Who is Blayne Fox?
Artist and illustrator Blayne Fox draws from the visual cues gained in her childhood while romping through the Missouri woodlands. Magical kingdoms and creatures inspired by native flora and fauna, imagined as a child, naturally fit into her professional artwork today.
Primarily self-taught, Blayne later attended art school, plunging soon after into her industry and quickly gaining the attention of clients including Discovery Channel and National Geographic Kids.
Blayne is currently represented by Illustration Online LLC and focuses on projects primarily around children's books and graphic novels. Manuscripts of her own are also in the works!
"Fox’s images convey mood well through rich, saturated colors, dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, dynamic composition, and expressive animal faces."
KIRKUS INDIE REVIEW
"I have had the privilege to work with Blayne Fox on several book illustrations and she is a very talented artist. She understands the dedication it takes to make a beautiful book. Her impeccable attention to detail is evident when the illustrations are even better than the author could imagine. When given artistic freedom, Blayne can make any book spectacular.
The author writes the story, but the artist makes the book come to life. This is Blayne in a nutshell."
Frequently Asked Questions
How did you get started in illustration? What is your background?
I’ve been drawing since I was little and thankfully I was gifted two very supportive parents who drove my work ethic and passion growing up. I wrote and illustrated my own stapled books and comics through my early years and started my first webcomic in high school in St. Louis, Missouri. I loved the narrative storytelling route of illustration, so I enrolled in Memphis College of Art in Memphis, Tennessee, for two years under a BFA with a specialization in “Sequential Narration”. However, traditional schooling wasn’t for me, so I left to pursue freelance illustration, moving back home to St. Louis.
What is your preferred medium, method of working?
How did your style and technique develop?
My technique and style developed heavily from my favorite animations as a child like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Studio Ghibli to the growing list of inspirational illustrators both classic like Mucha and current like Loish. I’ve found that style comes from melting numerous different flavors of illustration together into your own unique blend. Making master copies and trying to merge your favorite artist’s styles together is always a great place to find your own!
What do you find the most challenging in your work?
Lack of time. I honestly wish I grew five other arms to tackle the amount of things to do at all times as a freelancer. Whether it be creating new portfolio work, or working on commercial projects, updating my website, or working on manuscripts, there’s always something to do and I suffer from the “guilty free time” bug when I force myself to do something not career-related! I only fully achieve this when I’m out fishing on a lake, the farthest away from my computer I can be.
What would be your dream project? Or what was your favorite project?
Do you have a favorite book(s) from your childhood?
My favorite picture books as a child were definitely “Stella Luna” by Janell Cannon, “Good Dog, Carl” By Alexandra Day, and “The Little Blue Rabbit” by Angela McAllister. I was always challenged by teachers to read something other than “animal books” yet even as an adult these are my favorite types of books to illustrate! Especially those that deal with adventure, a touch of fantasy and a whole lot of fun!
How did you get signed with your agent?
I had just finished working on a season of “Weird But True Facts” with National Geographic Kids when I felt like my portfolio was big enough to inquire about agents. I sent my application to several illustration agencies and although there were a few no’s, Deborah Wolfe took a chance and saw potential in my work. It took several months of adding work to my portfolio to bulken it to the point I could start catching client’s eyes, but after three years they definitely helped me shape where I want to go in my industry: Children’s book publishing.
Do you have any art supply-type tips you can share with us? Paint, paper or software that you love, a favorite art store or website to buy supplies or a new product that you’ve tried, etc.?
Any words of advice for those just starting out in illustration? What do you wish you would have known sooner in your author/illustrator career?
I don’t know if I should be saying this but honestly, I usually advise students who are wanting to go to school for illustration not to. Especially in the US where prices for private education are astronomical. If you have the means, traditional education comes with networking potential with not only other artists but visiting talkers and professors who have experienced the industry firsthand which is a benefit. If you are just starting out and need to learn the basics to cultivate your base, again, art colleges may be for you!
What’s next for you? Any upcoming book releases we should be on the lookout for?
Has a bobble-head due to neurological injury. Always greets people at the door like our
Callelou Adelaide d'Aguesseau
Two-year-old Dutchess of
the household. Gets
what she wants.
Two-year-old big baby. He is my
furry little familiar that lives in my shadow and loyally follows me around the house for SNUGGLES.
One-year-old scaley overlord rescued for my partner's birthday.