Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Author/Illustrator - Cynthia Iannaccone

What where your early years like?

As a child I carried around a picture book, ready to hand it over to any available adult to read out loud. During story time, I remember sitting on the floor looking up at our librarian, mesmerized by her voice, the way she held the book, showed the pictures, and turned the pages.

My mother complained I was reading too many horse stories and not enough classics like Little Women. Well, at least I was reading and my teacher agreed.

Once I took a book from my parent's collection and secretly read Thunderhead by Mary O'Hara. It had very few horse pictures, but enough to grab my interest.

When I opened my father's books I couldn't understand why he would want to read a book with not one picture, just solid blocks of tiny type.

I guess I was a visual learner. I worked with clay and drew all the time.

What kind of writing and illustrating do you like to do?

I write and illustrate picture books, and poetry.

Do you have any published work?

Two electronic picture books, I Am Me and An Elephant Named Fiesta and I recently collaborated with eight other illustrators. We illustrated an old Mexican folktale for an educational publisher.

How did you get started in writing and illustrating?

I was accepted into the medical illustration program at collage but my advisor thought I'd be happier in a more creative field. He suggested I go into children's book illustration. I'm so glad I listened to him.

Can you describe your creative process?

The story idea comes first. Sketches help to push it further. I bounce back and forth between words and pictures, then complete the final art in gouache on arches hot press. Sometimes I work with other mediums.

My first portfolio was done with Photoshop, but I didn't like the process. I still use Photoshop to resize, etc. but paint traditionally and exhibit.

Where do you create your art work?

I use the living and dining rooms as studio space. The entire house is actually studio space shared with my husband who is also an artist and our five pets; two cats and three dogs.

Cynthia Iannaccone can be found:

Illustration website:

Twitter @cynthiai 


If you have questions or comments for Cynthia Iannaccone, please leave them below.

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