On My Mind

-thoughts of a wife, mom, author, illustrator, juggler, toy designer, teacher, camp director, ...



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Author/Illustrator - Ramona Davey



How long have you been creating art for children?

I have been drawing since a pencil was first put in my hand, and as this was the main thing I was good at in school. I kind of stuck to it. I went to college and trained as a Primary Teacher with Art & Design as my speciality. This meant that I was constantly creating with or for the children throughout my career. I was always making displays for the classroom and designing worksheets for the children's class work. One of my sister's recently reminded me that I wrote and illustrated a whole series of little books when I was young for her and my other siblings. She was right! I had completely forgotten all about it. It was called the 'Woodlanders' and was a story about life for all the insects that lived on the ground in the woods. One day I will go through my mum's attic and try and find them.


How long have you been writing for children?

I have only been getting into writing and drawing with picture books in mind since 2010. So this world is all relatively new to me. The moment I decided that I was going to take this seriously and give it a real go, then I started to attend writing courses, picture book workshops,and writers festivals.


Can you share a bit about your publishing journey? (or journey to publication as the case may be)

I am at the stage where I am fine tuning many manuscripts. I have a few already entered into a major competition in Australia and have my fingers crossed for that. The feedback you get from competitions can be just what you need to get your writing on the write track. I have one manuscript currently with an editor who thinks that it has potential. She wants to show it to a publishing house she edits for. So at the moment my fingers feel constantly crossed.


Where do you do your artwork?

I do most of my artwork at the computer since I was given a Bamboo tablet to draw on. I draw with 'Art Rage' and this is a huge learning curve for me.


Please tell us about your illustrations. Can you describe your creative process? How would you describe your style?

Even though I have always been able to draw quite well from observation, I mainly did sculpture at college. I am now trying to develop my skills at illustrating which is quite different. I need to learn how to draw the same thing from different angles, add expression to character's faces, create backgrounds, etc. I also want to learn how to simplify my drawings and I confess I sometimes watch my 8 year old son draw his animated/cartoon characters to get some tips!


Will you share a sketch, line art, and/or photo of a final illustration?




Which comes first the story of the illustrations?

For me at the moment it is the story, although I can always immediately visualize it. I am also telling myself to let go with the imagery because I am fully aware that if I should ever be lucky enough for a publishing house to want to publish one of my manuscripts I know that they will want to choose the illustrator. And as a newbie I will have very little say in this. Also it is possible that the illustrator visualizes my story in a completely opposite way to the way I do. I may love this or loath it. Finally when I am writing, I am constantly checking it to make sure I haven't written what can be drawn, and have I given enough detail for an illustration to be possible for each page? I love the challenge of writing picture books and wish I had thought to do this 10 years earlier!


Ramona can be found at:

Blog: http://artistorauthor.wordpress.com 
Twitter: @RamonaofJersey
Facebook Fan page


If you have questions or comments for Ramonay Davey, please leave them below.

Come back next Wednesday (and every Wednesday all summer long) to see my Featured Author/Illustrator of the week.


20 comments:

  1. Do you still have THE WOODLANDERS, Ramona? I love your mushroom character and so am wondering if you often write/illustrate stories about nature? Good luck with the manuscripts out in competitions and the one with the editor!

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    1. Thank you Joanna! When I travel back home to Jersey, UK I will hunt for The Woodlanders in my mum's attic. It would be great to see it again after such a long time.

      Ramona

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  2. Watching kids draw is an education in itself, right? I've seen little kids draw using a color palette (and placement of color) that was absolutely amazing. I'm wishing you the best on your rode to publication. :)

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    1. Yes, absolutely, I love watching kids draw, they draw with such freedom and ease. Thanks very much Brenda.

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  3. I love seeing an illustrator's creative process. Thanks for sharing your with us, Ramona!

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    1. Me too, I also find others artists processes so fascinating. Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

      Ramona

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  4. The Woodlanders sounds like something I would like to read already - good luck in finding the books. I admire children's art so much, even 'collect' from kids who are not mine! Does your mushroom have a name yet? I hear it begging for one! Good luck with the your editor's efforts too.

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    1. I have to confess that the illustration above is meant to be a limpet. I completely understand why everyone keeps calling it a mushroom (because of the lines underneath the shell). It makes me laugh everytime! :-D

      No name yet - although I am up for suggestions...

      Ramona

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  5. Thanks everyone for stopping by! Huge 'Thank you' to Alison for having me as a guest on her blog.

    Sorry about the awfully dark photo of me at work. That corner of the room doesn't have a light bulb and I always seem to work at night when it's all quiet in the house.

    Ramona

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  6. Great interview ladies! I love the title of the Woodlanders too - you should take that out and see what you can do with it.

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    1. Thank you Julie - all your lovely feedback is making me think I should get the next flight to Jersey (UK) and find The Woodlanders books.

      Ramona

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  7. Thanks so much for this interview, Alison and Ramona. And I'm with the crowd who hopes you find The Woodlanders. It sounds like a wonderful series!

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  8. Cute mushroom, reminds me of an icon for a restaurant here in Korea!
    Best wishes on your writing/illustrating journey!

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  9. Great interview, Alison and Ramona! I love that you wrote The Woodlanders for your sisters when you were little and they remember it! I hope you can find it - when you become published it will be great to share on school visits :) Loved seeing and hearing about your art process. Good luck with your projects!

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    1. Thank you Susanna. The Woodlanders look like they may have to have a 'cpmeback'!

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  10. I think The Woodlanders needs a second chance at life. Love the limpet. I would call him Lemony Limpet, but I think he might get confused with someone else. Good luck finding a name (and with the contest and revisions!).

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    1. Thanks Hannah. Glad you knew it was a Limpet and not a mushroom (too funny)!

      Ramona

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