A Mini-Interview with Sophie Blackall



November Mini-Interviews 2013

Welcome back to our Mini-Interview Grand Finale Week! Today I have with me the author-illustrator Sophie Blackall.

I have lost count of how many times I have read, looked, open and closed “Are You Awake?”. Sophie brilliantly wrote and illustrated it. Since I love the book and Sophie’s work so much, I had to asked her to be my last guest. It’s been a busy couple of months for Sophie, nevertheless she found time for us. With you, the fantastic Sophie Blackall.

Sophie Blackall
About Sophie Blackall

Born in 1970, Sophie Blackall grew up in Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Design in Sydney in 1992 with honors. Blackall was seduced by New York and moved there in 2000. In 2002, she illustrated the children’’s book “Ruby’s Wish” by Shirin Yim Bridges (Chronicle Books), which won the Ezra Jack Keats award in 2003. Since then, she has illustrated seventeen other books for children including “Meet Wild Boars” by Meg Rosoff (Henry Holt & Co) which won the Society of Illustrators Founders Award, and the “Ivy and Bean” series by Annie Barrows (Chronicle Books).

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Last Week of Mini-Interviews



November Mini-Interviews 2013

It’s time for our Mini-Interview Series Grand Finale!

For the past 3 years, we have interviewed Illustrators and Author-Illustrators. It has been a fantastic opportunity while we have shared them with you. We are seeing busier times in our lives these days and are retiring the Mini-Interviews. If you want to revisit them, you can find links to all MIs still available at this Pinterest board.

Getting back to this our last week, we have 4 fantastic Author-Illustrators yet to be interviewed:

  • Sophie Blackall talks books here on Tuesday.
  • Loren Long chats with Molly on Wednesday.
  • Antoinette Portis visits Mikela on Thursday.
  • And, Brian Lies is Laura’s guest on Friday.
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    A Mini-Interview with Zachariah OHora



    November Mini-Interviews 2013

    Hello again! Happy Thanksgiving week! Welcome back to week four of our 2013 November Mini-Interviews. People, it’s time to celebrate! I have here with me the most talented Zachariah OHora.

    The first time I saw Zach’s work I was at a bookstore. I opened “No Fits, Nilson!” and was immediately attracted by the bold work. Nilson, the zen-challenged Gorilla, filled each page. With each page turn, I fell more and more in love with this angry ape. I wanted to know more about the author-illustrator behind the book so I asked Zach to be part of our Mini-Interviews. He graciously agreed. Now, I am giddy to introduce you to Zachariah OHora.

    Zachariah OHora
    About Zachariah OHora

    Zachariah OHora is an award winning illustrator. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers and has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, AIGA and Print Magazine.

    His debut book “Stop Snoring Bernard!” (Henry Holt) was the PA One Book choice for 2012 and won the Society of Illustrators Founders Award for 2011. His latest book “No Fits Nilson!” (Dial) received a Kirkus Star and was included in the 2013 SOI Original Art Show. He is hard at work on his next picture book “My Cousin Momo” (Winter 2015) about a flying squirrel who is reluctant to show off his talent. He is also illustrating two books for Little, Brown –“Wolfie the Bunny” and “Horrible Bear” both written by Ame Dyckman.

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    A Mini-Interview with Brian Won



    November Mini-Interviews 2013

    Welcome to our third week of the 2013 November Mini-Interviews. This week, I have invited an author-illustrator whose work I love. The most wonderful Brian Won.

    I saw Brian’s work for the first time at Lost Weekend 2012. Brian was a Mentee from the 2012 SCBWI Los Angeles Conference. I immediately connected with his work. It was moving, full of emotion, and full of heart. The details, textures and subject matter were fantastic. I had to have some time to ask him some questions about his Author-Illlustration career, and so, I asked him to be a guest of our Mini-Interviews. To my pleasure, he agreed.

    With you, the fantastic Brian Won.

    Brian Won
    About Brian Won

    Brian Won is an illustrator, children’s book author, and motion graphics designer. He wears many hats.

    After graduating from Art Center College of Design with an illustration degree, he studied graphic design, and co–founded a motion graphics company, National Television. During his 12 years in the motion design industry, his roles have varied from Creative Director, Art Director, Illustrator, and Designer. He is also a father of a three year old boy and coincidentally, wrote and illustrated a children’s book entitled “Hooray for Hat!” coming out in Spring 2014.

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    A Mini-Interview with Yuyi Morales



    November Mini-Interviews 2013

    Hello again! Welcome to our second week of the 2013 November Mini-Interviews. This week, I have the huge pleasure to bring you the most wonderful author-illustrator, Yuyi Morales.

    I am fascinated with Yuyi’s work. Completely. Utterly. Needless to say I am beyond excited to have her as a guest. I know you want to hear her, and she has lots to share today. Señoras y señores, Miss Yuyi Morales.

    Yuyi Morales
    About Yuyi Morales

    Since having immigrated to the USA in 1994, Yuyi Morales has create some of the most celebrated Latino works for children’s books.She is the multiple winner of Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration, given to a Latino illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children.

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    A Mini-Interview with Marta Altes



    November Mini-Interviews 2013

    Welcome to our first interview for the 2013 November Mini-Interviews. I’m starting by introducing you to the work of the Spanish author-illustrator, Marta Altés.

