Melissa Sweet on Firefly July

melissa sweet Melissa Sweet on Firefly JulyIn the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, Mag assistant editor Cynthia Ritter asked Melissa Sweet about her creative process when illustrating Firefly July. Read the starred review here.

Cynthia K. Ritter: Your visual interpretations of the seasonal poems in this collection are a mix of literal and symbolic. What was your artistic process like when approaching each poem, and also the book as a whole?

Melissa Sweet: These poems are short but evocative and they deserved a spirited interpretation. I began with the four seasonal spreads, hand-lettering the name of the season subtly within the art. This helped set the tone and anchored the book visually. Each poem was so different; some inspired more of an impression rather than a literal rendering. But at a certain point, the art takes over and I ask myself: what does this painting need? Keeping the materials simple — paint, pencil, a few collage papers, and judicious use of color — integrates the book as one piece of art.

share save 171 16 Melissa Sweet on Firefly July
Cynthia K. Ritter About Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is assistant editor of The Horn Book Magazine. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College.

Comments

  1. And a spirited work it is, methinks. One of our finest contemporary artists has given her fans yet another reason to place an order at their nearest Barnes & Noble. Fabulous follow-up to last year’s A SPLASH OF RED and BRAVE IRENE, and a sure Caldecott contender I would think.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*