Tuesday, March 13, 2012
It's so nice to have a part in seeing a project go from beginning to end. I was privileged to work with the great Lee Bennett Hopkins - THE poet anthologist for kids. He's basically won all the poetry awards and even holds a Guinness world record for most prolific poetry anthologist. My editor at Penguin was like, "Do you know how famous Lee is?" and I had to apologize because I'm not well read in poetry- so I looked him up and holy cow! Anyway - he seems like a really nice guy too and in Nasty Bugs he's gathered some of the best poets from around the country and spun a web of YUCK!!!...for the boys...and the girls who are more brave than I.
This was a very fun book to work on - a dream project really because each illustration is a stand alone. When I finished one I could take on the challenge of new characters for a new nasty poem. One of the challenges in illustrating a traditional book is that often the story takes place in one or two locations which means that backgrounds have to be similar - which means similar colors. You have to constantly dream up new ways to keep the images fresh and avoid redundancy.
I sure hope I get to work with Lee and Dial again - Jason Henry did a fabulous job designing and laying out the book. I've always wondered why the designers don't get their name on the cover as well - they do so much work.