Coffee & Conversation with Noriko Senshu!

Woo Hoo Wednesday, everybody!  Today we welcome Noriko Senshu to the cyber cafe.

Noriko has three titles published as an illustrator/author; Sonny’s Dream . . .

. . . Sonny’s Dream II . . .

. . . and Year of the Beloved Animal.

She also undertakes illustration projects through Liz Sanders agency, and has relocated from Alaska via CA to Huntington WV six years ago. Her website is

And, now that Noriko is settled in our cyber cafe chair with her favorite coffeehouse beverage, a cafe mocha,

. . . and her favorite snack, potato chips . . .

Let’s start! When did you decide to be an illustrator, Noriko?

When I was in art major in college. I had a wishful thinking about it since my childhood.

How long did your path to your first sale take, and what were your biggest hurdles?

The first one didn’t take that long. My portfolio in college was picked up for the art cards from the local gallery, Anchorage Alaska. I went to the SCBWI group gallery in Anchorage AK every month to have my writing edited. They were awesome! After the story and illustration was completed, my first children’s book, Sonny’s Dream, was published by Hampton Roads Publishing in 2001.

My hurdles came after my marriage and I left Alaska, as I had to change my focus from animals in Alaska to something else. It took time to develop my portfolio, and I appreciate that my agent, Liz, was so patient with me.

Also after the publication came the bigger hurdle…as I had to learn the business side of it eventually.

Since hindsight is 20/20, what advice for beginners do you wish you would’ve followed?

Follow your passion. Keep creating.

What’s your favorite medium?


Where’s your favorite place to work?

My studio

Which illustrators inspire you?

All the artists and illustrators who keep creating.

What were your favorite books as a child?

Beneath the Wheel, by Hermann Hesse

How do you describe your style and has it changed throughout your career?

Actually it keeps changing.

How were you inspired to illustrate your current or upcoming release?

Inspiration could be a biggest hurdle too. it sometimes doesn’t come…

What was one of your favorite assignments?

African animal tales, assigned by Scholastic UK.

Time for the lightning round!

Do you . . .

Work from photos or imagination?  Both.

Talk about works-in-progress, or keep it zipped?  Zipped.

Prefer sketching or final art?  Final art.

Dread marketing/blogging or love it?

Enjoy brainstorming more or researching?   Both.

Read Kindle or traditional books?  No, (but I have ebooks and ibooks published…)

And finally, what’s your favorite:

Time to work?   In the morning.

Music to listen to while drawing?  Light classic in the beginning of working, and no music when it gets serious.

Traditional media or digital?   Mostly traditional media of acrylics and I use digital for the color adjustment when upload and send it on pc.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your many talents with us, Noriko.  O.K. everyone, it’s time to get back to those sketch pads and keyboards! 🙂

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two awesome boys, wife of one fantastic husband, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She loves run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
This entry was posted in Interviews: Authors, Interviews: Illustrators. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Coffee & Conversation with Noriko Senshu!

  1. Noriko, your artwork has a magical, ethereal quality that I find compelling. Nicely done!

  2. Pingback: December Illustrator Spotlight Recap « As the Eraser Burns

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