Inside the Studio with Stephanie Graegin, Illustrator of The Thank You Book
The Children’s Book Review | September 19, 2018
STEPHANIE GRAEGIN received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She later attended Pratt Institute, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. Stephanie now lives in Brooklyn. The artist behind many children’s books, including her very own Little Fox, her latest collaboration is with author Mary Lyn Ray for The Thank You Book.
Inside Stephanie Graegin’s Studio
My studio is in a basement of a brownstone in Brooklyn close to Prospect Park (my friends have dubbed it ‘The Submarine’ because of the mess of pipes running along the ceiling). I work at a smart desk, which conveniently can switch to a standing desk with the touch of a button. I have flat files from IKEA to hold all my drawings. They are incredibly affordable and useful to keep things organized by project. I’m also fanatical about collecting picture books, so my studio houses bookcases that are filled to brim with them.
Stephanie Graegin’s Creative Process
While working on a book that I am illustrating (not authoring) I’ll start by reading the manuscript and doodling first impressions and reactions in the margins. The next step is very tiny thumbnails (about an inch by 2 inches) to figure out the pacing, flow and compositions. I then move on to sketches on Post-it notes; I find them easy to move around to resequence, and their small size allows me to quickly iterate ideas. I scan in the Post-its and blow them up in photoshop to make the first round of sketches that I’ll then send to my editor and art director. Simultaneously to the editor and art director working on their end, I continue to spend a lot of time working on ideas in my sketchbook, figuring out what the characters look like, and what the details of their world should feel like. Once I have comments back from my editor and art director from the first round of sketches, I work bigger, and add more detail to the sketches. For final art, I scan in my detailed larger sketches, which become the framework for the lines. I also create layers of watercolor, crayon and pencil textures. Using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet, I compile all these pieces along with (of course) color.
Learn More About Stephanie Graegin
Written by Mary Lyn Ray
Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Publisher’s Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Margaret Wise Brown and Pat Zietlow Miller’s Be Kind, The Thank You Book explores the many ways of being thankful that can fill a child’s day. Timely, wise, and accessible, the poetic text and tender illustrations celebrate the powerful impact gratitude can have on our lives.
Thank you isn’t just for learning manners.
It’s also for when something wakes a
little hum—a little happy hum—inside you
and you want to answer back.
The Thank You Book explores the many ways we can be thankful for the pleasures great and small that await us every day. Tender and poetic, it reflects on the role gratitude can play in our lives and celebrates the powerful impact it can have on us.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | September 4, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0544791367
Discover more books like The Thank You Book, written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our articles tagged with Gratitude, Picture Book, Stephanie Graegin, and Thanksgiving. And be sure to check out more authors and illustrators featured in our Inside the Studio column.