Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Janet Taylor: Guest Post

Today we have a lovely guest post from the amazing artist Janet Taylor. I can't remember how I first stumbled across Janet's work, but I loved it immediately! I came very close to purchasing something from her website, but then imagine my surprise when the lovely Cynthia Hensley (author of Echoes of Pemberley and The Heart Does Whisper  both stories well worth a read!) sent me a Christmas present consisting of Janet's lovely Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth calendar and a compact mirror! I was very grateful to Cynthia for such a lovely gift and I was also pleased to now own something by the talented Janet! I love the calendar and, as you will see from images throughout the post, she is very talented and can capture the expressions and looks of the characters very well! (Although the images do not do justice to the real thing!) I contacted the lovely Janet as I was very interested in her inspiration behind her drawings and also about how she approached drawing such iconic characters, and so she was kind to agree to write a guest post for me!


Thank you, Sophie, for inviting me to be your guest. That is quite an honor as are your kind words about my drawings. It was about three years ago when I first started drawing some of the scenes from the 1995 Pride & Prejudice miniseries. Until that time I had not drawn many people so this was a new and exciting direction for me. Following is the account of how my drawing career began.

I loved reading Pride and Prejudice and the many alternate paths. An author friend challenged me to see what I could do with a drawing of Darcy and Lizzy for the cover of her book. I was a little nervous about it but decided to give it a try. At that time we were unable to use my drawing for her cover but it was the beginning for me. (The drawing is the one that I have titled, ‘A Walk in the Woods’.) I then decided to try some of my favorite scenes from the miniseries. I guess the rest is history.

In the summer of 2012 I was fortunate to make a trip to England. I had a marvellous time and saw many of the places where the miniseries was filmed. I took many photographs which later gave me good detail for backgrounds. While there I found out that I could sell my work. When I returned home I began in earnest doing enough drawings to publish a twelve month calendar. I hoped to have it finished in time for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice. I did make it in time but just barely. I have continued to draw and have now started drawing some book covers. It has been a surprising but thrilling venture.
When I am drawing the scenes I work hard to get the expressions of the characters just right. My desire for each drawing is to capture the feel of the scene that I am portraying. Probably the eyes are the most important part of doing that as they truly are ‘the windows to the soul’. I spend much time trying to get them just right―to a point where I can live with the drawing as it is. Sometimes I do and those are the good times. The smile and the nose are both important too but the eyes convey the feeling. I want to make them come alive. My medium of choice is soft core pencils. They allow me to get more detail plus I love working with them for their blending capabilities.

If you want to see more of my drawings, you can visit my website at JT Originals.   I also have a 2014 P&P calendar, mugs, mouse pads, compacts, tiles and note cards featuring my drawings. They are on the website as well. Some of my newest drawings from the 2014 calendar are featured on the Illustrations page of my blog, More Agreeably Engaged.

My artistic interpretations are a tribute to Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice, the 1995 miniseries, the 2005 movie and the actors. Although the miniseries is my favorite, there are many things I like about the movie too. I’m always glad to know which drawings are favorites of others and why. I’m glad that you shared some of yours with me.

Thank you again, Sophie, for having me and allowing me the privilege of talking to you and your readers about my drawings.

Thank you again to Janet for this most interesting post. Good luck with any future book covers and of course new drawings in the future! I am sure I will be purchasing something else before too long!
I really recommend having a look around her website, for her drawing really are wonderful and unbelievably life-like - I wish I could draw like that! I have my calendar pinned up next to my bed, and so consequently I have Darcy watching over me as I sleep - what could be more perfect?

Your affectionate friend,
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  1. It was my pleasure to be your guest, Sophie. Thank you for recommending my website and for your comments. I like that you have Darcy watching over you as you sleep! That sounds pretty perfect to me too! :)

    I'm happy you stumbled across my drawings and thankful to Cynthia for sharing some of my things with you! It has been neat to hear from you!

    Thank you again.

    1. You are very welcome! I am glad you enjoyed being my guest!
      I am very glad I came across your amazing work as well! :D Look forward to future drawings :)

  2. Great post Janet and Sophie! I just love Janet's work and her items always turn heads at book festivals! Sophie, keeping Laughing With Lizzie interesting as always :-)

    1. Aren't her items lovely!? Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment - I try to be interesting! :)

    2. Thank you, Cynthia. I'm glad you like my work. I like yours too! :) A special thanks to you for toting my things around and for storing them!

      That is such good news to hear about the book festivals.


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