Emirates Festival of Literature 2020: We catch up with Kate Hindley

The children’s book illustrator is coming to Dubai

Emirates Festival of Literature 2020: We catch up with Kate Hindley

Children’s book illustrator Kate Hindley is Dubai-bound for the Emirates Festival of Literature.

Hindley’s first book appeared in 2012 when she illustrated The Great Snortle Hunt for Claire Freedman and since then has created illustrations for picture books by a plethora of kid’s book authors like Michelle Robinson, William Bee, Sean Taylor and Simon Philip.

Having beautifully brought Santa Montefiore’s Royal Rabbits of London to life with her charming, lively, black and white drawings, Hindley will be entertaining the little ones at her fun session on Thursday February 6.

We catch up with the talented artist to talk about her love of drawing as she shares her top tips on encouraging kids to get arty.

How did you get into illustration?
I’ve always enjoyed drawing ever since I was a kid. My favourite subjects at school were English and Art, and I spent much of my spare time making little books and comics. Eventually I went to Art School where I got a degree in Illustration, and they helped me put together a fancy folder of work I could show to children’s book publishers. My first job was designing patterns for clothes and stationary. A couple of years later I got my first book deal and have been working as a children’s book Illustrator ever since.

Do you prefer drawing animals or people?
I think it depends on how interesting the character is, both can be really fun to draw!

Which of the books you’ve illustrated is your favourite?
Illustrating Santa and Simon Sebag Montefiore’s The Royal Rabbits of London was great fun as it was so different to any other book I’ve illustrated before (and it’s always good to have a new challenge!) I also have a soft spot for the Treacle Street series, which are the first books I have written and illustrated myself.

Were you always good at art?
I’m not always good at art, some days it feels like I’m terrible at it! But I have always spent a lot of time drawing, and drawing always gets better the more you practice.

What would you say to any kids wanting to become an illustrator?
I think it’s important to practice your drawing (even if you don’t think you’re very good, the more you try the better you will get.) It’s always easier to draw things that interest you so spend a little bit of time reading books, magazines, comics, or looking in art galleries to find what inspires you. It could be anything from technical ink drawings of alien space craft to fuzzy watercolours of puppies. Whatever you like!

Is all the illustration done using technology now? Or do you still use more traditional methods?
All my work still starts as pencil drawings. Plotting out my rough ideas in my sketchbook probably takes as much time as doing the final artwork. When I’ve roughed out how my final idea is going to look, I usually draw the outlines in pencil or ink, and then scan it in and colour it up digitally. That way it’s easy for me to make any last minute changes for the publisher. But if I’m making work for myself I often like to do everything by hand using ink and pencil crayons.

What will little ones be doing at your workshop?
I will be showing everyone how I come up with characters for picture books, and then we’ll invent some new characters of our own!
Dhs39. Thu Feb 6, 4.30pm-5.30pm. Emirates Festival of Literature InterContinental, Dubai Festival City, www.emirateslitfest.com (04 355 9844).

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