Meet Joan Waites, Illustrator and Author

Today’s feature guest is Joan Waites, illustrator of What’s New at the Zoo?  She has donated this book along with your choice of a portfolio review OR PB Dummy review at the Bridget Zinn Auction. Joan is the Illustrator Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI.

 What have you recently published and what are you currently working on?

My latest illustrated titles are: What’s New at the Zoo? by Suzanne Slade (Sylvan Dell Publishing, May 2009)P is for Police by Dori H. Butler (Pelican Publishing, Inc., Sept. 2009)
I am currently working on my second book for Sylvan Dell, What’s the Difference?, also written by Suzanne Slade, and revising my first author/illustrator title.

What books are on your nightstand?

The Diamond of Darkhold the fourth book of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Picture This: How pictures work by Molly Bang

 Where do you find inspiration?

Browsing the library, book stores, funny things my young art students do and say!

What advice to do you have for would be writers/illustrators?

Familiarize yourself with the market…read, read, read. See what’s new on the bookstore shelves and read the classics in the library. Develop your portfolio with 10-12 strong pieces that show one or more characters in different poses…you must be able to carry the same character throughout a 32 page book.

Compare your work to what’s out there. Does it measure up? Is it unique and different? Study your favorite illustrator’s work under a magnifying lamp to get a sense of how they achieved their style.

The most important ingredients to success in this field are hard work, a lot of patience, and persistence.

What was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? As an adult? Any particular genre stand out?

As a child: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

As a teen: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

As and adult…still reading!

My new favorite genre is middle grade fiction. Now that my youngest is 12, I’ve been introduced to a whole new world of children’s books that I didn’t pay much attention to before.

Writing the first draft or revising? Which is your favorite?

As I’ve recently started to explore writing and illustrating my own manuscripts. I’d have to say I enjoy the revision process more. Sometimes just getting the story down is the hardest part.

 Favorite time of the day to work?

Late morning/late evening

 Chocolate: white, dark, or milk?

Milk, with almonds

 Coffee or tea or —?

LOTS of coffee!

 Dance: Funky chicken or the tango?

Hmmm…can’t really do either!

What a great oppounity to get feedback on illustration! Be sure to head over to here and start bidding.

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