Buckle up as we blast off on Day One of Sid’s Big Blog Tour! To start, we have a great Q&A with illustrator Irina Avgustinovich, hosted by @family_book_club_. See what Irina has to say about ‘big fibs’, books and becoming an illustrator…
My children love this book so we were very excited to be able to host a Q and A with the amazing illustrator.
1. When you were little did anyone tell you a ‘big fib’ and did you believe them?
I am very naive and trusting in life; I can’t remember a story from my childhood, but now I’m laughing at my husband who says that in childhood he caught a carp about 70cm wide with his hands. He presents it as the truth but despite my naivety, I laugh and do not believe him.
2. Which of Sid’s Big Fibs was your favourite and why?
With great pleasure I savoured how the inventor Sid came up with a story about an alien and was even able to realise it with the help of his little sister. It was a very fun moment.
3. How long did it take to illustrate the book?
I was very inspired by the project. It was my first project for an English publisher, so I worked quickly with great pleasure (about a month and a half left for the whole book).
4. Which was your favourite page/character to illustrate in the story and why?
I enjoyed drawing space with all these textures of spots and planets – for the first time in my life I drew a spaceship. And my favourite character is Sid’s younger sister – she is very ridiculous and funny.
5. What is your favourite children’s book?
Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine – it’s not exactly childish but has been my favourite for a long time.
6. If you could illustrate any children’s book what would it be?
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Gram.
7. When did you decide to be an illustrator?
In my Soviet childhood, I had a lot of children’s books. But I dreamed of making cartoons (although I did some kind of children’s books as a child in notebooks and albums). I illustrated the first book while studying for a bachelor’s degree in ceramics at the Belarusian Academy of Arts. I would say that the ‘book’ found me by itself; I never really looked for orders and work, book projects found me by themselves. But I am immensely happy to be in this profession – I consider it a great privilege.
8. What are your best tips for becoming an illustrator?
I have a classical painting education and sometimes I think it’s a disadvantage. I will not reveal a secret if I say that you need to burn with illustrating – work VERY hard – but most importantly, love this deal. Be bold, be open to new things, be a bit out of this world, have a wild imagination and be an optimist and believe that your pictures should be seen by the world and small readers.
Thanks Family Book Club and Irina! 🙂
Sid’s Big Fib is available to pre-order here.