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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Grandpa's Face-Interview with Illustrator Floyd Cooper

I'm super excited to tell you about this book! Why? Well, because I had the privilege of interviewing the illustrator, and of course, because it's a good book! 
The reason this book is so cool and the illustrator is even cooler, is because I see faces that look like mine and read about things I can relate to. The illustrations in Floyd's books are vibrant and familiar to me. I love it!!!

Grandpa's Face is about a little girl named Tamika who adored her grandfather, and even more, his facial expressions. No matter how angry, sad, or worried, Tamika always saw love in his face. 

Look at his face, it really is such a loving face. He seems like an awesome Grandpa to me.  

Later in the book, Tamika walked in on her grandpa rehearsing for a play he was in, and noticed a face that she have never seen before. She describe the face as as a hard face. She said he it had a tight mouth and cold eyes. She also said it was a face that could never love her or anyone. Because of this, Tamika became sad and worried that he might look at her that way one day. She tried to provoke him to see if he'd use that face on her. But he never did. His face always showed her love. And the book ended with her in awe admiring her grandpa's loving face.
                                                                                                                                                          Honestly, this book makes me think of my grandmother and her beautiful face. When I went back to New Jersey in spring of 2018, and my Mom Mom opened the door, I felt so happy, so much love and warmth. I love her face, her face makes me feel home.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.   I Started drawing on the side of our house in Bixby, Oklahoma at 3 years old. Grew up in low income housing, the projects in Tulsa, OK. Attended all eleven elementary schools in North Tulsa.  Teacher's noticed my drawing, submitted my work to a scholarship committee. I attended University of Oklahoma on scholarship. Graduated and went to work for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Moved to Manhattan, NYC.  After struggle, secured my first publishing contract with Penguin

2. How long have you been doing illustrations?  My first book was published in 1988.

3. How many books do you think you've illustrated up until now?  I have just finished illustrating my 109th book. I have written 5 books.

4. What do you enjoy most about doing this?  Being able to work in my PJ's. Getting treated like a star on Thursday's. (Hahaha I love this guy)

5.  Do you do freehand drawings, or do you have subjects?  For books I like to secure models, but that isn't always possible. Therefore, I free-style at every chance. Besides, I still love to draw.

6. What kind of tools do you use?  My work is distinctive in that I use something I call "oil erasure" whereby I erase shapes from a background to produce the images in my books.  There is no other illustrating books this way.  It is my voice.  My favorite eraser is the kneaded eraser, followed by the electric eraser.

7. What inspired you to become an Illustrator?  I believe that we are born with inclinations, things we like to do.  We do these things a lot because we enjoy them. That makes us better at these things. Some people call it talent. Some call it a gift.  If you do something all day, every day you will become "gifted".

8. Do you work with a publishing company or are you a freelancer?  I work with all of the major publishing companies and have contracts for the next 3 years. I try not to book to far in advance, you never know what might pop up.

9. Is there a piece that you're particularly proud of? If so, which piece and why?  I like the book on my drawing board because it's fresh.  My favorite book is MAX AND THE TAG-ALONG MOON because Dolly Parton added it to her Imagination Library last year and it has sold over 1.5 million copies.

10. Can you recommend me 3 new books to read, that you've Illustrated? 




Thank You Floyd for such an amazing interview!!! I appreciate you and best believe I'll be getting every book you mentioned!

Thank you all for reading!!!

Please come back again!!!

1 comment:

Scarlet Jei Saoirse said...

I'm geeking about this!!!!
I'm like super freaking proud of you yo. Good Job Mr. Afro Kid. Keep it up!!!