PAL Illustrator of the month for March 2019
We are pleased to announce that Lynn Alpert is the Kansas/Missouri PAL illustrator of the month for March!
Lynn has spent countless hours getting lost in other worlds through reading and drawing. Her love of words and images lead me into graphic design. After submerging herself in the design world for over 12 years, Lynn realized she wasn’t completely creatively satisfied and realized why: she had stopped drawing. Lynn loves being a designer, but her real passion has always been illustrating. She picked up drawing again and while seeking inspiration on the web, her since-buried dream of becoming a children’s illustrator resurfaced.
Annie the Scientist, published in the fall of 2013 by Character Publishing, was Lynn’s debut book as an illustrator.
Thanks to Lynn for sharing her thoughts and her lovely work with us this month. If you’d like to see more of Lynn’s work, and blog, go to http://lynnalpert.com.
How did you get started in illustration? What is your background?
I’ve always wanted to earn a living as an artist and loved both graphic design and illustration. I took the design path, thinking I could always work illustrations into my design projects, but that rarely happened for me. Twelve years into my design career I realized why I wasn’t completely creatively satisfied and knew I had to make time outside my job to draw again. While seeking inspiration on the web, my dream of becoming a children’s illustrator emerged out of the ashes.
What is your preferred medium, method of working?
I do a lot of sketching in my sketchbook with pencils. When I get a sketch I want to take to final, I scan it into Photoshop and finish it digitally.
How did your style and technique develop?
I did most of my design work on the computer by the time I started drawing again, so I started there. My work was very stiff at first, so I tried many different ways to make it look more organic. After several years of creating illustrations in both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, I started liking my sketches a lot more than my computer work. Now I scan my drawings in and finish them with digital painting.
Can you describe a typical work day for us?
I still work a day job, so when I don’t have a particular project I’m working on, I get the sketchbook out and draw after work. Most of the time, I just draw whatever comes to mind. If I am in the middle of a project, I’ll work on the computer after dinner until way to late!
For the last several years, I’ve been working on my writing skills, so on my days off, I’m reading, writing, reading about writing, drawing and making dummies for my stories.
What do you find the most challenging in your work?
Other than finding the time to write and illustrate stories while working a day job, I find my biggest obstacle is having enough confidence to submit my own stories! Being in a critique group is helping me with that.
What would you love to try?
I would love to create a wordless picture book as beautiful as THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN by Marla Frazee – it takes my breath away!
Do you have a favorite book(s) from your childhood? How about more recently?
My childhood favorites are WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and CHARLOTTE’S WEB. More recent favorites are THE RABBIT LISTENED by Cori Doerrfeld, MARY’S MONSTER by Lita Judge, the aforementioned THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN BY Marla Frazee, FLORA AND ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo and K.G. Campbell, EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen and MR. TIGER GOES WILD by Peter Brown.
What would be your dream project? Or what was your favorite project?
I would love to work on anything to empower girls. And anything with animals. Maybe a story featuring a female animal getting empowered. Hmm, sounds like my current WIP!
Any words of advice for folks just starting out in illustration? What do you wish you would have known sooner in your illustration career?
• Carry a sketchbook with you at all times. When you are stuck somewhere take the opportunity to draw from life.
• Look at other artists’ work to get inspired, but try not to fall through the comparing-yourself-to-others rabbit hole. (I’m still sometimes guilty of that!)
• Don’t wait for someone to hire you for work – always be working on your own projects!
I really wish that before I went to college, I would have known that being an author/illustrator of children’s books could be a career path. I would have loved to go to art school with that specific goal in mind.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming book releases we should be on the lookout for?
I am currently finishing up one dummy and working on a new manuscript. With a confidence boost from my critique buddies, I will be sending the dummy out soon – we’ll see what happens!