1. Q&A: What children's book illustrators have influenced your work?

A: There are quite a few illustrators that have made a big impact on me, both on my process and style.

I have been influenced by Quentin Blake's amazing ability to make loose whimsical characters that match perfectly with the author Roald Dahl.  In fact, for the longest time I thought Roald Dahl was both the author and the illustrator - for who else could concoct such crazy characters and have them look the way they do? Quentin Blake that's who! He has a great website that has step-by-step videos of how he creates his characters (watercolor painters would love this). It is a gorgeous process to watch!

Ludwig Bemelmans is another amazing storyteller and artist.  There is a great sense of simplicity in his paintings and drawings even though he is making something so beautifully detailed.  The background images from the books Madeline are gorgeously constructed scenes of Paris, France. 

Don Freeman is another author/illustrator that demonstrates simplistic and detailed work in his pieces such as Corduroy and Dandelion.  He also adds a dimension of great warm personal connections between characters in the story and how his characters are able to make the reader feel a wide array of emotions.

I love the stories, Jumanji and Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.  His illustrations are just so detailed and rich - not just in color but also in black and white.  I love that his illustrations take up the entire page and are not interrupted by text.  It is as if I am looking at a photo album and the words are supporting the images not the other way around.

Dr. Seuss is a master of imagination!  I love the fact that not only does he invent simplistic looking creatures, or personifies animals but he is able to connect the audience with social injustices and moral lessons without coming off "preachy."

I love to create personal connections between story characters and take the time to develop and build rich artwork. I love making my illustrations feel simplistic while highlighting complex characters and situations in a story. Quentin Blake, Ludwig Bemelmans, Don Freeman, Chris Van Allsburg, and Dr. Seuss have inspired me and influenced my process and style in those ways.

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