Hey guys!! It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed anyone here on my blog but today’s post is an interview that I conducted with Hull – based author and illustrator Kristyna Litten. I actually came to know Kristyna through the JVenn Young Writer’s contest where as one of Hull’s best authors and illustrators, she’d been invited to help judge the competition winners and so was asked along to the awards ceremony. Kristyna also attended The Big Malarkey Festival so this post transitions on well from last week’s post. I’m so thrilled that Kristyna very kindly agreed to be interviewed so a massive thank you to her for taking the time to answer my questions. Now, onto the interview!!
INTERVIEW WITH KRISTYNA LITTEN
- DESCRIBE YOUR JOB – So I would probably describe myself as an author, illustrator and picture book maker. Most of the time I work on illustrating, specialising in childrens book illustration. But, I also work on advertisements, packaging and editorial work.
- WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB? I really love my job. It can be challenging at times but that is also a reason why I enjoy it so much. Every job I do is different from the last and I learn something new from each one. It’s also a bonus that I can do my work from anywhere. I have a studio at home, which is great, as I can spend as much time as possible with my pets.
- FAVOURITE BOOK THAT YOU’VE WRITTEN AND WHY? It’s probably the one I’m working on now which I have to keep under wraps for the time being. I’m always the most enthusiastic about the project I’m working on at the time. But if I was to choose a book that’s already published, I would say Norton and Alpha. I like the simplicity of the idea. But I’m also really proud of the Artwork for Ziggy and the Moonlight show which took me a while to get right.
- FAVOURITE ILLUSTRATIONS YOU’VE DONE FOR A BOOK AND WHY? I really enjoyed coming up with some of the machines in Norton and Alpha and really happy with how they turned out. Also, the frog spread in Ziggy and the Moonlight show as this took me so long to get right, in terms of colour and composition. I must have done the piece from scratch about 3 times. But now it’s one of my favourite pieces.
- DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS – creative, introvert, passionate.
- WHAT AGE RANGE ARE YOUR BOOKS AIMED AT? I think picture books are suitable for any age. I would never discourage any one above the ‘market audience’ to read any picture book if that is what they would enjoy. But the picture books are marketed at 2-6.
- HAVE YOU GOT ANY TIPS FOR BUDDING AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS? Always write down any ideas you have, however small an idea it is. It might just be a character’s name but it might be helpful some day. So always have a notebook/sketchbook to hand.
In terms of illustration, don’t forget to play with the way you draw and create. I know all too well the temptation to rip out and throw away a page in a sketchbook that might go wrong or look messy but it’s really a journey of exploration in the feeling comfortable in the way you draw. Sometimes, instead of using a sketchbook, I get out a very large piece of paper on the floor and draw, write ideas and create different textures and I don’t feel the pressure to keep things all neat and tidy.
Also, as a shy person, I still find this a struggle but be confident in sharing your illustrations and writing with other people. They might be able to offer a new perspective and help you develop your ideas.
Thank you for reading this post and thank you again to Kristyna for agreeing to be interviewed. I hope you enjoyed this insight into what you experience as a writer/illustrator. There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull