Monday, October 3, 2016

Interview with 2016 LA mentee, Alison Farrell

Alison Farrell was the recipient of the SCBWI Mentorship Award at the 2016 Summer Conference. Kidlit Artists would like to officially welcome Alison to the blog, and ask her a few questions about the Mentorship experience, and about what she is up to these days.

Did the feedback you received during the mentorship critiques either change or confirm the direction of your illustration?

As a way to keep human characters distinct, I was told to consider what animal characters (for example, an elephant or a mouse) might look like as people. For me, this is a very mind-bending approach to drawing human characters!

What kind of projects are you working on now?

I am currently working on my debut picture book, Cycle City, which I am writing and drawing. Did I mention I love bikes? There are so many bikes in this book!

Is there any type of illustration (or other work) that you’re hoping for in the near future?

The book I am working on now requires lots of small details. I am hoping to change gears and work on something more character based, whimsical, graphic, fun, or funny. I am a sucker for silly, sweet books about friends like George and Martha or Frog and Toad, or charismatic characters like Calvin.

Is there one really helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten since pursuing illustration?  Any one piece of bad advice?

Slow down, take time to find yourself in your work and discover what your interests are.

What was one of your favorite quotes or lessons from the SCBWI Summer Conference?

Jon Klassen, quoting Stanley Kubrick, "I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want."

A fun exercise for discovering voice in your writing by Drew Daywalt: record conversations with friends/family and transcribe. This can reveal little quirks people have: coughs, little broken phrases pieced together, awkwardness.

What were some of your favorite books when you were a kid?

Miss. Rumphius, Roxaboxen, anything Chris Van Allsburg, Alice in Wonderland, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Secret Garden, Calvin and Hobbes, Richard Scarry, George and Martha, There's a Monster at the End of This Book, anything Arnold Lobel, I would have considered myself a Roald Dahl aficionado, Lizbeth Zwerger's Wizard of OZ, The Snowy Day, Where the Wild Things Are.

A Beacon Hill Christmas was made by Barbara Westman, not very well known, but I adored it as a kid.

My grandparents had some seriously tattered Farside books that I would obsess over whenever I visited.

So many books! I could go on forever!


See more of Alison's work on her website, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. "Slow down, take time to find yourself in your work and discover what your interests are." Fantastic advice, Alison! And I love your style. Thank you for sharing!