Monday, June 13, 2011

SCBWI TEAM BLOG Exclusive: Marla Frazee

It is 53 days until the 40th Annual SCBWI SUMMER CONFERENCE! And I have the crazy honor of doing some Q&A with a few of the faculty members.

Marla Frazee's class at Portland State's Haystack Conference changed my illustrating life. And I know I'm one of a bunch that can say that about her and her classes. Whether at Haystack, Art Center College of Design, or SCBWI shindigs, if you are lucky enough to get a critique from Marla, you should know you are going to get some terrifically good advice. Advice that will stick with you forever, and most likely move your career to a new level.

To repeat: (You + Marla) x (Time Together) = Awesome. And because SCBWI International has invited her to be one of the seven illustrators doing live demos at the Illustrators' Intensive (which you can still sign up for!), we can now make this equation:

(You + Marla x Time Together) x (Watching Marla Make An Illustration) = Awesome Infinity3

A few questions with Marla below:

Jaime: Hi Marla! Can you give us a hint of what you'll be doing for the demo?

Marla: I couldn't complete a finished illustration without the foundation this particular process provides, so here's what I'll be demonstrating – first, I do the drawing on paper. Then I soak the drawing and staple it to a board. When the drawing is dry, I build the color up with multiple washes – sometimes as many as 50 to 100, which takes forever. I'll have to do this in stages, otherwise it would take a week or more to show it in real time. And that would be extremely weird for anyone to watch.

J: WE WOULD TOTALLY WATCH. But we understand time constraints. And the perils of eating X Bar food for too long. Who is your favorite illustrator in history?

M: This changes for me constantly. But Robert McCloskey is always in the top five.

J: Oh, nice! Here is a link to an archive of Anita Silvey interviewing him for The Horn Book. How about favorite working snack? I know I've asked this before, and you said CHEEZ-ITS...

M: If I'm honest, it's coffee. As much as I like CHEEZ-ITS, they are pretty greasy and eating them while I'm working would seriously mess up the work.

J: Favorite tool? Not, like, Jon Scieszka, but, like, favorite brush or pencil brand?

M: I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't work on Strathmore 500 series hot press 2 ply paper.

J: Readers, don't forget to explore Marla's kickass site, full to the web gillls with fantastic info. Final question: Marla, what do you do every day that makes you a better artist?

M: Worry that I'm crap.

Oh, that Marla. I'll bet a studio under an avocado tree that she's the only one who worries she could be crap. And speaking of studios under avocado trees, check out Marla's fab studio:

THANK YOU, MARLA! See you in L.A.!


Bonnie Branson said...

Great interview from a great artist. I so want her studio!!!

Lee Wind said...

What a fun interview! And what an amazing opportunity to see Marla make her magic happen!
Thanks Jaime, and Marla!

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

I'll fight you for the studio Bonnie. I love Marla's work. Great interview.

Peter Brown said...

I would watch Charlie Rose's interviews much more often if his show were called The Jaime Temairik Show...and if it were hosted by Jaime Temairik. Thanks for the entertaining + informative interview!

CocoaStomp said...

Thank you, Bonnie!
Marla's the best, isn't she, Lee?
Yes, Pen and Ink Blog, it's going to be a big brawl for Marla's studio. And that avocado tree.

PETER. You are mentioned in the next interview. And it's weird, because, completely unrelated, I just got a biography of Ernest Shepard, THE MAN WHO DREW POOH. And the title alone made me think of you for many reasons...

Cuppa Jolie said...


Gretchen said...

Thanks for the charming interview, Jaime! I really want to see her process: 50 to100 washes! Really!