What five words best describe you?
Out of my depth, awesome
How did you get started illustrating?
Well, it’s embarrassing, but when I was nine years old or so, I saw a girl I liked really praising a guy who had done a cool drawing. So I instantly thought that if I could draw well too, I would get the girls. As it turns out, that was hopelessly naїve and grossly inaccurate.
Do you prefer to work with notes from the author or do you like to work with your own ideas for the illustrations?
I don’t mind either way. To be honest, notes from the author make my job easier. I hate having to concept something over and over and over. If I have notes that help me land directly on the character or whatever then great! In other instances I’ve been given absolute creative control and that’s great too. So I guess, overall, variety is important to creativity. Every job is different. I love having all sorts of different kinds of drawing jobs, so this is no different really.
Is there any part of the creative process you don’t like?
Sometimes. It depends on the job. I got bored in animation because it was so repetitive. When I have to repeat myself it gets boring. I like exploring new avenues and drawing complexity so when I get something like a lot of talking heads or people in the same position but doing different reactions or whatever it gets dull.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to catch the eye of a publisher?
Send frequently and don’t show the same stuff over and over. They’ll instantly recall it and mentally reject it even before truly looking. If you submit, do it enough to keep them looking at it, but always send your newest and best stuff.
What excites you about the future of children’s books?
I love books. I love working on books. I’m also a cartoonist and I watch my cartoonist friends losing jobs on their newspapers as the newspapers die. And that’s tragic. But books just keep growing from strength to strength and I have no fear for their future. Kids will always want books and happily there are tons of amazingly talented folk in Australia to provide that.
What’s the funniest thing a child has ever said to you during an illustration session?
Aside from “You’re a good drawrer” you mean? I was drawing caricatures for a prominent radio station in Brisbane and Jamie Dunn and Agro the puppet were there. I was turned away, checking something with my drawing associate and when I turned back, Agro was right there in my face and said, “Watch out Jules!” I got startled and Jamie thought it was the funniest thing. We laughed and he left and the next kid sat down to be drawn and before I could say anything he said, “You’d be a jerk too with someone’s hand up your arse all day.”
A comeback to that isn’t easy when you’re addressing a 7 year old.
What’s next from Jules Faber?
I’m slated for seven more books this year as well as a potential new series if it gets up. Not many people know I’m also an author though, so I’m trying to get some of the books I’ve written published as well. I’m not attacking this too hard as I have so much on already, but it’s there on the backburner. I’ve also written a 288 page graphic novel that I’ll never get time to illustrate but a comics friend overseas wants to so that’s also a possibility.
Jules’ website: www.julesfaber.com