Author-Illustrator Interview with Katie Rewse

Katie is an illustrator based in Bournemouth, on the South coast of England, where she studied for both her BA and MA in illustration. Since graduating in 2017 Katie has specialized in children’s book illustration and has enjoyed working with many publishers, whilst also making decorative work for a variety of contexts. Today Katie will talk about her inspiration and share a preview of her new book CHAOS AFTER CHAOS by Yeehoo Press.

1. Can you give us a short introduction to CHAOS AFTER CHAOS

There are many things in life that we can control, but there are also things that we cannot. CHAOS AFTER CHAOS is all about how two siblings react to these unpredictable events in different ways.

2. How do you describe your art style? And how did you find your art style?

The intended purpose for the illustration tends to influence my way of working. I am enjoying exploring looser, more playful approaches in my self-initiated projects, which sometimes feeds into commercial work, but generally this tends to be a little neater.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer/illustrator?

I always loved drawing, painting, and creating characters, although I didn’t consider that this could be a career until much later. I enjoyed science at school and thought I would end up doing something related to this, until I started my Art A Level, when I found that I was spending every spare minute in the art studios at school, and endlessly filling sketchbooks at home. I found out more about illustration when I studied for my Art Foundation, and later specialized in this area.

4. What is your process for working on a book?

I usually begin a project with research, sketching characters and doodling first ideas.  Sometimes it takes a while to develop a character, and other times they appear quite quickly. I also like to spend some time thinking about environments and locations fairly early on in a project. For stories that I have written, I have a fluid process jumping about between the words and the pictures. If I am working on another author’s story then I will read through the text several times, and start to draw out ideas. The amount of freedom given varies, sometimes the writer and the art director have lots of ideas for the illustrations, and other times it is very much handed over to you.

5. What is your work schedule like when you’re creating a book?

I stick vaguely to office hours, starting my day fairly early, and working until I have finished my task for the day, or until I am needed elsewhere! I try to stick to working Monday-Friday, unless I have a deadline and then I might work through the weekend too.

6. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writer-illustrators?

My advice for aspiring writer-illustrators would be to spend as much time drawing and developing your craft as possible, but also to make time for other hobbies and interests as these will inspire your stories.

Thank you Katie for sharing your journey as an author-illustrator!

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