My Writing Process

My friend Stella Papadopoulos (you can see her page at www.inspirationsbystella.blogspot.come-tapped me on the shoulder a little while ago and asked if I’d like to participate in “My Writing Process” blog tour. I said, “Stella, you do know I’m an illustrator, right?” and she said, “But, of course, Petal… it’s all good!”

And, of course, she’s right… authors and illustrators are all part of this big wonderful world of children’s picture book and YA chapter books, so here I go…

So, what am I working on at the mo? I’m currently illustrating a 32-page picture book about the Pittsburgh Penguins, the second in The Home Team series, published by Always Books for the National Hockey League. These books are for and about little kids who love their hockey team. The book for the Toronto Maple Leafs is actually on the presses at Freisen's right now, but will be out in the big, wide world at the end of May (2014).

I’m also working on another book for author / actress Jean Freeman. She and I have done a number of books together (including Where Does Your Dog Sleep?, Where  Does Your Cat Nap?). This time, our characters are trees (primarily deciduous ones…) who offer an explanation to young readers about why autumn impacts their foliage the way it does.

My most recent book is a sweet little tale of a girl named Emma who wants to help out her local food bank (see the cover here). Author Sue McLure wrote the copy, I did the pictures, and the Calgary Food Bank published it. 

I’m a traditional illustrator, which means I don’t use anything vectorish (I don’t even know what that means), and I produce all my imagery using pencil, india ink and watercolour.

I work with either an art director, the publisher or the author of the project I'm working on to get a good sense of what their vision is. Then, I dovetail their vision with my own. Lots and lots of drafts later, I come up with the final art... et voila.

Next week,  check out Bill Bunn's blog at

Bill's the author of three books, several essays and articles. He published his first YA novel, Duck Boy, in 2012 ( His second is a collection of grown-up essays and articles titled Hymns of Home, and in 2003, Moon Canoe, a children’s picture book was published. This book was bought and translated into French by Le Canotier, and released as Canoë Lune (2005).

Bill's currently hard at work on his second YA novel, scheduled for release in 2015. 


Unknown said…
Your process as an illustrator is authentic and I just love that you dont use vectors! Your characters are expressive and your many drafts produce a fine work to be enjoyed by many! What is unique is that you work directly with your community and contribute in a creative way. Thanks so much for being part of the process Val!

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