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Illustrator Spotlight - Talia Drigues

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Illustrator Spotlight - Talia Drigues

Sound Waves Reading 5/5/23

Of all the joys of creating beautiful artwork for a living, one of the greatest is immersing yourself in new places and cultures. This was certainly the case for Israeli illustrator and graphic designer, Talia Drigues, for whom the chance to provide artwork for the Sound Waves Decodable Readers was an opportunity to learn more about a country she has never visited: Australia.

‘Each story has a world of its own, so as an illustrator it’s fun to dive into each world and build it as I wish.’ Talia says, ‘A lot of the stories take place in Australia, where I have never been, so I had to research all the beautiful places you have!’

Illustrating has been a part of Talia’s daily life ever since she was a child. ‘My notebooks in high school always had the nicest covers and headlines!’ she explains. After years spent decorating the covers of her school books, Talia turned her childhood passion into a burgeoning career, graduating with a degree in Visual Communication in 2018, before moving into freelance illustration.

Talia’s style is unique and eclectic. Working mostly digitally, she blends textures and patterns with her illustrations to create the evocative tones that define her work. Her artwork caught the eye of illustration agency, The Illustration Room, and in turn has brought many of the Sound Waves Decodable Readers to life, including I Must Drum, Time for Art and 5 in a Nest.

‘I love telling stories through illustrations; creating characters and exciting worlds to travel in.’ Talia explains.

When looking for inspiration, Talia finds it at home in the form of her fluffy dog, Efi, who is a muse for many of her artworks. This may explain why her favourite titles to illustrate were I am Gus and Fun in the Sun, as they feature the adventures of another precocious canine – a cheeky pug named Gus, who is always getting up to mischief.

The Sound Waves Decodable Readers authors felt each of the illustrators were able to bring so much life to the stories through their illustrations. In the story I Must Drum, Talia relished the chance to fill each page with rich detail, allowing her to bring depth to the main character. ‘I decided every detail for the girl and her room, even the poster of the rock and roll cat she had hanging on her wall.’ she adds.

Back in her home office in Tel Aviv, it seems that bringing the Sound Waves Decodable readers to colourful life has kindled a fascination with the sunburnt country.

‘I hope to visit Australia some day and see all those places I got to illustrate in real life!’

Check out Talia’s work on her website or Instagram.

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