HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12Inside the Studio with Doogie Horner, Illustrator of Kid Authors
Inside the Studio with Doogie Horner Illustrator of Kid Authors V2

Inside the Studio with Doogie Horner, Illustrator of Kid Authors

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.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park

NYC Public Library

My studio away from home, the NYC public library.

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.

Knitted owl

Knitted owl that hangs on my wall.

books on shelf

Books, books, books.

Pictures on Desk

Pictures on my desk, including an Exhumed Films print by HauntLove and a photo from my friend Dale’s wedding and of course Thanos.

Doogie Horner Drawing with Son

Drawing with my son. I keep my studio door open so he doesn’t feel like I’m ignoring him. If he comes in I stop working and we draw together for a little while before he loses interest and goes back out to the living room to play with his cars. It slows me down, but it makes me feel better.

Suff on Desk

More stuff on my desk, including some of my sketches tacked up on the cork board.

Artist Desk

I have two desks, one for working and one for piling stuff on. This is the one for piling stuff, although it’s relatively clean at the moment.

Doogie Horner desk

My working desk.

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.

Doogie Horner Sketch

A tight sketch for the book Kid Artists. You can see the rough sketch underneath in red pencil.

Inking on the computer

Inking on the computer.

Doogie Horner Sketch2

Another tight sketch with pen above for scale.

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.

More books and a close up of the cork board on my wall.

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

Available Here: 

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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 , , and . And be sure to check out more authors and illustrators featured in our  column.

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by a guest author.

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