Friday, November 16, 2007

Illustrator Interview

Meet Illustrator Frank Lowe!
Featured book: The King’s Silverware
Bio: Frank A. Lowe (Illustrator/Graphic Designer)
Resides in La Habra, California, but was raised in Whittier just one city over. Being the second youngest in a family of six children and also being born between two sisters, Frank found himself too young to hang out with his older brothers and too bored for the tea party scene with his two sisters. Drawing and doing art became the perfect outlet for Frank to pass the time in his childhood days. Frank has now worked professionally for over 20 years in the art field. He has worked in animation in such studios as Marvel Films (Spider-man), Hyperion Animation (Life with Louie, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Happily Ever After [for HBO]), along with many others, doing everything from story-board to character development. He currently works as a graphic designer, designing corporate identification packages for small businesses. Frank is illustrating picture books for children in the age group of 4-7. The King’s Silverware is the first picture book out of a two-book deal he has with Olive Leaf Publications.

Web site: Samples of his work are posted at

Q: As an artist, what technique do you prefer to work with?
A: What I like to do is spend some time praying and considering each project I do. After a short while I begin to brainstorm on a large 18 x 24-inch sheet of paper using just a graphite pencil to get my ideas for each one of my characters or background layouts. As soon as I have an approximate design completed, I scan the line art into my computer to make it into a layer in whatever software I might be using, to begin rendering and colorizing each piece.

Q: What inspires your creativity the most?
A: I don’t like to fill my head with other people’s work. Because when I do, I start to imitate them too closely. I listen to other people’s advice for structure, layout, rendering, and foreshortening, and that’s it. As far as style goes, I would have to say I’m most influenced and inspired by the scenery of day to day life. I think that the Lord has created the best backdrops that have ever been done. And as far as inspiration for character development, the Lord came up with millions of them to populate this rock we live on called Earth, so I just take a walk and I come back with all I need.

Q: Describe a highlight of this book project for you personally.
A: I think that a highlight for me while I was working on The King’s Silverware was when I saw each character all drawn out and completely colorized for the very first time. The best way to describe it for me is, a little kid seeing a new toy for the first time and thinking of all the possibilities and things that can be done with it.

Q: Share one tip you feel children’s book illustrators in today’s market need to know regarding staying up-to-date on computer technology.
A: To answer this question, you would need to consider the fact that I’m an artist who was basically railroaded into the computer age. I would have to say that you should do all you can to make sure you as the artist don’t lose your creativity in the technology. There are people spending all their time coming up with new and improved ways of making boxes look three dimensional and so real that you think you can touch them. But after all…it’s still just boxes.

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