It’s always great to get the opportunity to ask authors and illustrators some questions. Especially when both, author and illustrator who worked on the same book, are happy to get involved.
So here is the second part to Dinosaur Adventures- from illustrator, Louise Forshaw’s point of view.
What do you like about illustrating books?
I absolutely love character designing, creating my own characters and giving them personality. It’s especially fun when the brief is vague about the characters, usually just a name and age and I get to decide what they look like, what they wear, etc. Coming up with a backstory for them is fun too (even if it’s just for me).
Also knowing that you’re working on something that children will read and enjoy or be inspired by is an amazing feeling. Seeing my 7 month old, Niece mesmerised by my illustrations is a joy to witness.
When did you become an illustrator? How did you get into the profession?
I’ve always had an interest in animation and cartoons. Ever since I can remember, I would watch my favourite cartoons and draw them. I would copy illustrations from books and make my own comics too. But it wasn’t until I was a little older that I realised you could actually draw for a living!
I studied Illustration and Animation at Newcastle college but I found I didn’t enjoy the animating part of the course so much. I much preferred the creating characters and world building side of things. After I graduated, I started looking at other areas of Illustration and discovered the great world of Children’s Illustration. I’m actually surprised I hadn’t thought about this before – it’s perfect for me!
I wasn’t sure how to get started so I researched Illustration Agencies and came across the lovely Advocate Art. I sent them an email and they signed me up. They helped me work on my portfolio and after 6 months I illustrated my first book. It’s been almost 6 years since I signed with them and it’s been non-stop since.
What’s your favourite dinosaur?
My favourite dinosaur is the Triceratops. But I like any dinosaur from the Ceratopsian family.
If you could be a dinosaur, which would you be?
I think I would be my favourite dinosaur, the Triceratops was built for defence (just look at those cool horns) and would have been a tough rival for the T-Rex.
What do you like about dinosaurs?
I’m just fascinated by the fact they lived millions of years ago and predate humans. Just imagine a world filled with these huge, powerful (and sometimes very small) creatures. Over 700 different species of dinosaurs have been identified and named but I doubt we will ever really know how many there actually were. Also, everyone knows dinosaurs are cool!
What was the first book you illustrated?
The first book I illustrated was a picture flat called Puppy Love, published in 2013. But my second was a pop-up Dinosaur Book published the following year – Yay, Dinosaurs!
Did you ever think about writing your own books and becoming an author?
Four board books I wrote and illustrated were published in 2016 but unfortunately have only been available in the US. However, I always have story ideas floating around (some might just involve dinosaurs) and would love to have the time to work on them more.
If you weren’t working as an illustrator, what would you do?
I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else. As a kid I would draw every day and that hasn’t really changed!
I’d like to thank Louise and Fran for taking the time to answer our questions and am looking forward to more Dinosaur Adventures.
Dinosaur Adventures, illustrated by the fabulous Louise Forshaw, written by Fran Bromage and published by Miles Kelly Publishing.
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