Hi Suzanne! Thanks for stopping by my blog, especially to reveal the cover for your debut as author/illustrator!
Thanks so much for having me, Dylan!
Tell us a little bit about your new book, A Trapezoid is NOT a Dinosaur!
When my daughter was in preschool, I heard she was going to learn what a trapezoid is. I made the first draft of this book so she and I could better understand this shape. The project began as a concept book that focused on every shape that a trapezoid is not. Years later a cast of characters brought the story to life.
Today, the forthcoming picture book is about a bunch of shapes who all want a part in Triangle’s play, Shapes in Space. Circle, Square, and Star each get a part. Trapezoid, however, just doesn’t fit in. The other shapes think a trapezoid is a type of dinosaur. Determined to get a part, Trapezoid acts like all the other shapes to no avail. Eventually, he celebrates his own shape properties to help make the show a blast.
My daughter is now in high school. We’ve both learned a lot since that first draft!
Tell us a little bit about your writing/ illustration process.
I start with a sheet of plain white copy paper and follow where the pencil takes me. Sometimes the drawings lead the way and other times the words do. I often use character and story templates I’ve developed to generate ideas and then I make mini books so that turning a page becomes a call to action. I wonder what will happen and often discover more than I imagined possible.
A big idea or the finished product tend to garner attention, but there’s a big messy middle with a lot of mistakes and discoveries. That’s where the real work and great joy takes place. And that is rarely done alone. I’m so grateful for all the people who see drafts of my work and whose feedback helps to shape it.
The final artwork in this book was created by hand with graphite and watercolor then assembled digitally.
Have you always been into writing/illustrating?
Yes! Making books has been my lifelong dream. I’ve always loved stories and making things with my hands. My art has taken many different forms, including sculpture, jewelry, and painting. I’ve also enjoyed a career in brand strategy, packaging, identity, and design.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
When I am writing and drawing! Making a book is a lot like solving a puzzle. It’s pretty exciting when the pieces come together. I also love sharing my stories with readers.
What inspires your creativity?
I’m often inspired by a question, or a problem I want to solve, or an observation of the world around me.
What is one thing that readers don’t know about you, that only you could tell us?
I have a knack for finding four leaf clovers. I feel lucky!
If you weren’t writing/illustrating books, what do you think you’d be doing?
When I am not writing and drawing, I might be painting a landscape, hiking, swimming, or speaking to aspiring writers and illustrators.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
More stories! More art! I’m excited to share my work and connect with readers in schools, libraries, and bookstores. I hope to inspire others to reach for the stars with their dreams.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers of this blog?
This is not only my cover reveal, it’s my first online interview. If you’d like to learn more about my work, please visit my website at suzannemorrisart.com .
Thank you again for having me, Dylan.
And thank you for sharing the cover of “A Trapezoid is NOT a Dinosaur!”