Ask the Author: Clay Carmichael
“Ask me a question.” Clay Carmichael
Answered Questions (3)
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Clay Carmichael Genres and traditions are often publishing constructs and I try not to think about them much when I'm writing. I write and paint what I need to and let others pigeonhole. That said, writing for young people--the slot I'm usually put into--keeps me conscious of writing with clarity and, with picture books especially--economy.
Clay Carmichael I guess that varies, both life and creating (I'm also a painter) have their highs, lows and upheavals. But I think more in terms of and strive more for openness than vulnerability, an openness to experience. Openness makes me ready to receive, see and listen to what's all around me; to know what I think and feel, and to hear what's in my own heart.
Clay Carmichael Technically, I was an illustrator first, but only because I couldn't actually write complete sentences until I was five or six. But I know what you mean. The idea of drawing and painting intentionally and then professionally came much later. I did take some art classes in school and college, but I didn't major in art. Some latent abilities must have been under the surface all that time, though, because when I turned my mind and hands to it I found some (very) rudimentary ability and a desire to really work at it, which is the main thing. Now, I find words good for some things and art good for others. As M. Sendak said, "pictures tell their own side of the story." I like that.