"One of the leading Childrens book artist of today!"
1) How did you get involved in art and illustration and childrens books?
I got involved in art at an early age I guess...I do remember looking through what we used to call "the green books" before I could even read yet, just so I could stare at the beautiful illustrations. Those illustrations were done by all the "Golden Age" illustrators, and from then on, I knew what I wanted to be. It even helped me to learn to read faster (before other kids my age ) because I wanted to know what those stories were about.
2) How did you get an Agent and do you think having an agent is best?
I got an agent because I thought it would help me get more work in the beginning, but I think it really depends on what you're willing, or have the time to do. If you don't mind dealing with contracts and unreasonable clients, then you probably won't need one, but I wasn't to comfortable with the negotiation part, so I get a lot of help from my agent there...
3) What inspires and motivates you to create?
What inspires me?? You know, that's a good question. It could be just about anything!
4) How did you create your unique style?
I created my "unique" style by trial and error you might say...I just know when I DON"T like something as opposed to when I do. I think the influence of a lot of other great illustrators was the key for me. I always loved the work of the old children's book illustrators, and wanted to preserve it as much as possible if that makes any sense...
5) Could you explain a typical production process, from initial idea to finished piece?
I usually start with a detailed sketch, then I use my projector to transfer to watercolor paper ( I'm too heavy handed to draw directly on the watercolor paper), and when I'm satisfied with that I go ahead and start putting my first washes in. After all the painting is done, I'll go back and put in the last details with colored pencil, or if I'm using ink, I'll ink everything in before the watercolor.
6) What is the greatist challenge you have faced to become an artist?
The greatest challenge I've had to face to become an artist? I don't really know the answer to that...there are so many challenges!
7) What was your first published piece and explain how that made you feel.
Oh gosh...the first published piece was a long time ago for some spot illustration I think...but it made me feel pretty important...isn't that what happens to everybody before they wake up??
and just for fun......if money were no object. what would your typical day be like?
If money were no object, then i would spend the whole day doing what i love most...drawing and painting!
Here are some of Mary's Direct links:
Thank you Ms. Manning for your informative interview and we all wish you well in all that you do and in life!
I will be updating this post soon!!!