The Art Behind the Voice

The ability to draw, illustrate and create is a wonderful talent. This process as a whole allows us to understand not only the work, but also the artist. Today, we learn what inspired Little Voice’s illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor to join this project and how she was able to transform the inspirational text into a visual masterpiece!

meet the v n the a

My love of drawing started in the comfort of my own room, as a personal hobby, where I spent much of my time remaking Disney characters or drawing unique characters from my own imagination. As I grew older, I was determined to foster this skill, and would spend my summers mastering new techniques. It was my art class that gave me the opportunity to experiment with different mediums – watercolour, acrylic, oil paintings, sculptures and interactive art – and truly helped me to become the master of my domain. When it became time to select my career path, graphic design seemed like the obvious choice, and it was in the spring of 2013 where I proudly graduated with honours as a Graphic Designer from La Cité Collégiale.

I’ve always dreamed of illustrating a children’s book. It was roughly a year ago when my mother and I had been discussing this very dream, and as fate would have it, two days after this conversation Amanda Bernardo contacted me from out of the blue. I had never met Amanda before but after our first encounter I felt both comfortable and inspired to follow her on this journey. When I first read Little Voice, I knew instantly that my dream, as I knew it, would begin taking shape.

Amanda had already begun drawing some illustrations of her own, but gave me full autonomy in transforming Little Voice from text to art. Her flexibility allowed me to bring my own interpretations of the text into the project and together we were able to create something better than either of us could have imagined.

Transforming the text into visually appealing scenarios was no easy task. We first had to read the text from a child’s perspective and then had to ensure that we retained the inspirational message through each image. In the end, we wanted to create something that was universal, something that could inspire children from all walks of life.

Little Voice began as an opportunity for me to fulfill my dream, but as I became immersed in this project, I became closer to the message behind the text. Amanda wrote this text to inspire; she was successful in inspiring me, and now together we hope to inspire all those who read it.

– Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor, Illustrator