Bett Norris was always in trouble at school for doodling during lessons, by then she discovered illustration. After completing her degree, she continued to develop a range of skills including graphic and web design. Currently she creates work by fusing traditional drawing techniques with digital technology.
Where did you train and what did you specialise in?
I studied Illustration at UWE in Bristol. My tutors really encouraged me to experiment in lots of different areas, but I developed an interest in portraiture and editorial illustration.
What's your favourite tool?
I like clutch pencils. They give a really solid line and ensure I’m too precious about what I’m drawing.
What techniques to do you use most?
I create all my work digitally, which sometimes surprises people. First, I’ll draw multiple layers on paper using a light box, and I’ll scan these into my computer. I then use Photoshop to assemble my work, as I like the control working digitally offers. I can spend hours adjusting things, so they are exactly how I want them to be.
What’s your favourite piece you've created?
The work I am most pleased with is my Treasures series, which focuses on inspirational women throughout history and the things they treasured.
What kinds of materials do you work with?
Pencils, ink and occasionally crayons. Sometimes, I use a graphics pen and tablet to colour digitally.
What (if any) computer packages do you use?
Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Muse and Dreamweaver.
Which clients have you worked for, and where have you exhibited your work?
I’ve produced work for a range of clients including The Fostering Foundation, The Ardagh Charitable Trust and Pandora Publications. I’ve exhibited at Room 212, Urban Outfitters, and ShoP in Bristol.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by everyday life and the mundane, people and their experiences, and by small objects and artefacts.
Favourite websites / blogs?
I use Pinterest a lot as it’s so easy to collect inspiration and share with others. I also like the blog Book By Its Coveras it often features unusual books and publications.
Experience of publishing to tablet devices is increasingly in demand, so this tutorial aims to get you up to speed. The workflow here uses the Mag+ platform (magplus.com), which boasts a free plug-in for InDesign CS5 that converts layouts for use with an iPad-only app, built with other Mag+ tools.
One publication based on Mag+ is C Mode, an English-language iPad fashion magazine that grew out of the blog carolinesmode.com. It’s published in Stockholm by Boom, a new digital imprint of major Swedish magazine house Bonnier (bonniermagazines.se).
It was also Bonnier that developed Mag+ in collaboration with London-based design studio Berg. Though Mag+ was originally designed to produce digital versions of print magazines, Fredrik Oinonen of Bonnier says it’s also great for creating iPad-only publications.
Mag+ has now been spun off into a separate company, which you pay to publish each issue of your magazine and your app. Like Quark’s App Studio and the Single Edition version of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution, Mag+ doesn’t charge a per-download fee, making it suitable for free titles.