Inside the Studio with Katy Wu, Illustrator of Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
The Children’s Book Review | May 28, 2016
Inside Katy Wu’s Studio
My studio is in my small 250 square foot studio apartment in the lower east side of Manhattan. I’ve never had such a small apartment before, but all apartments in NYC are small. It was a challenge to fit all my books in the apartment but I’ve found small places to squeeze them in. I try to make my living space comfortable and enjoyable to be in, so there are lots of plants, artwork, textiles laying around, and the amount of light is good. For a while I had my computer desk facing a wall and I realized that was making me cross-eyed, so I have it facing the room now even if that makes the layout more awkward. There isn’t much space to put it elsewhere. In the photos the desk is facing the wall, I think the room looks nicer this way!
Katy Wu’s Creative Process
I’ll start by researching the story and the history surrounding it. This might take a few days as I read and look at photos and let it sink into my head. Then I’ll start looking at artwork that I find inspiring or if it resonates with the story being told. This helps me develop a unique visual look for the project. At some point I’ll start sketching out the dummy, during this process I start to get a better idea of what the book will look like. Once I start creating the actual pages in photoshop on my Cintiq, it can be hard to stay consistent as the style tends to evolve as I paint more pages. That’s part of the challenge of trying out a new style but I enjoy it.
Written by Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated by Katy Wu
Publisher’s Synopsis: “If you’ve got a good idea, and you know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it.”
The inspiring story of Grace Hopper—the boundary-breaking woman who revolutionized computer science—is told told in an engaging picture book biography.
Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English.” Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper’s incredible accomplishments to life.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1454920007
About Katy Wu
With a BFA in Illustration and Entertainment Arts from Pasadena Art Center College of Design in 2007, Katy Wu has worked for Google, Laika, Pixar, CinderBiter, and Simon & Schuster. Grace Hopper is her first picture book; her second, Dumpling Dreams, written by Carrie Clickard (Simon and Schuster), is scheduled for fall 2017. Having worked on such projects as the feature film Coraline, and various shorts (La Luna, Car Toons) as well as CG, 2D, stop motion, online games, and content for social media platforms, Katy is an incredible talent. She lives and freelances in New York City. Follow her online at katycwwu.tumblr.com.
Discover more books like “Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code,” written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our articles tagged with Computer Science Books, History, Katy Wu, Laurie Wallmark, Science, and Women’s History. And be sure to check out more authors and illustrators featured in our Inside the Studio column.