Laurie Thompson’s book, “My Dog is the Best!” is an adorably funny and sweet picture book with equally adorable art! I was lucky enough to interview the illustrator , Paul Schmid
(illustrator/author extradonaire of our household favorite, “Petunia’s Pet” among others) And, he sent sketches! (As an illustrator myself, I love seeing the sketches!)
Thanks so much for your great answers, Paul!
1. Your style changes a bit from book to book. Were there any particular things that influenced the soft & cuddly style of “My Dog is the Best!”? Did you use any new tools or processes?
2. Did the style or look change through the creation process or did you know how you wanted it to look in the beginning?
Paul: I developed the look for the characters fairly quickly, but the overall design of the book took several stages. We went from simple, to busy, then back to simple again. I really wanted the art to visually be in harmony with the story, which is so full of warmth and gentle humor.
3. Laurie said you have been friends for years but that the book was offered to you without a name, did you feel more pressure or less once you found out that Laurie was the author?
Paul: I fell in love with Laurie’s manuscript right away. It came in an email from my agent, who asked if I was interested in illustrating this story. Before I had even finished reading it I was sketching. By the time I did finish reading it, I had the book all laid out in my mind. Here are some excerpts from my emails with my agent:
4. The difference between the words and the pictures is brilliant. Did you realize the joke as soon as you read the story or did that come later in the process?
Paul: It came in the editor’s notes that the author had envisioned it that way, but as inferred above, I started in on the manuscript before reading the notes. If I remember right, about halfway in I thought it could be screamingly funny to have the dog sleeping. Great minds think alike.