I loved Eric Brace’s illustrations the moment I saw them. Many of his pictures made me laugh out loud. After the book came out, I wrote to ask him a few questions.
Did you grow up drawing?
I did draw a lot as a kid. In our kitchen we had a wall that was dedicated to our drawings…it was like our own mini museum. I loved filling that wall with my pictures. By the time I was in high school, I also had framed drawings up and down the main hallway of our little ranch house in Colorado. After high school I went to the Kansas City Art Institute where I graduated with a degree (BFA) in illustration.
What did you like about illustrating Please Write in This Book?
One of my favorite parts about this job was reading the manuscript and then trying to imagine the way each kid would draw. I wanted Yoshiko’s drawing style to be very fluid, heavy, and calligraphic; Luke’s style is a messier version of how I draw cartoons; and I imagined that Milton was so precise that he would grid and graph each of his drawings into place. For the other styles, I looked at my niece’s and nephew’s drawings for inspiration.
What kind of materials did you use to make the drawings in this book?
I used a wide brush-like pen, pencils, skinny ballpoint pens, and a computer, all in an attempt to give the characters their very own drawing styles.
Where do you live now and what do you like to do besides draw?
I live in Kansas City in house that sits on the top of a small hill. This house is messy inside unless I’m having visitors. I collect things—from cricket cages to clocks. I have at least one of anything you can think of. When I’m not drawing I like to take photos, weld, play tennis and softball, eat sandwiches, and even write in my own journals, just like the one in Please Write in This Book.
Illustrations copyright © 2006 by Eric Brace. All rights reserved.