Monday, August 25, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Let's go on a Blog Tour!

Writer-Illustrator extraordinaire, Claudia McGehee has asked me to answer the four questions on the My Writing Process Blog Tour. I enjoy learning about other artists'  processes and am grateful for the opportunity to share a bit of mine here. 

Claudia is the illustrator of numerous award-winning books for children. Please visit her website here to see more of her beautiful work and read her answers to the blog tour.

Here are my answers to the questions. Although I do write, illustrating has been keeping me busy as of late. So, I've slanted the questions a bit...

What am I working on?

I'd like to describe my most recent projects because it points out one of the things I love most about getting to be an illustrator--- the diversity of each project!

Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons by Alice B. McGinty (Charlesbridge) has just been released. The story centers around Rabbi Benjamin, but his adoring congregation as well. I think I had 19 characters in that story to keep track of? Oy Vey!

I just sent in the final art for The Inventor's Secret by Suzanne Slade (Charlesbridge) which is about the friendship between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. This, obviously, was set in the late 1880's and early 1900's. It was wonderful to learn and research so much about these fascinating men and their inventions.

Last month I illustrated a middle grade book called Footer Davis Probably is Crazy, by Susan Vaught (Simon and Schuster) where I needed to do black and white drawings that looked as though 11 year old Footer Davis had drawn them for her journals and school projects.

Right now I am in the early sketch stage for Yaks Yak by Linda Sue Park (Clarion). It's a word play picture book with fun to draw animals---- a whole lot different than Rabbi's, 1800's inventors, or alien heads!

How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

I like to think just because it's mine. That as long as I'm trying to draw, or write, in a style that feels true to my own personality and subjective taste that it would be unique in that way.

Why do I do what I do?

I love creating characters. I love seeing them come to life on a page and having the art married to the text in such an inseparable way. 

What is my working process?

If I'm illustrating a picture book, I will often let myself have some time to just sketch out any and all crazy ideas that occur to me. I try not to think too hard about limitations and restrictions at the beginning. Then I'll do really rough thumbnails trying to incorporate as many of those ideas that might work. Sometimes I go right to loose sketches and lay them out in Illustrator. As soon as I have something decipherable and think that my ideas have been adequately translated, I'll share with the Art Director and/or Editor.

Thank you, Claudia, for choosing me to be part of the tour! Happy writing and illustrating everyone!


  1. I lurrrrv peeks into the process, Jennifer. Thanks!

  2. Fascinating.......and what a busy bunny you are!!! xxx

  3. Thanks Jennifer! and perfect illo for the post!

  4. You did such an awesome job drawing Footer's pictures. My hero. :)