Guillaume Perreault's SLEEP, SHEEP!

Hi Guillame, Your publicist sent me a copy of Sleep, Sheep! and I just adored it! Sometimes you just need a silly read-aloud and this book absolutely fits the bill! (Guillaume visits all the way from Gatineau, Canada!)
e: What was your creative process/medium for Sleep, Sheep!, can you walk us through it?
Sleep, Sheep! felt like a bedtime story for me, so I wanted to create a look which embodied calm and softness yet being funny and witty. I opted for a hands-on aproch to get this soft look I was looking for. Pencil came to my mind since i had just finished another book with that medium a couple of months before. It's a great simple tool to create a cozy atmosphere! The grain of the pencil, the paper, the boldness or subtle traits of a line as well as the ocasional mistake or smudge gives a pencil drawing such life. A digital illustration, while I like and use them a lot, would not have given justice to the flavor and tone of the book. The colors, however, were applied digitaly. This was an artistic choice as well as a time saver since I am VERY picky with my color choices! The tones of mint, yellow, green and red-ish present althrough the book again empasis on this soft and calm look I tried to acheive. But as you can see I had so much fun with the facial expression, composition of the illustrations and body language of the characters, this breaks a bit the zen look of the book and jolt It with life and funny situations.
e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of Sleep, Sheep!?
Well, during the sheep drawing session I was having a bit of a lack of inspiration and I did'nt want my sheeps to be all similar or bland. So I contacted a couple of my buddys and just asked them to name me a random piece of clothing, a job, a disguise, whatever come to their mind and I used it to draw my sheeps! So I ended up with a scuba-diver sheep, a Jimmy Hendrix sheep, a bowl hat sheep, a scraf sheep and so on! I actually really enjoy to spark up my work with silly idea from my entourage!

e: Fabulous! What do you think makes an illustration magical, what I call "Heart Art” - the sort that makes a reader want to come back to look again and again?
I think art that has heart in it speaks for itselft. I mean, when you feel the illustrator had fun and truly commited to the piece you just know it, and that is simply what a good illustration, or any piece of art for that matter, is. And by commited I dont mean working sweat and tear on a piece. That might be the case for some artist but for my own experience when I giggle while I am drawing and everything seams easy and fluid on a drawing session, well, I know this is a good piece. You can tell when an illustrator did'nt really enjoy himself, wasnt in a good mood or maybe could'nt work as he really wanted. And that's true too if you feel the artist worked ''too'' hard on something, that's harder to describe but it's just something you feel. So, I would wrap up with feeling the excitement or fun beind the work and feeling the illustration felt right to the artist.
e: I so agree! How do you advertise yourself (or do you)?
I dont really advertise my work. I have of course a website, but that is mainly an easy way to show my work to potential client. Instagram and facebook are good ways to promote... but then again I would say that with all of the paid content and flood of distraction in there it's quite hard to get your message across. I usually use it as a way to announce a new book, show a work in progress or basicly for fun. If you put too much effort on those things you end up with less time to actually get the work done. I do however get some work from editor or creative director which tumble into my work of those platfom. So, I would'nt say it's useless, you just have to find your own balance or the social media platforms.
e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
The most challenging part for me is the lack of supervision I would say. I am my own boss, of course my clients and editor provide some sort of supervision, but this still leaves me to plan my own schedule and make sure I get things done on time. I dont have anyone who really tells me to get to work, so I constantly have to push myself and avoid wasting my time which is really really easy to do when you have no supervision, believe me! Answering email, getting back to client and overall managing the business side of things is also a pretty big challenge but you get used to it and find ways to deal with it. Apart from that I cant really complain; creating a book meant for children is such a privilege! Knowing you take some part in their education, personal life, or plainly entertaining or mezmerazing them is awesome!
e: Is there something in particular about Sleep, Sheep! that you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
There isnt something really specific I would say... but I just hope they enjoy the book! I mean, have fun with it, find it funny, point out silly details and crack a smile once in a while. I think everyone deserves to relax and enjoy themself and that is somthing I am to acheive with all of my work even if the subject might be harsh or serious, I always find a way to squeze in a bit of humour.
e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
I am currently creating my third book of my graphic novel serie for kids The Space Postman. Le facteur de l'espace, in it's original language published by La Pastèque. For those who dont know, the books are about the story of Bob, a space delivery man which is quite clumsy and not-so-adventurous I would say. Things never go according to plan with Bob and even the simplest delivery poses quite a lot of chanllenge when you are in space! This next chapter should be done by 2021 and talks about some of the challenges of communication and human (or alien!) interaction.
Thanks so much!

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