I’m excited to present this illustrator interview with the incredibly talented children’s book illustrators of The Pile Up, Trevor Salter and Yesterday I Played in the Rain, Heather Dale. Both illustrators sat down and answered a few questions on how they became illustrators and what inspires them.
So here’s an insight into their worlds in their own words. Enjoy!
Have you always been a children’s book illustrator? If not, what did you do before that?
Trevor Salter: No not really , and yes,.. I have always drawn cartoons and illustrations which led me to become a picture book Illustrator. I worked in the Screen Printing industry before this and at the same time was drawing silly cartoons of the workers, the bosses and anyone else around me.
Heather Dale: Before books I did greeting cards and exhibited my illustrations in Liverpool UK, I also had a full time job working as a designer in a web design company.
How did you start illustrating children’s picture books?
Trevor Salter: Initially I did a series of crazy cartoon books with ridiculous antics and humour, after a while I was approached by people I worked with and friends who wanted some sketches and cartoons , so of course I obliged and word of mouth got out . I wrote/Illustrated my own children’s story books after a while which I really enjoy.
Heather Dale: Someone approached me after seeing my illustrations and it went from there.
Do you have favourite things you like to draw?
Trevor Salter: Yes Absolutely… I love drawing silly cartoons that make me laugh, and creatures , also I like taking old fairy tales and turning them into funny sketches, and eyes for some reason.
Heather Dale: I love drawing animals I think they have great caricatures; my favourite animal to draw is probably a chicken. The first animal I drew was a chicken and I drew it over and over in all different angles and with different personalities. I often laugh at the caricatures I draw as they come alive on the page in front of me!
Where do you get the ideas for your illustrations?
Trevor Salter: Everywhere, mostly from old scenarios and events. Family and friends and from my childhood and stories I may hear from people passing by in shopping centers and such. My children of course and from clients .
Heather Dale: I grew up on a farm and always had animals around me and as pets, so I feel my initial inspiration is probably from my childhood. I get inspiration from everything around me everyday occurrences, for example I see a lot of bush turkeys where I live and I have created a caricature called Malcolm, he is quite a quirky fellow!
What medium do you like to work with?
Trevor Salter: I really like working in 2b pencil , and Black and white line art as well as digital colouring, but in saying that I also liked watercolour before the age of technology bombarded us with easier ways to accomplish the final product.
Heather Dale: I love working in dip pen and ink, as I love not knowing how the picture will turn out as I don’t have complete control of the ink line. I also like working in watercolour.
How did you decide to portray the characters in The Pile Up?
Trevor Salter: I read The Pile Up a few times first and each time I immediately fell back to my childhood days of the same event…the street race in the neighbourhood … i could really relate to the topic because I was in a few street races as a child and all the characters were drawn from those experiences… so I decided to portray them with only a little bit of exaggeration .
How did you decide to portray the characters in Yesterday I Played In the Rain?
Heather Dale: I wanted the ducks to look cute and be something the child could imagine cuddling. I’ve also always drawn ducks this way so it all fitted nicely.
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Thank you Trevor and Heather for taking the time to provide a glimpse into the world of illustration. Fascinating!
The next illustrator interview coming up will be for my new book Grandpa’s Gold to be released in the new year. Stay tuned!