International Literacy Association's Reading Today

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson - Talented Illustrators


Blue Marlin Publications, 2013, illustrators, Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson

I recently attended a luncheon at the Children's Book Council, at which I enjoyed listening to Sarah Harrison Smith, children's book editor at the New York Times, discuss what interests her the most when considering which children's books to review. Ilustrations. "So often, I want to know more about the illustrations, how they were done, the media used, etc. I'd really like to learn more about that process." Of course! That makes so much sense. 

So I asked Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, our illustrators of Sofia's Stoop Story, to comment on their unique style for this book, and here is what they said: "The illustrations are collage, acrylic paint, and ink on paper. Photos, patterns, and text are manipulated in photoshop, printed out, and collaged onto a rough sketch. Multiple layers of acrylic paint and ink are then applied. Probably, the most unique part is that we both work on each painting. Most people who work as teams divide the work, but we pass the paintings back and forth, working in layers."

I've pasted an illustration here. You can see the multiple layers of recipes, tickets to baseball games, and newspaper clippings. Each illustration tells its own story. Awesome, right?