Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Youth Art Month young artist interview with Emily Ann Vinson

March is Youth Art Month and, to celebrate, I will be interviewing four very talented young artists. These four young artists have one thing in common: They have all had their work published by GMTA Publishing. This is one of the things I love about GMTA; they are very open to working with young writers and illustrators. GMTA is a very big supporter of young writers and artists and I am thrilled they have published the work of four very special young ladies. (Don’t feel left out, guys; I hope by the same time next year I will be able to feature some young male artists for Youth Art Month 2014!).

The third young artist I am featuring is Emily Ann Vinson. Her mother, author Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson, started promoting her new children’s book, Queen Emily’s Enchanted Kingdom: Sugarland, published by GMTA Publishing, and that’s when I found out her young daughter, Emily, had illustrated the book. Not only this, but Emily has also done some cover art, as well. Kudos, Emily! I am thrilled to include this talented young artist in my series for Youth Art Month.

Welcome, Emily!

How old are you?

8 1/2

How long have you been creating art?

For as long as I can remember. I remember my interest in drawing being in kindergarten. I loved to draw shapes of all kinds and turning them into pictures of houses, cars or even caterpillars.

What kind of art do you do?

I like drawing self-portraits and pictures of things I see. I also like creating my own journals out of used paper and giving them a colourful cover with construction paper. I write plays and make-believe stories. I create all kinds of art out of paper as well as find a use for empty tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls (I make them into airplanes and guitars for my Barbies).

Who has inspired you as an artist?

I love Garfield comic books. I wish I could draw like Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield.

Where do you get your ideas for your work?

I think of special events or places I’ve been which are really pretty and then draw the things I liked the most about them. My favourite is when we go camping with my friends or traveling to different places in the summer.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Cartoonists – especially of Archie comics and Garfield.

What type of art do you like to do the most and why?

I like to draw self-portraits. It is fun to try to see if I can draw the person exactly as they look from using only my memory.

How long did you practice your art before you decided to go pro?

I have been drawing since I was five-years-old. I was seven when my mom and I came up with the Queen Emily series. I knew I wanted to draw the pictures for the stories we created.

A sample of Emily's artwork in Queen Emily's Enchanted Kingdom: Sugarland.
Copyright 2012 by Emily Ann Vinson.

The cover Emily created for Litterbug. 
Copyright 2012 by Emily Ann Vinson.

What kind of advice or tips do you have for other young artists?

Pay close attention to details of what you want to draw. For example, if you want to draw self-portraits, make sure you have all the details of facial features and what the person wears and looks like. If you make some notes with the details, you will be sure not to forget anything.

What do you do when you are blocked and can't create any art?

Sometimes I get frustrated creating the pictures for Queen Emily, but my mom can usually help me figure out what we should draw.

What kind of art are you working on right now?

I have a LeapPad. Right now I’m using an App that I can go to and pick photos I have taken to be stretched out and mirrored. I twirl the pictures around and create them into hallway looking images which can be highlighted and detailed.

Do you have anything coming out we can look forward to seeing? Where and when?

I will be drawing some of the pictures for the next Queen Emily’s Enchanted Kingdom series. The new book is called Dreamland and hopefully will be out in April.

What are some of your goals for your art?

I would like to draw pictures that people can look at on the internet. Maybe when I get a bit older, I can start a blog for my art.

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