My first illustrator interview is with Katherine Lynas:

Maybe we could start with a brief introduction to you?
Hi, Im Katherine Lynas. I am a children s illustrator. I am one half of Cover My Book a company that works with self-publishing authors to create book covers that can be used for e-publishing and print. I am also part of Boogalooga books, which is a partnership between myself and Maureen Lynas to create and distribute children s e-books.

What inspired you to become an illustrator?
I have always liked to create art, and at University studies advertising/design. Children's books are so much more fun then designing adverts, and I just seem to have gravitated towards them.

What are the best and worst bits of being an illustrator?
I love it when you find the character you have trying to draw staring back at you from your paper/screen. There is great satisfaction in achieving that. The worst bit is when they refuse to show themselves!

Who are your favourite artists and how did they inspire you to illustrate?
In a way I am not sure that my favourite artists did inspire me to illustrate. It was more likely my mum! I used to find the work of other artists a bit intimidating, until I realised I didn't have to work in the same way they did, or accomplish the same things.

Could you talk us through a typical illustrating day for you do you have any rituals to help you to get into the right frame of mind or anything like that?
No rituals, I just get on with it. I very rarely spend a full day illustrating. I don't really have a typical day, but it generally involves checking emails, tweaking my websites, discussing work with Maureen, researching, and then the fun drawing bit.

Do you plan your illustration or do you go with the flow and let the story illustrate itself? If you plan it, could you talk us through how you do it please?
I work on character first, this involves lots of sketches, and practise drawing the character in different positions, and from different angles. I will then start to work on a dummy, making a story board for the book. I will discuss this with Maureen, and several drafts later hopefully end up with something we are both happy with. More sketches will follow, then I will start on the final artwork, which will then be altered until its ready to go!

If you could have lunch with one person past or present, who would it be and why?
Beatrix Potter would be interesting. She changed the field of children s literature, and protected the Lake District from developers. I am sure she could teach me a lot.

If you could bring one fictional character to life for 1 hour, what would you do with them during that hour and why?
Maybe go round Bilbo Baggins' house for second breakfast, and get a tour of his hobbit house. I like hearing stories, and he has a lot to tell.

Which books have most influenced your life?
I think a lot of the books that have influenced me are books I can't remember! Books that I read when I was a young child. There are some I remember loving like; Not Now Bernard, Peepo, and The Hungry Caterpillar. There are so many fantastic picture book authors and illustrators, that it would take too long to mention them all here. But I do enjoy studying books by Oliver Jeffers, Shaun Tan, and Maurice Sendack. You can learn so much about your craft by studying the work of others.

Tell us about the book you are reading now and why you are enjoying it?
I am currently reading the second book in the Game of Thrones series. I watched the series then jumped over to the books to find out what happened next. I like to read books that take me out of my everyday life and give me somewhere else to explore.

Other than illustrating, how do you spend your day?
As well as illustrating I work in a primary school. This helps me to stay in touch with my audience, see what books they are enjoying, and gives me the opportunity to discuss books with children.

Where do you get your ideas from?
It depends, really you just have to keep your eyes open to the world around you. I might see someone in the street with great hair that I could use for a character, sometimes I will just start doodling, at other times I will pick an animal and start to develop a character from there.

If you couldn t be an illustrator, what would your ideal career be?
When I was little I always wanted to work for Jim Henson, now I would love to work for Pixar. I would also consider becoming a professional Kite flyer, if such a thing exists!

Do you have any advice for new illustrators?
Study the work of others while still maintaining your own style and love of drawing. And keep at it!

What do you find is the best time to illustrate?
It doesn't really matter to me. It is nice to have a big chunk of time available if you are working on finals, but sketches are for any where any time.