What’s That? Blog Tour post

 
Hi. Robbie I really enjoyed the first book Freddie’s Impossible Dream that you and your dad produced together.
Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you about your new book, What’s That?

 

1) Can you talk me through your art process, from first idea, first sketch, to final drawing. Perhaps with a few examples from the pictures.  

 

1) I always start with a pencil sketch, which I ink over when I am happy with it. I don’t draw straight into the computer for the book yet as I am still learning how to use the computer properly and I get my best drawings on paper. My dad then puts it on the computer for me to colour in digitally. Finally, I add shading to give it some depth, and then it is finished. The space picture wasn’t originally in the book. It was supposed to be a matador and my dad decided to change his mind after he read it to some children at school. So he asked me to draw a space scene. I got one of my dad’s books out that had planets in and I tried to draw them as best as I could to make them look realistic. I did draw the planets straight on the computer though, which I am pleased with. My dad was very impressed with them when I showed him.

2a.  How did you decide what Idris and Umo would look like?
2b.  I love the expressions on the kids faces but especially Umo, the girl.  How did you learn about how to draw the different facial expressions?  What tips would you have for other kids?
2)a) Well for Umo, my dad used to teach a girl called Umo and he described what she looked like to me, so I started there. Once I have finished a drawing, I show it to my Dad and Step-Mum and they give me feedback on bits they like and bits they think could be better. If I agree, then I will redraw until we think it is perfect.
 
2)b) I learn mostly from YouTube. I watch lots of videos on how to draw on there. My advice would be to focus on adding the right amount of  wrinkles. Too many and the person looks old. I always look at myself in the mirror doing the expression I am trying to draw. I always find that helpful.

 

3) Because of the imaginative nature of the story there were many options for the pictures of what you could have drawn. For a few pictures can you tell me about how you decided on what you would draw in that scene?
3) Well, my dad gives me the words that are going on the page and once I read them a picture always just appears in my head and that is what I draw. When I was drawing the pictures for the book I was drawing a lot of realistic characters, so I decided to try to make the cowboy as realistic as I could. With the giant, I decided to add in a beanstalk because I wanted to make it obvious that it was a giant and when I think of a giant I think of Jack and the Beanstalk. I also added mountains in the background to add to the perspective.

 

4) I know that in your first book Freddie’s Impossible Dream you added a Crab to every page, which added an extra element to the story. 
So I wasn’t surprised to see you had done something similar this time!  But, I wondered what made you choose a worm and a Seagull? (I thought they were a great choice by the way) What do you think they add to the story?
 

4) I chose the seagull (Siago) because we were originally going to have a one in Freddie, but I decided on a crab instead. I chose the worm because I wanted Siago to have a purpose. Crabby is going after the ice-cream so I thought Siago could go after Wormington. I just wanted to add something to the story to make people laugh. That is why I thought Wormington could be running away and hiding from Siago.

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