This week we caught up with Emily Fox who has been extremely busy drawing and this month sees the launch of What Goes Up White & Comes Down Yellow? her second book, with broadcaster, entertainer, former MP and funny jumper wearer, Gyles Brandreth.
She very gracefully agreed to answer some questions - here they are!
In terms of the content you create for social media, which elements prove to be the most popular with your followers, do you find interaction with your followers helps with your creative processes?
I can be sporadic posting on social media and don't spend too long planning my posts. I like to share the projects and books I've been working on and sometimes sketches or time lapse drawing videos. I do like sharing free printables like colouring pages, but this is more in preparation for school visits than generating content. When working on a recent picture book I needed to illustrate a ginormous pile of food. It was great being able to jump on Instagram and ask for ideas of what food to draw and have an instant response... which very directly helped my creative process.
I love when people get in touch on Instagram and Twitter - especially seeing photos of the books I've worked on in the hands of readers or on a bookshelf. I recently worked on a reading challenge for Devon Libraries and really enjoy seeing all the children who have completed the challenge proudly holding their certificates.
You recently illustrated a new series for young readers called Zoopertown. Was the process involved in creating the cast of super heroes fun? Which did you most enjoy designing?
It was great fun designing the Zooper heroes. In fact developing the characters is my favourite part of the whole illustration process. I often create a Pinterest board to collate my ideas when starting a new project and found myself researching comic book lettering, retro tiki art, the Jetsons and the Powerpuff Girls! I actually enjoyed designing the Zooperheroes nemesis 'Kaboom Baboon' the most.
Which of your many books were you most proud to receive a finished copy of and why?
I am so proud to see each of the books I've illustrated in print knowing how many people are involved in bringing a book to life and how much work goes into them. At a push I would have to say the first picture book I illustrated called Elephant's Pyjamas by Michelle Robinson. It was a dream come true to illustrate a picture book and it felt so special to write my first dedication - to my Mum and Dad.
Do you have any authors you would especially like to collaborate with? or a classic story from your childhood which you would like to illustrate?
I am too shy to name names.. but there are a few Authors I would love to work with.
There are so many classic stories I would love to illustrate, it's hard to choose one. I recently read Anne of Green Gables and immediately started sketching out a few characters for my portfolio - so perhaps Anne.. or a compendium of children's classics!
Where in everyday life do you reap most inspiration from? and do you find time to sketch for pleasure?
It's hard to pinpoint where I find most inspiration. I try to be observant of the world around me, which helps.
I enjoy sketching in a very scribbly sense, but that's more to get the ideas out of my head safely onto paper rather than create a beautiful artwork. It can be therapeutic to get it all out. The creativity comes in fits and starts.. sometimes I sketch a lot and other times I don't draw very much at all.
If you could have a studio anywhere in the world where would you choose?
I very much enjoyed working at Dove Street studios in Bristol, and met some incredible Creatives working there. In a more dream scenario perhaps a treehouse studio deep in the woods.. it would be high up in the canopy, pine fresh with bookshelves lining the walls, rustic furniture, skylight windows and my dog snoozing in the corner.
What are you working on at the moment and can we have a top secret sneak peek?
I'm currently illustrating the sequel to Zoopertown. It stars Zip-Zap Giraffe and features robot penguins...