for SCBWI Bologna 2016
and Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations
New-York based illustrator Annie Won received her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Her style is characterized by the use of digital collage, mixed perspective, and a dreamlike quality that speaks to the imagination of children.
Her illustrations will appear in The Dragon Circus, Tea Party, Picnic in the Snow, and Welcoming Song, ibooks such as The Old Man and The Sea, The Hound of the Baskerville and picture books that will appear in 2017.
Congratulations on your illustration The Light being selected as a finalist for SCBWI’s Bologna Illustration Gallery. SCBWI will display The Light at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Can you tell us about the inspiration for this illustration?
I can’t say what inspired me exactly. It may have been a sweet lyric of a song, a warm breeze across my face or a touching story from news. What I know is all of those were mixed harmonically and made me to create image of mother and her child.
As a children’s book author-illustrator, my illustration is always based on stories. It’s funny that I need a full story even though I draw a simple doodle. And The Light is the peak moment of a story about a Mother who finds her lost child.
I can see that emotion in the illustration. When did you begin drawing?
I started drawing when I was able to grab something to draw with. My official artistic career started with my first job. I was a computer game concept artist. I drew all kinds of things such as characters, trees, clothes, weapons and more for the game.
However, after working as a designer about seven years, I decided to do something more meaningful for both people and myself: a children’s book author-illustrator. I studied at School of Visual Art and after graduating the awesome course, now I am working as a freelance illustrator.
What led you to children’s book illustration?
I love children’s picture books. They are each like a small art gallery with brilliant stories. Also I’m always amazed by how children read stories from a single image. They even find something interesting in my image that I haven’t recognized!
You’ve illustrated work for children’s magazines, including the cover for the back to school issue of Spider (September 2015). What do you enjoy most about magazine illustration?
What advice do you have for others who are starting a career as a children’s book illustrator?
Do not to give up your dream. It seemed like I would never get a book assignment until I was offered my first assignment by Little Golden Books.
Before that, I tried my best to promote my work and learn from others. I made more than dozens of picture book dummies, sent bunch of postcards to publishers, presented my portfolio to several publishers, joined SCBWI and attended three conferences, enrolled children’s book boot camps and more. While I was trying those things, nothing was sure and clear except one thing: I believed that my dream would come true if I don’t stop trying.
What are you working on now?
I just completed my first Golden Books illustration assignment. And now, I am working on another magazine piece, cover art for Ladybug magazine. I am also developing my own story for a picture book, too. I am truly happy to start my career as children’s picture book illustrator but I hope I can publish my own story as well.
Angela Cerrito is a pediatric physical therapist by day and a writer by night. She thinks she has the two best jobs in the world.
Her latest novel, The Safest Lie
(Holiday House), was named a finalist for the 2015 Jewish Book Award, a
Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Older Readers and a Notable Social
Studies Book for Young People.
Angela Coordinates the SCBWI Bologna Interview series, volunteers as SCBWI’s Assistant International Advisor and is a Cynsational reporter in Europe and beyond.