Even before finishing her studies back in the early 90s, Rebecca Gibbon was taking commissions, and her magical and imaginary worlds were coming to life on the pages of children’s books. There’s a naïve quality to her work, a little bit like LS Lowry, but with lots of colour and plenty of activity in just about every image. Today, as well as children’s books she does travel illustration, advertising campaigns, packaging and editorial imagery.
Growing up in rural Wales, in a home full of antiques and books, there was little question that Rebecca would become an artist when she grew up. She was captivated by picture books, and continues to collect them to this day. After working as an illustrator in London for many years, she has returned to the country life with her family, and is now based in Herefordshire.
The illustrated books she’s collected over the years give her plenty of inspiration, and she loves going to flea markets in search of vintage tea towels, Galt toys and Scandinavian ceramics. Some of her favourite artists include Edward Ardizzone, Roger Duvoisin, David Gentleman and Miroslav Sasek. Rebecca’s dream holiday is to drive from New York to San Francisco with her husband and two boys, taking in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, Mount Rushmore and Yosemite Park.
Rebecca took her foundation course at the Cardiff School of Art & Design, followed by a BA in Graphic Design at Liverpool School of Art. After graduating, she took an MA in Illustration at the Royal College of Art.
Rebecca’s creative process begins with some pencil sketching, looking for an idea that stands out. She paints very intuitively, making marks along the way, and the image will evolve on the heavy cartridge paper she uses. Acrylic inks form the base, and on top of that she draws with Caran d’Ache coloured pencils.
Both contemporary and nostalgic vibes shine through in Rebecca’s work and her style is bright, painterly and colourful, with a naïve, childlike quality to it. There’s usually a touch of humour to round things off.
2009 Comstock Read Aloud Honor Books
2009 Amelia Bloomer Award
2009 Notable Children’s Book Award – American Libraries Association