour all day everyday or almost.
Q: How do you prepare before coloring?
I don’t! I just follow my feelings. But I always do some research when I’ll colour, look for photos of the real subjects to choose colours and details.
If I am creating something, it depends. Sometimes I just doodle and than something comes out of it. But I can also be inspired by other artists work. I also draw from a reference photo, but I haven’t done it for a while now.
Q: You are a colorist and an artist. What do you prefer? And why?
Both, it depends on the moment. It is a feeling, I can’t really explain.
Q: Where do you get the ideas? What inspired you?
Nature itself, photos, other artists work…
Q: Describe your illustrations in three little words
Intricate, delicate, organic.
Q: How would you describe your “coloring” workplace?
An organized mess.
Q: What are your favorite supplies for coloring? Do you always use the same or you like to experiment with it?
I love everything, but my favourites are coloured pencils, markers and ink.
I have more experience with pencils and started working with markers just a few weeks ago and like it very much as well.
I use technical pens Rotring Isograph for drawing mandalas, patterns, doodles, etc. I have UniBall, Pigma Micron, but prefer the “old ones”.
I have only Caran d’Ache pencils, Supracolor Soft, Pablo and Luminance.
Markers, I use Winsor & Newton Promarkers, Molotow, Staedler Triplus Fineliners, and Stabilo point 88.
I’d love to try many other materials, brands and techniques but they are very expensive. My wish list is huge!
Q: Why do you prefer working with pencils as opposed to digitally?
I don’t have a preference. I like both of them. I just don’t use the computer to sketch, doodle and colour. Now I intend to work a floral doodle on Illustrator, make it a vector image, a pattern, who knows?
Q: Do you have special techniques and color mixes that you’d like to share with us? Any tips and tricks?
Well, I mostly work with coloured pencils. My technique is to layer a lot! Light strokes and layers to mix colours, blend and shade. In the end, white and black in key places to increase contrast. I need to work on feathers and hair.
Something I always do when colouring books is to scan the illustration and print it on a thicker and appropriate paper for the technique I choose to use. Even with the same medium, the paper texture (and colour of it) changes a lot the results. Colours mix and blend differently, final texture is different and so on. I also make the contour lines lighter, since I don’t like them black. Specially when using pastel colours.
Q: What challenges (if any) did you face in making your coloring pages and can you give other artists any tips for solving similar problems?
I think I answered it on the tips above… But mainly it is the quality of the paper that sometimes it’s not appropriate for markers, watercolour and such. And the fact that when the illustration is on two pages it is quite hard to colour in the middle. I skip those.
Q: If you could choose only one of your finished coloring page which one would it be? And why?
This is hard… They are all so different, impossible to compare.
But I’d say it is the one from the link below, an illustration from Floribunda, a colouring book illustrated by Leila Duly.
It took me more than a month to complete it and I really love the result.
- The colours are much brighter (and soft at the same time) than in any photo I took from it.
- Because it is the best layering job I’ve done until now.
Q: What drives the adult coloring trend according to your experience?
It is a way to release stress to most people, a therapy. And many of them have a huge talent for colouring!
Q: Do you have a favorite coloring book author? How did he/she earn your admirations?
There are many! The most known being Johanna Basford, Leila Duly, Hanna Karlzon, Kerby Rosanes, Denise Klette… I like to colour things I’d love to have drawn, this is how I choose the books and pages I colour.
Q: What would you like to see more in the adult coloring book world?
I’d love to be able to buy digital versions of the books since I always scan and print the illustrations before colouring. Also, if an accident occurs, we could print it again and restart without needing to buy the whole book once more and experiment colouring the same illustration with different mediums.
Contour lines should be lighter, not black. Grey 50%, for example.
Q:What are your plans for the future?
I am considering sites as Etsy, RedBubble, Artistocracy and such to sell pieces with my own drawings but this is some steps away.
As an artist, you can expect ink drawings and patterns I am working on and sketching, some drawings inspired by photos I am collecting….
As a colourist, I am not sure yet, but I’ll probably choose between Hanna Karlzon, Kerby Rosanes, and Denise Klette, since I haven’t coloured any of their books yet.
(see images from Kirby Rosanes‘ Doodle Book)
Q: And last but not least, where can we find your artwork?
For now, I only show them on Instagram.
I have Pinterest account (same username as IG) where I pin everything I like and inspires me.