I’ve been looking for a new illustrator forever! I love working with them; it is so different than working with authors. A while back, I’d been told to look through #kidlitart and I happened to find Christee. Her work was exactly what I was looking for.
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I write and illustrate in the front room of my house at my desk. It’s my favorite space because it’s filled with plenty of natural light. With every picture book dummy I’ve put together, the illustrations always came first to guide the story along. I usually sketch out an idea by accident in my sketchbook and it morphs into a story from there. Once I have a basic pagination going, I “fill in the blanks” that the images leave behind, and proceed to further edit. It might seem backwards, but it helps me keep my word count down!
Do you have any illustration rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
I actually love to illustrate while listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks. I’ve re-read and re-listened to those books so often that it’s almost become a vice. Almost.
What book do you wish you had written, and why?
“The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” by John Scienczka and Lane Smith. For me it was such a game changer. It was funny, clever, and didn’t take itself too seriously. I also love books that can break the fourth wall in a new way. It’s a book I remember checking out of the library on multiple occasions.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Taking my very rambunctious dog to the dog park. Also, shameless plug: follow my ridiculous dog on Instagram @ baxterthedoge
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
I belong to SCBWI, and it is an invaluable organization for writers and illustrators.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
You can find my work at christeecurranbauer.com and follow me on Twitter @ChristeeDoubleE. I also have a blog that I update occasionally
What’s the last book you read?
I’m a huge YA fan, so I just wrapped up City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare and loved it. I’m also re-reading her Infernal Devices prequel series because it’s just that good.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
Being a freelance illustrator is a very solitary existence. It’s an amazing feeling to know that there is someone who connects with your work and gets excited about it right along with you. Already I have had great conversations with Natascha and the other illustrators she represents, and I feel very welcomed.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why? I hope it isn’t too cliche to answer Maurice Sendak! He always seemed to respect children as people and it was reflected in his stories. I would love to hear his feedback on his favorite picture books today (an maybe get a dummy critique or two).