This interview series introduces the talented recipients of the SCBWI Mentorship Award at the 2019 Summer Conference. Please welcome Rob Sayegh to the KidLitArtists Blog!
Hiya! My name is Rob Sayegh Jr, and I am an author/illustrator specializing in children's media. I love creating worlds and characters that make people of all ages smile and giggle by combining humorous illustrations with playful stories. When I am not doodling or writing, I enjoy collecting vintage toys, being an official snack taste-tester, falling in love with every dog I meet, and exploring San Francisco where I currently live with my partner and two dogs Penny and Rigby.
My clients include:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Disney Consumer Products
and many more.
Did the feedback you received during the mentorship critiques either change or confirm the direction of your illustration? Are there any specific examples you can share?
"The mentors provided amazing feedback on so many things. One example I can give is that my styling is rather simple and it was commented that I tend to go so simple on human faces, that they all start to look the same. It could be a problem in a book that features lots of characters. It's a great point, and it could have affected me from being selected for certain projects."
What kind of projects are you working on now?
"I currently am working on several unannounced projects that I cannot wait to share with everyone in the future."
Is there any illustration (or other work) that you’re hoping for in the near future?
"I would love to write and illustrate my own children's book series."
Is there one really helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten since pursuing illustration?
"BUTT IN CHAIR. It's something I heard at my very first SCBWI conference. It's really the most valuable thing anyone can do to help their career. I think it just keeps you always a student of your craft and builds great habits in creating work every day."
Any one piece of bad advice?
"There is no such thing as bad advice!"
What was one of your favorite quotes or lessons from the SCBWI Summer conference?
"Several people said my favorite lesson. It was about how one should really own their literary voice and illustration style. Both Christian Robinson and Arthur Levine said this but from two very different standpoints of an illustrator and an editor. It fascinated me how powerful it was to hear it this way. Bringing the stories only you can tell not only help someone see who you are, but it allows you to stand out from others as a storyteller."
What were some of your favorite books when you were a kid?
"I was obsessed with Bunnicula. Harold is still one of my favorite literary characters today."
Where can we see more of your artwork?
You can see more of my work via my website www.robsayart.com and by following me on instagram https://www.instagram.com/