Post by Angie Brown
Lane Smith is rather cheeky and he doesn’t even try to hide it. It’s kind of his thing. He says: I don’t like ordinary, middle-of-the-road books. I like funny, odd books that excite and challenge a child. There are enough people doing nice books about manners and feelings and magical unicorns. I do not do those kinds of books.” I first found him when I stumbled across his book review blog, Curious Pages: Recommended Inappropriate Books for Children, where he writes rather cheeky reviews of children’s books that are somehow a little “off.” It’s hilariously entertaining.
I was fascinated by the mottled textures in the illustration directly above, from his aptly named “It’s a Book”. Luckily, he’s rather forthcoming in describing how he achieves this effect: he paints hot press illustration board with oil paints and then sprays them with an acrylic spray (water based) while the paints (oil based) are still wet, causing a chemical reaction. Brilliant.
He currently lives with his wife and two cats in Connecticut and New York City. Before he became a children’s book illustrator, he worked as a freelance illustrator for magazines like Time, Sesame Street, Rolling Stone, Ms., Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire and many others. He is quite prolific and his titles include It’s a Book; John, Paul, George & Ben; The Stinky Cheese Man; Grandpa Green; and Big Plans.