Illustrator Spotlight: Lisa M. Griffin

 

© Lisa M. Griffin

Dec. 1, 2020

Today we're excited to feature illustrator Lisa M. Griffin and her banner design for Kidlit411. Enter to win a copy of her picture book, HEY GOOSE! WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE? (Boys Town Press 2017), about a young gosling named Boone who is afraid to try new things, even with some gentle encouragement from his family and friends.




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

I grew up in Maine in a family that was very crafty, so a appreciation of all things handmade began early. Like many artists, I have fond memories of getting the big box of crayola crayons (with the sharpener in the back) and spending hours drawing, sketching and coloring with them. In high school, I took as many art classes as my schedule would allow and then pursued my art degree in college, graduating with a BFA in Visual Design & Illustration in 1994. After graduation, worked several jobs (bank teller, admin, graphic designer) while I pursued my dream of being a children's book illustrator. It has been a long and winding road, but I'm grateful that I didn't give up on myself. Over the years, I have worked on some wonderful stories and met some truly amazing people too.

 
Congrats on your website banner for Kidlit411. Tell us how you approached this project.


© Lisa M. Griffin


Thank you! I remember seeing the call for submissions and thought it sounded like a fun. Plus the theme was right up my alley, since I love illustrating birds. I worked on some rough ideas in my sketchbook, playing around with this idea of how some creative birds might spend an afternoon.
 
What is your illustration process & preferred medium?  

Typically, I begin with very rough, messy sketches and fine tune from there. Occasionally, I will work with a watercolor and colored pencil, but most of my work is done digitally. I love adding textures to my illustrations, and there is a freedom to working that way digitally. 

© Lisa M. Griffin

The last book that I illustrated traditionally was over 8 years ago and I had carpel tunnel surgery following it. It made me rethink how I worked and that was the turning point to moving into a more digital platform. After a lot of practice, I made the shift to digital when I was able to mimic my traditional creative process using a combination of Corel Painter and Photoshop. Plus, it's a lot easier (and faster) for me to make changes for clients now.
 
What projects are you working on now?

I am wrapping up illustrations on a book for one of my favorite educational publishers that will be out next year and I have PB dummy that is out on submission. 

© Lisa M. Griffin


 
What advice would you give to your younger self? Is this the same advice you'd give to aspiring illustrators?

I would have joined SCBWI earlier than I did. It is a great organization for creatives of all levels. I have made some wonderful friends and attended workshops taught by Brian Lies, Dan Santat, Peter H. Reynolds... just to name a few. SCBWI is an fantastic resource for creatives who want to learn more about publishing, gain inspiration and make friends within the industry. 
 
© Lisa M. Griffin


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

I love to bake bread and desserts, especially around the holidays. I have so many fond memories of baking with my mom and memere. We even had a planned "cookie day" that was spent with a few family friends - an entire day spent making and decorating Christmas cookies. It's a tradition that I have continued with my own kids and friends. Although a day of baking is tiring, there is something special about spending that time together, talking, laughing, decorating and then sharing homemade treats with others. The only downide... so, many, dishes!
 
Where can people find you online?
My website is www.lisamgriffin.com and I am most active on Instagram at @lisamgriffinart. 
 
 
Lisa is an illustrator and licensing artist who works from her home studio. She has illustrated numerous children's picture books, including two author/illustrator titles. She is a proud member of The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). Lisa lives in New Hampshire with her husband, three active teenagers and two furry rescues. 

 

 
 
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Comments

  1. This looks like a fun book--congrats! And I hope your next one includes that adorable rabbit as a character:-)

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    1. Thank you! I would love to work on a story with sweet rabbits one day too.

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  2. This is adorable! I love your illustrations!

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    1. Thank you, I loved drawing Boone and his family.

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  3. Book looks great, think my twins will love it!

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  4. ❤ your work. Reminds me of Bambi's meadows or Cinderella's forest friends. Charming...

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  5. Your art is amazing! The book looks wonderful, too! Thanks for sharing with us!

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    1. Thank you very much. It was wonderful to be asked to share. ;)

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  6. Your art is so endearing. Congrats on the release and thanks for the great interview!

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  7. Beautiful illustrations. :) @Readingteachkbp

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  8. I so hate trying new things! I love that this book is out there for our littles. Thank you!

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    1. My youngest son inspired Boone. He was quite stubborn and didn't enjoy trying/doing new things either. The kicker was that when he finally did he almost always enjoyed himself. :)

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  9. Thank you for the Illustrator Spotlight and all the kind comments. I enjoyed reading them this morning.

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  10. I soooo love Lisa's work. Congrats on your latest book , Ms. Lisa!!!

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  11. Your book sounds so cute and matches your adorable illustrations. The bunny with the heart melts mine each time I look at it. Congratulations on your book!

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  12. I love your banner, Lisa, but I absolutely swooned over the illustration of the little bunny holding a heart!

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    1. Thank you, I do love drawing little fur babies. :)

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  13. What a perfectly charming book. Thanks for an interesting interview.

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  14. It didn't occur to me before reading this interview, but of course book illustrations are often done digitally now. How fascinating.

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  15. I love your picture of the gosling on the front of your book. What a good topic to center the plot around, one that every child can identify with. Great interview, Lisa!

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  16. This looks like a really cute book with cute illustrations.

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