Illustrator Spotlight: Kara Frost


© Kara Frost

June 1, 2020

We are pleased to feature illustrator Kara Frost and her banner design for Kidlit411.


© Kara Frost

Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children. 

Like many in the field, I’ve always been creative, always made art, and always felt connected to children’s books. For me, the dance between image and text in a picture book is such a poignant and unrushed way to tell a story, and its rhythm just feels right.



© Kara Frost

In school I studied papermaking, bookbinding, and wrote my thesis on 20th century children’s lit, and eventually I taught elementary school, which offered the chance to jump into books alongside young readers and share that joy daily. I am currently the SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator for my regional chapter in Oregon.

Tell us how you approached your banner design for Kidlit411.

© Kara Frost

At the time, I’d been experimenting with backgrounds created from scanned found papers as well as building proficiency with Procreate. I like clean, flat styles for web graphics, so I tried to stay in that zone. For content, I’ve always loved the look of a tableau with characters in a world all their own, and a banner is a perfect format for that. In my mind these birds are like kids on a playground, all absorbed in their own moments. 

What is your preferred illustration medium and process?


Lines and little details have always been my thing, along with a longstanding love for paper (which has led to a big collection of maddeningly small scraps). Pen & ink with watercolor is my main squeeze, but when I want to get more hands-on, collage allows me to grab those scraps and play. 


©Kara Frost

Much of my art combines these, often digitally – I’ll scan and merge elements and then make adjustments in Procreate or Photoshop. Thankfully, the brilliance of others often inspires me to push myself and try messier mediums; you never know what breakthroughs might be waiting until you dig in.


© Kara Frost


What projects are you working on now?


Current PBs in progress include: THE PERFECT PLUME, about a bird who must protect her most treasured possession, ABUELO’S GARDEN, about quiet wisdom that carries on through family, and MO DOWN THE AVENUE, about a runaway dog and an underdog in downtown Buenos Aires. A few others are in the works but are still busy marinating.


© Kara Frost


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


I speak Argentine Spanish and (now rusty) Dutch. There is an incredible Children’s Book Museum in the Netherlands, by the way! It's in Den Haag and is highly recommended (once things open again…).


© Kara Frost


Where can people find you online?


© Kara Frost
For illustration, check out www.kara-frost.com or my Instagram: karafrost 


Thank you for the haven of KidLit411 and for opportunities like the banner contest! This group provides a wealth of resources to so many. I am deeply grateful for the kinship and learning that the kidlit community fosters — it’s beautiful to know there are so many people who feel the magic in this work!

Kara Frost is an author and illustrator based in Portland, Oregon. She has lived in the Netherlands, Argentina, and across the United States, but Ramona Quimby’s stomping ground feels the most like home. When she’s not living in picture books, she’s working with educators to deepen instructional practice in mathematics and reading.
 

7 comments:

  1. What a beautiful depiction of you! You are pure art, in all forms. I am proud to know you & you motivate me as an educator myself. Well done!

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  2. I cannot remember a day you did not draw. This, your fourth language, has always been my favorite! For every line you draw, you can always find space
    to fit in one more detail. And, it's in the details you catch the magic, the spirit, the joy, and their personalities.

    Your magic is having eyes that see the world with the wonder of a child; it speaks in your art. It has always made me smile. :)

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  3. What an approach to art and storytelling. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. I can see your sense of humor in your art and in the little gleam in your eye. You seem to have fun with your art too.

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing. And congrats on the banner. I love your sense of humor, it shines through your art.

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  6. Fun banner! Thanks so much for sharing with us. :)

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  7. Your artwork creates a peaceful feeling and celebrates the imagination. The little girl with a crown of toilet paper is not only humorous but shows the spirit of celebration. I liked the monochromatic background and found myself looking on the shelves to see what the little girl valued. The banner also captured the joy of childhood and playfulness.You definitely know how to share the magic through your artwork.

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