Archive for the ‘children’s illustrators’ Category
Post by Penelope
As the mother of a kiddo who’s in love with picture books (what kid isn’t?), I thought I’d start sharing some of our favorites here on the ol’ IF Blog in a new “Book Bliss” series. These are books that are wonderfully illustrated with great stories. Fun indeed! I hope you’ll enjoy!
The first one I’d like to rave about is called Flotsam by David Wisner. Have you seen this book? It’s amazing.
Here’s the description from Amazon:
“A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam–anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.”
David Wiesner’s detailed illustrations surely spark the imagination with images of puffer fish hot air balloons soaring through the sky, starfish islands tottering around tiny whales and sea shell homes perched on turtle shells. One of my favorite images is of a family of octopuses in their underwater living room. It’s just great — so detailed and funny.
David Wiesner is one of the best-loved and most highly acclaimed picture book creators in the world. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have won numerous awards in the United States and abroad. Flotsam won a Caldecott Medal in 2007. David also shares his process on his website!
Check out Flotsam for yourself… It’s definitely one to own even if you don’t have kids. You’ll love it!
1. Tell us about yourself / What makes you tick?
Hi, my name is Jannie Ho (pronounced Jane-nee) and I’m an illustrator specializing in children’s books and products. I went to Parsons School of Design with a BFA in illustration. I’m also known as Chicken Girl. Because who doesn’t like a chicken or two?
2. How did you get started as an illustrator?
After I left school, I worked as a designer and art director, before deciding that illustration was my true passion. I think I had a lot of years of self doubt, and when I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and she talked about “shadow artists,” it really hit home. So while I was working at the full time design job, I slowly went back to build my illustration portfolio while taking continuing education classes at School of VIsual Arts. I signed with a rep and was working the full time job and doing freelance illustration on the side. Eventually I made the transition to being a freelance illustrator full time.
3. How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
When I started to learn Adobe Illustrator, I felt like that medium lends itself well to what I imagine my style would be like. It took years of being out of school before I found my style. But with that said, my style is always changing (and should change.) It has changed a lot since I started 7 years ago. Lately I feel a big shift coming over me and there is a huge hurdle I have to overcome. The style I can imagine in my head is not the way it is on paper at the moment. But so it goes — that is part of the process.
4. Can you briefly explain your creative process, mediums, etc?
I work 99% in Illustrator. I use to do pencil sketches, scan them in, and draw on top of my sketch. But since a lot of client work has quick turnarounds, I began doing grayscale vector art as a sketch, straight on the computer. If the project calls for a certain subject matter or theme, I like to do some image searches just to get the ideas flowing. And for fresh color palettes, I like colourlovers.com for inspiration. It always gives me something new and prevents me from using the same old palettes.
5. How do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a process?
I have to say I don’t really keep a sketch book for ideas. However, I always have various digital files I started with different little artworks. I listen to podcasts and free play, building a scene, making characters. My ideas flow this way.
6. Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?
Yes, of course! Switching projects always helps. I try to stagger projects to keep the creative juices flowing. I really do believe in having time away from a creative problem and trust your subconscious do some work. When I get back to it, there are always new and fresh solutions. I understand this may not be optimal for client work and short deadlines. But even going for a short walk helps.
7. Best / most fun part of your job:
Creating a world of my own. I can be an interior designer, fashion designer, furniture designer, etc. in my illustrations. I get to draw all day — sometimes I work on projects that I would do on my own for free… but don’t tell the client that!
8. Worst / most difficult part of your job:
The feast and famine of freelancing life can be tough. Working from home can be a lonely thing, even for those of us who enjoys solitude. Thank goodness for the internet that illustrators can connect with each other through social media.
9. Do you have side projects you work on?
I always like to have something going on the side. I started an ABCs series which started as a promo card but then it was so much fun that I continued with them. I also enjoy writing and illustrating comics and this is something I feel I can get more personal with. As much as I enjoy children’s publishing, it is nice to work on something more “grown up.”
10. What’s on your horizon? Any current/future projects and plans/dreams you can share with us?
I have a wonderful board book series coming out with Nosy Crow, called Tiny Tabs. The first 2 titles, Teeny Weeny Lost His Mummy, and Bunny Boo Lost Her Teddy, is being released in April 2013. I also have a pop-up gift book coming out in the fall, published by Campbell Books.
* * * * *
5 things inspiring you/your work right now:
limited color palette
3 constants in your day:
Your #1 art tip or words of wisdom:
It will always be an uphill battle, so just enjoy the process and the journey. Take time to celebrate achievements along the way. Believe in your work. Never give up.
* * * * *
Thank you so much, Jannie Ho!
Children’s illustrator Amy Adele is inspired by nature, folk tales and a childlike imagination. Her work is built around a love for hand painted details and the richness of natural earthy colors. We love the whimsy!
Mikela Prevost is an illustrator that gravitates toward that most interesting subject of all. Us. People. Be careful what you do in front of her, because she is discretely sketching it in her sketchbook where you will later find it translated into her latest illustration.
Mikela received her B.A. in Painting and Drawing from the University of Redlands and later went on to receive her M.F.A. in Illustration from Cal State Fullerton. While working on her degree, Mikela found the time to get married, and together they are raising their three very curious kids.
Find more of Prevost’s work on her website.
Constanze is an award-winning, German illustrator and author. She has a wide variety of clients in the illustration industry including publishing houses, magazines, newspapers and design companies.
I love her sweet scenes, bright colors and attention to detail!
I hope you enjoyed a relaxed and fun holiday season! I’m ready to get back to sharing some inspiring art and making some of my own, are you? Here’s to a creative 2013!
See more of her lovely work on her website.
I’ve talked about Melanie Mikecz’s abstract artworks before, but little did I know that she has work for sale on Oopsy Daisy. According to their site: Melanie Mikecz specializes in a charming, mixed-media style. Originally from Wisconsin, she earned a BFA from the Washington University School of Art in St. Louis. Melanie has worked as an illustrator and designer in Boston, London, and San Francisco, absorbing cultural and artistic influences from each of these places. Although her main artistic endeavor is illustration, she also enjoys painting in her spare time, which pushes her talent to new areas of exploration.
See more: Oopsy Daisy
These illustrations by children’s artist Nicola Slater charmed me senseless. Love the color palette, too.
See more of Nicola’s work: Website
Children’s illustrator Taeeun Yoo received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts Illustration and lives in New York City. Her work for kids is just beautiful. It just has such timeless imaginative quality and a sweetness that’s sometimes hard to find in kids books.
One of my – and my daughter’s – favorites of Yoo’s is The Little Red Fish, story of a boy’s adventure alone in a deserted library. Do check it out. You’ll love it.
Here are a few more works from her other stories:
Alison Jay was born in Hertfordshire, grew up in Derbyshire and studied graphic design in London where she now lives. She works with Alkyd, a quick drying oil paint, on paper and sometimes adds a crackle varnish to give the work an aged appearance.
View more of her work: Children’s Illustrators Portfolio