Meet the Illustrator: Loretta Schauer
Say hello to the 2023 Summer Reading Challenge illustrator!
Ever wondered what an illustrator does? What inspires them and how they got into illustration? Well, here’s Loretta Schauer to tell you her story:
“Books were very important to me growing up. We weren’t able to buy many books so I spent a lot of time in my local village library. It was amazing to be able to borrow any book I wanted. My favourite kind of books were horror stories!
When I was twelve, I designed a logo for my school. It was an oak tree that got used on the school jumpers and on notices.
I didn’t study art at university, but later on I did try some evening classes where the teacher suggested I have a go at book illustration. I then did some more classes to learn about how books are made.
I got to illustrate my first book after entering a competition. I was very surprised to win! The result was ‘Beauty and the Beast’ written by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by me.
Since then I’ve drawn the illustrations for lots of books, most recently the ‘Fairytales for the Fearless’ books written by Gareth P Jones, and the ‘Luma and the Dragon’ series written by Leah Mohammed.
I draw and paint various bits of the pictures by hand and then use a computer to scan them and make the final image using Photoshop. It works just like making a very complex collage. But instead of cutting out lots of bits of paper, I scan elements in, and use digital layers to make the collage.
Although I am mainly an illustrator, I have recently written and illustrated my very own book called ‘The Legend of Ghastly Jack Crowheart’ which is all about ghostly highwaymen and spooky crows and is set in the late 1700s. It’s coming out in October, just in time for Halloween!
I like to read books about history and animals, and I especially like drawing animal characters.”
Loretta lives in York, Yorkshire and when she is not drawing or writing she likes to go running and swimming.