Author / Illustrator Q&A
I grew up in a home where everyone seemed to be making something with their hands. As far back as I can remember, I was always putting things together, cutting, stitching, pasting, or pounding. The feel of the object I made was as important as the look; I invite you to try to make your very own book. Use materials you find at home.
If you look closely at my books, you will see that I still use simple art materials—and I’m still cutting and pasting. It’s an art technique called collage: cut-out pieces of paper, fabric, or objects glued to a backing. (Look at Snowballs or Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, and Leafman.) Most of the art materials are free! Go outside and start collecting materials. I live close to Lake Michigan and I love to walk, observing nature. I illustrate books about everyday things, things that I love and know. To find out more, look for a book called Under My Nose.
These are a few of Lois's favorite things:
Favorite book as a child
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My mom used to read this book to me. I loved books and liked to hear my mother’s voice. The descriptions of place and land were interesting to me. Besides, it’s about Wisconsin, my home state. (For more, check out The Art of Reading, pages 18-19.)
Favorite letter or word
L. It begins my first name.
Five. That’s the number of members in my family.
That’s easy! It’s the whole rainbow. If you know my books, you can see that I love color. (See: Planting a Rainbow.)
Heart. I hide hearts in all my books. (An easy heart to find is in Color Zoo. A hard heart to find is in Eating the Alphabet.)
Favorite body part
Eyes, to see the world.
Favorite person (dead or alive)
My parents. They helped me to become a reader and artist. To find out more, read Hands.
Fruits and vegetables. They taste good and the colors are wonderful. See how I painted them in Eating the Alphabet. I wonder if you could find a fruit or vegetable for each letter of the alphabet?
My art studio, where I am sitting right now. All my art supplies are here.
Favorite animal (existing or extinct)
My sister's cat, Bucky. He's the model for Feathers for Lunch and Top Cat.
Favorite hobby/fun thing to do
Making art for books as well as making beaded necklaces and clothes. Also, I love music—any kind—and enjoy movies, gardening, and reading.
Favorite time of day
Favorite letter from a fan
Years ago a young boy wrote saying that when he grew up he wanted to be an artist like me, making nothing out of something (I knew what he really meant).