Hello to you. I’m Angela Porter and I’m the author and illustrator for ‘A Dangle A Day’ and the illustrator of many adult coloring books including ‘Color Me Calm’, ‘Entangled’, ‘Entangled Dragonflies’, ‘Zendoodle Designs’, and more.
My amazon author page is https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00OU69TRA
My blog is https://artwyrd.com
What are the stories behind my books?
The first book I illustrated was back in 2014. It was called ‘Color Me Calm’ and I worked with Lacy Mucklow, an art therapist, who wrote the introductions to each chapter and I then created the illustrations which people could colour. The book was all about using coloring as a way to find a sense of inner peace and calm. This book went on to be a New York Times bestseller, which amazed us all totally! It was followed up by another five books in the ‘Color Me’ series.
I have also created the ‘Entangled’ series of coloring book for Dover Publications’ Creative Haven series, as well as many others in the past five years of work. My next two books to be published for Creative Haven are ‘Entangled Forests’ and ‘Entangled Christmas’.
I really enjoy doing coloring books as I love to see the magic people work when they use their chosen coloring media to bring my line art to life. It never ceases to amaze me the number of different ways and color schemes that people use to do this, as well as to express their own creativity. They clothe the skeleton of the lineart in glorious coloured garments, which is a beautiful thing to behold for sure.
‘A Dangle A Day’, published earlier in 2019, was a new challenge for me. It is my very first art tutorial book, so I got to do words and pictures. My aim in the book is to help you learn, step by step, the beautiful and whimsical art form of Dangling so you can add personalised charms and embellishments to your lettering and artwork.
I invite you to join me on a journey where I help you to draw, compose and color adorable charms and embellishments to enhance all types of artwork, from stationery and invitations to scrapbooks and journals.
The book features more than 120 dangles and each season is included from blustery winter to sunshiny summer. I also have included alphabets, numbers, months and celebrations; the designs are perfect for anyone who loves coloring and tangles.
I break down my delightful dangles and patterns into instructional steps, while at the same time sharing tips and tricks behind my techniques.
What inspires my creativity?
I love nature, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, Prehistoric and Early Celtic art, industrial things, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts Movement, MC Ecsher, geometric patterns, mandalas, Zetangle. Whatever catches my attention and fascinates and makes my arty little self happy, to be honest.
I like to keep a visual journal of all the motifs, patterns, shapes and forms. Sometimes making new entries in the journal will spark my creativity, at other times looking through the journal has the same effect.
Looking through this journal can break a creative block. Mostly though, it’s taking some time away from the current project to do something different. That may be working on something completely different just for fun. Sometimes it’s taking a little trip out to an old abbey or nature to find inspiration there. At other times doing something other than art – reading, walking, playing music, crocheting, watching some films, cooking, taking a nap – is the only thing that can help.
I like to create drawings that can be whimsical, cute, intricate, entangled, abstract or stylised, or any combination of these that creates a design that is pleasing. I like to try to bring something that’s pretty into the world, or, in the case of coloring templates, help others to bring something pretty and colourful and self-expressive into the world.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I could have a whole list of positive reviews with kind words and just one negative comment can destroy my confidence and belief in myself totally. I can feel worthless, a failure. It can be impossible for me to notice all the positive reviews that outweigh the one negative review.
I do my best to remember the saying that you can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
I try hard to remind myself to focus on the positive reviews and to look at the comparative numbers of each.
I also don’t read reviews if I can help it. My emotional wellbeing can be fragile quite often.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I have to feel that I’ve done at least a good enough job on a book, and for me to recognise that is no mean feat as I’m very, very self-critical. As my books feature my art so heavily, I need to be happy with what I’ve created, often within a theme that has been agreed with my editors/publishers.
I like to think I have a signature style of artwork that appeals to those who buy my books and who enjoy my kind of line drawings which they can then color.
If I’m happy with my artwork, then my readers usually are too.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself.
I’ve driven a steam locomotive in the dark with fireworks going off all around me on the East Somerset Railway in the UK.
I have a bit of a passion for pan-fried halloumi cheese with caramelised sweet chilli and garlic sauce on it. Indian cuisine is my favourite of all though.
I love my SmartCar. It’s black and called Binky after Death’s horse in the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. I usually have a cuddly raven on the passenger seat, properly belted up for safety, of course. Oh, I do have a bit of a thing for ravens, and other members of the corvid family too.