Gemma Correll describes herself as a “cartoonist, writer, illustrator, and all-round small person.” With a few books to her name, features in publications like The New York Times and Oxford University Press, and regular comics on The Nib and in The Observer Sunday Magazine – Correll has clearly embraced her artistic calling.
But funnily enough, the saught after creative never treated illustrating as a feasible job. “To be honest, I don’t feel like an ‘illustration sensation,'” she admitted in an interview with the Ohh Deer Blog. “I’m just at home, drawing and eating peanut butter out of the jar most of the time. I never expected to make a career out of art and even now that I have, I’m still amazed that I actually get paid for my doodles.”
Like most artist, Correll’s passion for doodling sparked at an early age. “I made my own comics at school (I photocopied them in the school office, sellotaped penny sweets to the front cover and sold them to my classmates for 20p), and I had a monthly comic page in my church newsletter,” she recalled.
“I knew that it could be a career, but I didn’t really think that it was something I could do – everyone I knew had a practical job, like being a nurse or a teacher, so I thought I would probably do something like that,” she added. Still, she would spend most of her time drawing and writing and ended up at art school. “But even then I didn’t think that I could make a career from art – I planned to become a teacher,” she admitted. “It wasn’t until I was actually getting commissioned for illustration jobs that I finally accepted the fact that I had become ‘an illustrator'”.
Now a full-blown illustrator (no quotation marks!) she has amassed over 675k followers on Instagram. Quite a feat for an artist who illustrates while eating peanut butter out of the jar. Take a look at some of her quirky illustrations in the gallery below: