I am thrilled to have my critique partner from the MiGs, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, chatting with us here at Chocolate for Inspiration. I've known Debbie for a number of years and I've had the chance to read her middle grade and picture books. She is incredibly talented and I can't wait to see all of other projects come out to the light of day over the next few years.
Now for the interview!
Me: There is so much fun and humor in your illustrations. What springboards you to come up with these creative ideas?
I admit it was an adjustment at first. Once I started working on I'M BORED, my doodling went way down at first because I figured I needed to put the time into workstuff instead…but then I found this had a negative influence on my workstuff. Once I started drawing for fun again on the side, things got better again.
Now I'm thinking I should starting doing more of the same for my writing as well. I used to keep a private daily journal, just for random thoughts, and I think I'll start it up again.
Me: How do you look at a story from an illustrator's perspective?Debbie: That's an interesting question, mainly because I've always looked at stories visually when I'm reading.
However, working on I'M BORED as well as my new picture book project for Simon & Schuster BFYR has certainly started me thinking a lot more about the picture book reader experience. There are so many aspiring picture book writers and illustrators out there who think that it's just a matter of writing the story and then adding pictures.
It's so much more, however. Writing picture books is HARD. Or rather, writing a good picture book that stands out in the marketplace and is appealing to young people (rather than grown-ups who are used to the classic type of picture books from the past) is hard.
Those who illustrate as well as write have a definite advantage when it comes to creating picture books because/we can't help but think of how the text and illustrations can function as one unit AS we write the story. I'm always asking myself, "How can I show this in the illustrations instead of in the text? What can I add in the illustrations that will enhance the story?"It's a challenging but ultimately immensely satisfying process.
Me: And the most important question, what's your favorite chocolate?Debbie: Good quality dark chocolate.
A fellow chocolate lover! Yay! Thank you so much Debbie for hanging out with us!
Stalk Debbie at:
Debbie and Simon and Schuster have also offered to give away a copy of I'M BORED! Just comment in the section below. Get an extra entry for tweeting, blogging or mentioning this interview on Facebook. Just let me know in the comments section!
Contest open internationally until Sept. 19th.