Sara Richard is an illustrator from New Hampshire. I had the pleasure of meeting her at San Diego Comic-Con. Currently she’s working on covers for IDW’s “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” series, and soon to be Powerpuff Girls. She also illustrated a five-page story in IDW’s Womanthology. She has illustrated the Eisner Award-nominated “Kitty & Dino”. All her work is handpainted in acrylic paint. Her interests are hang gliding, Dr. Who, dinosaurs, ghost hunting and Art Deco /Art Nouveau.
For what age audience do you illustrate?
“Kitty & Dino” is targeted at young and first-time readers, but is fun for everyone who likes cats and dinosaurs, or just likes a cute, simple story!
Henry: Doesn’t everyone love the combination of cats and dinosaurs?
Tell us about your latest book.
“Kitty & Dino”, published by Yen Press, is about what happens when a little boy brings home a dinosaur egg and the family cat raises the baby dinosaur that emerges from the egg! At first the cat doesn’t like the burden placed on her, but the two unlikely friends grow very close and have fun adventures!
Henry: Great concept. It’s like “Flap Your Wings” meets Jurassic Park!
What aspect of illustrating do you find most challenging?
Trying to keep the characters consistent in size is the hardest for me. But also trying to figure out what the writer has imagined in their mind and translating it to paper!
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being an illustrator?
Be flexible when working with clients. Personally though, listen to critiques of your work, but don’t take them as personal insults. It’s just business sometimes!
Henry: As a writer, I have learned to separate critiques of my work from my ego. Critiques help you be a better writer or illustrator, so in the end, constructive feedback only improves your craft.
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been an illustrator?
Going to the Eisner Award when “Kitty & Dino” was nominated for Best Publication for Young Readers.
Henry: That is pretty AWESOME!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Like I said above about the critiques. Don’t take them personally. I find this is a big problem for emerging artists. A critique, especially a harsh, one can hurt feelings. Just treat it like work, and not anything personal. Also, draw every day!
Henry: The writers I interview say the equivalent thing. Write-write-write. And read-read-read.
Do you have any favorite quotes?
“Teach the world to move to your sound, hop around and twirl around, and put a little mustard on it” – Electric Six. It’s such a fun idea, and what I want most is to have fun sharing my art.
Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you create?
I usually make tea.
Henry: Sara, you are ca-raaa-zy!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Definitely flying. I hang glide and that helps fill that wish. But yeah, flying. Or being able to turn into animals, which I guess being able to be a bird would also fill that need to fly!
Henry: That is a fantastic choice! It’s my first request for turning into animals. You’d gain all their superpowers: breathe underwater, fly, chameleon camouflage, repulse unwanted advances (thanks skunk!), regrow teeth (thanks shark!), spit accurately (thanks Archerfish!), swallow a capybara whole (thanks Anaconda).
If you could have three authors/artists over for dinner, who would it be?
Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh for one. She’s one of my favorite artists. Plus she would have an awesome Scottish accent to listen to. I would love to talk to Neil Gaiman too. Finally Erte. He was a fabulous costume designer and did a lot of wonderful Art Deco fashion design.
Henry: Per wikipedia: “Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1864–1933) was a Scottish artist whose design work became one of the defining features of the “Glasgow Style” during the 1890s. Together with her husband, her sister, and Herbert MacNair, she was one of the most influential members of the loose collective of the Glasgow School known as “The Four”. She exhibited with Mackintosh at the 1900 Vienna Secession, where she was arguably an influence on the Secessionists Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann.”
“Romain de Tirtoff (1892 – 1990) was a Russian-born French artist and designer known by the pseudonym Erté, the French pronunciation of his initials, R.T. He was a diversely talented 20th-century artist and designer who flourished in an array of fields, including fashion, jewelry, graphic arts, costume and set design for film, theatre, and opera, and interior decor.”
And shame on you, if you don’t know who Neil Gaiman is.
What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?
I like werewolves. My favorite characters are usually werewolves, as strange as that is.
Henry: Which flavor of werewolf? Howl at the moon and eat you, or bare-torsoed six-pack toting?
What do you like to do when you’re not drawing?
Definitely hang gliding, or doing any outdoor activity. I like Karaoke, watching Dr Who and Buffy and other fun shows and movies, and also ghost hunting when I can.
Henry: “If there’s something strange in your neighborhood. Who ya gonna call? Sara Richard!”
What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
Eaten by a T-Rex, or Out to lunch BRB.
Where can readers find your work?
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or even your local comic store. My online portfolio can be seen at http://www.SaraRichard.com.
This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.