Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Women Who Draw

I've had the honor to be interviewed for the very fine site Women Who Draw. I got to select seven artists to feature from their fast and amazing open directory of women illustrators (it was super hard to choose!). Here's my interview for your reading enjoyment, and you can go here for links to all my featured artists' work.

Where do you work? What is your title?
I’m the Senior Editor of Art Publishing at Chronicle Books. I work on both books and paper products (journals, stationery, etc.) in the categories of art, illustration, photography, and design.

How did your company come to be?
We started in 1967 as the book publishing division of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. In the 1980s we moved into publishing primarily visual books. And in the 1990s we separated from the newspaper company and became an independent publishing company.

How do you work with illustrators?
Most often I work with illustrators as authors in their own right, to create their own books or other illustrated products. But I also commission illustration for other authors’ books. And we also do some books that compile illustration from multiple illustrators.

How many illustrators do you work with a year?
It varies, but probably around a dozen or so, most years.

What do you usually look for in the work of illustrators you hire?
I’m always looking for a fresh style that I haven’t ever seen before, as well as work that feels perfectly of-the-moment or on-trend. The right mix of idiosyncrasy and accessibility. On a personal level I’m drawn to loose lines and bright colors.

Do you have any advice for illustrators who want to get a book deal?
Think about what you draw when it’s just for you. What are your passions and personal projects? I love it when illustrators come to me with big, fully-realized ideas that they’re excited about making happen in book form (as opposed to the more traditional illustration industry here’s-my-portfolio-let’s-work-together type pitch).

What is the theme of your curated feature?
There are as many ways to draw a woman as there are to be a woman.

Why did you choose these artists?
I was thinking about diversity – not only in terms of the range of demographics called out on the site (race, religion, orientation, etc.), though those are obviously great and important – but also in terms of illustration style and artistic point of view. Drawings of young women and old women. Realistically drawn and comics-style women. The wide range of different tools and art media people use. The range of aesthetics – beautiful, funny, cute, serious, dreamy, quirky. I love every single one of these images and I could easily have included twice or three times or four times as many. It’s exciting and inspiring to think about.

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