Karen Vaughan is a recent graduate from the North Wales School of Art and Design where she studied Illustration, specialising in Illustration for Children’s Publishing.
‘While I have always wanted to be an Illustrator, before I went to university I hadn’t quite worked out a style of illustrating that was entirely my own. Going to university was the best decision I’ve ever made, I found that it really focused me on what kind of Illustrator I wanted to be.’
‘I have been drawing since I was very small, usually inspired by the numerous fairy tales I had been reading. Now, many years later, I have found myself once again inspired by old fairy tales, particularly the lesser known stories. I find the challenge of re-imagining existing characters and their surroundings quite rewarding.’
‘I mainly work traditionally using pen and ink which I then clean up and colour digitally. I love to create beautiful, intricately detailed images that can tell a story as part of a book or as a standalone piece. While my work is certainly inspired by Illustrators from the golden age of illustration (particularly Kay Nielsen, Aubrey Beardsley and Ivan Bilibin), I try to give my images a more contemporary look.’
‘I am currently working on some private commissions as well as a new adaptation of the Russian fairy tale Vasilisa the Beautiful, which is similar to Cinderella but has witches, not Fairy Godmothers and a magical skull staff that has the power to incinerate wicked step-mothers. It is a lot of fun. Ultimately, my ambition is to one day be both the author and illustrator of my own books.’