Cale: The real question is why not Unicorns?! There was only so long I could resist telling a story about the world’s most magical fictitiously fantastic animal. Being able to draw them wearing smart lab coats was the icing on the unicorn cake.
Cale: I did not know that! Though in all honesty, if I were to imagine where a real unicorn would be found, Scotland would be the place! I will also now forever imagine unicorns speaking in a Scottish accent.
Cale: There was a lot of sweets and caffeine involved to really get inside the mind of a Unicorn. Once I felt I was high enough on sugar it was time to hit the notebook. Since Unicorns 101 is a book filled with unicorn facts, it meant I needed to come up with as much random unicorn knowledge as possible, and then cut it down to the best of the best for the book. My process was lots of scribbling of notes and doodles to figure out what may work as a fact or section. One of the unforeseen challenges that came later was figuring out how to present all the information on each page in a way that didn’t completely overwhelm the reader. I tried to keep things very sectional, so that we could cut, add, or rearrange areas quite easily, without breaking apart the whole book. The art itself was done digitally, with the intention to make things read as clear and funny as possible! I felt that going in a more simple/cartoon art direction worked better for a book with this amount of content.
Cale: I am certainly a little wild, I think anyone trying to be an author or illustrator has to be a bit untameable!
Cale: Every book I’ve written has come about a little bit differently. For Unicorns 101, I was actually contacted by my published Doubleday after they randomly came across a picture I had illustrated years before of a group of unicorn scientists.
Cale: Working as an author/illustrator there are always many bizarre and absurd conversations you have with your editor, and Unicorns 101 was no exception! Serious debates on Unicorn poop, rainbow farts, and just how much glitter is too much? (The correct answer is there is never enough.)
Cale: For myself a lot of what I would call ‘Heart Art’ stems from the genuine intention the artist brings to the work. While it’s hard to pinpoint, I feel artwork created with passion and love will always contain an extra layer of depth and magic.
Cale: I do try and promote my work where I can, such as the social media channels (twitter and instagram). Otherwise I leave selling my books in the very capable hands of my publishers marketing department.
Cale: I feel my favorite and the most challenging parts are one and the same for me. I love coming up with new ideas and trying new things. Taking these new ideas or techniques, and trying to put them down on paper or turn them into something pleasant is a different story! I find writing unspeakably challenging, but the reward of finally wrangling out the right words to tell your story makes it all worth it.
Cale: Aside from learning all the wild and wacky facts of unicorns, I hope that this book may spark readers to be interested in reading and learning about non fantasy animals in our world. In my opinion real animals are just as fantastic and magical as unicorns.
Cale: I’m happy to report that along with a couple books I illustrated, I have a sequel to Unicorns 101 coming later this year! ‘Monsters 101’ is coming to bring you all the gruesome and fun facts related to all monsters, known and unknown!
I am also excited to be currently working on a sequel to my picture book ‘Sir Simon: Super Scarer’. This continuation is going to be in a slightly different format than the original, being a short graphic novel. I can’t wait to share more adventures of Simon and Chester. Being able to tell more of my own stories is always a dream, but also being able to collaborate with others is something I look to do more of.