Q: When, or how, did you know you wanted to be an illustrator? Are there other artists in your family?
A: I guess I became an illustrator at the age of four when I scratched little pictures on walls and furniture with my hairpin. Every time got punished for it. But I couldn't help myself. Maybe it is what made my desire to become an artist even stronger.
My mother was a real artist, not professionally but in everyday life. She always used her imagination and we made many things together. Even an ordinary cake was a piece of art! When I create something beautiful I still feel that joy. Later I studied art in Prague, Czech Republic, where I grew up, and I specialized in animation film. But I never enjoyed the technical aspect of animation; I loved paper and its texture, pencils, colors and brushes. I prefer to tell stories on paper.
Q: What other artists
do you admire most
A: There are quite a few artists I admire for various reasons. I love Chagall
for his colors and his imagination; his paintings are true illustrations of
his soul. My other favorite painters are Kandinsky and the German Expressionists. I love strong colors.
Q: What do you find
about illustrating books?
A: To keep the same level of energy from the title
page to the last page.
When I get tired, I do
a large, bold painting on
a canvas, standing and moving. Then I can work
at my desk again.
Q: Where do you work?
A: I'm very fortunate to have a lovely studio overlooking Gloucester Harbor. There are other studios in the house; it's wonderful to have other artists around. My desk is right near the window. I like to listen to music, usually classical, while I work.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: It depends on the story
illustrating; the inspiration comes from the story itself. When I
illustrate children books, I always try to remember what I liked when I
was a child.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on final pieces for "The Friendly Beasts" which will be published by Zondervan
for Christmas 2011.
Q: What would be your "dream project"?
A: I would love to illustrate stories about flowers and animals, whimsical, magical, witty and playful.
I haven't given up yet on a book about wild flowers for children.
The Story of the Easter Robin
All Things Bright and Beautiful
Wildflowers for All Seasons
| ||Spring 2010 Books
| ||Renee Andriani
| ||Nicoletta Ceccoli
A Dignity of DragonsAges 6-9
Houghton Mifflin (May 3, 2010)
link to amazon for more details
| ||Christine Davenier |
| ||Christine Davenier |
| ||Renata Gallio|
| ||Mina Javaherbin
| ||Bob Kolar|
| ||Eric Puybaret|
| ||Anna Vojtech|
| ||Grace Zong|
Events and Awards |
The Very Fairy Princess, illustrated by Christine Davenier, and Over the Rainbow, illustrated by Eric Puybaret, are currently on The New York Times Children's Best Seller list!
Rebecca Bond's In the Belly of An Ox was a 2010 ALA Notable Book.
Holly Berry participated in a group show, "Impressions," at the Camden, ME, Public Library March 2 - March 30. Her work is also appearing in two invitational shows: "Vernal Pools" at The Atrium Gallery at the University of Maine, Lewiston, April 23 - June 30, and "Bones" at the LC Bates Museum, Skowhegan, May 15 - October 15. Pieces of Holly's work also appear in a Boston Printmakers' traveling exhibit "thINK," whose first venue is the Zullo Gallery in Medfield, MA, beginning in May.
Giles Laroche had a show, "Bridge Across Cultures: The World at My Fingertips," at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA, March 17 - May 16. Giles also conducted a cut-paper workshop at the Newburyport (MA) Literary Festival on April 24.
Francois Roca's work was exhibited at the Graphic Art Gallery in Paris, France, March 19 - April 30.
Alison Paul and Grace Zong participated in the April Picture Book Bonanza at Books of Wonder in New York City on April 25.
Wade Zahares participated in the "Plein Air Painters Invitational to Benefit Heartwood College of Art" sponsored by the Gallery on Chase Hill in Kennebunkport, ME, June 2 - 6. On July 24 and 25 and August 7 and 9, Wade will show is work at The Coastal Fine Arts Alliance of Maine Art Show in Southwest Harbor, ME. On August 15 and 16, Wade's work will be part of the 55th Annual Kennebunk River Club Casino Art Show in Kennebunk, ME.
Work by Holly Berry and Amy Walrod will be included in "Golden Kite, Golden Dreams: The SCBWI Awards," a traveling exhibition of Golden Kite award-winning books. The exhibit opens at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, TX, and will be there July 7 - October 1.