Please tell us a bit of what your book is about.
The book is a story about a little boy called Eric who longs to be creative, but doesn’t know how to express it.
What kinds of themes / issues are raised in this story?
The story gives a message of not giving up, that if you keep trying you will achieve your goals.
Does the story resonate with you? What kinds of challenges or rewards did you gain from illustrating this story?
I loved illustrating this story. Eric struggles to find his own way to be creative, trying out different methods has he goes. As an illustrator it is sometimes difficult to find a way of getting your ideas out of your head and onto paper in a way that is visually exciting, appealing and also illustrates the story. I did play around with this book a lot before I decided finally on how it would look, and I was as pleased as Eric himself once I’d found the right method!
What is your favourite illustration from the book? Why this one?
Hmm, difficult to say which is my favourite! I think maybe the one where Eric is showing his pictures to his dad, and they make him smile. This is probably my favourite because it was the first image I was happy with Eric and Dad as characters, and was the starting point for how the rest of the book was going to look. I also like the interaction between the characters here, Dad being proud of Eric for trying his best.
What media and/or techniques did you use for this story?
I used a variety of techniques with these illustrations. I draw the characters and many of the items in pencil then work on them digitally. The details and backgrounds are created from a mixture of paint, collage and Photoshop brushes.
How would you describe the support of publishing process? How long did the illustrations take to complete?
Wombat Books were great to work with, they ensured that myself and Robert were able to get the most out of our collaboration together, with helpful suggestions along the way. The illustrations took about 12 months in total with a few breaks in between to work on other projects. Often after a break they would take a new direction, but I am pretty pleased with the end result!
What was the collaboration like between yourself and the author? Any surprising moments?
Robert Vescio was great to work with, I showed him my ideas along the way and tried to ensure that both of us had an input in the final outcome of the illustrations. I always try to collaborate with the author where possible, I am very aware that it is their heart that has gone into the story and we both need to be happy with the outcome.
What teaching and learning ideas would you suggest to complement this book?
Please click here for teaching notes by Lamont Books and Wombat Books.
Do you have a book trailer to share?
Please let us know where we can find more on you and your book.
Ann-Marie Finn can be found at her website: https://amfillustrations.wordpress.com, and
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/amfillustrations/.
More information on Eric Finds a Way can be found at Wombat Books.
Thanks for sharing your story and gorgeous illustration process with us, Ann-Marie!
Ann-Marie Finn is an illustrator and author of children’s books. She lives in Brisbane with her two young boys who inspire new stories and ideas every day. She started her career in the UK, but migrated to warmer climes in 2007 and is now a happy Australian and proud owner of The Mad Hatters Bookshop in Manly, Queensland. She has a growing collection of children’s books to her name, including A Trip to the Moon, Captain Kieron and I Despair of my Hair. She is also the illustrator of Lulu and My Brother Tom with Wombat Books.