Friday 9/25 Kirby Larson blog
To celebrate properly, I'm delighted to welcome the illustrator Johanna Wright to Live Your Poem. Fun fact: Johanna and I are studio sibs! We share agent Rosemary Stimola. :)
Johanna's sense of whimsy and heart was the perfect match for these poems, and I couldn't be happier to share this book with her.... and her process is pretty amazing! Welcome, Johanna!
JW: This book was incredibly delicious to illustrate. I felt like I had the freedom to explore and examine the poems in a way that felt a bit deeper to me than books I’ve worked on in the past. This was especially true in my favorite section of the book, Only Human. I loved diving deeper into the imagery and emotions of those poems. And I loved how each spread, each poem could have entirely new characters, settings and stories within them. There was so much freedom in that, as an illustrator.
JW: I think the other side of having so much freedom, created some challenges too. I had to create my own parameters while feeling into what it meant to illustrate some complex concepts. I used the nature theme as a guide for the illustrations, along with some fantastical imagery like unicorns and mermaids. This helped to create some limits, which actually freed me up even more!
JW: I wanted to take some of these illustrations a bit deeper than their surface meaning and I learned a lot about myself and found new ways of working in the process. Because so many of the poems were wide open to interpretation, I learned to use my own feelings and intuition more consciously as a creative guide.
JW: The concept for this book is so unique and Irene’s talent for finding nestling poems is really remarkable. I loved working on this project and I’m so proud of this special book!
A thousand thank-yous, Johanna! Truly, it's an honor to share this book with you.
And now, readers, you are in for a treat! Please enjoy this video Johanna created that features her talking about her process on top of some time lapse videos of the NEST artwork being created. Beautiful!