Last week was all about ME. Me,  Me, Me... I tell ya, by the end of the week,  even I  was sick of ME!

Luckily, this week brings us mini-interviews of the hep and talented Mikela Prevost- and with her comes a breath of fresh air and fresh illustrative perspective!

Mikela Prevost is a children’s book writer and illustrator who happens to be a quite adept toy picker upper to her three children and lunch maker to her graphic designer husband.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find her on Twitter and her website www.mikelaprevost.com

Before we get down to the questions, let me just say that I think Mikela is one of the coolest gals I know. She's sharp, and funny and always perfectly pulled together (just like her work). We share a love of (and need for) coffee, as we each have a passel of little ones running about our studios. And on those  late  nights  when my phone chirps at me with a text from Mikela saying she's making another fresh cup of joe... I know that there's someone else across town who's still up working, and knows that I am too. Very cool.

All that to say, that as Mikela's fan/friend I couldn't possibly be an impartial interviewer of this pal-o-mine, so I've asked Barbara Walters back to host the Q and A portion of this post...

Take it away Barbara and Mikela!

 Barbara: Your work like all good art, speaks for itself. But, if you had to describe your work in terms of your artistic influences, you would say its:

Mikela: My work could be described as Norman Rockwell gets a job at a Beat Poet advertising agency. People expressing emotion, involved in situations, just living life in a mixed media, retro, patterned style.

Barbara: What influences in your life most influence your art?

Mikela: People- not surprisingly; Advertising of the 50's and 60's; and for children's books - my kids, they are a wealth of inspiration.

Barbara:  Of the six fundamentals of 2 dimensional design (line, shape, volume, perspective, shading, color):
Which is your greatest strength?

Mikela: I would probably say color, I love to pair complimentary colors and patterns in a funky vintage way. Having a limited palette is also helpful to keep me from going to Clown Collage with my colors.

Barbara: Which is your greatest love?

Mikela: I love the use of shape and how one can distort the figure using shape.  This is something I strive to improve on in my own work, but I am such a slave to the figure, I do a great deal of mentally wrestling with myself and telling myself to break rules.

Barbara: Which poses the greatest challenge for you?

Mikela: Line! And oh how I love line! Once I bought my first Arthur Rackham book, I swore to myself I would one day master the beauty of a lovely line drawing. I feel working with line is the least forgiving and requires the most confidence of all the fundamentals.

Barbara: How do you approach the blank page to begin a new piece or a new project?

Mikela: Once I've gone through the thumbnail process and then a larger rough, I work on my stretched watercolor paper with a col-erase pencil (usually Rose or Tuscan Red) and start lightly blocking in the elements with basic shapes, just to get the proportions in correctly. Then I start refining, still with the col-erase pencil, and adding detail. I love working in warm colors in the initial drawing because that warmth radiates in a subtle way through the final illustration.

Barbara:  How does your medium affect your working style and contrariwise, how does your style influence the way in which you use your medium?

Mikela: With my style I have to think the process through in a very linear way, which is odd because I feel my work looks so haphazard at times...There are certain things I love, like watercolor, but that has to happen first, and then the rest has to be arranged around that process. Again, breaking rules is when I have the most fun but also the most difficulty in doing, especially when it comes to breaking my own self-imposed rules.

Barbara: Here's to breaking the rules. Thank you Mikela!

If you missed yesterday's interview with Mikea on Juana's blog you can check it out here.

And be sure to catch Mikela's interview of her self on her blog on Thursday and the Mikela's final mini-interview on Laura's blog on Friday!

 

And as a grand finale Mikela will be giving away this original illustration

on Monday November 14!

To enter for your chance to win- you can leave a comment here.

Or...

Follow Mikela on Twitter and RT @mikelaprevost Enter to win an original illustration #giveaway

 

Next week in the mini-interview series:  Barbara and I will be chatting with the lovely Laura Jacobsen!

See you then!