Here at Science Shepherd, we know that raising kids who love exploring God’s Creation doesn’t have to wait until kids start homeschool in kindergarten or 1st grade. So today we’re sharing a special interview with Kate Fallahee, the illustrator of our board books for babies and toddlers; What Can You Do, Australia? (WCYDA) and What Can You Do, South America? (WCYDSA).
Kate Fallahee currently works as a freelance graphic designer and children's book illustrator. She has had a passion for drawing since kindergarten and is always looking for ways to improve. She has an Associate’s Degree in Design & Graphic Technology, and her favorite things to draw are cartoons and expressions. Kate hopes to one day work in the animation industry as a storyboard artist or character designer.
Kristen Hardin for Science Shepherd: Kate, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! How did you decide to become an illustrator/graphic designer?
Kate: I've loved illustrating since I was a kid, so I always knew it was something that I wanted to pursue. I remember when I was in kindergarten I started drawing all the time, and never really stopped! It's still my favorite thing to do.
Science Shepherd: What kind of training did you get to become an illustrator?
Kate: I was mostly self-taught in regards to illustration! I also liked looking at animation / artists that I admired, so I think studying other creators helped me create my art style as well. I decided to go to my local Technical College for a 2 year Graphic Design degree, which really helped me improve on the way I choose colors and create composition. I was able to really grow in regards to my graphics / illustration skills and knowledge and gained some real-world experience in the design / print field during an internship. It was after I got this education and training that I realized I could prove my illustration skills and qualifications through freelancing!
Science Shepherd: What is one of your favorite things about being an illustrator?
Kate: I love bringing my ideas / characters to life through illustration. It's so much fun to create expressive characters with their own personalities and illustrate the worlds they live in.
Science Shepherd: What is one quality that you think is needed to be a good illustrator?
Kate: I think passion & dedication are super important. Illustration can take a lot of time and patience, so I think you have to really love what you do in order to make a career out of it! (Time management is another one that is crucial as well!)
Science Shepherd: Good advice! Which of the animals in WCYDSA is your favorite?
Kate: I love how the illustration for the anteater turned out!
Science Shepherd: That’s fun! We love it, too, and hope it brings delight to all the little ones who get to enjoy your bright and engaging illustrations. Can you describe for us the basic process you went through to create the illustrations for WCYDSA?
Kate: After reading the script for the story and researching the different animals, I sketched the covers and pages in black and white to share with the author [Science Shepherd author Dr. Scott Hardin]. Once the sketches were approved, I then shared the final colored pages with [Dr. Hardin]. After all the illustrations were approved, I put the finalized pages into Adobe InDesign to lay out the text and set up the book for print.
Science Shepherd: Were there any challenges with creating the illustrations for WCYDA?
Kate: The main challenge was making sure the animals were as accurate as possible. I have a really cartoony style, but I'm really happy with how the illustrations turned out upon completion!
Science Shepherd: We are happy with them, too! Which of the animals featured in WCYDA is your favorite?
Kate: I loved illustrating the Southern Cassowary!
Science Shepherd: Fun! For anyone out there who wants to become an illustrator, what advice do you have?
Kate: I think drawing every day is really important. You learn something new with each illustration you complete, and it's the only way to grow in your skillset. Finding artists that you like and studying how they create their work is really helpful as well. You can learn a lot from studying other experts and applying their techniques to your own work!
Science Shepherd: Great advice! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us, Kate, and for using and developing your God-given skills. They’ve been a blessing to Science Shepherd, and we hope all the families who read What Can You Do, Australia? and What Can You Do, South America? feel the same way. Keep illustrating!
To check out more of Kate’s work, visit her website at katesillustrations.com.
Kristen Hardin is happily the wife of Bill, mother of a baby, Spanish teacher for wonderful homeschool students and author of a children’s picture book called Miss Mary: A Tale of Old County Clare.
Until next time!
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