Instagram: @alonamillgram Website: www.alonamillgram.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?My name is Alona Millgram and I'm an Israeli illustrator. As a child, I was kind of a bookworm and fascinated by books in general, but mostly by illustrated books and covers. My dream was to be an illustrator (not the most common dream for a 5 year old, most kids didn't relate). Surprisingly this wish didn't fade away and when I turned 22 I decided to check if I was any good and to apply for an art school. I was doubtful whether it was not just a hobby, but throughout my studies, I discovered how passionate I was about illustration and that it is what I want to do with my life. After my studies, I moved to the center of Israel with my husband and I have since been working as a freelance illustrator.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.My illustrations are colorful and full of details. I tend to create other tiny stories within the illustration that accompany the main one.
3. What is your favorite medium and why?My favorite is a standard 2b pencil on a white sheet of paper, it allows to work freely as if I'm sketching. After creating the sketch/outline for the illustration, I scan it and color it digitally, since on the computer I have the option to experiment with a lot of different colors on the same piece.
4. What is your artistic process like?First I start with an idea. Sometimes I need to do some research before I start sketching, and sometimes it's the other way around (if I already have an idea in mind based on something I saw or experienced and I only need to research for the details). The outline is made manually or digitally and then I proceed with colors. Usually, when I'm working on the final piece I don't have to be as concentrated as I was when I sketched, so I listen to podcasts/audiobooks and enjoy my time.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?Artwork of other illustrators, stories (I love reading) and things happening around me. I can walk down the street and see an interesting looking plant, a cat or a bus driver and have their features in mind for the next time I illustrate.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I think that because I'm an illustrator (which is also kind of being a story-teller) I notice much more of the world around me. Everywhere there is a story and that's a perspective I didn't always have.
7. Where did you study?I studied at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem for a bachelor degree (B.des) in Visual Communication, illustration major.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I hope to work in the children's book industry and to publish a book of my own, which I wrote and illustrated. You can check with me in five years time to see if I accomplished it.
9. What about in ten?I hope to travel with my family, explore new places and new illustration techniques and to create my own projects while also doing commissioned work. I also dream of being part of an artistic community and creating a joint workspace. Being a freelance illustrator can get a bit lonely sometimes and I think it's important to have a group of colleagues to consult and to enjoy each other's company while working.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?To tell a story that will make the viewers enjoy and think.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favorite food?Avocado.
12. Favorite book?Harry Potter (the third, if I HAVE to choose only one).
13. Favorite genre of music?Always in the mood for some eighties & nineties music.
14. What are your hobbies?Being outdoors, illustrating, reading, cooking with my husband and having some quality time with family/friends over coffee or wine.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I would probably study psychology in order to become a psychologist. Today I realize how much it doesn't fit my character and that I'm better as an illustrator, but back when I enrolled in the university, that was what I intended to study. If I had decided not to apply for art school or if I wouldn't have been accepted, and go on my art career route, I would have probably been working hard on my psychology career right now. So glad I gave my hobby a shot and turned it into my profession.