10 October 2013
OL' CLIP-CLOP by Patricia C. McKissack and Eric Velasquez - GIVEAWAY!
Halloween is my favorite holiday. And while I usually prefer the cozier side — the carved pumpkins, the fun costumes, and the treats - I don't mind a mild scare every now and then. OL' CLIP-CLOP, written by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Holiday House 2013), is exactly that. Today I have the honor of talking to Eric about OL' CLIP- CLOP.
John Leep is not a nice guy. So is he imagining the sound of somebody following him one late October night? Or is it...
Q. You are known for such gorgeous books as OUR CHILDREN CAN SOAR and THE PRICE OF FREEDOM. With that last title, you had to illustrate dark, night-time scenes like in OL' CLIP-CLOP. Do you find those challenging?
A. Yes it is rather challenging. I have to consider the location as well as the time period of the scene that I am depicting, while taking into account how to best illustrate a scene dramatically.
I loved working on OL’ CLIP CLOP: A Ghost Story because Jon Leep is slowly riding deeper into the woods, deeper into the darkness which is a reflection of his own inner darkness.
Q. The way you use light gives such a perfectly creepy feeling to OL' CLIP-CLOP. How do you approach your lighting?
A. Aside from the actual form of the images, lighting is one of the most important aspects of my work. The lighting determines the mood of image. One can say that I consider lighting as carefully as I consider the characters of the story.
Q. You're best known for you books featuring African American characters. Do you feel the tide is changing in multicultural representation in children's books?
A. I would hope so. I certainly am looking forward to illustrating and reading stories that are traditionally written, but have a multicultural cast.
Example text: Suddenly the most beautiful girl walked in the room.
Example Image: An African American, or Asian, or a Latina girl walking into the room.
It is about time, don't you think? [[YES!]]
Q. What is your medium and how long does it usually take you to illustrate a picture book?
A. Mix media and oil on watercolor paper. Usually three months, however some projects have taken longer, especially the more ambitious ones.
Q. Can you share your path to publication for my readers who are just starting out?
A. The path to publication? First you have to be able to accept and apply constructive criticism. I started illustrating shortly after graduating from the School of Visual Arts 29 years ago. It was very different then, however as I tell my illustration students at FIT (The Fashion Institute of Technology) "You must be willing to work hard and embrace the notion of being life long learner".
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Holiday House is kindly giving away a free copy of OL' CLIP-CLOP to one of my lucky commenters. Sign up below. (Must live in the US/Canada to win.)
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