Five Questions With . . . Barbara Reid!February 17th, 2012
We recently had the honour of asking award-winning author and illustrator Barbara Reid 5 questions about her childhood, her creativity and how we can help our kids exercise their creative muscles! Barabara Reid’s unique plasticine illustrations are stunning, and each page of her books is a work of art. The Subway Mouse, Perfect Snow and her most recent book, Picture a Tree, are among some of my students’ favourite books. Read on for our exclusive Barbara Reid interview:
Was art and creativity a big part of your life when you were a child? Did you grow up in an environment that fostered creative growth?
As a child I drew all the time, and was often in the mood to “make something”. I grew up on a street with a gang of friends; we were constantly building forts and hideouts, climbing trees, inventing games, putting on plays, starting clubs, trying to create a magazine and putting our dolls through wild and dangerous adventures. Being turned loose outside is about the best creative environment I can think of.
When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
I always wanted to draw pictures that told a story. The moment it finally clicked that this was a possible career was when I found a book about illustrator N.C. Wyeth. There were photos of him in his studio, surrounded by props and reference material for his wonderful book illustrations. That’s when I decided this was the life for me.
What inspires you and what do you do when you are stuck for ideas?
I’m inspired by the world around me. Ideas are everywhere, you just have to be paying attention. When I’m stuck, I go do something else, like go for a walk. Sometimes when you stop thinking too hard, the brain has some peace and quiet and can solve the problem.
How can parents encourage creativity in their children?
Parents can encourage creativity by leaving kids alone! I’m only half kidding. Creativity happens when a child (or an adult) has some do-nothing time. Boredom can often lead to creativity. I’ve done some of my best creative thinking in waiting rooms, airports, and even school!
Who do you think has a better imagination, children or adults? ; )
A child with a lively imagination will become an adult with a lively imagination, although some of the things they imagine may change.
Feeling inspired? Me too! Let’s get outside and play during this long, Family Day weekend!