Pamela Louise McDonald is a Glasgow based artist and illustrator. She studied illustration at Glasgow College of Building and Printing and now runs community art workshops across the city. At the same time, she produces a wide range of freelance and commissioned material, as well as working on her own projects.
People are her main inspiration, especially the stories they inhabit and create for themselves Imagination and imaginary characters and scenarios play a big part in her imagery. “I don’t mean that I’m a ‘serious’ figurative painter in the fine art sense, they’re more of a jumping off point, although it’s fun to do portraits too. Because I’m interested in stories and imagination, I find films can be great to fire up some ideas and dreams can always supply some exotic ways of looking at things or give you ideas that might be unlikely to form on a rainy afternoon in Glasgow.”
She tends towards a hand drawn and painted illustrative and graphic approach. “The ‘style’ can depend on what effect I’m aiming at and I think not being a fine artist gives me a certain freedom to hop around different styles depending on what’s appropriate. I’ve absorbed some of the trademark look of Japanese manga and certain elements of fantasy art from animation, film, comics and graphic novels. Pen and ink is the most usual way to get something going for me. It’s immediate and it’s versatile. That would often be the way I start something so that I can create a reasonably fully formed image while it’s still fresh in my mind since I probably work from imagination the majority of the time. At that point I might work in acrylic or watercolours to get some more depth and obviously add colour. Either that or I would work something out with the pen and then make a painted image from the original drawing.”
In order to do her workshops, she experiments with all sorts of media and ideas. This helps her to get out of her comfort zone and suggests new possibilities.