Thursday, October 11, 2012

1-2-3 Va Va Vroom Illustrator Interview: Daniel Griffo

A few years ago I was lucky to connect with author Sarah Lynn. Through her, I interviewed Valeria Docampo, illustrator of Sarah's lovely picture book, Tip Tap Pop. Sarah's latest book is available now, on Amazon. 1-2-3 Va Va Vroom is a counting book for your littlest speedsters.
Below is my interview with the book's illustrator, Daniel Griffo.Thank you, Daniel!
Q. The finished art for Va-Va-Vroom is digital and clearly you have great command of that medium. Is your process digital from start to finish, or do you still use pencil and paper?
A. Sometimes deadlines are too close, therefore, I sketch my work straight on the computer screen, which translates into an important saving of time. However, even if the final stage of all my works is digital, I still enjoy paper sketching  of preliminary ideas. When sketching, I like doing a lot of doodling on paper  and  experiencing many textures, which I later scan and apply in  the final digital version. In the case of Va-Va-Vroom I had enough time to sketch on paper, which I really enjoyed.
Q. Were there any particular challenges in illustrating this book?
A. The major challenge of this book was the story background. Being a topic so much appreciated  by children, it took me some time to study the environment and try to recreate the images. I made use of a variety of car models which matched  the personality of every child of the story. I haven’t chosen particularly racing cars. Based on the imagination perspective and personal taste of children, I imagined that each car needed to show something personal. I decided  that animal patterns on cars and helmets could  be a good idea. My 4-year-old son, Benjamín, showed real enthusiasm for the design. 

Q. Never mind the drawing challenge with all those cool cars with fancy rims: you have several really BIG scenes in this book (stadiums, crowds, wide views of fencing, roadways, etc). How do you tackle such complex scenes?
 A. It’s true, when I first started sketching the book I noticed  the big scenes and the amount of details I had to face. Recreating them filled me with enthusiasm; yet, the most complex to solve were the shots. My aim was to use every illustration as a means to capture the little reader with a new vision. Images contain the framework and scene from different angles. My goal is to generate expectations and movement through images; something good fun and different to encourage kids to go further into the story. I didn’t want to bore them with similar settings from the artistic  point of view.
Q. I think my favorite illustration might be the last page - I love that you brought them back to their 'real' world, but kept their cars and racing outfits - it lets the kids wonder if it was all real or not. Do you have a favorite spread in the book?

A. As an artist I’m in love with all my images.  I  like each of them for special reasons –  either the framework or some peculiarity. I absolutely agree with you, I believe that the unexpected  ending for the reader -the doubt: “was it all real or not?”- makes the last illustration one of my favorites.
You can visit Sarah Lynn's website here. You can visit Daniel Griffo's website and blog here. Be sure to check in later today for the winner of the Owlkids' book Learn to Speak Fashion! 
****Congratulations Nina Crittenden!!!!******
DM @ginamarieperry on Twitter your address so I can send your book out!

1 comment:

roz said...

Congrats to Nina. Great interviewm Gina, thanks!!