In today’s Meet the Illustrator feature we hear from Christian Robinson, illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Last Stop on Market Street.
What first made you excited about art?
As a child, I loved making things: drawings, paintings, sculpture, anything I could get my hands on. Creativity allowed me to be in charge, to make my own rules, and create my own little world on paper.
What illustrated book from childhood has stayed with you over the years?
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. I remember feeling really invested in this lost little bird trying to find his real mother. The illustrations blew me away as a kid, and I still admire them today.
Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?
Epic question! So many things inspire me: children’s book illustration and graphic art from the ‘50s and ‘60s, nature, simplicity, cities, children’s art, animation, fine art, music … I could keep going.
What does your workspace look like?
I work in an old warehouse that’s been converted into a shared artist studio.
What materials do you most like to use?
I love working in collage. Last Stop on Market Street was produced using a mix of paint and collage. Other books I’ve illustrated like The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, written by Justin Roberts, were created in colored pencil. I have the most fun by experimenting and trying all sorts of different mediums and techniques.
What design resources would you recommend to young artists?
Not sure if this is a design resource, but I’m obsessed with Pinterest and collecting images that inspire me. The best design resource would have to be a museum or library though. That’s were I go when I need to recharge and find a spark of inspiration.
What’s the best name for a color that you’ve ever heard?
Pleased as Punch; it’s a very happy red.
Christian Robinson likes to tell stories with pictures, making a living as an illustrator and animator in San Francisco. He’s worked with Pixar Animation Studios, The Sesame Street Workshop, and has illustrated a number of award-winning picture books including Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell, Gaston by Kelly di Puchhio, and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña.