Technology Tuesday: Q&A with Julian Hector

Julian Hector is a Brooklyn-based illustrator who grew up in the Austin area. His first book, The Little Matador, was written during his senior year at Parsons the New School for Design. Since then he has gone on to illustrate a string of picture books, including The Gentleman Bug, which he also wrote, Monday is One Day with Arthur A. Levine, and C.R.Mudgeon by Leslie Muir. And his creations are just as appealing in his recent highly digital style (just check out the header icons on his website) as they are in his pieces that use more traditional media. Check out what he has to say on using technology in his work.

What percentage of your illustration process relies on technology? I’d say about 30% and growing.  I’m starting to work with pure digital illustrations again, and I’ve always used basic photoshop tweaking for scanned artwork.

What applications do you use? The Adobe creative suite: Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

What digital tool would you never want to do without? Command Z; ‘undo’ !!!!

What is your favorite aspect of using technology in illustration? The tweak-ability. Working digitally makes tweaking artwork very quick and easy.  With vector art, specifically (as opposed to pixel based art), I love how easily illustrations can be enlarged and shrunk for different uses, without having to worry about resolution.

What projects in the children’s market are you currently working on and how do you plan to incorporate technology? I’m slowly working on a new picture book that will be completed digitally, titled The Tricycle Mouse.  In college I worked exclusively on the computer and missed using my hands.  To compensate, I let the pendulum swing too far in a hand-drawn direction, but now realize that I want both techniques/styles in my life, even if I risk looking unfocused with split personalities.  At the end of the day, it’s a ‘do what you love’ issue, and I love working both traditionally and digitally.

And for more on Julian Hector, check out his blog.

Monday is One Day by Arthur Levine, illustrated by Julian Hector (Scholastic, 2011).

If you are a working parent, Arthur Levine has created just the right book for you to read together with your kid(s) under a warm blanket on Sunday night.  

This book really stands out because of the choice of illustrations. Just like actual families where one or both parents works, these families are diverse. There is a single mom, single dad, gay dads, straight parents, urban families, rural families, and one African American family. And I suppose that would be one of my quibbles – more families of color would have made Monday is One Day even better. And the other little quibble is the cover – how come the gay couple can’t stand together next to their kid? Hmmm? (Covers of books featuring diverse characters is a whole other story!) 

(Image source: Goodreads)