Q & A with Happy-Not-Cranky Illustrator Katya Bowser

Lamby Lambpants and FriendsMeet Happy-Not-Cranky Illustrator Katya Bowser

When it came to developing the world of Lamby Lambpants, I wanted to do everything myself. I mean, I designed every aspect of the characters and story, even designing their looks and visual identities.

And then reality hit me: my artistic strengths, while very good, weren't suited for the work needed to take Lamby to the next level. I needed help, so I searched for someone who could run with these characters, love and appreciate them, and really express their spiritual and emotional cores on paper. In short, I needed someone with a cartoonist's skill, a comedian's wit and a dog-lover's heart. I found that someone in the very talented illustrator Katya Bowser.

Below is a brief Q/A I recently had with Katya to learn more about what drives her creative process...

What inspired you to become an illustrator?

I've always loved drawing, for as long as I can remember! My dad loved to draw and sketch and he passed on that love to me. He starting showing and teaching me what he knew as soon as he saw that I had interest. But it took a while before I realized that art was what I wanted to do with my life. My "revelation" happened at a Christ in Youth conference in the summer after 10th grade. The speaker randomly decided he needed to get on a soapbox to talk to us about using our creative talents and abilities. I knew he was talking to me! So from then on I decided that this would be how I contribute to the world.

Super Lamb

Tell us a little about the schooling you did (if any) to prepare yourself for an art career.

I spent a lot of time digging into books to learn as much as I could once I had gotten past the point where my dad couldn't teach me anymore. Then after graduating high school, I attended Ringling College of Art and Design and majored in Computer Animation. While learning lots of great stuff about animation, I took one course in Children's Book Illustration and fell in love with it! I graduated from Ringling in May of 2012.

Tell us a little about your creative process.

I love to sketch. Love, love, love it! So that is where I start out. I sketch as much as I can and as quickly as I can. I try not to put too much thought into my sketches. Ideally, I try to make my sketching and thinking happen simultaneously. But I never think about the drawing. Instead, I focus on the idea behind the drawing- the character, what they are thinking, what they are doing, who they are; I try to convey that in my work.

Once I start to over-think the drawing itself, the art falls flat and loses all of its life. So I try to get all my ideas out quickly so they can stay alive and fresh. Once all the ideas are down, I go back over the work and pull out the strongest parts that can simply convey what I was going for.

Who’s your personal favorite Lamby and Friends character to illustrate?

I love illustrating Jonesy! Personally, I love dogs, and Jonesy has such a cute puppy personality about him. I love posing him in adorable puppy poses, and have him doing innocent puppy things. And he is a dragon, so he's got this long flowing body that can curve around in all kinds of different ways. It's really fun playing around with what his body can do.

Besides the Lamby picture books, where else can we see some of your work?

I have work up on my website at http://www.katyabowser.com. There you can see all the types of work that I do. On my website there are also links that can direct you to my various blogs and social media sites where I like to put up some more personal work like fan art, sketchbook adventures and random stories from the day. So feel free to like, follow and all those good things!

You can see more of Katya’s detailed work in the following Lamby Lambpants adventures for early readers: The Amazing (and Mostly True) Story of How Lamby Got His Pants , The Incredible Flying Jonesy , and our newest release, The Accidental Wonder Pig . Her work is also shown in Lamby’s first coloring book, Lamby’s Coloring Book of Happy for Kids Who Like to Color Outside the Lines and her own illustrated and penned story book, Dex T-Rex .

D. Byron Patterson is the co-founder of Love & Fleece Happy Toys and Books. Love & Fleece creates plush toys and books that promote self esteem and raise awareness of childhood bullying. For more information, visit www.loveandfleece.com or www.facebook.com/loveandfleece.

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Published on July 18, 2013 09:07 Tags: childrens-book-illustration, childrens-illustrator, early-reader, picture-book
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