Jacque's newest book "The Bear Said Please" was released on April first of this year. She has written and Illustrated many children's books including, "That's Not a House!", "That's Not a Milk Carton!", 'That's Not a Balloon!", That's Not a Raincoat!" and That's Not a Moo Cow!" The first four of which were created to help promote rural life in the cities.
Jacque: This is a kind of tricky question. I work in all art mediums (including etching) and my artwork ranges from photorealism to complete abstraction, therefore even my approach to various fine art works vary as each medium or subject requires. (For your question I will answer for my current love of semi-abstract urban landscape canvases.) Both my fine art pieces and my illustration works are creative, they come from the same place in my heart (and head). Being very busy, both have to be allocated time; so unless I have a spurt of “I must do this NOW, quick, run and get the brushes out”, I make a conscience decision of what requires my time. I work best when under threat of a close deadline, or violence, so, even though I say I allocate time, I am still working quite spontaneously. The one BIG difference is, I stand up and dance whilst I paint on canvases, and I sit or lounge when illustrating, often with my eyes closed while I am trying to visualize the image.
Dani: Do you have any art tips that you would like to share with us?
Jacque: The white page or canvas can often be discouraging. I am known for making a mark or doing an upside down scribble before I start a canvas, this to loosen up and just to get rid of the white. Sometimes I will spill paint on purpose too (I wear a lot).
Dani: What do you do when you have writer's/artist's block?
Jacque: I vacuum. That is a no fail way to come up with an idea. I loathe cleaning and am naturally very messy, vacuuming puts me into a mood so I talk to myself; eventually I come up with a crazy idea or two.
Dani: How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
Dani: Which of your books is your favourite?
Dani: I've heard you've had a lot of success with your books in schools and libraries, could you please tell us more about this?
Dani: Do you have any new book ideas that you're working on?
Jacque: As I said before I have a problem with ideas. What I need to do is finish things. Last year being part of 12 x 12 was the BEST thing I could have done for myself. I learned so much about writing picture books (who knew it could be so complicated - like an intricately woven doily on Granny’s sideboard) and the monthly check-ins kept me producing.
PiBoIdMo made me organize my ideas pile (mountain) a little better, I now have a dedicated handmade book that I add to daily. The best thing about joining 12 x12 I managed to polish many stories thanks to the critiques from those people (like you) that I have become friends with, you guys are without doubt the most generous, trustworthy, and … I could go on here. So far this year I haven’t spent as much time with my 12 x 12 buddies and I miss them terribly but I have been crazy busy with two solo art exhibitions, a city beautification project in a city far away, and the launch and promotion of my latest picture book “The Bear Said please”. There is as much hard work and creativity in promoting a new book as there is in actually producing it. For the moment, I am going to concentrate on “Anzac” as well as continue to write new stories and make more time to visit the forums on 12 x 12.