Monday, September 10, 2018

Interview with Gail Buschman, 2018 SCBWI LA Mentorship Award Winner

This interview series introduces the talented recipients of the SCBWI Mentorship Award at the 2018 Summer Conference. Please welcome Gail Buschman to the KidLitArtists Blog!

About Gail:

"A Florida-native, Gail migrated to Los Angeles, discovering mountains are amazing. She is a nerd who fell in love with a gamer geek and loves to travel with him at every opportunity. She wants to buy all the picture books and draw all the animals. She studied both graphic design and illustration at California State University, Northridge. She has illustrated for Reading A-Z and currently works as a senior graphic designer for SAGE Publishing."

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?

"Feedback indicated that two of the areas I need to strengthen were my use of color and being more consistent with using a single primary medium. I will continue to practice color in the natural world through plein air painting; study how color is used in books, art, and animation to express different emotions; and create a wider range of color studies before working on final illustrations. With regards to medium: currently the linework in my portfolio is sometimes ink with brush pen and sometimes pencil.  I need to pick one of the two as my primary focus and use that as the line for any pieces I create going forward to create a "cohesiveness of voice." That decision will determine how much I change the direction of my illustration in the future."

What kind of projects are you working on now?

"Recently I have been struggling with a story I’ve been working on, but sessions at the conference made me realize that it's time to let that story simmer and come back to it later with fresh eyes. So I will be exploring a few new stories based on some pieces in my portfolio as well as dusting off characters that I have been living with for a while: robot and squirrel, dog and crab, and maybe even a giant lizard!"

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

"Besides for picture books, which I LOOOOOVE, I want to create a graphic novel with a story idea I've been exploring since 2015. I work on it between picture book ideas, so it's slowly taking shape. Next on the to-do list for it: writing the script and pacing out the page turns."

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

"The good advice that I'm holding dear right now is from Marla Frazee: "It's really difficult for us to trust that the thing that is the easiest, that flows out and gives us joy is the thing you SHOULD be doing." My goal going forward is to follow my story joys. "

Any one piece of bad advice?

"The bad advice I have received over the years has always been from myself: "To draw well, I need to draw realistically" (wrong.) or "I drew the thumbnail to capture the essence, now I need to draw the final BETTER: better perspective, better details, better lighting, better dynamism, better anatomy. more more more." (it's only better if the final drawing clarifies or heightens the emotional beat of the moment.)"

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

""If you are thinking about everyone else, you are diluting your SELF-ness."
Embarrassingly, I don't know who said it--I wrote it down while drawing rabbits and turtles during the editors' panel on the very first day of the conference"

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

The Wonderful Feast and Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodinka
Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin
Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

ANY book by Mercedes Lackey

Where can we see more of your artwork? 

I have an educational book, published by Reading A-Z, written by Torran Anderson, Two.

Instagram: @Nightengailart
Facebook: NightenGailArt
Twitter: NightengailArt

Thanks, Gail! Welcome to KidLitArtists! We can't see what you do!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing that Marla Frazee quote. What a beautiful goal. Your art is oure JOY! I can't wait to see more out there in the world from you!