Jaime: Denise, did you know not only are you an Art Director, you're a flipping Vice President? What is your average day like?
Denise: If you count time spent on the train, checking files and reading manuscripts, my day is about 9 hours. We are usually juggling about 60 books at various points of development. I work very closely with the editors and the designers in my department from start to finish. Making books is very collaborative. Rarely do I work alone.
Jaime: I'm always interested to hear what catches an art director's eye in a bookstore—do you have any favorite covers (not from your publishing house) for 2010?
Denise: Some favorite book covers for 2010 are THE DREAMER, illustrated by Peter Sis and written by Pam Muñoz Ryan (designed by David Saylor and Charles Kreloff);
and CATS’ NIGHT OUT, illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Caroline Stutson (designed by Lucy Ruth Cummins).
Jaime: Nice! We heard a bit about Jon Klassen thanks to your fellow conference faculty member Lucy Cummins. Let's get down to the really important question: What does a VP/AD snack on?
Denise: When I am successful in avoiding the vending machines down the hall, my favorite snack is herbal tea with honey. When I cave, it’s usually chips or strawberry Twizzlers.
Jaime: Kill, kiss or marry: Helvetica, Baskerville or Comic Sans?
Kiss Helvetica, marry Baskerville, and (of course) KILL Comic Sans!
Jaime: Favorite Pantone color?
Denise: I’m fond of the “mutes”: 611, 535.
Jaime: What can out-of-towners look forward to doing in New York in late January if it gets less blizzardy?
Denise: I love to take long walks exploring the city, with strategic stops for hot cocoa. I hope to go ice skating in Bryant Park this winter.
Jaime: Fantastic ideas! Final question, are you willing to share some snapshots of your office?
Denise: Office toys and a bulletin board!
SCBWI International Winter Conference—and there's still room in the Illustrators' Intensive!