Thursday, December 10, 2009
Leap Books: Gothic Art Meets Paranormal YA Fiction
What is your first memory of reading/books? Of illustrations?
Wow, so many :) I had a really cool book as a kid called Panda Cake about 2 panda cubs who gathered all the ingredients their panda mama needed to make her very special cake - my daughter has the book now.
If you could illustrate a famous person living or dead, who would it be?
Great question! Living - either Henry Rollins or Kat Von D. Dead - Jeff Buckley, with enormous angel wings of course.
What was the most challenging graphic (or otherwise) job you’ve had?
While working at Citytv, I illustrated a complete outdoor ad campaign (for the sides of buses, bus shelters, inside the subway, etc.) for their morning news and lifestyle program, Breakfast Television. I had to do it in 2 weeks!
Well, I'm pretty sure I'd have my beloved pug, Fonzie, with me in a carry-on so he's number one, followed by my iPod , cell phone, and favourite lip gloss.
Were you always an illustrator?
Yes! From the word go.
When did you first fall in love with art and why?
I was born a commercial artist - as a child I was mesmerized by the colourful illustrations on tea boxes and candy wrappers. I spent countless hours working on creating my own fonts from scratch.
How do you feel about girl power?
Pretty dang awesome, sister.
1. The books are SO COOL!!!
2. The authors are amazing and so much fun to collaborate with :)
3. Every step of the way I'm reminded how lucky I am that I get to do something this creative for a living - what's not to love?
What illustrations are you working on for Leap? What were some of the challenges or surprises you had with the first book you did?
I've just completed illustrations for Kitty Keswick's debut, Freaksville, and I'm presently working on Under My Skin by Judith Graves. I've been lucky enough to get a sneak peak and both are very thrilling, addictive reads. It was an interesting challenge getting a couple of the characters just right, but once I did, it was like watching them come to life before me, filling out the amazing story I knew they each belonged to. It's been a very cool experience!
What is the first piece of advice you'd give to an aspiring graphic artist?
The same advice I'd give to anyone who's about to embark on pursuing what's in their heart - "Fortune favours the bold." SO BE BOLD! If you feel this is what you're truly meant to do, believe in yourself and the world will listen. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to put together a print portfolio of your best stuff and take it with you everywhere ;)
If by drawing, you could change the world, what would you draw?
Cupcakes, pugs, the Beatles. Repeat.
Val's experience with helping clients realize their marketing and graphic design dreams has spanned the last nine years. She has worked and consulted on a variety of projects for a wide range of client needs, including marketing concepts and ad design, logo and corporate identity development, poster layout, and package design. She has found herself at home working in the entertainment and media industries, honing her advertising and design skills at the great CHUM Television (now CTVGlobemedia), including ACCESS The Education Station, Canadian Learning Television (CLT), BookTelevision, Court TV Canada, and Citytv, from 2005 to 2008. Here she had the pleasure of working on the 2006 and 2007 outdoor ad campaigns for Citytv's morning news and lifestyle program, BreakfastTelevision. Her work on these campaigns earned her the honour of two consecutive Promax BDA Awards; Silver at the 2007 ceremonies in New York City, followed by Gold in 2008. Her illustrations have appeared in SEE Magazine, Alberta's foremost arts and entertainment weekly. She has volunteered her time and talent to fundraising events, including local productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues and Moisés Kaufman's The Laramie Project.
She currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.