The Illustrator Says: Abigail Halpin

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Today, I am adding a new interview series with the illustrator of children’s books. My first interviewee is Abigail Halpin. Her work is so good so after the review, go check out her portfolio.
Image result for abigail halpin
social media: Instagram: @abigailhalpin and Facebook: /abigailhalpin

Tell me a little about yourself: I’m an illustrator living in Southern Maine, a location that provides endless inspiration. When I’m not drawing, I can usually be found reading, sewing or baking.

How long have you been illustrating books? I’ve been illustrating books for eight years,  starting with Susan Patron’s middle grade novel, “Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe.”

How did you become a book illustrator?  Lots and lots of drawing! Illustrating books is something I’ve wanted to do since elementary school. As an adult, I began to send postcards with my artwork to publishers. I also went to events put on by the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a group for people who write and illustrate for children. At those events, I learned a lot about how to be a better illustrator and storyteller.
How do authors pick their illustrators? Usually, I get picked to work on a book by an art director or an editor at a publishing house.
How do you know how to illustrate an author’s story?  I read the story over and over, until I feel like I really know the characters and the story. From there, I begin to work on sketches, that then get shown to an art director. The art director will help strengthen the parts of my drawings that are good and suggest ways to improve the things that need work. Illustrating a story takes time to get right, and there’s plenty of mistakes along the way, but it’s really a supportive team process.
Do you have a favorite book you have illustrated? I like all of the books I’ve illustrated for different reasons. Each story gives me a chance to step into a new world and learn from it, so in a way I love them all equally for that opportunity.
Do you illustrate by hand or by computer? I illustrate both by hand and by the computer. I use watercolor, colored pencils, graphite and gouache in my illustrations, then I scan them into the computer and tweak them in Photoshop.

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