We’re wishing everyone a very happy World Book Day! To celebrate we’re sharing this fantastic Q&A with the official World Book Day illustrator Sophy Henn!
Q: How did you get into illustration?
A: Whilst running my greetings card company I realised I wasn’t a natural business woman, but I really enjoyed illustrating. So I illustrated for other card companies and that got the ball rolling!
Q: What do you enjoy most about creating your own stories and illustrations?
A: I really love the bit at the beginning when you are kicking about ideas and doodling characters. Then one character jumps off the page and makes you laugh, feel a bit sorry for them or admire them, and the story begins… Another thing I love (that has been known to make me cry actual tears of joy) is when someone tells you they have been asked to re-read your book, “Again! Again!”
Q: What advice do you have for budding authors and illustrators?
A: Never be afraid of making mistakes. It’s only by being brave with your ideas that you get to the really exciting stuff. Keep writing and drawing for the joy of it. Also, don’t be put off by what others around you are doing. I was never ‘best’ at art or English at school. Just keep practising drawing from life and learn your grammar basics, but alongside that develop YOUR style. It will probably change and keep evolving so enjoy the adventure – it never ends! Finally, ALWAYS have a sketchbook or notebook and pen or pencil near you. I’ve had so many ideas and thought ‘There’s NO WAY I’ll EVER forget that” – then promptly forgot it. If only I’d written it down!
Sophy’s latest picture book Pass It On was published last month by Puffin and is a joyful, uplifting tale about finding happiness in the smallest of things. If you look very closely you might also spot a certain grumpy little Pom Pom panda making a cameo on one of the pages…