Beverly Tuck Talks About Illustrating Little Bianca

Pilinut Press: How did you get started in art?

Beverly: I've been drawing since before I could read but never actually took a course in art until high school. I went on to major in art in college.


Pilinut Press: What interested you in illustrating a book?

Beverly: Mack and Celia Webb were talking about all the books they were working on and mentioned being a bit behind in the illustrations. I thought it might be fun to illustrate a children's book, so I volunteered to help.

Pilinut Press: How did you approach illustrating “Little Bianca”?

Beverly: When I read, I "see" the story being described. I merely had to draw what I was seeing. Plus Mack had a lot of suggestions for the drawings, too. I thought it should have some bright colors since it's for young children and about an artist and his talented daughter. I decided to draw freehand rather than using drawing software.

Pilinut Press: How did you come up with the concept of the illustrations you did for the story?

Beverly: The name "Bianca" sounded Italian, so I made Bianca a little Italian- looking girl. And her Papa is an Italian artist in smock and beret. I thought the story suggested what they were feeling and thinking was more important than the background, so I thought I would minimize distractions.

Pilinut Press: Once you had the concept, what did you do next?

Beverly: I played with a couple of drawings for Bianca and Papa and Drachmas and Nonaught. Then I set the scene for them, drawing a few of Papa's run-of-the-mill art and trying to get a sense of Papa's gallery. I kept the background to a minimum as planned but hoped to show that it was not upscale.

Pilinut Press: What did you enjoy most about the process?

Beverly: Creating the characters and giving them the expressions that represented the story was the most fun.

Pilinut Press: Did you find illustrating for a book different from the other artistic projects you have done? If so, how?

Beverly: This was the first project I had done for publication. The printing requirements were rather exacting, much more difficult than I had imagined it would be.

Pilinut Press: If you were asked by another artist interested in doing book illustrations for advice, what would you tell him?

Beverly: Have fun! It's definitely a worthwhile learning experience but don't lose the joy of creating in the process. Would I do it again? Sure! I hope to very soon.


Are you interested in learning more about the creative process? Visit the interviews with our contributors.

Who are these people? Find out more on our Biographies page.

Visit our Reference Desk page for a complete listing of articles and worksheets.