What is your favorite medium?
My favorite mediums are pen and ink and watercolor. After working out the composition of an image with thumbnail sketches, I draw the final image onto illustration board. Then I use a crow quill pen and acrylic ink to do the outlines. I use watercolors to color the image, and sometimes use colored pencils to add textures or patterns. I use photoshop to fix any mistakes.
Do you write as well as illustrate?
I’m just starting to work on my writing. I have lots of stories in my head that I’d like to get out on paper.
Who are some of your favorite illustrators?
There are so many! Tomie DePaola, Maurice Sendack, Marla Frazee, Irene Haas, Hilary Knight, Shaun Tan, James Gurney, David Small, Trina Schart Hyman, Gyo Fujikawa, Lisbeth Zwerger, Quentin Blake….
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A children’s book illustrator. Although, there was a brief time at the end of high school where I thought I might want to be an opera singer.
Do you remember the first story you created?
When I was five or six a friend gave me a journal for my birthday. I filled it with drawings of different kinds of cats, engaged in various activities (blowing bubbles, juggling, weight lifting). Apparently I intended it to be a humorous cat anthology. I also used to write lots of stories about a princess named Opal.
What were your favorite books when you were a kid?
“The Little Moon Theatre” by Irene Haas, “Where’s Wallace” by Hilary Knight, “The Grey Lady and Strawberry Snatcher” by Molly Bang, “The Clown of God” by Tomie dePaola, “Rain Makes Applesauce” by Julian Scheer and Marvin Bileck, “The Patchwork Cat” by N. Bayley and William Mayne, “Come Follow Me” by Gyo Fujikawa, “Dinotopia” by James Gurney, “How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen” by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake…
If you could be a children’s book character, who would you be and why?
Hm… this is a hard one. There are so many wonderful characters to choose from. I think I’ll go with Margaret Barnstable from Irene Haas’s “The Maggie B”. Margaret takes a lovely sea voyage with her baby brother, James, on a cozy little ship called the Maggie B. Margaret paints a portrait of her brother, and plays the fiddle, and makes a delicious supper. She’s very capable and charming. I’d like to be capable and charming too.
What is your favorite color?
When I’m painting I love a good orangey red next to kelly green. And I seem to have lots of dark purple shirts.
Where do you live?
I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, about three hours away from Jill in Steamboat Springs. Its a town that loves bicycles and beer. Old Town Fort Collins is one of my favorite places to be.
Do you have any pets?
James the Cat (Also known as James K. Pants, or Mr. Pants), and Domino, who is a very energetic black lab.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Yoga, hike, read, travel, watch movies with my husband, draw, visit the library…
What inspires you?
Books, hiking, being around other artists, yoga, books, driving by myself, “This American Life” radio, good movies, books, SCBWI conferences, beach combing, music, books.