Kit shares some insights into her creative world.
KIT GRADY INTERVIEW
by Shari Lyle-Soffe
Shari: Does an illustrator have more than one style of illustrating? How do you decide which style to use in children’s book illustrations?
Kit: I think an illustrator’s style is somewhat consistent once they settle into their illustrative skin,- meaning it is like one’s handwriting and there may be differences, yet it could still be picked out from the handwriting of someone else. But like writing, I Illustrate in different techniques depending on the age of my audience and type of story. Illustrators have many tools to use to create the mood/atmosphere for their books. Line widths, types of lines, colors, realistic styles and /or whimsical approaches are just a few things an artist considers when they are assigned a manuscript.
Shari: What do you wear while you are illustrating?
Kit: I get maybe, too comfortable when I work. Give me a pair of jeans, warm shirt and always my L.L. Bean soft bedroom shoes and I am ready to tackle those awaiting illustrations.
Shari: Where do you like to work?
Kit: When I am sketching or writing, you will find me on the porch watching the squirrels trying to eat all the bird food out of the feeder. But later I will scan those sketches into my computer and work until completed with my drawing tablet on photoshop. From my window in my studio room I have a humming bird feeder so I can watch the humming birds fight with the yellow jackets for their food. It is a wonder I get anything done with all this going on.
Shari: What do you munch on while drawing?
Kit: I usually will be drinking coffee at my desk with a few animal cookies. I try to behave and not nibble all day.
Shari: Tell us about your children’s books.
Kit: I have just completed my 6th children’s book. My first picture book I wrote and illustrated, was for Windswept House Publishers. This book, Jiggsy’s Necklace, may be coming out in an animated form soon. I followed it with an educational leveled reading book by Kaeden Books–Just One More, Mom in 2006. Last year I illustrated two books for private authors and was honored to join the Collier Creative Group. This year I joined Guardian Angel Publishing and have illustrated two books. Flutterbunnies by Mel McIntyre and Doggie Day Camp by Cynthia Reeg. I have a few projects in early stages.
Shari: I have seen your artwork and it is delightful. Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works, and see your illustrations?
Shari: What’s your favorite children’s book of all time?
Kit: Can I have a combination of two? First “The Little Engine that Could” for the determination we all need as writers and illustrators -and “The Velveteen Rabbit” because it is magical.
Shari: What is the best advice on writing/illustration you’ve ever heard?
Kit: Writing, and illustration both need time when their done to rest. When you go back later and revisit you will see it with new eyes.
Shari: Why are picture books so difficult to write?
Kit: Many think children’s books are just adult books dummied down. Which they are not. It is much harder to cut, edit and rework for the shorter word count and still say it just right, to a watchful young audience.
Shari: In closing, what would you like to tell our readers?
Kit: If you are a writer or artist with a dream, continue to study, practice and learn all you can of this wonderful field. Don’t give up.