About Me

Alison Baker Rasmussen, writer, illustrator, paynes grey art shop, and paynes grey illustration
It’s me

Gothic and whimsical traditional art illustrations.

Alison Rasmussen – Paynes Grey Illustration

I’m a self-taught illustrator who also loves to write. I regularly contribute to Mom’s Favorite Reads magazine as well as my own projects. I create fantasy creatures and whimsical gothic art, and I am writing a ghost story where lots of my characters go to play. I’ve illustrated for children’s stories and a zombie story, and now I am illustrating my own just for fun. In doing so it has opened up a wonderful world of opportunity as I am getting the chance to really bring them all to life. And for ghosts, that’s quite a big deal!

I work with traditional media – mainly graphite, soft pastels, and coloured pencil. As an illustrator I find a lot of inspiration in Asian illustration, anime, Halloween, and gothic/dark art. I’m working on my own cabinet of curiosities – a strange assortment of unique boxes, glass bottles, and anything odd that might wish to appear in a drawing some time. I also collect fantasy art books, manga and pencils but lack the shelf space to do the task justice.

I sometimes feel like my approach is that of some kind of patchworking Doctor Frankenstein artist, as I like to stitch multiple references together to make things believable and I never take anything from one place – a hand here, and arm there, maybe some random person’s leg. I truly feel I’ve made it mine that way. I really can’t bear drawing without having something to observe as I work – I think the drawings I make benefit from that approach, and I enjoy working that way. If it’s not fun, then for me, it will most definitely go wrong!

I’m sort of a book collector. Most of my continuous learning and practice comes from my growing book library, and my biggest inspiration these days stems from my love of contemporary Asian art. There are some incredible books published by PIE International that feed my imagination, like Everyday Scenes from a Parallel World, or Retrospective Scenes from a Sentimental World – both showcasing up and coming creators and Anime/Manga artists. I often sit and describe what I see from the illustrations for writing practice and for a really in-depth perusal – basically it’s fun! Other inspirations are Munashichi, a Makoto Shinkai sky and anything that brings light and mood to a piece. I love the dark fairy tales of Brian Froud, the muted colours of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, and the whimsical dark styles of Gris Grimly and Edward Gorey. I can absolutely promise there’s countless more but hopefully that will give a flavour of all the things that I Iook at in the hope that I can make something pretty, too.

I must confess, I am a person who doesn’t keep a sketchbook. I think I need to remedy this (maybe) even if it just for practicing things that need work on, but each time I get a new sketchbook it just ends up being turned into a supply of drawing paper for not so sketchy pieces. I’m either too much of a perfectionist or I know exactly what I want to draw as I’ve already done days of planning in my head. I write notes, though, and all of my ideas usually end up in a drawing or in the story I’m working on.


email ~ paynesgrey@outlook.com