Friday, April 3, 2015

Interview with Marla Lesage

I have the Fantastic Marla Lesage on my blog today. She is both a Writer and an Illustrator. She has a wonderful style as an Illustrator. Her work is fun and engaging. I believe she uses colored pencils and watercolors to achieve her pictures. I love the picture of the baby floating off on a ring with balloons attached. How lucky that giraffe was there to save him! If you want to see the picture it's the 9th image in Marla's portfolio here. Stick around for the interview first, though!

Besides having her art for sale at the new Shannex Parkland art gallery in Fredericton, NB Marla has been working on a lot lately. Her recent work includes: A story, "A Song for Dedi" which will be published in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada" and cover art on the spring 2015 issue of "Stepping Stones" magazine!


Dani: Why Children's Literature?

Marla: I've always been a bookworm and having children reintroduced me to the genre. We read a lot of children's books at home. I love reading picture books, the simplicity, the complexity. And the length of picture books is perfect for me right now.

Dani: Which famous story would you like to illustrate?

Marla: My own. But alas I haven't written any famous stories yet. So I'll go with Froggy Went A Courtin' - one of my favorite traditional songs. ( illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky won a Caldecott for the 1956 version by John Langstaff.) I'd like to give it a modern feminist twist.

Dani: Finish the following thoughts:

Children don't...
have a filter (preschoolers at least). They'll say the rudest thing in public like "Look she's really fat!" or "He only has one arm!" And it's completely innocent because they haven't learned about society's stigmas yet. As a parent it can be embarrassing. But I think as writers and illustrators, it gives us the opportunity to influence the next generation in positive ways.

Art is...
everywhere. It's not confined to galleries or museums. It's on our clothes, in our houses and our hearts. Mother Nature is the ultimate artist. I think we try to mimic her expertise.

I need...
more time. I have so many story ideas and art ideas. I have to remind myself that I don't need to do everything now. I can tuck the good ideas away for the future. I just keep trying to take baby steps towards my goals and see where it leads.

Dani: What's special about your work?

Marla: It's mine. I'm always amazed at my creations. Not in a conceited way though! It's just really satisfying to create something yourself when we live in such a commercial society. I think we sometimes forget that a real live person created the art we see around us.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Marla: I want to be a positive influence on the people around me. Especially my children, but also my community.

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