Coffee & Conversation with Veronica V Jones!

Happy Monday, everyone!

With our 20th Anniversary Conference and Celebration less than a week away, Susan and I hope you’re getting as excited as we are! (Love conferences, love celebrations!)

To add to our festive mood, today we have illustrator Veronica V. Jones in the cyber cafe, the winner of our 20th Anniversary Logo Design Contest!

SCBWI_C

Veronica’s logo will be featured when advertising all of our 2013 regional events, and more of her artwork can be viewed at www.moonshines.com. And now that she’s settled in the cyber chair with her favorite cafe drink, cafe mocha, (she likes it hot in the winter, iced in the summer,)

cafe mocha

… and her favorite snack, any type of baked goods – cookies, scones, danishes, cupcakes, (oooh, such tasty, crumbly goodness.  Pity they’re so bad for you,)

danishes

… let’s get started! First off, Veronica, what’s your favorite book as a child?

The book that comes immediately to mind is Black and Blue Magic about a boy who finds a vial of magic liquid that gives him wings (like Red Bull!).  Other favorites were the Narnia books, From the Mixed Up of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and of course A Wrinkle in Time.

Black and Blue 

When did you decide to be an illustrator? 

I had graduated from college and was working in a doctor’s office when I met a medical illustrator.  I started to investigate medical illustration as a career path but then decided I could pursue illustration more broadly.

What’s your favorite medium?  

For my professional work, I  paint digitally using a stylus and several computer programs.  When I’m off the clock however, I will play with colored pencil, marker and sculpey.

Where’s your favorite place to work?

I have my own office at home with a big window looking out to the woods.  I work at a venerable behemoth of a desk which is probably as old as I am, and has the niftiest drawers and pull out shelves.  I would share a picture of my office, but I would have to spend at least a few hours making it presentable, and that’s what my door is for.

Which illustrators inspire you?  

I love love love the work of Alphonse Mucha. I love how he weaves design into his illustrations as well as his color palette.  In some small way I try to borrow from him, as well as from the work of golden age illustrators N.C Wyeth and Norman Rockwell.  I’m also inspired professionally by Tony diTerlizzi.  Not only is his style wonderful, but I want to follow in his footsteps of moving from fantasy/gaming illustration to the children’s market.

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

In my early career I tried to push myself in a more painterly direction when doing color work, while still being strongly influenced by comic art in my black and white work.  It was a bit of a split personality.  That period did teach me to refine my painting technique quite a lot (even on the computer) so I feel I have a lot more tools in my arsenal now when I approach a project.  I consider my style today to be a mish-mash between comic book art and realistic, for both my color and black and white work.

How were you inspired to create your winning logo for our SCBWI MD/DE/WV contest? 

I wanted to develop a logo that would harken back in some way to the original logo, which featured 3 young children sitting around a red book.  So I decided that beyond having the necessary elements of “20 years” and chapter name, I wanted to incorporate versions of those same children.  I started playing around with text treatments and liked the perfectly circular zero from one of the fonts.  This reminded me of how some kids will curl up in odd positions when they’re reading.  I added the girls on top to keep them all together and the pencil and brush to refer to both writers and artists.

Fantastic! The logo is gorgeous. Okay, what was one of your favorite assignments? 

It was for the cover of a game book.  In the game, the main characters are all children and you are fighting the monsters that come out of the closet and out from under the bed.  I had to come up with all kinds of monsters to bedevil a small group of brave kids and I admit I probably enjoyed that part too much.

Just for fun … you magically find a $100 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?

Truthfully, there are too many practical uses I can put that bill towards, but as this is just a thought experiment, I’d probably splurge on a nice dinner out with the hubs.

What is your favorite quote?

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.” –Carl Sagan

If you could sum up your best advice for new illustrators in only four words, what would they be?

Awesomeness = talent + work.

Ha, I like that! Okay, time for the lightning round:

Do you . . .

Work from photos or imagination?  Both.  Real details ground the fantasy.

Talk about works-in-progress, or keep it zipped? Talk about it so I can spark off of others. (Unless there’s an NDA.)

 Prefer sketching or final art?  I prefer the final art because by that time all the hard work of sketching is done. 

 Dread marketing/blogging or love it? Dread it and don’t do it nearly enough because of it.

 Enjoy brainstorming more or researching?  I research the heck out of a project. 

 Read Kindle or traditional books?  Nook for light reading, traditional books for ones I want to re-read.

 And finally, what’s your favorite:

Time to work?  I can’t do it as much as I like, but 2;30 AM.

 Music to listen to while drawing? Podcasts, tv shows or movies get my brain not thinking the right way.

 Traditional media or digital? Digital!

 Pair of shoes? Soft grey leather shoes with a 1 ½ in heal.  So pretty.

 Guiltiest pleasure?  Fudge brownies.

 Line from a movie? “I aim to misbehave.”

Awesome, thanks for stopping by, Veronica, and again – congratulations on your winning logo!

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About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She clearly likes 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 Conference Information, Interviews: Illustrators. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Coffee & Conversation with Veronica V Jones!

  1. Pingback: Conference Challenge #8: Preparing for a successful conference! | As the Eraser Burns

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