Introducing New Fantasy Illustrator: Melanie Delon
We’re very proud to introduce new illustrator, Mélanie Delon to our list, her stunning work can be viewed on our newly designed website. With an incredible talent for creating luminescent artwork with a magical ethereal quality, French born Mélanie is quickly becoming one of the hot new fantasy illustrators to watch. Working primarily in Photoshop but with a strong passion for pencil illustration her work has featured in numerous publications both within the fantasy genre and for her own Artbook series. In this interview, we learn more about Mélanie’s process and inspiration.
Can you tell us a bit about how you first became interested in illustration? Is it something that started during childhood?
It was an accident, I wanted to become a director, but I discovered Photoshop and the graphic tablet at my 3d school, a revelation! I started to draw a lot, posting on 2d forums each time I finished a piece, and slowly became addicted to it. It was probably something natural, I have always drawn, on paper, it was only for fun, I never thought I could do this for a living.
Your work has a very magical fairy tale like quality to it, where do you find inspiration?
In a lot of things, movies, books, music, art, everything I see or hear. But most of the time it comes from paintings, classic or Pre-Raphaelite painters. I love their subjects and their use of light and colours. I usually include in my illustrations some historical elements, like architecture, old patterns etc, this comes from university, where I studied history of art and archaeology, I guess my inspiration comes also from this period of my life.
Many of your pieces are incredibly ethereal and have such a delicate touch. Can you tell us a bit about how you work, and the process involved in creating your beautiful artwork?
I start with a very basic colour sketch, just to set the mood and composition. After that if needed, I do some research for the architecture or the dress or any other elements I want in the painting. Then I slowly refine everything, add more details, light etc. It’s a long process, I spend around two weeks of work to complete a painting.
Which classic book would you most like to illustrate?
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, it’s my all-time favourite.
Which top tips would you give to budding illustrators?
Stay yourself, paint what you like not what’s commercial, try different techniques just challenge yourself! And keep going!
How did you feel when you first saw your work published?
It was for my first Artbook, Elixir, when I first saw the book I almost fainted and jumped for joy at the same time. Having it in my hands was really strange, after working on it for about a year, the book was finally finished, real.
Which other artists and illustrators do you admire?
Too many! I adore the old masters, their light is to die for. I also love Edmond Dulac and Arthur Rackham, their illustrations are so gorgeous. And for the more recent artists, Topy, Sparth, Erik Tiemens, Brom to name a few.
You can find out more about Mélanie on her website and watch out for her illustrations which are often featured in Imagine FX magazine. We will also be showcasing her work at Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention from 14th to 18th August at London ExCel.