Monday, September 25, 2017

Kitty Cat Lover Shearry Malone

Shearry Malone is a self proclaimed kitty cat lover. I can't help but instantly like someone who loves cats! I heard about Shearry from Tara Lazar's blog you can read her awesome story here: After reading the article I HAD to see her website (you should check it out too). Shearry creates such adorably fun images. These cute little hamsters are new images!

The two Alfie books Shearry has illustrated come out soon. You can pre-order "Absolutely Alfie and the Furry Purry Secret" and "Absolutely Alfie and the First Week Friends" written by Sally Warner, now!


Dani: Who is your hero?

Shearry: My hero would have to be my grandfather. Luke Shearry. I was named after him and he was a much beloved man. He had a long career as a minister but also had a creative side, working with his hands, building and remodeling homes. He was a constant source of support for me personally and artistically, always full of wise grandfatherly advice and also purchased a few of my early paintings (which I would've gladly given free of charge). To me, a hero is a true role model in your life and he was always a glowing example of that in mine.

Dani: How was the submission process for Absolutely Alphie? Did you have specific passages you needed to illustrate, or did you read the story and choose what to illustrate?

Shearry: For Absolutely Alfie, I was sent an initial manuscript, that may or may not have been the final fully edited version. I read through it and tried to come up with a few good cover ideas first. The cover images are always the first hurdle. After that, I tend to re-read the manuscript more thoroughly and decide for myself which images to draw that best sum up the gist of each chapter. Those rough drafts are sent over for review and eventually, descriptive notes about what should stay and what should go arrive and the cycle repeats until everyone is happy!

Dani: I hear a lot of great things about the CATugeau Artist Agency, but why did you choose that agency in particular?

Shearry: Choosing The CATugeau Artist Agency wound up being a really easy decision for me. I had a couple of offers for representation when I started out, and while they all seemed like wonderful agencies, they all felt a bit too large and impersonal for me. I was concerned with being lost in the shuffle. CATugeau not only felt warmer to me, but also came with extremely experienced and well connected agents. After just a few short conversations, I felt right at home and like I could ask a million questions, which I had at the time, without feeling like such a rookie. It's been a wonderful choice so far.

Dani: What is the hardest thing for you being an illustrator?

Shearry: The hardest thing for me being an illustrator has been getting images out of my head and onto actual paper. I get bogged down, overthinking how I want a finalized image to look, and realize that I haven't even put pen to paper! What I've learned to do is to scribble down whatever pops in there and stop expecting perfection in the rough draft phase! I think of it like taking a test in school. If you get stumped on a question, make a note of it and finish answering everything else! I'm always surprised how many of those scribbles turn into finalized pieces in the end!

Dani: Do you have any advice for those working on their dummies this month?

Shearry: I would advise that you really stick with whatever your God-given style/palette is. Don't follow trends and the right art director and project will find you. I'd also say that it's important to have a website displaying more of your work, not a tumblr etc, but an actual website if you haven't taken that step. It shows that you're taking your craft seriously and are willing to put a little money behind it. If an AD likes your dummy, they may want to see more and you want to have that readily available for them! Other than that, just keep going and believing in yourself! I didn't get my foot in the door until my mid 30's, so it's never too late to achieve your dreams!


Follow Shearry:

Shearry's Agent CATugeau:


  1. Love your sketchy illustrative style! Thanks for sharing that you also get frustrated when the images in your head don't always appear on paper with the first attempts... Good luck with your new Alfie books coming out.

  2. Your characters are delightful, Shearry! Thanks for the inspiration and advice.

  3. Yup getting the initial idea down on paper is definitely one of the hardest steps to completing anything!

  4. Your work is adorable Shearry! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Such delightful artwork, full of life and spontaneous expression. Great idea to think of scribbling down ideas like taking a test and coming back to the hard parts. I loved hearing about your interesting path towards publication in the link, wow! Looking forward to seeing your work on bookshelves!