Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SCBWI Team Blog Exclusive Interview with Art Director Lily Malcom

Huzzah! Another fun faculty member to profile, this time Executive Art Director and Associate Publisher at Penguin's Dial Books for Young Readers, Lily Malcom. Lily is on Twitter

She has only ever had three "L"s in her name! In 2003 we were both at a SCBWI conference and happened to both be outside where the smokers were taking a smoke break but both Lily and I were instead eating bananas which I would like us to call a monkey break! And that's all I know off the top of my head.

Here are some of the people/books Lily has worked with/on:

Jaime: Hi Lily! 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/January 2014?

Lily: Hmm, a lot of covers have grabbed me lately. Here are a handful:

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Jane, the Fox & Me illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

The Tortoise & The Hare by Jerry Pinkney

The Mighty Lalouche Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky illustrated by Carin Berger

Ok, that’s more than a handful. Too hard! The basic thread in all of the above is a balance of art and type. You can tell that the designer and artist worked together in blocking out the space and finding the right fit.

Jaime: Lily, you have award-winner-finding eyeballs! Here's a much easier question: Kill, kiss or marry: Helvetica, Baskerville or Comic Sans?
Kill= Comic Sans (a given)
Kiss= Baskerville
Marry= Helvetica

Jaime: Aww, Helvetica gets all the ladies. Favorite Pantone color?

Lily: I picked two… Orange Pantone 151 Uncoated, Slate Grey Pantone 431 Uncoated.

Jaime: Ooo, I love those colors together even! Let's get down to the really important questions: What does a Dialer such as yourself snack on during the day? Does Jacques Torres run a hot chocolate hose directly into your department? Are there any not-to-be-missed snacks in Manhattan you recommend our conference goers seek out?

Lily: Well, having Jacques Torres across the street is a blessing and a curse. If I could mainline the hot chocolate I would but since I am a sensible person, I'll stick with the chocolate covered cornflakes. They're like scooby snacks. 

Not to miss snacks: Doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant, brisket from Mile End, Porchetta Sandwich from Porchetta, and a nice hot bowl of ramen to keep you warm while you visit.

Jaime: I've never been to Mile End but am excited to get my brisket on, thank you! Can you give us a hint of what you're working on this week?

Lily: This week I’m working on Catch That Cookie with David Small. The cookie is being feisty but David and I are determined to win.

Jaime: Oh, man! SCBWI loves David Small! And Catch That Cookie is written by Hallie Durand which is the pen name of agent Holly McGhee who is also on the Winter Conference faculty, so cool. Final question, are you willing to share some snapshots of your office?

Lily: Of course! Here are a few pics of the office… It needs to be weeded. 

Jaime: Thank you, thank you, Lily, for answering these goofy questions. Folks, be sure you say howdy to Lily at the conference, but if you miss seeing her and happen to have brought her a bunch of chocolate covered cornflakes, I'll be at the blog table at the back of the conference room and I am more than happy to collect all your gift treats... in my belly.

So looking forward to the Winter Conference! Thanks always to SCBWI HQ for putting on such a smashing event!!!

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