Sunday, May 15, 2011

World of Ink Interview with illustrator Ronda Eden of The Brothers Foot

Ronda Eden was born in Adelaide, South Australia and spent her childhood dreaming about horses. She’s spent most of her adult life wandering around in a state of confusion over what she really wanted to do and now, middle-aged, she’s living her childhood dream. Ronda’s been a factory worker, Chinese cook’s assistant, pharmacy assistant, teacher, storyteller, writer,  waitress, bartender, dishwasher, cleaner, touring art curator, gallery owner, horse trainer and artist A.O.T. (Among Other Things). 

 
FM: Do you also do write or would you like to in the future?
Ronda: Yes. But I feel words are only for those who can’t read the pictures! LOL
FM: When did you first know you wanted to be an illustrator?
Ronda: When I realized I could not add or subtract for beans!
FM: What kind of training prepared you for your career as an illustrator?
Ronda: I have a Bachelors of Fine Art, a Teaching Degree and have taken lots of work shops but I still think its just a matter of moving the pencil around the page, making lots of mistakes and correcting them over and over again.
FM: Do you work as a full-time or part-time illustrator?
Ronda: Sometimes full time sometimes part time and sometimes not at all. I have many things going on in my life
FM: What is your favorite style of illustration?
Ronda: Anything that makes me laugh! I’m not too crazy about realism.
FM: Describe your workspace.
Ronda: A  room. Avery messy room!
FM: Who are some of your favorite children's illustrators?
Ronda: Theodore Geisel ( Dr Seuss) US , Rolf Harris, AU, Julie Vivas, AU, Quentin Blake, UK
Michael Leuing, AU,  Norman ThelwellUK
FM: What is the best advice you've ever received?
Ronda: Develop your own style. Look around for ideas and information but ultimately let your true self develop. Not someone else’s true self. If that make sense.
FM: Can you describe the process you go through when illustrating a picture book?
Ronda: I take huge pieces of newsprint ( I get end of rolls from newspaper printers in my area) and do lots of doodles of whatever comes into my mind. I develop characters first then try to picture them doing different things and having different expressions and gestures to depict what is happening. The setting comes later. Sort of like props and costumes on a stage. I make lots of changes all the time and sometimes throw it all out and start again. No details at first until I get the shapes and gestures I’m looking for. I run these passed the author for suggestions if I can.
FM: What advice would you give an aspiring illustrator?
Ronda: Do not get too serious or attached to your work. If you are not enjoying it re think what you are doing. Learn to laugh at yourself
FM: Can you share about any projects you are currently working on?
Ronda: Steve has written a sequel to the Brothers Foot and I will be working on the illustration again. So far I’ve just sketched out the character for ‘Farmer Fox’. Guess I’d better get to work on the res!. I’ll let Steve tell you more about it. It’s very cute (of course) and has another new song and dance.
FM: Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Ronda: At 54 years old I would still much rather read a children’s book than an adult one. Maybe it’s the illustrations. Maybe it’s the brevity. Or maybe I will just never really grow up!  Thank you so much for letting me share my thoughts here.
Ronda Eden a.k.a. Ronnie Roo
Come sing, dance and play with three rambunctious little rabbits in their happy little briar patch, because.... "that's where rabbits love to play!" They have peculiar names and play peculiar games and always, always together. You'll have a great time singing along to their own special song and you'll learn how powerful one little song can be when something scary, something no rabbit had ever seen before, comes right into their precious little briar patch. Play along with the guitar to the music in the book or email the author at Stephencormey@comcast.net to get your very own copy of the CD and DVD. So hop along and have some fun with The Brothers Foot.

The Brothers Foot   
Publisher: Authorhouse
ISBN Number: 978-1-4389-4269-8
Publication Date: 3-25-2009
Author: Steve Cormey
Illustrator: Ronda Eden

 Follow Ronda Eden, Steve Cormey and their book "The Brothers Foot" during the May '11 World of Ink Tour at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/TheBrothersFoot.aspx

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