Interview with Billy Yong, debut image e book illustrator of MY PET FEET (with recommendation for younger writers from creator Josh Funk)

MY PET FEET is a brand new image e book written by Josh Funk, now out from Simon & Schuster Kids’s, is Billy’s debut as an image e book illustrator.

When the letter R abruptly vanishes, an entire city goes upside-down on this side-splitting image e book of alphabet chaos that’s Can I Be Your Canine? meets P Is for Pterodactyl. A bit woman wakes up at some point to seek out that R, a significant piece of the alphabet, has vanished! Abruptly, she has pet toes as an alternative of a ferret. Flocks of cows exchange crows flying within the sky. Large sneakers (not shores!) stay on the sandy seashores of her city. What might have occurred to the eighteenth letter of the alphabet? Did it get misplaced—or stolen? A method or one other, the city must be saved!

Thanks Debbie! It’s been such a privilege to be working with Josh, Kendra, Chloe and Amanda over at Simon & Schuster. Large thanks additionally to Tammy and the group at Shannon Associates.

I began off eager to get into the animation scene (nonetheless do!), however after taking a category on youngsters’s books by Patrick Ballesteros and dealing on my first e book, I’d discovered I reasonably loved being an illustrator. There’s a sure inventive liberty with doing (nearly) every thing without delay that makes the method that rather more artisanal.

I’ve at all times leaned in direction of foolish issues. One in every of my earliest reminiscences was choosing and sporting a duck-faced umbrella hat after I was 7. No pictures sadly, however there’s this:

One other favourite of mine in recent times are these quirky sculptures seen across the King Albert Park subway station.

So think about my pleasure after I was supplied the possibility to work on My Pet Ft! Designing a ferret that become toes (amongst different issues) was definitely up my alley.

Despite the fact that I struggled to determine my model, Josh, Kendra and Chloe might see my humorousness becoming into this. For that, I’m eternally grateful.

I began off by sketching out the forged. My Pet Ft facilities closely round our foremost protagonists, so I needed to discover their appears first. I cherished that our foremost human was fairly nondescript, in order that left numerous room to create a forged of characters. I ultimately settled on no.2, since her shapes felt rather a lot like our fe(rr)et, Doodles. 

Subsequent up, sketching the story.

(With a number of whacky concepts, comes numerous nonsensical doodles. I promise there’s a technique to the insanity.) 

When it got here to laying out the pages nonetheless, my regular strategies of working digitally lacked the grand overview and the bravery to push previous errors. Ironic because the digital medium permits me to undo to my coronary heart’s content material, however that additionally means I don’t see my errors and transfer previous them. 

So, feeling caught, I whipped out a large A3 sketchpad with a sharpie and simply went ham at it. No distractions, not even music within the background, simply drawing on the eating desk determining the movement and composition for Josh’s story. I believe I managed to churn out the whole format in 2 days due to this, haha. 

(Preliminary doodles of the primary couple of pages. After I appreciated a composition however didn’t like components of it, I’d paste a sticky word on high and simply draw over it. It feels much more intuitive ideating like this in comparison with a digital drawing.) 

This wouldn’t fairly make sense to Josh, Chloe (artwork director) and Kendra (editor) although, so the following step was tidying up.

(I believe a very powerful half about this sketch cleanup section was to not be too married to the unique sketches, so if it doesn’t work on cleanup, then it helps to return to the sketchpad or simply transfer on and revisit the unfold.)

The most typical forwards and backwards was centered round Doodles’ (our FEET) design. From a foot-face, to a head on toes, finally to toes with a face, each interpretation introduced us nearer to what you see earlier than you.

(Among the last designs for Doodles (Ft). V.2 was the one we settled on on the finish.)

As soon as that was settled, it was off to the races with the inside artwork.

Josh has been nice to bounce concepts off. He paints with phrases like an artist paints with a brush. Josh’s manuscript had simply the correct quantity of readability to provide me a transparent course with out getting slowed down by too many descriptions. That stated, after the preliminary format, I needed to run issues by him to see if there have been little issues he needed so as to add to the story.

(Some tough concepts that didn’t make it to the ultimate e book.)

Q. What recommendation do you will have for younger illustrators?

Ooh. I hope I’m allowed to provide a few them.

  • Discover what you like and attempt to put it into every thing you do.
  • Maintain your eyes open to the world round you, there’s a lot allure and magic in each nook and cranny. Additionally, search for the works of these you admire and examine them! You’ll develop in leaps and bounds the extra you examine/observe.
  • In terms of searching for jobs/illustration, simply shoot your shot. The worst reply they can provide you is “No/not but.”
  • Lastly, train! Your meat shell wants care and loving consideration. In the event you neglect your physique, you’ll ultimately discover art-making a lot tougher to do. So go on the market and contact grass!

Thanks, Billy!

Creator Josh Funk (who advised me he LOVED Billy’s illustrations) was additionally variety sufficient to supply related data for writers once more after I requested:

I believe that is the third time I’ve answered this query (to see the others, try the AMAZING archive of interviews compiled by Debbie Ridpath Ohi right here). This time I’ll say …

Write one thing that makes you snicker. Attempt to crack your self up. Attempt to make your folks snicker – so long as you’re not making enjoyable of somebody. Attempt to consider one other hilarious factor for Billy Yong as an instance! I’ve probably the most enjoyable pondering of foolish concepts that give me suits of giggles – a lot that I’ve to share these ideas with others. And a pet turning into toes cracked me up good, so I ran with it (pun supposed).

Now it’s your flip. Go trigger laughter.

From Debbie: Tomorrow, try Good Reads With Ronna for the following cease on the My Pet Ft Digital Tour!

Additionally see my different Interviews With E book Creators (together with Three Questions For Josh Funk and On Illustrators, Recommendation For Younger Writers, Music and Extra and Behind-The-Scenes: How Pirasaurs! Was Created ) in addition to Recommendation For Younger Writers and Illustrators.