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Read an interview with Robyn Wilson-Owen, illustrator of Bloom!

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Robyn Wilson-Owen, illustrator of Bloom

We were lucky enough to get a quick interview with the fantastic Robyn Wilson-Owen, illustrator of Bloom! Here’s what she had to say about the process behind illustrating this beautiful, heartwarming story!

What does the story of Bloom mean to you?

To me Bloom is about finding and appreciating the beauty and wonder in small things. It is about remembering to be grateful and to share generously.

Can you tell us about the process of illustrating Bloom? What techniques do you use in your work?

I first work in pencil, getting ideas down quickly and messily. Over time these drawings become more detailed and the characters more defined. When I make the final artwork I use a dip pen with a bottle of ink to draw all the linework, then I use different coloured inks with a brush to add colour.

What was it like working with Anne?

Anne allowed me to put my stamp on the book and create the world and the characters as I saw fit which was lovely.

How did you come up with the characters in the story?

Lots of drawing and playing using lots of different materials – collage, paint, pencil and ink. At first the man was a lot more scary and grumpy, over time he softened as we wanted the reader to have some sympathy for him.

What do you like to do when you’re not illustrating books?

I draw in my sketchbook and I write. I also play the cornet and I love to read. I have three young children who take up an awful lot of my time too!

What was your favourite book as a child? What do you think makes a great children’s book?

I loved Mog, the Jolly Postman, Peepo and all the Lucy and Tom books. I love books that make everyday life seem magical. I love illustrations full of little details so that there’s always something new to see. I love books that delight in the mundane in the same way that small children do.

What advice do you have for budding illustrators out there?

Draw. Just draw everything in front of you. If that is just the washing pile and your children squabbling then that is great. I have drawn the same clump of trees in our park from the bench I sit on while my children play hundreds of times, but there’s always something new to explore and discover about them.
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