Mixed media, ephemera and self-love; profiling IA's Ron Monnier

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Ron Monnier 

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Work includes: portraits and caricatures (editorial/political), children’s literature, fine art, toys and games. Artistic styles: mixed media (watercolour, acrylic, pencil, collage, ephemera and digital).

Love your work! It’s my belief that if you love your work, you’ll love your life. Art, not only is my profession, it flows through my veins.

I have been illustrating for a number of years for magazines like TIME, Rolling Stone, The Bulletin with Newsweek and Reader’s Digest plus various publishers such as Pan Macmillan. And I also illustrated 2 and quarter pages in Lürzer’s Archive 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide – an international publication for art buyers. I also illustrate and produce eBooks for the Government’s Education Department. I also have two children’s picture iBooks out, (The octopus in the tree and Mr Ringdingle’s greatest feet).

I love to hoard bits and pieces of ephemera and my technique is to use an unusual mix of textures, collage and hand-painted images and throw them all into the blender. However, the most essential ingredient is a good idea. It’s important to me that my illustrations tell a story.

Do you have an art practice outside of illustration?

Yes, I also do graphic design i.e. logos, design, advertising and typesetting books.

TIME water illo

Who and what inspires your art and creativity?

With the internet, it's so easy to see inspiring work everyday! I love Gary Taxali, Gary Basemen and Henning Wagenbreth to name a few.

What excites you about illustration?

To be able to go anywhere with an idea, especially if the destination doesn’t exist yet. And the best fun is experimenting with new textures and techniques and juxtaposing them together to making something unique.

Finding Linlin

What do you love illustrating?

I love editorial illustration which allows me to illustrate a metaphor and to add something new to a story. And I love children’s picture books. There is so much more you can do visually now because of technology.

What’s a typical day for you as an illustrator?

I’m working on educational eBooks at the moment, so everyday is filled with stories and discoveries. After a full day, I love to record ideas in my sketchbook or cut and paste collages onto the pages of repurposed books for relaxation. This is a great technique to free up my thinking.

Do you regularly exhibit your work? Why or why not?

I have exhibited in galleries in the past, but now I display my work on Instagram. It’s all about balancing my time and priorities.

What are your thoughts on social networking and marketing yourself online as an artist? How has this helped you gain a following or given you opportunities?

I’ve tried the big ones and my favourite is Instagram. This platform allows for a quick display of my latest art or illustrations from the past too. I like to keep Instagram only for work, rather than personal photos.

Given what you know now, do you have any advice for yourself in those early stages?

Try to keep to a consistent style or look for your illustrations. Display as much art as you can on your favourite social media sites. Always answer client emails promptly and courteously. Never give excuses to your clients.


Could you give some experience of roles with clients?

I mainly obtained clients with direct mail and email with illustration samples attached. And by consistently spaced out missives to establish relationships. Style is important, but service is paramount.

Do you have any advice for illustrators interested in joining Illustrators Australia?

Again, work on a consistent look and style. Be easy and courteous to work with.

What’s your favourite weird colour (or weird paint shade) name?

Not really weird, but fun all the same – Zombie skin c32 m0 y27 k9, a really nice turquoise.

Always be curious. Have a sketchbook with you all times to records your ideas. It’s essential! Love your work!

Curious to see more of Ron Monnier's work? Check out their Illustrators Australia profile here.