"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday's Interesting People: Kit Grady

Today, I welcome Kit Grady to Friday’s Interesting People. I don’t know how long I’ve been following Kit's blog, but I am a fan of her work. You see, I draw a bit myself (like a kindergartener) and there are artists in my family and I love art. OK? Those are my reasons.
Kit is an over the top—great illustrator AND she is an author, as well. I hope you’ll notice some of her illustrations that I may have (with permission) sprinkled along the way.

JW: You began drawing at a young age. Was there a moment when you realized your drawing/sketching was above average? (Tell us about that.)
Kit: I can’t remember when I have not drawn. My mom has kept lot of my early drawings for     me. Some good and some not so good. I think her encouragement has had a strong impression on me. The one time she was not pleased with my work, was when I took a  big red crayon and drew a life size person holding a jump rope in one hand on my brick house and drew the rope all the way around the house (on the house) to the life size person’s other hand. I was given lots of paper after that.
JW: Do you have formal training in art or are you self trained to be an artist?

Kit: I attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, majoring in commercial art for several years, but later I continued to learn and practice on my own. I have played around with cartoons, children’s activity pages for newspapers and had a line of greeting cards before really focusing on children’s illustration. My first book was written, just to have a vehicle to illustrate. Now, I have fallen in love with writing too. But one never stops practicing and improving their craft, so I try to draw or write every day.

JW: How many books have you illustrated thus far?

Kit: I believe about fifteen, total. I illustrated the three books that I wrote: A Necklace for Jiggsy with Guardian angel Publishing, Just on More Mom, with Kaeden Books, and Mollie the Merbaby with Meegenius, an ebook on itunes. I have also illustrated for several private authors. One author, Tracey Delio, has this loveable cat and has written a series of three books about LOUIE V. I have enjoyed illustrating for her. I am a staff Illustrator for Guardian Angel Publishing and have completed about ten books for them with many of their talented authors.

JW: Aside from your day job, what’s your daily schedule like for your craft?

Kit: I try to work 10am -2pm on email, marketing and illustration work. After a break, I try to write for a couple hours. In the middle, I’m walking the dog, buying groceries and doing a little gardening. I will be planning a story as I’m cleaning. Sometimes I do not get as much done as I would like, but I think that is normal for everyone.

JW: Where do you get your ideas for characters?
Kit: I think all I’ve experienced, whether it is just life’s craziness, nature’s colors, a grin on an opossum, seeing a lonely child, or a dripping ice cream cone; everything contributes to my views of this world and it somehow finds its way into my art. Even, when I’m not really looking for ideas, they pop in and I have a small notebook just to jot down ideas and thoughts and possible titles, before I forget about them.
JW: What are you working on right now?
Kit: I am working on a middle grade novel and I’m up to 14,000 words.  It is a story of a young girl who befriends old ladies at a nursing home and finds herself, trying to save an endangered species. It sounds like a lot to cram in, but so far it is working well. This so different than writing a picture book and limiting word count to less than 800 words. I’m also working on some illustrations to mail out for a promotions campaign. Sketching and drawing are always part of my works in progress.
JW: Ok, Kit, let’s talk childhood. As a child, did you have a dog, a cat or an imaginary friend?
Kit: I have always had animals and I think that is why I really love to draw animal a bit more than people. We had dogs, cats, hamsters, turtle, newts, rabbits and chickens. Each named, of course, even the 10 chickens. My first book was about one of my favorite pets, Jiggsy. It wasn’t hard to write because that was exactly how he would have acted.
JW: Were you: a. Loner b. Leader c. Bossy d. Follower e. Shy

Kit: I think I was shy as a child. I tried to be the comedian of my friends growing up. As I think about it, I’m not sure how that combination would work. Ha!

JW:  Now think back. What did you believe, as a child, that you found out later was not correct?

Kit: Ha, I did think all cats were girls and all dogs were boys, I never thought too much about the stork!
JW: Let’s talk random stuff. Neat handwriting or “I should have been a physician” handwriting?
Kit: Not so neat. I print a lot.

JW: Coffee, Tea, both or neither?
Kit: Gosh, I love coffee. I start my day with coffee. I have to stop about 1pm or I do not sleep well.

