Saturday, December 19, 2009

An Interview With a Teenaged Book Illustrator

When I decided to publish a print copy of the twelve e-books in The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Story for Children, I still had a lot of work left to do on the illustrations. There were at least six books with no illustrations at all.

I love kids of all ages and wanted to encourage some young person in their artist abilities. I also had a small budget. Putting the two together, I sent out a few tweets on Twitter asking for referrals of high school or college-aged illustrators. I had an overwhelming response and ended up with about ten people from which to choose. Most were adults, who were asking prices that were out of my reach. There was one individual who stood out, 15-year-old Hayley John.

After getting approval from her parents to allow her to work for me, we got started while she was out of school during the summer. Not only was she fast in completing the projects, she was amazingly talented. She is available in her spare time to do illustrations for authors, so I decided to interview her as part of my blog tour.

YVONNE: When did you first realize you had artistic talent?
HAYLEY: I started to notice and use my artistic talent mainly in third and fourth grade. In junior high I really started to love art and to develop new skills in that area.

Tell me about some of the first art you created.
Well, the very first pictures I drew were of horses. I loved to draw horses but because I was young they looked more like bananas with a head, tail, and four legs. one of the first real pieces of art I created in junior high. One day I decided to try to draw a dog that I saw in a children book. I did it in pencil and it turned out nice and I ended up giving it to my mom for mother's day. (I attached a photo of this drawing)

How old were you when others started noticing you had such talent?
When I was 10 or 11 (fifth and sixth grade)

Have you taken art classes?
I took one last year (my freshman year) and two in junior high.

You worked with colored pencil, water color, and digital formats on The Sid Series. What is your favorite medium to work with?
I have always liked pencil but because of the lack of color and fun you can put into pencil I like digital and water colors. I have to say that digital is by far my favorite for a lot of reasons. First, there is no mess at all. Second, If I mess up no one has to know because it erases completely away. Third, because with digital I am able to fill a space completely with color without much effort.

What are you future hopes or plans after high school?
Do you plan to incorporate art into your career? I plan to attend a local collage for a few years before attending Brigham Young University, my dream collage. I still have no plans for a future occupation. No, I don't think I want to incorporate art into my future career. This may sound odd because I do love art, but in my opinion if art becomes work it is no longer play. I want this to be kept as a fun hobby or a resource to earn a little extra money when needed.

Thank you, Hayley, for sharing with my blog visitors and for doing such a fine job on the illustrations for my book.

You may read more about the The Sid Series and see more of Hayley's artwork at

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