Today my post is different from usual and I’m bringing you my first ever interview. Claire Eadie is a fellow reviewer who suffers from emetophobia and discovered an interest in colouring when trying to stave off a panic attack. A lot has happened since then and the Nottingham-based colourer has now reviewed hundreds of books and products on her blog – Colour With Claire. We recently connected online and I’m now proud to call her my friend and I’m interviewing Claire because she’s one of my favourite reviewers. Whenever I’m looking for books or colouring mediums for myself, I check her site and I’m sure to find the answers I need, she’s got to have the most extensive list of colouring reviews online and they’re extremely reliable and wonderful to read. I thought it would be great to introduce Claire to you, my readers, and find out a bit more about her, her reviews and what it’s like being a reviewer. So without further ado, Claire, it’s over to you!
If you were stranded on a desert island, what one colouring book would you take with you?
That’s a hard one, as I tend to get bored easily! I guess I’d take The Time Garden by Daria Song. Her books are so beautiful but I *know* I’ll never finish them so I suppose being stuck on a desert island would force me to!
What do you like most about reviewing?
Finding really great books that have fallen under the radar for whatever reason, and introducing them to colourists who may not have found out about them otherwise.
What do you find hardest about reviewing?
Finding the time, trying not to make each review monotonous or too similar, and colouring things I’m not really interested in but- in order to cater for a wide range of tastes- have to include.
Can you share your review process and what you wish people knew about reviewing?
The sheer amount of time and effort that goes into it. It’s not just sitting at your computer tapping away and clicking the upload button. Just to give a sense of what’s involved, this is my basic review process: Scour Amazon for new book releases, contact the creator/publisher to request a copy, colour a page from inside the book, take example photos from the book (in the right lighting which can sometimes be very difficult on typical British overcast days!), upload all the photos onto a phone app and watermark/add a border (this takes a lot of time), upload them all to my computer, go online and research the book and its illustrator, write the review!, share it to all my social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), email the illustrator/publishers with a thank you and the review link, copying it over to Amazon—all of this whilst keeping the page up to date with the latest colouring news/sharing other people’s coloured pages, and more books dropping through my door every day, some of which I haven’t requested but are automatically sent out from publishers… Oh, and running giveaways out of my own pocket! It’s not as easy as you might think.
What book releases are you most looking forward to over the coming year?
There are so many good ones coming out this year, I think adult colouring has reached its height now and more great illustrators are producing books that showcase their amazing talents. Sommernatt by Hanna Karlzon, Imagimorphia by Kerby Rosanes, Legendary Worlds by Colorworth Publishing, Escape to Shakespeare’s World by Good Wives and Warriors, The Magical Journey by Lizzie Mary Cullen… oh and probably the most anticipated of all, Magical Jungle by Johanna Basford J
Who is your favourite illustrator?
Difficult! My top 3 would be Hanna Karlzon, Daria Song & Johanna Basford.
If you could have a colouring book created just for you, what would be included in it? What shape and size would it be?
Square and spiral bound, the same size as Secret Garden. It would have a mixture of realistic scenery, Scandinavian/Folk art, and JB’s gorgeous double page spreads. Paper would be a very thick card and the cover a soft-touch hardback.
When you’re colouring just for you, what book do you go to and what mediums do you use?
I change books all the time, as I say I get bored easily! If I want to get it coloured quickly, I usually turn to Staedtler Triplus felt pens, and if I want to make it really pretty and take my time, Faber Castell Polychromos pencils.
What are the elements that make up a good colouring book in your opinion?
Spiral binding, thick cardstock, crisp linework, variety.
Thank you so much to Claire for answering my questions and letting us all know a bit more about her reviews and her personal colouring. We have done joint interviews so if you’d like to read my interview by Claire then click here. Below is a selection of Claire’s favourite images that she has coloured over the course of nearly a year of reviewing. Enjoy!