I want to share with you today about a very special colorist from South Africa that I met on Instagram, Robyn Lipner! She is a devoted colorist, owning over 100 coloring books! Over time she has perfected her coloring skills and produces unique and stunning compositions (and she only started coloring a year and a half ago!). Her knack for choosing color combinations is especially inspiring. I really think you'll glean a lot of inspiration from her and I think many colorists can relate to her. Make sure to follow her on Instagram to see all of the beautiful work she creates!
Robyn, can you tell us a little bit about yourself - your age, where you live and what you do?
My name is Robyn Lipner and fondly known as Robz, I’m 48 years of age, I’ve been married to an incredible man for the last 23 years, we have one boy named Josh, he’s 21 years of age and two Maine Coon Kitties called Cosmo & Kikoh, I live in the most beautiful city in the world, CapeTown, South Africa. I am by trade a Pilates instructor and have been for the last 14 years, however, of late I have taken a break.
Are you a self taught artist or did you go to school for art?
I am most definitely self taught, I only started colouring about a year and a half ago, before that the only time I picked up a pencil was in grade school. I am very grateful to the colouring world and to the artists who put these amazing books together.
I never thought of myself as creative in any way and I was looking for a hobby at the time of starting, I was in a book store one day and came across Johanna Basfords Enchanted Forest, my artist friend was with me at the time insisted that I buy the book, she then took me to my first art shop to buy some pencils, at the time I honestly thought spending $30 on pencils was ludicrous, well, firstly I see now that that was actually a very good investment and of course I’ve gone on to becoming a complete pencil addict amongst other wonderful mediums.
What’s your favorite colouring book at the moment?
I don’t have a favorite as such, I’m drawn to Hanna Karlzon’s books and to Rachel Reinert’s books and I’ve done more in those than any others, however I have about 100 books in my possession and most of them are from incredible artists from all over the world including Indonesia, Korea and many more. So its more about what I’m the mood for at the time. My goal is to do at least one picture from every book I own, which of course is getting harder as there are more and more wonderful books out there and my collection keeps growing.
Why do you colour?
I think my reasons for colouring have somewhat changed, since it first started out as means to curb boredom, my husband travels a lot, my son is grown up and I was forced (due to back issues) to take a break from teaching Pilates, but since then it’s become more of a burning desire to create, I have to have a current WIP (work in progress) to feel whole.
Through this hobby I have also had the privilege of meeting the most incredible people from around the world and some of which I’ve met in person and have become very special to me, couldn’t imagine my life without them now.
Your grasp on colour is intriguing. How do you choose your stunning and unique colour palettes?
I’ve always had a bit of a knack with colours to be honest. I like my clothes to match and I’ve always had a sense of my own style. So in choosing colours I usually think of two colours that go well together and then choose a picture that I think would work in those two colours, I then build from there adding more colours that compliment. I like to make sure that the colours also “balance” within the pic. Another way of choosing colours is to start with an object thats real, for example colour a flower in its true colour and build from that one flower. (Hope that make sense)
What are your favorite colouring tools?
I have to say pencils first, that being my Prismacolor Premiers and a good combination is to add Caran d’ache Luminance, I’m starting to experiment with water colours and other mediums that require water. I often use pastels for backgrounds and of late I’ve been trying out some acrylics. All in all I use all sorts of tools to create different effects and it certainly makes creativity exciting, sometimes I feel like I’m back in kindergarten just having fun, making a mess.
What inspires you?
I totally get inspired by artists that are better than me, I use the internet so much and apps like YouTube and Pinterest are invaluable to me.
I get inspired on the coloring groups, there are so many wonderful artists out there and as I’ve mentioned previously I have amazing friends and we inspire and help each other on a daily basis. Of course I can’t go without mentioning the fact that the city I live in has the most amazing, awe inspiring nature and is also the hub of creativity.
You’re very connected in the colouring scene. What do you think is the future of colouring?
This is a tough question, I’ve been reading a few articles from places like Forbes and apparently sales of coloring books have dropped dramatically, I do think thats because there was a sudden “rush” to buy them all and now its calmed down a bit, I think that the people like me that have found it a way to create as apposed to a blank sheet of paper (which can be very intimidating) will continue with it and grow with it. I hope it doesn’t faze out all together and I’m hoping we can keep it alive. I hope the wonderful artists out there keep making art/colouring books for us.
What are your top three tips of advise for colorists that want to achieve your level of skill?
1. Be patient with yourself
2. Use the internet, find inspiring pictures and ask questions (you will be surprised at how helpful people can be).
3. This is the most important one:
If a picture is not giving you joy and becoming stressful, leave it and move on to the next one (you can always come back to it at a later stage), life and coloring time is way too short and should not be spent on something that isn’t fulfilling you.
4. Had to add this point: use ALL of your tools, mix up your brands of pencils, play with everything you have and create, create and create more!!! The more you use the more fun you will have and the more you’ll want to create.
Fun Question: If you were a colour, what would it be and why?
Oh my!!!! I love all colours, but I’m drawn to the natural (nature) ones, so I may have to say I’d be gold, its neutral, valuable and can be used in anything you want. (Flower, tree, jewelry, clothing etc)
Is there anything else you want to add?
A massive thank you to all the artists that take the time to put up YouTube videos, without these I wouldn’t have achieved what I have in such a short space of time.
A massive thank you to all the artists that keep making these awe inspiring books, thank you for opening me up to this wonderful world of creativity.
A massive thank you to Amazon, without you I wouldn’t be able to play.
The biggest thank you goes to you Rachel for inviting me to do this interview, I feel very privileged, I love your books and I love your art, you are wonderful and I truly hope we can meet up somewhere in this world, preferably on a mountain in the middle of nature.
Please follow me on @robzlipner on insta