Sigh. So Dev Petty asked me to do this blog tour thing and I said yes. You don’t say “no” to Dev Petty because she’s kinda scary and you can only see half of her face.
Anywho… she’s incredibly funny and her debut picture book “I Don’t Want to be a Frog” (illustrated by the fabulous Mike Boldt) is coming out next February from Doubleday. She says it’s autobiographical and, since I’ve never met her in person, I’m inclined to believe her. Check out her writing process post here: http://devpetty.com/
Here goes nothin’, kids…
What am I currently working on?
Laundry. There’s always laundry. It is the WORST.
Professionally? I’ve been collaborating with an author friend o’mine (who may or may not be a frog) on a very… errr… unique picture book series. While she’s in charge of the words and I’m all over the pictures, it’s been a lot of fun to work together on all aspects of the series… plotlines, set design, character interaction, camera angles, etc. The nature of our industry tends to require many hours of writing or illustrating alone and so it’s been really exciting to throw ideas back and forth with someone who’s also really invested in the project.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Oh, boy. Kind of a tough question. I don’t have a specific medium like most other illustrators… the closest would probably be an overarching diorama medium. There are some phenomenal artists who work in diorama but I specifically steer clear of viewing their work in order to keep a fresh perspective. In the last year I’ve started to incorporate other media forms to best suit the specific story that I’m working on. The story is king. Period. I think it’s important to let the story guide illustrative choices… everything with intention. There are two constants, however, that tend to show up in everything I do… clay and eyes.
Why do I write what I write?
Actually, I’ve just started to really work on my writing. I’ve always identified more as an illustrator but some of my writer pals have been really supportive and helpful in providing feedback/guidance. There’s just a lot of evolution in my writing right now, which is great! I tend to be drawn to anything funny. Anything innovative. Anything that’s really well done.
How does my individual writing/illustrating process work?
Welp. If I’m doing the writing and illustrating things flow differently because I can make choices about presentation as I go. I can answer, “do I let the words or pictures speak here?” on my own and the story evolves sentence by sentence… image by image in a rough dummy. In my current collaboration project, things have worked slightly differently. After getting the words, I spent a good amount of time just thinking about what the story called for visually and how to best present the visual storyline. Next was the general framework… set and physical character development. After those were established I set up just a thumbnail rough dummy and a shot list. Finally, the actual illustrating and compilation into page layout. I try to stay away from Photoshop (though it’s a great tool) because the nature of my illustration is very much handmade and it’s meant to be imperfectly beautiful on purpose.
Up Next on this lovely blog tour:
The extremely talented and lovely ladies: Deborah Marcero and Bethany Telles. You’ll be hearing a lot from them in the years to come and I’m excited to hear more about their processes!
A special “thanks” to Fred Koehler for getting this started!