Here is another video in the Youtube series by the Western Washington region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, produced by Assistant Regional Advisor Dana Sullivan. This one is about Julie Paschkis. It focuses on her work on Pablo Neruda by Monica Brown but also discusses how she works.
Paschkis has developed a style of illustration that combines images (done in wash) and words. She had done several samples along with her own stories and sent them to Reka Simonsen. Simonsen liked the art work but not the stories and sent Paschkis Brown’s manuscript.
In preparation for this particular manuscript, Paschkis took Spanish lessons and even traveled to Chile.
Like the other illustrators in this series, Paschkis discussed keeping her work alive. Although she creates rough sketches, she doesn’t scan these images. Instead, she places them on a light table and works over them, painting the outlines again onto the final pages. This is the only way she feels that her work remains fresh because tracing doesn’t feel vital enough to her.
As she did the paintings, she would read poems for that time period and also his biography and autobiography, seeking the words she would use in her paintings.
Paschkis encourages her fellow illustrators to try new things. She describes striking out into new territory as a good kind of scary. Watch her video and see if you don’t feel inspired to try something new.