This week’s FIVE ON FRIDAY guest is author/illustrator Jason Deeble. Jason is the author and illustrator of SIR RYAN’S QUEST, a book that Kirkus Reviews called “the spark for an imagination bonfire.” Visit Jason’s website and spend some time enjoying his delightful imagination. Welcome to FIVE ON FRIDAY Jason!
When did you know that you first wanted to be a writer and illustrator?
There was never a magical “ah ha!” moment for me. I’ve always made pictures and stories. A few years ago I decided I would try getting some of them published.
What book or writer or artist do you feel influenced you the most?
Without a doubt, I am most influenced by Maurice Sendak. He explores the spooky side of childhood fantasy in a way few other authors do. Also, I love Winsor MckKay for the same reason. Dreaming up weird creatures and imagining fantasy worlds are as much a part of the childhood as going to school and making friends.
What book or books are you currently reading or have recently read that you’d recommend to others?
I recommend Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Comics, manga, and graphic novels are sequential art just like picture books but for some reason they are thought to be inferior. Watchmen is a towering piece of literature that smashes every assumption you’ve ever made about superhero comics and about storytelling through graphic novels. It’s a shining
example of how some stories just can’t be bound by traditional literature. I think it should be required reading in high school.
If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring writers or illustrators what would it be?
Determination, above all else, is the lifeblood of every creative endeavor. Be determined. Keep trying. Rejections can be painful but push forward anyway.
Can you share with us your next project or any information about the next book you’re working on?
I’m blessed/cursed with a hyperactive imagination so, at the moment, I have probably seven of eight different projects going on. The one I most recently finished is a science book all about the universe. It’s 200 pages of atoms holding hands, bunny rabbits multiplying, and stars exploding all done up in black and white. It’s tentatively titled Your Guide to Understanding Everything in the Universe and I think it’s coming out in 2011.