Saturday, July 23, 2011

SCBWI TEAM BLOG Exclusive: Paul Zelinsky

The goodness of the Illustrators' Intensive just keeps increasing exponentially. Paul Zelinsky wowed us with his magic camera contraption at the Winter Conference, and he's heading to LA to do a live demonstration. When I asked Paul for a hint of what he'd be sharing, he got downright poetical.

First, Paul's books, check out all those award-bedecked covers below. His pictures are as lovely in print as they are in person. If you have a chance to see Paul's work in a gallery, go for it! Some of his work came to my town: I saw pieces from AWFUL OGRE'S AWFUL DAY and am happy to say Paul Zelinsky's responsible for alerting me to the incredibleness of E. Nesbit after I heard him talk about the art he made for THE ENCHANTED CASTLE.

Jaime: Hiya, Paul, can you give us a hint of what you'll be demo-ing in LA?

Paul: The technique I'll be demonstrating in the Intensive will be linked to the topic of my talk during the regular conference

Or, as a haiku:

Intensive technique
using oils for fairy tales
very intensely 

Jaime: Super! What is your favorite non-Olympic sport? Your favorite smell? Your favorite bachelor on the current The Bachelorette? What is your favorite Cadbury product? What do you do every day that makes you a better artist?

Paul: I have to say that I have an aversion to, and a near-complete inability to respond to, questions about my favorite anything. Those are four really hard questions for me, and the fifth is even harder, because I not only don't have an answer to it, I have no faith that I wake up a better artist any day, much less every day. And I don't do anything to promote or demote myself. I suppose the mere act of waking up will make me a person with more life experience than the last time I've woken up, and perhaps that translates into being a better artist. I don't think so, though!

Jaime: Yes, yes, yes, I switched those first four questions! I asked Paul what I asked all the other live-demo illustrators and not having favorites is fine by me. And can't we agree that Paul's last non-answer is actually a wonderful answer? And though he may not have the faith he's waking up a better artist every day, we kidlit people have that faith for him in spades. Spades means up the wazoo, right?

Check out Paul's fabulous studio. If you follow him on Twitter, you'd see some fun photos of his studio view, which is of a street popular with movie makers...

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