Illustrator Spotlight: Joanie Stone

© Joanie Stone

Nov. 26, 2016

Today we are happy to feature illustrator Joanie Stone.

Tell us about yourself and how you came to children's illustration.

Like most every artist, I've been drawing since I can remember. I distinctly remember playing with my cousin at around the age of 7, we were pretending we worked at Disney and I would 'animate' by copying drawings of the characters. As I was drawing away I was having so much fun and the drawings actually looked good. I single-mindedly wanted to be an artist from that day forward. 


© Joanie Stone


I studied animation and worked for awhile as a designer but after I had my daughter, my path changed. I was surrounded by all these amazing children's books and I think I enjoyed them more than she did. I loved spending hours at the bookshops browsing through all the books and admiring the art and I wanted to be a part of it. I was hooked.


© Joanie Stone


What is your preferred medium and who are some of your influences?

I work digitally in Photoshop, although I do like to paint in gouache and I recently got into topic markers for sketching. I am greatly influenced by artists of the 1950s-60s, including Richard Scarry, J.P. Miller, Mary Blair and Tom Oreb. I am really drawn to a sort of flat graphic style with really interesting shape design. And I absolutely love the drybrush texture theses artists created in their gouache paintings and it is something I strive to achieve in my own work.


© Joanie Stone


Can you walk us through your illustration process?

My process always starts with a rough sketch, either in my sketchbook or directly in Photoshop. I then trace on top to clean up my sketch. My next step is something I started doing only in the last year or so and it has improved my art tremendously. I take my cleaned up sketch and paint it all in gray scale. I do this to work out all the values first which is so important. I then replace the gray with color, choosing colors that are of the same value as the gray underneath so as not to lose the value structure. I start with the big shapes first then add the details like faces, hair texture, etc. at the very end. It takes me longer than going straight to color but the results are worth the effort.


© Joanie Stone


 © Joanie Stone



© Joanie Stone


What projects are you working on these days?

I am in the middle of working on my first children's book coming out this spring! It is called THE BLOSSOM SHOPPE, written by Katherine and Caroline Brickley, and it has been such fun to work on. I continue to explore and learn each day and I am very excited to see what else is around the corner for me.


© Joanie Stone


What is one thing most people don't know about you?

I love to get all dolled up and go swing dancing, although I'm not very good at it yet, it is a ton of fun.



© Joanie Stone

Where can people find you online?

My website is http://joaniestone.com/ and I post most regularly on my instagram at https://www.instagram.com/joaniestoneart/

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Joanie Stone​ was born and raised in Virginia, where she still lives today. She has a love for all things vintage, especially children's book illustration art of the 1950s. When not drawing she can be found swing dancing with her husband or exploring antique shops with her daughter.

12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. ". . . print."
      Silly smart phone trying to pick my words for me!

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  2. Beautiful,beautiful artwork! Keep it up! Love it; )

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  3. I love your style and the fresh but vintage feel of your illustrations. Looking forward to your first children's book.

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  4. Your art takes me back to the picture books my mom had saved for me from when she started teaching kindergarten. Happy, warm memories of stories shared together.

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  5. Love it so much! (My 7-yr-old is sitting next to me saying, "Wait...someone actually drew that?! Wow! She's talented!")

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  6. Thank you everyone for your lovely and kind words!

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  7. Been following your art, first on Tumblr and more recently on Instagram, for quite a while now. Such an amazing nostalgic feel to your work. Reminds me a lot of the books handed down to me by my parents back when I was growing up in the 70s. I think it is the shapes and colour 'textures' you use that really draw me in.

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  8. Oh my goodness! That picture is beautiful! My ten-year-old is obsessed with mermaids. I would love to have this picture in my home.

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