Children's Book Author & Illustrator Michael Hall



we are going to read a book that you've probably never seen before called my heart is like a zoo my heart is like a zooms eager as a beaver steady as a yak hopeful as a hungry heron fishing for a snack when I was thinking about being a writer I loved children's books I loved picture books and I think picture books have a place has sort of a place in art world but I didn't think I had a voice for children's books and a lot of my books they may have looked childish but they were fairly sophisticated and concept who knows what a seal sounds like ok let's all do a steady good it's one of the special things I noticed about being an author that all of my books have meaning for me that's different than what it means for other people and I sort of nice it's sort of a happy thing and often I don't know what the meaning is until I'm almost done with the book cool as a penguin crafty as a fox for me it was always important to do both writing and illustrating because I'm really interested in the relationship between the words and images and the way they play off each other sometimes they contradict each other and it allows in the illustrations for example for me to do illustrations that are very abstract the first book was my heart is like a zoo it's the first book I published and it's the first one I sent to my to my agents and I sent her this copy which a lot of it is similar it's got some of the same pages I actually started off as a child wanting to be a writer of some kind but I am dyslexic so by the time I got to college I just couldn't keep up enough with the English classes that I wanted to take so I went into the sciences and when I was getting ready for graduate school I discovered this thing called graphic design and started to do design work my wife and I had a graphic design firm for 30 years specializing in visual identity which is basically logos and all sorts of other aspects that come with that I think that I learned 80% of what I know as an author illustrator through my work as a designer as a designer I was very interested in just beautiful flat color so when I started doing children's books I felt that look was sort of corporate and I wanted to get texture into my work and yet the textures are not real busy it's really important to me that you see the shape before you start looking at the intricacies of the texture they just add depth but they don't become front and center and so if I draw a frog I would like someone to see that it's also a square and a rectangle and a dot so I like I like things that are just the mature the materials the colors the lines and the shapes so for Franken fans I cut the shapes out of black paper and scan them into the computer and colored them in a computer and then I would build the characters so this is his long coat this is royal blue and his tall hats I find myself playing with shapes for example I have a lot of cut paper and a lot of painted paper and I just enjoy playing with those things and seeing what they look like to me with perfect square I would start with a painted piece of papers and then either cut it or tear it or do whatever I need to do to make it work within the story I always try to put all of my spreads of a book up so you can see them all at once because it's actually it's so so hard to see how they relate to each other and that's part of finding the rhythm of the book I can really start to tell just by looking at the whole thing spread out if there's something that's not going right just having that tactile part of the experience gives you more information about it what are you doing I'm making a hole in our stump so we can see what's outside like a window great wait what if there's an aardvark out there aardvarks are gray and sneaky so I didn't want to be a dyslexic author illustrator it doesn't seem to influence my books except that I am an introspective person and I like to share that with kids and I think there's something very special about practicing things internally can you come up with things that maybe other people wouldn't come up with artworks turn orange when they're hungry for a carpenter and you know goodness well I keep doing this because I just think it's the best possible thing that you could do and when you have an imagination you have all this all of these things that you would like to share and to be able to do that is a very special gift I think grape juice tastes good with ants you know and the other one says argh and that's the end of the launch aardvark thank you hat where's reach the grace up

3 thoughts on “Children's Book Author & Illustrator Michael Hall

  1. Lovely! The children books illustrators &authors are my true heroes

  2. I love your gentle spirit……..such wonderful work and its how i think too!

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