What brought you to illustration?
I worked in architecture and other design related fields for several years. One day, I decided to tell a story about two friends, and it was the picture book medium that worked best for telling that particular story. It was my first experience writing and illustrating a book. I enjoyed so much, I couldn’t stop.
What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas from?
I don’t think there’s a limit to what can inspire me. It can be a good story, a work of art, or an unexpected act of kindness. Sometimes I get inspired by something as simple as a funny comment, a single line in a book, or a bent piece of discarded wood. Artists’ first sketches are also a source of inspiration. Biographies often affect me too, as does the Physics of things. The way people interact with one another can be the trigger for some ideas as well.
Do you like listening to music or audio books while working or do you prefer silence?
I listen to the radio while I work. There are times when I play certain pieces or songs on repeat, but it’s mostly the radio that keeps me company.
Do you have a favourite place to work?
My little studio at home is where I like to do all my work.
What makes a good illustrator?
A good illustrator is able to create images that add to a certain text, rather than act as mere interpretations of that text. Without a good illustrator’s images, a story is no longer complete.
What was your favourite illustration you have made so far?
This illustration of a little boy playing ball is very dear to my heart because it was the very first sketch I made of Kevin. ("Kevin Goes" first is set for publication in fall 2023 by HarperCollins Publishers).
Do you struggle sometimes? Do you have to motivate yourself, and if so, what helps? Is there a kind of "illustrator’s block?”
Sometimes work flows like a river. It feels effortless. Other times, thinking and experimenting are the only ways to get to a good idea. I think the best thing to do when faced with an illustrator’s block is to accept the fact that it happens, and to not try too hard to work against it. Long walks, especially in places where I’m surrounded by trees, help me when I’m feeling impatient.