    Marta has a fun, loose style. I found her work online a year ago and immediately loved it. So when it came time to short list our guests for this year, she was one of the names on my list. Now, she’s here with you and me. With you the author-illustrator, Marta Altés.

    Brian Won
    About Marta Altés

    I studied graphic design in Barcelona and after working there as a graphic designer for almost five years (The Original Cha Chá), I decided to pursue my interest for illustration that I had since I was a child. I moved to England and I joined the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. Now, after finishing the course, I think it was the BEST decision I have ever made.

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    The November Mini-Interviews 2013



    November Mini-Interviews 2013

    The 2013 Mini-Interviews are back with more interviews, more guests, and more weeks! Our focus for 2013: Author-Illustrators!

    For this year, we have 20 Picture Book Authors-Illustrators visiting our blogs. Once again, we will be hosting the Mini-Interviews on our blogs with our regular posting schedule: my blog on Tuesdays, Molly Idle‘s blog on Wednesdays, Mikela Prevost‘s blog on Thursdays and Laura Jacobsen‘s blog on Fridays. Mini-Interviews will go for 5 weeks from November 4th through December 6th.

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    A Mini-Interview with Constanze Von Kitzing



    A November of Mini-Interviews 2012

    We are on our fourth and final week of the 2012 Series of Mini-Interviews. This week I close with an illustrator I admire and love: Constanze Von Kitzing.

    I have no recollection of how I found Constanze work. All I know is that as soon as I saw her work, I fell in love with it! Madly! Constanze is always surprising me with her compositions, textures and color choices. She paints like I dream of painting when I grow up.

    When it came time to choose my 4 illustrators for this year’s Series, I had to ask her. I had a feeling she would say yes. Sure enough, she agreed and now I have the immense pleasure to introduce you to the fascinating world and work of the German children’s author/illustrator Constanze Von Kitzing.

    Constanze Von Kitzing
    About Constanze Von Kitzing

    Constanze has been drawing and painting ever since she was able to hold a pencil. She started off with countless images of pricesses and horses, then already showing great love for details and a subtle humor in her characters and scenes. The evening stories, read to her by her parents, inspired her so much that she decided to become a professional children’s book illustrator.

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    A Mini-Interview with Greg Pizzoli



    A November of Mini-Interviews 2012

    This is our third week of Mini-Interviews for 2012. This week I have invited to my blog the author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli.

    I found Greg’s work on Twitter about 4 years ago. With my love to everything that is old-school printmaking, I fell in love with his work immediately. Greg’s sense of design and color are a punch to the eyes. His characters are fun and minimal without being too simple – a hard balance to accomplish successfully. So when it came time to pick my 4 guests for this year, Greg came to mind right away.

    He graciously agreed to the interview and now I am sharing all the info that he shared with me. Please enjoy, the Tuesday Mini-Interview with Greg Pizzoli.

    Greg Pizzoli
    About Greg Pizzoli

    Greg Pizzoli is an author, illustrator and screen printer from Philadelphia. His first children’s book will be published by Disney*Hyperion Books in May of 2013. Greg’s work has been featured in Communication Arts, 3×3 Illustration Annuals; and he’s won two Portfolio Honor Awards from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.



    After college, Greg spent two years as a full-time volunteer in AmeriCORPS from 2005-2006. In 2009, he received his MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he now teaches.



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    A Mini-Interview with Amanda Shepherd



    A November of Mini-Interviews 2012

    This is week number two of our Series of Mini-Interviews for 2012 and I have invited a fantastic friend and children’s illustrator: Amanda Shepherd.

    With a teeny, tiny baby on my lap and a career switch in my head, I surfed the internet looking for anything related to children’s illustration. I found SCBWI and with that the link to the Los Angeles Conference and their Portfolio Winners. I clicked names away for 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002. Then I got to 2001, Amanda Shepherd it read. My heart skipped a beat. I LOVED her work. I had to know where this girl lived. My heart stopped completely: she was in Phoenix! I was in Phoenix! I grabbed my phone determined to call her. I had to talked to her. Then I put the phone back on its base and went back to clicking while I thought: “She’s going to think I’m crazy!”

    I never attempted that call again but I patiently waited for that moment when I would meet the Oh-so-talented Amanda. And it happened a few months later. Heck, we both were in Phoenix and there were only a few children’s illustrators in this city!

    Amanda is lovely, sweet and SUPER smart, and I admire her and her work. So it is with great, great pleasure that I introduce you to my friend, Amanda the Magnificent. She does magic in her work. Yes, she does… and to your delight, here she is to talk to us about her work and career.

    Amanda Shepherd
    About Amanda Shepherd

    Originally from the Seattle area and most recently from Phoenix, Arizona, Amanda lives in Texas with her wildly creative husband, Garbo, and Polly the ‘baby hurricane cat’. It is fascinating to watch the influence of environment on her art first hand. From where she grew up in Seattle to Illinois to her beloved Phoenix… She loves being an artist. The places she have lived are a part of her. Each place is a history of experience that has an influence on her work. When something speaks to her, it comes out by memory on paper. Each artist sees differently. She sees differently and that is an extraordinary thing.

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