The Children’s Book Review | October 13, 2017
Author David Stabler and illustrator Doogie Horner have created several books together, including Kid Presidents (Quirk, 2014), Kid Athletes (Quirk, 2015), Kid Artists (Quirk, 2016), and Kid Authors (Quirk, 2017). Here you will get to have a peek inside Doogie Horner’s studio and his artistic process for Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers.
Inside Doogie Horner’s Studio
My studio is a room in my house, although since we had a baby I’ve done most of my work either in coffee shops or at the library. When we lived in NYC I loved working at the big library at Bryant Park, the one with the lions in front. I also worked a lot at Aubergine Cafe, a little coffee shop right under my apartment, and the Tibetan Cafe down the street. I also draw on the train sometimes or in the park, subway, or wherever.
Regarding my home office, it is lined with books. I love books. I tape art up on the walls. My studio isn’t particularly fancy or unique. I worry that fetishizing my studio would turn it into more of a shrine than a workshop.
Doogie Horner’s Creative Process
Because I draw in random places I’ve developed a drawing process that allows me to do it whenever and wherever I want. I sketch small in a sketchbook using colored pencil lead, red and blue. Then I do a tighter sketch over that line work with a rollerball pen (Uniball Vision Elite, Ultrafine, or sometimes a Micron). Then I scan the tight sketch and do the final ink on my laptop with a Wacom tablet.
The foundation of my illustration is drawing—as opposed to color, form, texture or composition. I care first and foremost about the line. I also care about the actual content, what characters are doing, what’s in the picture. I try to make it kind of funny. My drawing process is pretty conventional: I try to work from reference or real life when possible. I create my forms using basic geometric shapes. Lately I’ve been trying to simplify the shapes, get rid of unnecessary details and make my line thicker. You can see that evolution if you compare Kid Authors to my first Kid Legends book, Kid Presidents.
Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers
Written by David Stabler
Illustrated by Doogie Horner
Publisher’s Synopsis: Funny and totally true childhood biographies and full-color illustrations tell the tales from the challenging yet defining growing-up years of J. K. Rowling, Beverly Cleary, J. R. R. Tolkien, and 12 other great writers.
Every great author started out as a kid. Before the best sellers, fan clubs, and beloved stories we know today, the world’s most celebrated writers had regular-kid problems just like you. Sam Clemens (aka Mark Twain) loved to skip school and make mischief, with his best friend Tom, of course! A young J. R. R. Tolkien was bitten by a huge tarantula—or as he called it, “a spider as big as a dragon.” Toddler Zora Neale Hurston took her first steps when a wild hog entered her house and started chasing her! Kid Artists tells their stories and more—the diverse and inclusive cast that includes Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, J. K. Rowling, Sherman Alexie, Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, Stan Lee—through kid-friendly texts and full-color cartoon illustrations on nearly every page.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Quirk Books | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1594749872
Discover more books like “Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers,” written by David Stabler and illustrated by Doogie Horner, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our articles tagged with David Stabler, Doogie Horner, and Non-Fiction. And be sure to check out more authors and illustrators featured in our Inside the Studio column.