Coffee & Conversation with Rebecca Evans!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today, we have the lovely Rebecca Evans, illustrator extraordinaire and guest speaker for our next ABC Event: The Secret Life of Illustrators, on April 20th from 3:00 to 5:00 at the Red Canoe Bookstore in Baltimore!

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But first, a brief announcement and reminder about our upcoming May Midgrade Madness event where participants pound out a mid-grade manuscript in 72 hours!

Is it crazy? Oh, yeah, totally.

Is it fun? Well, we can’t guarantee there won’t be a little hair pulling involved. However, those of us who participated last year did have fun cheering each other on and posting word counts on our SCBWI Facebook page.  

Are you capable? Oh, please. OF COURSE YOU ARE! I mean, duh, that’s a silly question.

Susan and I will be posting this year’s new rules and word count requirements tomorrow, but until then, you can get a feel for this challenge by reading last year’s announcement by clicking here. Hope you’ll join us in the insanity!

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And now that Rebecca is comfy in our cyber chair with her favorite cafe beverage … a smoothie, since she’s not a big coffee fan …

smoothie

And her favorite snack, pistachios …

pistachios

Let’s start the C&C! First off, what was your favorite book as a child, Rebecca?

My Favorite books was Thumbelina, I loved her beautiful flowing dress and hair… Go figure, I liked the book because of the illustrations not the words.

Rebecca's self portrait from first grade. Totally adorable!!

Rebecca’s Self-Portrait from first grade. Totally adorable!!

When did you decide to be an illustrator?

Ever since I was little I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, however I didn’t even know that a career as an Illustrator existed until I took an Illustration class in college and loved it! But even then it took me another nine years before I had the courage to pursue Illustration full-time.

What advice for beginners do you wish you would’ve followed?

Join the SCBWI and find a dedicated critique group. I did both of those things eventually but I should have done them right away! That is how I’ve come as far as I have!

What’s your favorite medium?

That’s a tough one! If you had asked me a year ago I would have said Watercolor, however after a workshop at an SCBWI conference I began experimenting with collage and acrylic and now I use acrylic much more often than watercolor. I’s so fun to play with the colors and be able to paint over my mistakes!

Where’s your favorite place to work? (Bonus point if you share a picture.)

My home studio…. SANS KIDS if at all possible!

P2140001

Very pretty work space! Okay, which illustrators inspire you?

There are so many! Genati Spirin, Norman Rockwell, Jerry Pinkney, Maxfield Parrish, Ed Young, just to name a few!

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

When I began I would have described my style as realistic, however and I’ve grown as an artist I’ve added a twist of fun and whimsy to my style pushing it away from photo realistic.

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

I studied what felt like seven million images of bears but I didn’t want the main character to seem scary to kids, so I started remembering the teddy bear that I had when I was a kid, sweet and cuddly and totally comfortable. I tried to bring that sweet cuddly feeling to the main character but still have her look like a real bear, big and fuzzy and totally out-of-place in the human world!

Shopskeeper

What was one of your favorite assignments?

I’m currently working on a project that involves lots of piles of trash and It’s been so much fun to collage by hand all kinds of things from my recycle bin right into my artwork. It’s so dirty and tactile to collage trash that it really brought life and interest to the art. I LOVED getting my fingers dirty every day!

Ha, love it! Okay, if you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?

Exactly what I’m doing now.

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

I’m hooked on the Art store! I could spend a million dollars in there in one afternoon on wonderful things like hand-made papers and ergonomic erasers.

Time for the lightning round! No more than four words per answer, please.

Do you . . .
Work from photos or imagination?   Both
Talk about works-in-progress, or keep it zipped?   Talk (if I’m allowed!)
Prefer sketching or final art?   Final
Dread marketing/blogging or love it?   Dread
Enjoy brainstorming more or researching?   Brainstorming
Read Kindle or traditional books?    Traditional

And finally, what’s your favorite:

Time to work?   Morning
Music to listen to while drawing?   Yes
Traditional media or digital?   Traditional (mostly)
Pair of shoes?   Sneakers
Guiltiest pleasure?   Cheesecake
Line from a movie?    Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try. -Yoda

AWESOME QUOTE, you just knew I was going to post a clip, huh? 🙂

Thanks, Rebecca, for stopping by and letting us get to know you better! And for those who would like more details about next weekend’s ABC Event, click here and don’t forget to RSVP to Sue Poduska, Sue.Poduska@gmail.com!

Happy writing and drawing! 🙂

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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.
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