Howdy and welcome to day 4 of the promotional tour of The Wildcat of Braeton! Today I forced my sister Jocelyn Banschbach to come over for an interview. She is the highly talented artist behind the illustrations in the series!
Since I was little I’ve dabbled (aka doodled) but I’ve always wanted to be able to sit down and draw a perfect picture of what I saw or thought. It wasn’t until we were watching a movie that I decided to draw my sister and the sketch turned out ok, that my parents and I decided to place me in art lessons to further my “artistic abilities”.
What was the hardest part about drawing the illustrations?
It depends on the illustration. On the pictures for the books, especially the ax and tartan, it’s the layout. Deciding where you want everything to go, how to look, and pattern is very hard. On other illustrations, one’s I have painted, it’s not the layout but the actual painting that’s hard. When the paint decides it doesn’t want to do what you want it to, it’s frustrating. The struggle is real for a while but once you hold up the final product the feeling of pride you get is a great reward.
The first step is to decide on the subject matter for the illustration. It’s harder than it sounds, because you want the final product to evoke certain feelings. Then, I find drawings/sketches that have the same material I am going to put in my picture and use those as a source of inspiration. For example, when I drew the picture for The Autumn Raids, I found pictures of the type of ships the raiders used and of cliffs so I could have an idea on how I wanted everything to look. Once I do that, I sketch a beginning picture with everything in its proper place which I then transfer to the board I am using for the final picture. Then I start the process of filling it in with the art medium I have decided upon. I add the finishing touches until I am satisfied, I sign it, and my work of art is finished!
Do you have a favorite artist or painting?
I don’t have a one favorite artist or painting but I do like Magali Villeneuve’s Lord of the Rings artwork, some of Leighton Edmund Blair’s paintings especially The Hostage, and the image called Beloved by Adele Lorienne.
Now for more personal questions
You have declared yourself to be my “anti-muse”. What does that mean?
A “muse” according to the dictionary is: “the spirit that is thought to inspire a poet or other artist; source of genius or inspiration”. An anti-muse according to me is: “the spirit that irritates or annoys the writer or other artist until they seek refuge in their own world from whence their stories come and are thus driven to write”.
I know that Aiden is your favorite character. Who is your second favorite?
This question is hard. I know it comes as a surprise to you that I actually like any of your other characters, but I really do. Out of The Rise of Aredor and Wildcat of Braeton, I think one of my second favorite characters is Rona. She’s independent, free-spirited, honest, and sassy, she can handle herself in a fight, but she also has a warm heart and she can do anything she sets her mind to. Just so you know, I think one of my third favorite characters is King Celyn.
This question is harder than the last one! =) Actually, probably the best things is that we’re sisters. Which means that we (for the most part) understand each other’s quirks, jokes, and all around weirdness, we can be ourselves together, we listen and share the other’s trials, tribulations, and triumphs, and that we will always, no matter what, have each other’s back. Even if we were in the Zombie Apocalypse (it’s a real thing) or thrown into another world, we would still face the fires of Mount Doom together. Except we would be more awesome than Sam and Frodo. We would laugh in the face of Death! One good thing about living with you though . . . is probably that you can sleep through anything. This way, if I haven’t gone to bed yet and you have, I never have to worry about waking you up with all my noise.
What is your favorite book?
Right now, it’s Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Though, once it’s finished, a close second will probably be MacDuffy by you. Don’t worry, I will always love Wildcat of Braeton.
Out of the five illustrations that you did, which one is your favorite?
I think my personal favorite is the ax and tartan, because it was so hard to do. I can’t stress enough the anguish that I went through trying to draw the pattern and folds of the tartan. Second is the phoenix because it looks ferocious!
What are your plans for the future?
Right now, I plan to graduate in December 2017 from Texas Tech with a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Natural Resource Management. Hopefully, I will get right in to vet school and from there work on exotic animals. If none of that happens, I have many plan B’s. Either, become a hobo and ride around on trains to see the world, travel back in time and be a pirate or gypsy, or find a portal to another world and become a famous warrior/ninja/incredible person.
Thanks, Jocelyn, for stopping by! Let her know what you think of her illustrations in the comments!
Remember- the giveaway is still going on! Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Wildcat of Braeton and four of the above illustrations!
Don’t forget to check out the other two stops on the tour today! I’m hosted by two lovely authors-
Jaye L. Knight- Author Jaye L. Knight – Author Interview
J. Grace Pennington- J. Grace Pennington – Author Interview