One of the stages in my illustration process involves printing out the pages of the story on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. The pages are presented like a storyboard, and at this planning stage some of the pages have more finished drawings, others rough thumbnails or scribbles, and a few slow pokes are still empty. I will also change things that need changing, as the stickies suggest.
Below is the full interview I did for the last post.
1. What was the most challenging aspect of making this book and what is most satisfying?
What was most satisfying for me was coming up with the story behind the story. The words told one story and I tried to have my pictures tell a second story, so together the words and pictures added up to something more. This happened pretty naturally, the story slowly unraveled as I drew it. Picture by picture, pencil mark by pencil mark. The challenge was that sometimes it didn't happen! I just didn't have any drawings in me. It was a particular challenge when I was finishing the book . After working on it for up to a year I was out of gas and it was particularly difficult to finish up the last few illustrations. My only solution for this was to just keep going!
2. Do you use reference to draw these adorable little creatures? Have you drawn animals forever?
I do and I don't use reference. I do look at pictures and videos of animals. I look at how they are constructed. What sorts of noses and paws they have or what are their proportions and such. But I try too interpret the reference in my own way and create an impression of the characters, not a representation.
It is kind of like writing a paper, It's easy enough to copy word for word from your reference material. But it is so much better to try to process the information and write your own version. My desire is to do my own impression and to bring life to my characters. I love creating characters and stories. In the end I draw for my own entertainment and hope others will be entertained as well.
I think I got interested in drawing animals from watching a stop motion tv show for kids called Coralgol, aka Jeremy the Bear, or Barnaby depending on where you lived. This and other animated animal stories from my childhood somehow sunk into my subconscious. There are often similarities in my drawings that are not on purpose, they just show up. Plus I have natural attraction to loveable critters!
But it was few years after art school that I really got into drawing animals. At that time I mostly drew people. I remember going for coffee with a new sketchbook and for some reason decided to draw critters, and had a lot of fun with it. I drew more and more, and now I rarely draw anything but animals.
3. Name a fav kids' book.
I love the humor and situations of the characters from the work of Richard Scarry. I am a Bunny, and Fun with Words are the books in my collection. Oh my, they are so lovely!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I just did a short interview about illustrating The Quiet Book. It was done for illustrator Craig Frazier's new website about picture books titled 36 Pages, check out the website and the interview here:
I have to say it is extra, extra wonderful that an artist, who's work I admire and look up too, has asked me to talk about my own work!
Check out Craig's books, he's got a brand new picture book titled Lots of Dots I am looking forward to seeing.
Another of his books,The Illustrated Voice, is a particular favorite. It's a book that shows his creative process and every little sketch is brilliant! A wealth of imagination.