Sunshine Smile Publications is delighted to showcase the very talented Steven Wood!
Steven is an illustrator and design artist with amazing talent.
His work in the children's book market includes picture books and activity books for young children, and also covers for Young Adult novels. Using different techniques including digital design and pen & ink, Steven is able to create fantastic detailed scenes and delightful characters. It's a real privilege to showcase his work! Enjoy!
Q & A with Steven Wood, Illustrator
What are you working on at the moment?
Strangely enough, being one of the manliest men anyone could ever meet I've just finished work on a book for Usborne Publishing called Sticker Dolly Dressing Dream Jobs. It's been a little departure for me as in the past I've generally worked on books aimed at boys. But much to my girlfriend's amusement, I've really enjoyed myself and find myself now using phrase like 'accessorising' and 'on trend'. To balance my new found love of fashion, I've been working on a variety of other exciting projects including YA fiction covers, Maths books, a picture book involving a dinosaur (ROAR), and developing several picture books of my own, most recently 'Montgomery Strange and the Remarkable case of the Disappearing Zoo'.
Is there anything you're busy promoting?
I'm constantly promoting my work on Twitter, my website or through the Advocate Art blog. Something I'm not necessarily promoting but am very excited about is Philip Pullman's Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp.
I didn't illustrate the book, but worked on the digital colouring of the backgrounds. It's a beautifully bound retailing of the classic Aladdin story, and being a huge fan of Philip Pullman, working on the project was a real pleasure and it's out in November. Eeek.
Can you recommend a children's book that you've recently enjoyed?
Like every year, this year I asked for a Unicorn for my birthday. But this year, dare I say, I received something equally as good - The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, illustrated by Laura Carlin. As a child it was one of my favourite stories, and this new version is stunning. The illustration sets a lovely sombre tone for such a sad beautiful story. Other things I've loved recently are Ribbit Rabbit by Candice Ryan, illustrated by Mike Lowley, and Foxley's Feast by Owen Davey. Both are lovely fun stories accompanied by fantastic illustration, not that they make me jealous or anything. Grrrrr.
Do you have a piece of advice for beginning illustrators? OR Do you recall the best piece of advice you received when you first started out?
Hmmm... you need to be passionate and believe in what you're doing. You'll get knock backs, and you need to learn to never take these personally, and that sometimes you're just not right for a particular job. Keep on top of trends but never feel too pressured to change your style. Trends come and go, and as long as your work has your voice, it'll normally find a market. Oh and also network. Twitter, Facebook, websites, etc. All these things are instantly hugely important in marketing yourself even if you have an agent. OR... go back to University and do a real degree like accounting, become rich enough to wear chinos and a cravat and shop in Waitrose.