Here's a snippet of what I thought of this yummy picture book.
Tottie andDot is the latest picture book deliciousness doled up by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling. As with their previous bestseller, An Aussie Year, Tottie and Dot effortlessly teams McCartney’s delectable dream-like story line with Snerling’s candy-luscious illustrations. Sweetly simple statements are anchored on full double page spreads with divinely drawn detail, right down to the tiny-tarred paw prints and gumball pebbled paths.
You can read the rest of my review of Tottie and Dot here. Meanwhile, I've just spotted illustrator, Tina Snerling. If I can keep her away from the apricot sandwiches for a moment, I might be able to ask her a few arty type questions. Hope you can hear us over the screaming...
Hi Tina - fantastic party. Tell me...
Q. Who is Tina Snerling? Describe your illustrative self.
My life is immersed daily in illustration, vibrant colour and intense patterns. There is rarely a day that passes that I am not drawing, brainstorming or dreaming of what will be illustrated next. It is my day job, my night job, my hobby, my passion and my dream.
Q. How long have you been illustrating kids’ books? What do you find most gratifying about it?
I have been illustrating kid’s books for nearly 5 years – wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long! My first illustration was creating the characters for ‘An Aussie Year’, with Tania. The most gratifying part of illustrating children’s books is creating characters from my own imagination and watching the children connect with each one on their own level. It is like a thousand Christmas’s come at once when you see your book in print for the first time!
Q Your illustrations seem to use a truncated palette of colours yet come across full of colour-popping detail. How do you achieve this?
Colour is my passion, and one of the most enjoyable processes of illustrating is creating the colour palette. I am drawn to intense, complementary colours – and kids respond so well to it too! It wasn’t until I began illustrating my third children’s picture book that I even realised I have a particular style when it comes to colour - I don’t do anything in particular to create this, I am just naturally drawn to a succinct, vibrant colour palette.
Q. What look were you trying to achieve with Tottie and Dot? Why?
I wanted two recognisable characters that were very clear with their identity. Given the intensity of the story line, I knew it would become chaotic, so I loved the idea of creating characters that stood out amongst the chaos. I wanted ‘Tottie and Dot’ to be a maze of illustrations that kept their reader interested long after they had read the words. I hid little details in each page, waiting for the reader to find them.
Q. This is the second time you have partnered your pictures with Tania McCartney. Was this a deliberate choice to collaborate or just happy chance?
Deliberate choice – absolutely! Tania and I are actually currently working on our third picture book! We both work so well together, and hope to continue to work together for many years to come. Our partnership is a team effort – there is no Author and Illustrator in our case – we want our books to be recognisable as a collaboration rather than separate artists working together.
Q. What media are you most comfortable illustrating in? What medium did you use to create Tottie and Dot?
I am a digital illustrator, and I work very differently to many traditional artists. I generally don’t sketch using a pencil and paper – all my ideas are drawn directly onto the screen using my graphics tablet and Adobe Illustrator. I am a perfectionist with my illustrations, and I love using digital as I can easily re-draw an incorrect stroke or change a colour at the touch of my pen. Tottie and Dot was drawn digitally.
Q Which colour best represents you and why?
The colour that best represents me is probably 'yellow' I tend to be drawn to this colour in all aspects of my life. It's a happy colour that's hard to be depressed around and it evokes thoughts of brightness and energy - I would like to think that's how people think of me!
Q. What’s on the drawing board for Tina?
Many, many things!!! During the day, I am a Graphic Artist for a children’s stationery company – on my days off/at night when I should be sleeping - I illustrate children’s books. In the very near future I will be concentrating even more on illustration and am working on illustrating my own book, among other things!
Q. Just for fun question (there’s always one) If you could make up any flavour tea, what would be your favourite concoction?
Oh, this is a hard one for me as I don’t actually drink tea (or coffee for that matter!) If I did, it would definitely be sweet – strawberry, vanilla and anything chocolate!!!
Fabulous Tina. Thanks for the chat and the chance to party with Tottie and Dot.
But don't leave yet - this party is ALL DAY. Check out the Blog Blast Schedule for more awesome pit-stops, interviews, give-aways, reviews and tantalising tip bits on Tottie and Dot. Or just click on the poster. It's that easy.
EK Books September 2014#tottieanddot