Iris Biran is a freelance illustrator, graduated from the University of Haifa in fine arts and literature.
She works in traditional techniques such as acrylic, drawing and collage and illustrated two self-published books. Now, she is working on illustrations for a children's story written by her.
Iris also designs items printed with her illustrations, which can be found on her Etsy shop and at art fairs.
Solo exhibitions: "Illustrations After Lewis Carroll", The Mediatheque library, Holon, 2011.
"Figures", The Jerusalem Center for The Performing Arts", 2006.
Group exhibitions: participated in many illustration exhibitions in Israel and abroad, like "COW Design Festival".
How did you first get into illustration?
I started painting and drawing at a very early age. Luckily, my father kept many of my paintings from kindergarten and primary school. I have albums of them, arranged by ages and periods. They are like a treasure for me. I used to build a whole story around every drawing I made and even to give the characters names. I guess it was a kind of therapy for me as well.
After my art studies, I had been painting large format acrylics on canvases and wood surfaces for a few years, but had always been accompanied by the feeling that something was missing. That something was illustration. So I started to see illustration exhibitions, illustrator's portfolios and children's books. From this stage on, it didn't take long for me to start illustrating and taking part in shows. I feel that my style has become more distinctive during the last five years.
How do you start a new project of children book illustration? What is your artistic process, creating a new illustration?
First, I read the text at least twice. Then I start to look for photographed references on the internet, to look at family photos and to take pictures myself. Then I develop a lot of sketches for each character and scene. Sometimes, it happens that I imagine a character in my mind during reading, but when I come to the blank sketchbook, I start struggling to draw and stylize this imaginative figure. Usually, I make many sketches and it takes quite a time to revise them until I'm pleased.
Tell us about an interesting illustration project you were involved in.
I made a common project with my mother; she wrote her memories from childhood and her life during World War 2, and I made the illustrations. We self-published it in Hebrew (with the support of "Yad Vashem") as a book named "Crumbs". The work on the book was a point in my life where I realized, for the first time, the difficult journey my parents had made during the war. It was an emotional experience for both of us.
What do you do for marketing and/or reaching out to new clients?
I have my Facebook illustrator's page on which I share new illustrations, work process and my illustrated items.
As a member of SCBWI Israel, I take part in events and webinars which might open a window for getting acquainted with agents and art directors.
What would be your ultimate goal as an illustrator?
I hope to become more involved in the children's books market.
I am available for commissions.