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(Via Gemma Correll)

With Halloween fast approaching, we posted this on Facebook and Twitter asking you guys how accurate you think the picture was. After doing some more research, we recently discovered Gemma Correll, an awesome Illustrator, Cartoonist and “Friend of the pugs” from the UK and just HAD to write about her work! We absolutely love the simple yet quirky little drawing’s which are hand drawn then scanned. She’s already pretty well-known, especially in the UK, as British comedian Russell Howard was spotted wearing her “Pugs Not Drugs” t-shirt on one of his shows.

Since 2009 she has been continuously growing with her work and had exhibitions in London and New York. She’s worked for The Guardian, New York Times and Even Hermés! She won 2 awards in 2010 and  her last 2 exhibitions were earlier this year at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. We got in touch with this awesome lady and asked her 3 very important questions:

What is your inspiration (aside from your pugs!)?
It’s really just the things I see around me – the people and animals, overheard conversations, the books I read, magazines, traveling… I read the newspaper every day and love learning about and researching new things.
Do you think the illustrator community is dominated by men?

I think it’s getting better but I still feel that illustration (and comics in particular) – like a lot of things – can be a bit of a boys’ club. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why this is the case and I think it has a lot to do with confidence. I think that females are generally less confident in their work, they tend to question it more, compare themselves with others too much and take criticism to heart more readily.

Obviously I’m generalising here but I’m speaking from my own experiences both in college and in the “real world”. I see a lot of male illustrators who are – to put it bluntly – not very good becoming very successful due to, I think, a general aura of confidence and go-gettingness (not a real word, I know) which is of course commendable, but it means they’re getting jobs over women who are more talented but not as good at “self promotion” which is a very important skill to have as an illustrator.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to be cartoonists or illustrators?

I would advise them to be confident in their work – or at least feign it. Honestly, I generally dislike everything I draw but I’ve decided that I’m just going to put it out there anyway. I try not to allow myself to question my work too much, but allow it to be judged by others, whether that’s an art director or the gentlefolk of Tumblr. I guess it’s a kind of fake confidence and it’s easy to do behind a computer screen, so I’d advice using the Internet to your advantage. Just put your work out there and promote yourself as much as possible… and don’t give up too quickly! It takes a while to “make it” but it’s worth the hard work.

So there we have it! Any aspiring ladies out there take note as despite Gemma disliking her work, there’s proof in the pudding that putting it out there pays off. Feel free to follow her Tumblr and Twitter, or even like her on Facebook so you can keep up to date with her amazing work. For images and boards featuring her work as well as images of pugs and cats, follow her Pinterest. She has a book on Amazon called What I Wore Today and with Christmas looming, check out her store for cool little gifts. Below are some of our favourites – let us know what you think!

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