Today, Mummum has the pleasure of speaking with talented illustrator Jade Fang, who recently illustrated three books which I wrote: Tibby The Tiger Bunny, Is that Rainbowsaurus so Different from Us? and The Best Recipe for Tofu.
I first fell in love with Jade’s artwork style at the SCBWI First Look Critique Session at the previous year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I am therefore thrilled that we have been able to work on three picture books together since then.
1.Tell us 3 titbits about your journey so far as an illustrator.
- I used to plan at least 3 days for completing a full colour illustration, now I can finish one in a day, if I have a really tight deadline. So I am fantasizing of the day when I can complete multiple paintings in a day with the sound of victory bells chiming in the background…ha ha.
- People always come to me and say that they can’t draw. I will then tell them, “Hey, drawing and painting are the only thing I know how to do well, and I am never good at doing anything else besides that.”
- My then 4 yrs old niece scribbled and destroyed a princess drawing that I drew for her and demanded that I draw a nicer one for her again!
2. Who is your favourite picture book illustrator? Why?
Jade: There are a lot of illustrators that I admire but if I have to pick one, that person has to be American painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell. His work is always heart warming and animated, full of storytelling and has a great deal of details that you can appreciate. It’s everything that I wish I can create in my artwork, so he inspires me a lot.
Which is your favourite picture book? Why?
Jade: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It’s very simple in its words and images, yet the story is very touching and close to the heart. It makes you think about the people who only want to give you love and support without asking anything back…ok, I am thinking of my parents…
3a) Which is your favourite page in Tibby the Tiger Bunny? Tell us why?
Jade: This image is my favourite. I like it because I wanted to show that although Tibby is lonely, he can still have fun playing on his own. Everyone should remain optimistic and positive, just like Tibby, when facing any situation. Once you are comfortable with yourself, the world will change because of you, and that is why you will see that I added little romantic and fantasy touches in this forest scene to illustrate that magic.
b) Share with us about one other favourite illustration which you have done to date.
Jade: I just love this wild boar, don’t you?
Mummum: Next to Tibby, this wild boar is my other favourite character in the book! Maybe he deserves a book of his own
4. Name one favourite book from childhood. How did that influence you?
Jade: Our old house used to have this big, thick book with all the well known fables, fairy tales and rhymes, and it kept me, my sisters and brothers very happy throughout our childhood years. Now as a children’s book illustrator, I always keep in mind that a good story book should entertain readers and keep them happy.
5.What is the first word that comes to mind in describing your artwork style?
Jade: Somehow “fun” and “inspiring” come to my mind at the same time…
Mummum: I would also add “diverse”!
Caleb draws from his cuteness to chat up the lady at the next table
Mummum: Jade, it’s been a thrill to see how you brought Tibby to life in our Tibby The Tiger Bunny picture book as well as the lovely illustrations for the United Nations Rights of the Child Collection which was recently launched by the Ministry of Social & Family Affairs Singapore (Download of free ebooks here!). I look forward to seeing more amazing artwork from you!
Read more about Jade’s art process at a recent interview she gave here and also check out more of her artwork at her blog.