Saturday, January 29, 2011

Conference Interview with Little, Brown AD Patti Ann Harris

Illustrators attending the conference today can spend each of their three breakout sessions with a real live art director. Let me know if you want me to pinch you all, because this is definitely a dream come true.

There're two pre-conference interviews for Lucy Ruth Cummins and Denise Cronin already, and here we have one for Patti Ann Harris! Give Patti Ann the thumb's up or a high five if you see her—she art directed recent Caldecott Honor winner DAVE, THE POTTER.

Also art directed by Patti Ann
Jaime: What's your average day like?

Patti Ann: I have to say that there really isn't an average day at the office. Each day is a mix of meetings with editors, phone calls with illustrators, updates with designers, it's a pretty full day. My challenge is always to carve out some quiet time to design and work on my books. There are a few titles each season that I work on from start to finish. Oftentimes, I get a book up and running, sometimes working through the sketch phase or finalizing the details on a new format. Book publishing is a collaborative art and that collaboration has always inspired me. I'm lucky to work with an amazingly talented and dedicated group of designers and editors, so the work day is anything but average.

Jaime: Are you currently acquiring illustrators?

Patti Ann: I can't say that there is a specific style of illustration that I'm interested in. I think I'm more drawn to a strong character or a unique point of view. That's what I respond to most in illustration. I also love to see different media explored like letterpress printing, collage or any blending of traditional medium with digital to invent something new and exciting.

Jaime: Would you like to give us a hint of what your conference session topic will be?

Patti Ann: I'll be giving an overview of the novelty and picture books that we publish at Little, Brown. Our list has a great variety of books that range from cloth and board books for babies, pop-ups, and other fun novelties to more traditional picture books. I'd like to share some themes and subjects that I think resonate. My goal is to help open up illustrators to the many possibilities in book publishing.

Jaime: What's your favorite children's book cover of 2010 (not done by your publishing house)?

Patti Ann: The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood illustrated by Renata Liwska

Jaime: I love THE QUIET BOOK! Kill, kiss, or marry: Helvetica, Baskerville, or Comic Sans?
Patti Ann:  Comic Sans, not a laughing matter, kill it. Helvetica, loved the film, kiss it. Baskerville, easy on the eyes, marry it.

Jaime: Favorite Pantone color?
Patti Ann: Pantone 2935, a peaceful and meditative blue.

Jaime: What is your favorite thing to do in late January in New York?

Also art directed by Patti Ann
Patti Ann: I love to browse in bookstores and New York City has some of the best. I recommend The Strand, Books of Wonder and The Bank Street Bookstore. There's also a great 2 for 1 promotion going on for off-broadway theater tickets. Go to for more info and other fun events in the city.

Jaime: Holy cow, I think Patti Ann might be moonlighting as PR for the city. These are great suggestions! Any not-to-be missed galleries for visiting illustrators?

Patti Ann: Go visit the Society of Illustrators at 128 East 63rd St. There will be a great exhibit of editorial and book illustration beginning Jan. 26th.

Jaime: Thanks so much, Patti Ann! Illustrators, you know you want to see all these great art directors talk today. SCBWI Team Blog promises to fill you in on all the sessions you're missing.

No comments:

Post a Comment