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Twenty Questions with
Ginny Baker, Illustrator & Designer :
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Twenty Questions with
Ginny Baker, Illustrator & Designer

Ginny Baker is a wonderful illustrator and designer who has been charming me with her pictures, especially the ones she created of the animals in my novels: Hamlet from What Milo Saw and Louis and Mrs Fox from The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells. Her style is fresh, quirky and emotionally engaging. Through having my little girl, Tennessee Skye, I have developed a new admiration and love for illustrations. I spend hours reading to Tennessee from her book case of beautiful picture books and can see the magic in her expression when an image speaks to her. I wish that adult novels had more illustrations, it seems like a wrong assumption that, just because we are older we shouldn’t need the joy and stimulation of images to accompany the stories we read. Maybe that’s what graphic novels are having a revival.

As well as creating gorgeous illustrations of my characters, Ginny has been working on picture book (we harbour a dream of writing a picture book together…watch this space), as well as some business graphics for a Tearoom.

Ginny lives in the north of Scotland. Here is a little insight into her world.

hamlets

Hamlet from What Milo Saw by Ginny Baker.

 

 

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Girly, Sarcastic and Geeky.

What inspired you start illustrating?

I always have done, from when I could hold a pencil it was natural for me to draw things from stories I loved, so I guess I’ve just never grown up.

What do you love most about your work?

I get to see it come together and have the satisfaction of finishing it, so essentially the selfish fact that it is mine.

What do you find hardest?

Mental blocks…..they make me drink way too much tea.

What kind of child were you?

A cutlery kleptomaniac with a penchant for spoons.

Where do you work?

Wherever I plonk myself down, usually near a kettle.

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

Flying….or breathing underwater I can’t decide which. It would be nice to save on airfare.

Which project have you most enjoyed?

At the moment I’m working on a Menu for a children’s fairy tale book, which is fun.

What’s your greatest strength as an artist?

Imagination, even if it’s not to do with your work you need it as an artist and it certainly makes life a lot more interesting.

Waiting

Ginny Baker’s imagination at work!

What’s your greatest weakness?

Self-doubt…I think.

What relationship do you see between illustrating and storytelling?

A very natural one, when you tell a story a picture naturally builds up for the audience even if it’s just a colour related to a mood, so they are essentially self-illustrate.

Do you think there is a place for illustrations in adult fiction?

Definitely, if you consider the adult population that go to galleries, watch films, plenty of ways to enjoy visual stimulus so why not in books.

What are you reading at the moment?

A New York Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Orson Welles, Derren Brown, Tony Stark, Jonathan Richards (VM: the man who introduced us and an amazing artist), my Granddad and my friend Willi who makes the best Strudel.

What is your earliest memory?

No idea, I think it’s looking at a box of kittens in the kitchen.

Who is your favourite fictional character of all time?

The Little Mermaid…or Pearly Soames from the book I’m reading at the moment.

What is your favourite word?

Phenomenology

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Notice the little pleasures in life.

What song or piece of music would you choose as the theme tune to your life?

This is difficult as I sing a lot when I’m working…really depends on my mood as to what answer I would give at the time, could be Disney, it might be ‘The Pina Colada’ song.

What three tips would you give an inspiring illustrator?

  • Don’t stress, if you need a minute take a minute.
  • Use everything as inspiration.
  • Keep going.

You can follow Ginny on tumblr.

lou

Louis from The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells by Ginny Baker.