Sophie Blackall, illustrator at large

Australian-born, Brooklyn-based illustrator Sophie Blackall is renowned for illustrations that tug at heartstrings. Subway commuters are likely to have seen her 2012-poster for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit Program. Blackall also illustrated the “Ivy and Bean” children’s book series by author Annie Barrows. The books revolve around Ivy and Bean, two seven-year-olds with a penchant for misadventure. The paper caught up with Blackall just before the release of the 10th and final book in the series.

Sammi Lim: Ivy and Bean’s antics can really tickle any reader’s funny bone. What are a few amusing things you’ve spotted children doing?

Sophie Blackall: I could tell you some of the un-amusing things I’ve spotted my own children doing, but this morning was the first day back to school and on my way to the studio I saw a) a small boy walking to school backwards with his eyes closed (signaling some reluctance perhaps?), b) a toddler trailing a pet deflated balloon on a string (which was actually more heartbreaking than amusing) and c) a stout little girl with a tutu tucked firmly into her pants (which gave her an unflattering but hilarious silhouette.)

Full interview here.

 Child star: Illustrator and artist Sophie Blackall celebrates the release of the 10th book in the "Ivy and Bean" children's series with an event at Bay Ridge's Bookmarke Shoppe on Sept. 28. Photo © Stephanie Keith.

Child star: Illustrator and artist Sophie Blackall celebrates the release of the 10th book in the “Ivy and Bean” children’s series with an event at Bay Ridge’s Bookmarke Shoppe on Sept. 28. Photo © Stephanie Keith.

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