JW: Ok, imagine this: You wake up one morning and you have become one of your illustrated characters. Who would you like to be and what would your day be like.
Kit: I would love to be my Mollie, the Merbaby, and spend the day playing in the sea with all my friend sea creatures, like Silly Fish and Sharp Tooth. I would love to be surrounded with bright beautiful colors, bubbles and able to swim all day. What a life.
I would like to thank you, Teresa, for having me on your Journaling Woman Blog. I have really enjoyed being here.
JW: Thank YOU, Kit. I’ve really enjoyed having you here on JW.
Kit Grady is a children’s illustrator and author, who lives in North Carolina in the United States. She began drawing at an early age. Kit’s clients include The United Methodist Publishing House, Kaeden books and is a staff illustrator at the Guardian Angel Publishing. She won first place in the 2011 SCBWI Carolina’s Children Picture Book Manuscript contest where her picture book is currently under revisions with a publishing house. She has an eBook released by Meegenius Publishers titled Mollie the Merbaby , where Kit is author and illustrator.  She has a long list of credits as illustrator for other author books, as well. Kit Grady can be found at www.kitgrady.com, www.kitgrady.blogspot.com  and on Twitter and Facebook. You can purchase her eBook here.


Questions for you: Are you following Kit? Do you like to draw? Is your talent better than mine (the kindergartener)?
JW

25 comments:

  1. Kit, I'm so glad you're here today. I've enjoyed getting to know you better through your answers.

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  2. I enjoyed meeting Kit! I *wish* I could draw. I think I'd almost prefer drawing over writing. Kit, I love that you have such a creative day each day! Thanks for introducing me to Kit, Teresa.

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  3. That's great Kit gets to combine writing and artwork!

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  4. I love Kit's illustrations here. All the expressions are perfect. My drawing ability, sadly, ranks right along with my ability to act. And they're both at the non-existent level. But I am an art lover.

    Thanks for the introduction, Teresa!

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  5. i love the drawings you shared--she is great---i cannot draw at all---but all of my family both sides and all around can!---your guest went to the same college as my dil and husband and bil!

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  6. Its great to meet Kit. She is a very talented artist. What a fun way to make a living.

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  7. Kit's illustrations are incredible. She is so talented. Thank you for doing this interview.

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  8. Wow, 15 books is quite an accomplishment!

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  9. Drawing is something I hugely admire, because it's something I just don't have a talent for. Thanks for the interview!

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  10. Wow, I just love your drawings. You're so talented. It's the one thing I'm horrible at but wish I could do.

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  11. i love the drawings you shared here, kit sounds like a very talented person and artist.
    it's great to meet kit!

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  12. Great interview. Sounds like you've worked on some really fun projects. I love it that you'd like to be one of your own characters. That's why we create, isn't it? To live another life.
    Go. Create. Inspire!

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  13. Great interview! Thanks for letting us in on a glimpse of the amazing world of Kit Grady! Got to know you a little better Kit :o)

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  14. This was a wonderful interview!

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  15. Thanks for the interview. Kit's artwork is great! I need coffee to start my day, too. First things first. Then the writing can begin. :)

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  16. Great interview!
    I know that with constant practice, writing improves, gets better and better; and I've always imagined that anybody can write a "fairly decent" story... but can anybody learn to draw? I've always wondered about this!

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  17. Thank you all so much for these most generous comments. I loved doing this interview with Teresa. She is great. Love reading all her blog posts.
    Kit

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  18. Terrific interview---both the interesting questions and answers. The jump rope around the the whole house is just begging for a story to be written....

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  19. Terrific interview---both the interesting questions and answers. The jump rope around the the whole house is just begging for a story to be written....

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  20. I enjoyed learning about you Kit. This was a great interview! I agree with Bill,the jump rope story is a great start for a children's book.

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  21. Loved the interview, Kit. Your book is delightful. Congratulations, mate.

    *Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfnke.com

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  22. I really enjoyed this interview of one of those maddeningly talented people--author AND illustrator!

    Thanks!

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  23. Thank you for sharing the great interview. I'm a huge fan of Kit's work! I'm pleased to see my Animal Sound Mix-up here and hope Kit will be able to illustrate more of my books in the future.

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  24. What an informative interview! Nice to learn more about a talented artist.

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  25. Kit your illustrations have such fun in them; you really know how to bring an animal to life.

    Teresa, thanks for the interviw. You asked some interesting questions.

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