Meeting the amazing and talented illustrator, Kelly Murphy has GOT to be one of the absolute highlights of an already incredible trip. In a nutshell? I adore her.
She has amazing energy and is sweet and funny and I seriously want to do an entire book tour with her. (So everyone go out and buy tons of Beastologist books so we can have a Kelly and Robin Beastolgist Book Tour. We promise to come to a city near YOU!)
One of the things that was so fascinating was how very many thing we had in common. Weird things. Almost eerie things.
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here before, but when they were talking about illustrators for the books, my editor directed me to Kelly’s (old) website. Her home page was a map. With a compass. And under Favorite Books, she’d listed ATLASES!! How perfect a fit was that?
But the amazing coincidental similarities don’t end there. At one point in time I had seven brothers, Kelly has five! And one sister! I also have one sister.
I get goosebumps whenever I go into a museum or library, and Kelly gets goosebumps whenever she looks at a statue.
We both do very similar type collages when we’re brainstorming our projects.
We both ADORE the research stage.
The list goes on and on. Pretty astounding, really.
It was so fascinating to see Kelly’s presentation and hear how she approached illustrating the books and the decisions and choices she made in order to evoke certain things about Nathaniel in very spare, clean lines.
She was also incredibly generous and showed kids lots of her rough sketches so they could see just how raw early work was, even with a professional illustrator. The kids especially loved watching her draw “on the spot” and seeing Nate come to life before her eyes.
Really, I am the luckiest of authors to be partnering with her on these books. Thank you, Kelly!