Featured Illustrator: Chris Haughton

chris_haughton_aoiChris Haughton is a favorite artist of mine—such a brilliant sense of humor and most of all so very deceptively simple (and believe me, as a picture book writer, I know how extremely hard that is to do…)

Behind a “simple picture book” are revision after revision. With How To Be A Baby, for instance, I had over 22 drafts! And just listen to the idea behind the book in his interview below. And the quote he cites. From Einstein no less. I love how high a view this demonstrates of working for children–and the depth it brings to something that at first seems so simple.

Anyway. So you see. I can’t help it. I love his work. I’m a groupie. How about you?

Here are some excerpts from his interview with the Association of Illustrators about his 2010 book, “SHH! We Have a Plan“:


I am often asked if my work is made with cut-paper and up until this book I haven’t used cut paper at all. My work is usually all drawn as shapes first but filled in and moved around in Photoshop so that it is effectively a digital paper-cut collage. For this book though,…it seemed easier to make the physical artwork a little more malleable… In the end actually I think I will be working this way a lot more in future as in some ways it was a lot easier.


I have used a quote or epigraph that sums up the story in some way for all my books. For SHH I used a quote by Einstein ‘Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding’ which might be a weird thing to have in a book for two year olds, but I like it. I like that it is quite open and I hope it adds a little more depth to what is a very simple story.


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