GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES ALEX MORRIS, ILLUSTRATOR OF SLIME & ALL and WATER PLAY.
GAP: Congratulations on the release of SLIME & ALL and WATER PLAY. Please tell us more about them.
Alex: “Slime & All” is the story of a little boy who befriends a giant, friendly, but slimy worm.
“Water Play” talks about how rain, snow, and hail are formed in a fun and playful way for children.
GAP: What medium did you use for illustrating these books? How do you choose?
Alex: When starting a book I always use pencil and paper to start, and when the drawings are finished I scan them into the computer and color them in Flash. I like using this program because it is quick and easy to use, and with the style I draw with I feel using the simple colors of Flash really complements the pictures and gives the characters life.
GAP: What is your favorite illustration from each book? Why?
Alex: In “Slime & All” my favorite drawing is definitely page 4. I like this picture because I love drawing cartoon animal characters and this picture allowed me to draw the worm character, Lump, in full.
For “Water Play” my favorite picture is page 13 mostly because the Dew Drop characters were my favorite to draw and I simply feel that it is the best picture both in color and composition.
GAP: Did you have to do any research for these books?
Alex: I had to do quite a bit of research for “Water Play” because when it comes to drawing buildings, it has never really been my strong point. So I like to look up pictures of various buildings and environments for reference.
GAP: Are these your first published books?
Alex: No, actually my first published book was Lily and the City of Light. It was a big milestone for me, and it helps to remind me of where I have been and where I hope to go in my career one day.
GAP: We’d love to hear more about you.
Alex: Well, as you know my name is Alex Morris. Since middle school when I visited an art college I knew I wanted to pursue a career as an artist. Through the rest of middle school and all of high school I spent a lot of time in the back of the class doodling whatever came to mind, which usually was monsters, mutants, and scary clowns.
Attending college was a real wake up call for me and really pushed me to be the best artist I could be. It also helped me to explore different avenues in my drawings and it was then that one of my first cartoon characters, a sad little amphibian named Danny Frog was created. From there I started drawing more cartoon characters. Many of them a form of my personality or representations of friends I know.
But after college I received my first official illustrating job and drew my first children’s book, “Monty and the Rolling Rock”. Shortly thereafter, with the help of my head illustrator, at the time, Mr. Collier, I started working for Guardian Angel Publishing, and the rest as they say is history.