Meet Mandy France!
(for more information on how
to submit a post for consideration click here)
My name is Mandy France and I am children's book illustrator. I work
part time as a graphic designer for the Walt Disney Company in Florida
and the rest of my time is spent illustrating in my studio at home.
What inspires me most is travel. Whether I actually travel someplace
new, read about exotic lands, or watch a documentary, I am truly
inspired by travel. It's just something about new places and spaces
that get my creative juices flowing. When I think of traveling to
distant lands, I just want to get my sketchbook out and start drawing.
My husband and I trekked the Inca Trail in Peru this past September,
and when I got back I filled 3 sketchbooks!
I do all of my illustrations digitally using my Cintiq. I have been
painting in oils and acrylic for years, but now that I have moved to
the digital realm, I feel like I have a lot more options with my
painting style. I paint in Photoshop and I never have to wash my
brushes or figure out a way to store my unused paint! And did I
mention the undo button?
There are a lot of ups and downs in this field of work. I'm a rather
new illustrator, so trying to find an agent and sending samples to
publishers takes up most of my time. Something that has really helped
my transition from graphic designer to illustrator has been joining
SCBW: The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I
recently returned from the SCBWI conference in New York City where I
met a lot of fantastic illustrators and authors. If you are at all
interested in working in the Children's book field, I highly recommend
joining this society.
Illustrating children's books is my passion. After I lost my mom to
cancer last year, I realized that life is too short not to do what you
love. So I made sure to make illustration a priority in my life.
Although I have yet to illustrate my first children's book, I feel
very connected to this community. Illustrating is what makes me happy
and I want to pass on that joy to children who will someday read the
books I will illustrate.