I get a lot of inquires about my illustration process.
I hope the information below will help us get to know each other better.
What is your medium and method of choice?
I prefer to do all my illustrations by hand. Call me crazy but I love the feeling of paper and I love seeing an image emerge at my fingertips!
Whether I'm working on my own story or translating the words of someone else, my method is fairly similar: a few rough sketches or thumbnails and a loose idea on a pad of newsprint paper. Whatever pops into my brain first. Nothing too concrete. Just random association. (We don't want to cage our muse in.) Sometimes, I'll type up a simple story manuscript or print the text I'll be using to refer back to. From here, I measure out the size of the book I want to make (with extra space for margins, bleed, gutters...) and begin drawing the pictures lightly with a pencil on 300-pound hot-press watercolor paper. Hot-press has a smoother surface texture than cold-press and illustrations "translate" better when they go to print but this is a personal preference.
Next, I start painting. Again, I prefer the old-school method of physical paint on physical paper. For the type of paint, I switch between Staedtler watercolor pencils and a portable, stacking set of watercolors by Koh-I-Noor (l love these! They're great even if you're not painting en plein air!).
Now comes my absolute favorite part: the detailing! When all the illustrations are complete in color I go back with pen-and-ink to add depth and fine detail. My weapon of choice? PaperMate InkJoy Gel pens. I know, you're shocked. They're not even an art pen but they are quick-drying, smudge-resistant, and cheap! (The Old Masters are rolling in their graves now!)
When the illustrations are fully complete, I scan them into my computer at 300 to 600 dpi and add the text digitally using Adobe InDesign.
Will you illustrate my children's book?
I receive a lot of inquiries from writers and emerging authors.
I prefer to work directly with editors and publishing houses but am not against working for a self-publishing author.* Please feel free to contact me to talk about your book project and budget.
What are your favourite subjects to illustrate?
I like to illustrate whimsical animal characters and fantasy stories the best.
I also enjoy doing highly-detailed work.
Where do you prefer to work?
My nook of choice is in my office but sometimes this spills over to the kitchen table, the counter, my car, a cosy chair...but my favorite place is at the ocean...
What is your favorite food?
This often depends on my mood. I love authentic ethnic cuisine but I have a hard time turning down seafood: lobster, scallops, SUSHI!
*Truth in advertising: Most publishers and editors prefer to choose the illustrator themselves. If you are considering submitting your manuscript to a publisher, please be aware that you will need to get their approval first to use an outside illustrator.