Allison

Colpoys

My name is Allison Colpoys. When I was little I wanted to be a mermaid and live in an underwater kingdom. I think that not being able to breathe underwater was the main inhibitor here, otherwise I would be living that dream.

I’m a strong believer in the power of creating a magical association between children and books. It’s important to me that all children see themselves reflected in art and literature, no matter their background or circumstances.

I really loved working on the children’s picture book If All The World Were… by author Joseph Coelho, published by Frances Lincoln in London. I’ll always remember instructing my very patient dad to do various poses for me to sketch so that I could develop the body language and gestures of the grandad in the book. When I’m not doing client work, you can probably find me working on children’s picture books. I’ve illustrated the writing of Davina Bell and Joseph Coelho.

Most of my work starts with black-and-white pencil sketches. Then I mostly use ink, pencil and charcoal for the final art and assemble it digitally.

Here’s a recent book cover I created for HarperCollins Australia. I loved reading Kathleen Glasgow’s stunning and incredibly moving manuscript. Working with the team at HarperCollins to create a cover that reflected the raw grief and tender emotion while also capturing the expansive and magical nature of Kathleen’s novel made this project one of those delightful collaborations where it felt like all of the elements came together quite seamlessly.

I make illustrations for a variety of commercial publications and children’s books. I originally studied multimedia design and loved working with sound and animation, but succumbed to the pull of illustration and publication design, having always been drawn to its tactile nature. One of the most formative experiences of my career was working under art director Deb Brash at Penguin Books Australia.

I am an illustrator because I find joy and challenge in capturing small moments through the depiction of nature and emotion.

I grew up in the Northern Territory, but I now live in Melbourne, where I enjoy endless sunshine (joking). One of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done was designing Ngarra’s book, Ngarra: The Texta Drawings. I was able to learn so much about this incredible artist whose life and work I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to explore in such detail, and I feel my life is richer for it!

I was lucky enough to be one of the 20 artists to create work for the Freedom Calendar. It was a privilege to be part of a project that showed the dedication of the creative community in highlighting the injustices taking place on Manus Island. All proceeds were donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre to fund programs supporting refugees and asylum seekers.

I spend a lot of time procrastinating, because illustration is hard! It’s really important to dedicate time to personal work. Committing to exploring new mediums and techniques on projects that you find fulfilling inevitably enriches your commercial work. Here’s a few of my favourites! I’m really excited to experiment more with pencil and pastels because of their potential to bring a softer, more gentle feel to certain illustrated projects.

That’s me! If you want more, check out my full folio and Instagram. Got a brief? Contact me and the good folks at Jacky Winter.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.

With Jacky Winter you work directly with the artist alongside a hands-on producer—it’s a power-up for your artwork commission.