Mark Braught, the illustrator of Cosmo’s Moon (check out my review of Cosmo’s Moon in the Picture Book link at the right) and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, has kindly offered to do an interview. It was my first time doing an interview and here it is:
Sir Books-a-lot: Do you use a reference in your drawings?
Mr. Braught: Yes, very much. Most of the reference I shoot & light myself. Also, there are sketches from life and a lot of reading to make sure things are correct. More time spent reading, gathering information and reference than actually painting.
Sir Books-a-lot: Do you have a favorite medium and why?
Mr. Braught: Sort of. Generally I work with pastels (chalks) because it is what I learned first & it is naturally the most comfortable, but all media begin with a drawing (that is my favorite). How a drawing is executed generally depends on what will communicate that drawing and its’ message the best.
Sir Books-a-lot: Do you have an all-time favorite piece of art that you have done?
Generally, I am most excited about the next painting to be done. It is always hoped “IT” will be the best one yet. There are few that I am fond of and have a special place like some of the work in Cosmo‘s Moon, but like most parents there isn’t a single “favorite”.
Sir Books-a-lot: What made you want to become an artist?
Mr. Braught: I’m not sure we have a choice when it comes to following one’s passion for something. That decision was consciously made almost at the end of high school when I had the opportunity to visit an editorial illustrator & Pulitzer prize winner Ding Darling of The Des Moines Register & Tribune. I had no idea, at the time, a career in art was a real possibility. It was something I just did for fun & pleasure. My afternoon with him settled that issue.
Sir Books-a-lot: What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream?
Mr. Braught: Breyer’s Coffee Ice Cream.
Did you want to become an artist wanting to illustrate kids books specifically?
Mr. Braught: No. I wanted to follow the path of the likes of Norman Rockwell, N.C.Wyeth, Bernie Fuchs and other such historical illustrators doing magazine covers, illustrations for editorial articles, posters & the like.
Sir Books-a-lot: What has been the highlight of your career?
Mr. Braught: Meeting an incredible number of wonderful and interesting people.
Q: Have you ever thought about writing a story to go with your illustrations?
Mr. Braught: I’m working on some things, but like art it isn’t always as easy as it looks and definitely takes some concentrated and continual practice.
Thank you again Mr. Braught!