Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SCBWI Team Blog Exclusive Interview with Art Director Kristen Nobles

Eeee! Only a few days left until the sold out summer conference begins. I'm excited, and this interview will for sure get you revved up if you aren't already. This summer conference may have the most art directors in attendance than ever before, too, us illustrators are so lucky that SCBWI HQ brings us amazing eyeballs to look at our portfolios, pupils in point, art director Kristen Nobles of Candlewick:

Jaime: Hi Kristen! 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 2013?

Kristen: This is from 2012, but I can't shake the graphic appeal of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Oliver Jeffers' covers tend to make me smile so The Day the Crayons Quit was a success in that I actually chuckled out loud; 

and finally, Greg Pizzoli's The Watermelon Seed screams summer from the shelf with its green and pink, uncoated jacket.

Jaime: YOU ARE DARN TOOTIN' IT SCREAMS SUMMER! It's also an excellent book, his artwork kills me in a good way. Speaking of killing, but in a bad way—

Kill, kiss or marry: Helvetica, Baskerville or Comic Sans?

Kristen: You made this too easy! Kiss Baskerville/Marry Helvetica/Kill Comic Sans.

Jaime: You are correct! Favorite Pantone color? 

Kristen: PMS 369 –  A fresh spring day.

Jaime: Did you know THE Carson Ellis will be at the conference?! Do you have a favorite image of hers?

Kristen: I am in the know... Thrilled to be working with Carson on her author/illustrator debut book Home right now! Like many fans, I came to know Carson's work through her album covers and show posters for The Decemberists. The couple on The Crane Wife album stands out. As does all the stunning lettering she's done over the years. Also the badger with a rickshaw that was on her website and from Wildwood is so unique and memorable. There's a whole narrative in that one image and it draws you into the story with the badger's stare.

Jaime: HOLY BADGER BALLS! I am so excited to hear there is a Carson/Candlewick book in the works, best news of the week. Final question, are you willing to share some snapshots of your office?

Kristen: Certainly. We moved into a new, open warehouse-like space about five years ago in the heart of Davis Square, Somerville, Massachusetts, and share the area with Tufts University students, start-up companies, and an old theater. There are lots of sky lights, we look onto a park on my side of the building, and we joke about rollerskating around the office on the cement floors. Some day...

Jaime: Oh, man, if you had a butter beer spigot in one of the photos I would think this was Hogwarts, your new office is magical. Thank you so much, Kristen, for sharing! And folks! Kristen is a great example of why you want to do the Intensives! She is like a DVD Easter Egg, only those illustrators attending the Intensive on Monday will get to hear from Kristen as part of the first look panel with some other, awesome first lookers.

Check out the Candlewick office photos below. And see some of you on Friday! Don't forget to tune your blog tuners to THE OFFICIAL CONFERENCE BLOG where all five team bloggers will be typing up a storm. We'll also be tweeting, look for the #LA13SCBWI tag.

Art Department!




Receptive looking reception!

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