One of the things I love most about writing picture books is watching the illustrations develop from the sketches to the final art. I don’t always get to see this evolution, but I appreciate those editors who include me in the process. Even better is when I get to meet the artist behind the work. After twenty years and 30-plus books, I’ve only met two of my illustrators—Lauren Stringer and David Small—in person. But I’ve had friendly email exchanges with many of them, typically after the artwork is finished (most publishers prefer to keep some distance between authors and illustrators, which generally seems like a good idea).
In the last 18 months, I’ve had the great pleasure of chatting with five illustrators of my books over at the PictureBookBuilders blog. If you, too, love hearing about an illustrator’s process, click on the names that follow to check them out. In addition to Jane Dyer, who illustrated All We Know and Babies on the Go, I interviewed Brooke Boynton Hughes (Henry Wants More!), Simona Mulazzani (Rock-a-Bye Romp), You Byun (Little Baby Buttercup), and Kim Smith (Over the River & Through the Wood and the forthcoming Hey, Coach!). I also enjoyed chatting with another favorite illustrator over at the blog—Zachariah OHora. I keep hoping some artistic transference will happen through these exchanges, but it’s yet to materialize.