Children's book illustrator K.C. Snider hails from Oregon. In this interview she talks about her working environment, the importance of discipline, and her collaboration with authors.
Do you consider yourself to be a born illustrator?
Yes! I’ve been drawing since I was 10 years old. I can’t remember wanting to do anything else but to be an artist. I greatly admired the work of Norman Rockwell, America’s most famous illustrator; his work had a great influence on me. As a young adult, I attended commercial art school and graduated with honors. I intended on becoming a commercial illustrator, but marriage and family came first. With encouragement from many people including my husband, I began to paint again and became more of a fine artist. Now through my association with Mary Jean Kelso and then Guardian Angel Publishing, I have been able to add illustration to my portfolio.
Did you always want to be an illustrator?
I would say that I have always been an illustrator because even when I am painting a piece that is just for my own enjoyment, I am telling a story.
What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?
When I was illustrating Mayra’s picture book, The Magic Violin, I played classical music. It was a great inspiration to me. Usually, it is not hard for me to get inspiration. Because I love my work so much, sometimes my fingers just itch to pick up the brush or pencil.
Describe your working environment.
I have a studio with lots of windows in my home that is devoted to my work. Right now, we are doing a little remodeling and I’ll have a new wood floor and a cabinet with a glass door to display my ribbons and awards for my art. My studio is my sanctuary. My husband, Fred, has a separate studio for his framing which we built this past year. That has given me a lot more space in my own studio which I needed because I may have a number of pieces in progress at any given time.
Are you a disciplined illustrator? What is your working style?
Yes, I am very disciplined. As a trained commercial artist, I know that I have to complete my work in a timely manner. And I love my work; I love the sense of accomplishment when a piece is finished and I get kudos from my family and friends. Although I work at all times of the day, I do a lot of my work in the evening. At times I will get so engrossed in my work that it will be 2 am before I put down the brush or pencil. When I’m illustrating, I typically have a work of fine art in progress that I switch to from time to time just to give me a break. Right now my work in progress is a painting of some pioneer children, their teacher and a one-room school house in the late 1800s.