Illustrator Spotlight: Yvonne Mes

© 2014 Yvonne Mes




Yvonne Mes is a talented illustrator and author living in Australia. You can find her at her website, Picture a Book with Yvonne Mes, or on Twitter at @YvonneCMes. She answers some questions for us.


Q. Tell us about yourself and your background.

I live in Brisbane, Australia but I grew up in the Netherlands. My interest in art developed at the time my Dad started painting when I was a young girl. He and his mates attended art workshops and traipsed around France experimenting with acrylics and sometimes oils. My parents dragged me, quite willingly, to many art museums. They still have a fondness for the Impressionists. My Dad always let me use and experiment with his materials.

I chose a career in early childhood but my most treasured moments were doing arts and crafts with the children when I was not reading them books. 


I continued drawing and painting in spades through the years and contributed a few paintings to some very small exhibitions. When I moved to Outback Queensland, I joined the local amateur theatre society to regain my sanity and I painted and designed many sets, scenery and artefacts. I have been doing that for 15 years and I love it.


© 2013 Yvonne Mes


After a few big life changes, I followed my passion and enrolled in Art College (Southbank TAFE) in Brisbane as a full-time mature aged student. I loved being surrounded by arty people and focusing on nothing but art! Unfortunately, after a year and a half, it was difficult to continue as I became pregnant and had to work instead of study.


When my little ones were born, I finally got round to pursuing my other passion, writing. I completed the Professional Children’s Writing course through The Australian College of Journalism last year and sold my first short story to the School Magazine.



At first I was completely intimidated and in awe of picture book illustrators and wouldn’t consider illustrating myself, but as my writing developed, I wanted to express my stories visually as well as through written means. And having a background in art, it made sense.

Q. What are your current projects? 

Mainly I am working on picture book texts. I would like to complete picture book dummies for two stories this year and I am at the sketching stage for a wordless picture book. 


I love being involved with Alison Kipnis Hertz’s Doodle Day Challenge; this is a very relaxed and supportive doodling community. I also just joined Tania McCartney’s 52-week Illustration Challenge, which has a similar idea but on a weekly basis. I keep working on my writing skills and recently signed up for Julie Hedlund’s12x12 again.


© 2013 Yvonne Mes




Q. What or who inspires you?


It changes. But at the moment I love Oliver Jeffers, Quentin Blake, and Shaun Tan. I always check out the sites Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and Illustrator Saturday at Writing and IllustratingI love seeing how artists develop their illustrations from concept to finish. I have a fondness for Art Nouveau and I admire digital artist as well as those working with traditional media. I love it when an image tells a story or evokes a strong emotion. 

My family of three boys and a husband inspire me on a daily basis.


Q. Tell us one thing most people don't know about you.


I can’t think of anything that the people that already know me wouldn’t know. There, I am an open book. Which is fortunate, because what is not to like about being a book!










15 comments:

  1. I'm a big fan of your art, Yvonne. I enjoyed getting to know you even better trough this spotlight interview. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Even though I knew a good bit about you, my dear Open-Book friend, I still learned a couple of new things here! How wonderful you were able to go to so many of those museums in Europe growing up. I went to a number on my one month trip through Europe but you probably got to go to all of them more than once...lucky you!

    You are one of the most creative artists I know and I am so delighted that you are my friend (may I swap brains with you now? LOL!).

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  3. Oh, my dear talented friend, thank you so much for being the wonderful, caring, warm person that you are- and so talented to boot! Thanks also for agreeing to be in our Illustrator Spotlight! :)

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  4. I love the little boy illustration. Your art continues to surprise and delight me, Yvonne. How fun to learn even more about you. Big things ahead!

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  5. Beautiful work, Yvonne! :0) - Donna L Sadd

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  6. Beautiful work, Yvonne! :0) - Donna L Sadd

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  7. Congrats Yvonne, for winning this place in the spotlight. Happy Illustrating ... Karen :)

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  9. Well done Yvonne, I love your work. xo :)

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  10. *waves madly at Yvonne* Love, love, love your artwork. Congrads on your spotlight. You rock!!

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  11. A great read and great illustrations...you have so much talent!

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  12. So nice to learn more about you, Yvonne! and would love to see any Art Nouveau inspired pieces too! Thanks for the interview KL411!

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  13. congratulations Yvonne!!! I am a fan of your art :)

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  14. Thanks so much for the lovely comments and support everyone. And a big thank you to Elaine and Sylvia who have put it all together and given me this lovely opportunity! The kidlit community is amazing, and so is this website.

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  15. Yvonne, It is so wonderful to see your art! That is a part of you that I had not seen until now! Beautiful! Best wishes pursuing your illustration goals and pairing them with your incredible writing.

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