Linzie Hunter Profile
posted: February 5, 2007
When I was little, I didn't like to draw any one thing in particular. I liked to use my imagination, drawing other worlds and futuristic landscapes. And I was really into making stuff. My favorite toy was Lego, more than dolls or anything. My friends would make little houses and play with a little doll and I would just find that really boring. I would make the house, and then that was it: making the house was the game, and after that, it was over. Dolls held no interest for me. They seemed pointless–they weren't real people!
Where I grew up in Scotland, you just went to the local school, and there wasn't a big emphasis on creative arts or reading or anything like that. I spent a lot of time on my own at school, reading or drawing, and I was probably known as the artistic kid, but in my school that only made it harder for you. There was nothing good about achieving, and in fact I think I got quite badly bullied for being a hard worker. I was quite academic and studious in a way that nobody else was.
For the few who could, the most you could achieve at our school was to go to a college to study science, math, or English literature. There was just no guidance. When I left school at 17, I knew I wanted to do something creative, but I didn't really know what exactly. Then my dad died around that time and so everything went up in the air. I didn't know what really to do. I didn't want to move away from home, and my grades were okay, so I got into the university that's in my hometown, Glasgow. I did a double major in art history and theater, and then I did a junior year abroad, and I went to Boston here. And I ended up going home and finishing my degree and then going to do my post grad at a drama school. My whole focus was theater.
After graduating, I started working in a theatre and I spent 10 years being a stage manager, like in the West End and all over. When I was 25 or 26, though, I began to question what I was doing with my life. I think I spent probably two years just thinking about what I wanted to do and still not coming up with any answer. Finally I realized that what I always wanted to do was be an artist, but because I went down this other path I couldn't admit that maybe I had made a mistake.
By the time I was 28 I kind of felt, "Right, I'm going to try and make a change," and I was trying to figure out how I could do it. Going back to school full-time would financially cripple me and I had just paid off all the loans and everything for when I went to university. So I started looking for part-time art classes.
I remember the first day of art class being terrified! I knew we'd be expected to be able to draw already; it wasn't like we were going to learn how to draw. And it had been a long time since I drew anything. But after the first day I was absolutely fine.
I've only been working for one half to two years but there are so many jobs I haven't done yet–like doing a picture book–and I'd like to do more publishing and less editorial because right now I do 80% editorial work. So it would be nice to work on a longer project or more collaborative stuff. And I'd like to be able to make more time for personal work.
Being an illustrator and getting paid to draw is just amazing! I think any job where you get up and it doesn't feel like work and you get paid to do it is just great. The hard part is it's quite solitary, because I live on my own and work from home. When I've got a lot of work to do, I might be at the computer all day everyday, not seeing anyone at all. Though when I used to work in a shared office, I got no work done at all because we were always chatting!