Saturday, October 22, 2016

Work Smarter With Amanda Erb

Amanda Erb excels at creating wonderful children in her illustrations. Her characters are expressive and act like real children (even if they are in fantasy situations). Amanda's use of color is beautiful. It was fun finding out all the things she learned in the illustration industry.


Dani: What do you hate most about illustration (or the illustration industry)?

Amanda: There are aspects of the illustration industry and illustration in general that I dislike, but I don't think any of my emotions reach as strong as 'hate'. It is extremely frustrating to get emails from potential clients that just want to be a 'published author' and think they should be able to hire an Illustrator for free or extremely cheap. I dislike getting those types of emails the most.

One of my biggest illustration-related frustrations is dealing with color and color schemes. I have learned so much since my college years about getting the most out of color for print, yet I still feel like I wrestle with my color choices daily. Working with green seems to give me the most trouble.

Dani: What was the most important part of your education?

Amanda: Having professors and classmates that pushed me to do better. I seriously grew so much from having professors in college that were upfront about the parts of my work that needed improvement.

Dani: How did you get started in book illustration?

Amanda: I got started in book illustration by sending out mailers and links to my portfolio to different companies. Eventually, I got some replies and offers to work on various projects.

Dani: Do you have any special time saving techniques?

Amanda: I use Actions in Photoshop to save time when I know there's something I have to change on multiple pages. I also use the hotkeys on my Cintiq – just knowing hotkeys in general when working digitally is a great time saver.

To manage my time I use a Pomodoro timer app. “Work smarter, not harder” is still something I struggle with, but it's a good phrase I like to keep in the back of my mind when I work.

Dani: What do you do if you have a tight deadline?

Amanda: Take deep breaths and try not to freak out, haha. I make a list and plan out what I need to get done on each day and work to complete my daily goals or get close to completion every day before the deadline.


Follow Amanda: 

You can find my portfolio of work online at

I am also on Twitter at:




  1. Yes, color schemes change when the final work is printed. I can sympathize with this. Colors are my biggest challenge too.

  2. Love your style ! so quirky and funny :-)

  3. I really need to get Photoshop to make my life easier. :} Ugh...the working for free or cheap thing is awful. No wonder it irks Amanda!