We’re ending the year with our latest Spotlight On interview, this time with the super talented author-illustrator Becka Moor.
Becka has illustrated two books that are publishing in the next few weeks: the udderly fabulous picture book Moo La La! written by Stephanie Shaw, and the hilarious middle-grade story St Grizzle’s School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys written by Karen McCombie.
Becka’s previous work includes illustrating series such as Wigglesbottom Primary written by Pamela Butchart (Nosy Crow), The Royal Babysitters written by Clementine Beauvais (Bloomsbury), and the Violet series written by Harriet Whitehorn, (Simon & Schuster). She has also illustrated the picture book The Three Ninja Pigs, with text by David Bedford (Simon & Schuster). Becka is represented at the agency by Helen Mackenzie Smith.
We caught up with Becka to find out why, where and how she creates her illustrations and what are a few of her favourite things.
What inspired you to start drawing and writing picture books?
I’ve always been fascinated with the way that words and pictures co-exist on a page, ever since I was little and took to doodling in the margins of my school work, but I think I was first really inspired to pursue picture books when I was at college doing graphic design. I realised that what I really wanted to do was tell stories, so my tutor suggested I write a children’s story and illustrate it for my final project. I enjoyed it so much and decided there and then that that’s what I wanted to do.
What comes first: The drawing, the character or the story?
I don’t think there’s a specific order for me, it depends on what I’m doing. I’ll often sketch characters and then imagine a story around them, or sometimes I’ll think of a funny situation and work a character into that.
What artist’s tool could you not work without?
I work mainly digitally so I couldn’t be without my Cintiq and my Mac.
If you weren’t an illustrator/author what would you like to be?
I always fancied the idea of being a teacher or, bizarrely, a voice actor.
If you could collaborate with any other picture book writer/illustrator, past or present who would it be and why?
Ahhh, so tough! I think I’d pick Sara Fanelli because she was one of the first illustrators whose work I connected with and who made me realise that you don’t have to limit yourself in how you go about creating.
Who is your favourite picture book character, and why?
Henry from Oliver Jeffers’ The Incredible Book Eating Boy is probably my favourite. This was one of the first picture books I picked up as an adult that got me really excited about layout and palette and texture and all things bookish. Plus, the concept of eating books to give you extra brain power is brilliant.
What’s your favourite word/colour?
What was your favourite book when you were growing up?
Any Brambly Hedge book by Jill Barklem. Many hours were (and still are) spent with my nose pressed to the pages of those books.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
That I can move my eyeballs independently of each other.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Being published for the first time, I still have to pinch myself.
Bonus question: what classic book of any genre would you most like to illustrate?
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Becka Moor © 2016. All Rights Reserved.