A Necklace For Jiggsy.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Kit and learn more about her illustration process, inspiration and more...
Tell us about your path to publication.
I have always loved to draw and play with words. I remember creating a fake newspaper and making up the stories and pictures when I was very young. After studying art in college, I moved on to greeting cards, newspaper work (designing a children’s activity page) and many private projects. After many workshops, classes and personal study, I published with Windswept House and Kaeden Books and illustration work for The United Methodist Publishing House/Cokesbury. I am now working on my eighth illustrated book for Guardian Angel Publishing. I have just released one, “A Necklace for Jiggsy,” which I both illustrated and wrote. I’m loving every minute of my writing and drawing life.
Tell us a little about your illustration process. (what medium do you use, where do you like to work)
My illustration process starts with a manuscript given to me by an editor. After I get my specs on size and page count, I break up the story, allowing for visual possibilities for each page and good text flow. I then take my sketch pad and work out much of my illustrations. I will scan these into my computer to work on color and cleaning up. I use Photoshop and a wacom tablet. I love working digital. I use a story board and often a dummy to make sure the pace works. I send these illustrations in as jpegs at 300 dpi via email to the editor.
What's been the most difficult book for you to illustrate so far and why?
Not one really stands out. Sometimes in the beginning of the project, I may have one that just doesn’t work and I must keep playing with it until it breaks through. That is such a wonderful feeling.
How long does it usually take you to complete illustrations for a picture book?
It depends. Because of the answer in the above question and other reasons, it varies. Sometimes a short simple one can be 2-3 months. Some can take up to a year.
What was your inspiration for your new book, A Necklace For Jiggsy?
“A Necklace for Jiggsy “ is a story I played around with for many years. I worked on a simple black/white edition in a small chap type book. I was thrilled to be able to really expand on Jiggsy and have it published with Guardian Angel Publishing. I had a dog named Jiggsy and he did have the same personality. I think Jiggsy has a positive message to tell because you know sometimes it is hard to do the right thing.
You both write and illustrate. Do you find it harder to illustrate another author's words or do you find it more difficult to illustrate your own?
My own stories are much easier for me. When I do a story, I’m doing the art in my head as I write. Sometimes the pictures come before the words and write the story. When I get an author’s manuscript, it is sometimes difficult to know what they had in mind. I think it is important to work with your author and try to bring together the best of both visions.
To learn more about Kit Grady, please visit her official website.