Non-Fiction | 17 May 2016Exclusive Interview with Holly Sterling Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Holly Sterling is an author illustrator who has worked on a range of different books for Quarto in the last year from the QED Everybody Feels… series: to the lovely collaborations with Margaret McAllister 15 Things Not To Do With A Baby and: Holly has also written her own book which was released this month called Hiccups! which everyone who read it has adored. With all of these books coming out in a very short space of time we were delighted when Holly agreed to put down her pencil (and crayons) to answer some interview questions for us… How did your career in illustration all start? My Masters Course was a two year course at Edinburgh College of Art. During my first year I started making contact with agents and publishers. My first job came whilst I was still studying and was commissioned by Walker Books. I had also recently signed with Fraser Ross Associates. I illustrated a short story for ‘The Book of Bedtime Stories, about a little baby who didn’t want to go to bed. Shortly following this, I entered the Seven Stories and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books competition to be included in a new nursery rhyme collection ‘Over the Hills and Far Away.’ My illustration for the African American and Maori Lullaby won! My agent, Kathryn Ross had met with Frances Lincoln Children’s Books following my competition win, in which they had the opportunity to see my illustrations for the Walker Books project. They were looking for someone who drew babies – and I drew babies. It turned out that they were the perfect match for a text that they had called ’15 Things Not to do with a Baby’. Do you have a favourite part of the creative process? I love figuring out the characters – making them real and dance off of the page. It’s all about communicating their personality and emotions. Can you tell us about the things that most inspire your work? Everything and everywhere! The people in my life are the main source of inspiration but I also draw from the experiences in my life too. I also enjoy observing people’s behaviour – stories and ideas can even come from complete strangers on the street. What was your favourite part in creating your latest book Hiccups! – writing the story, completing the illustrations or something else entirely? I enjoyed the whole process to be honest. I worked on the text and illustration at the same time so they evolved together. After creating the ‘Hiccups!’ dummy book for my final major project at university, I had a big break from it that book and story, and illustrated ’15 Things Not to do with a Baby’. ’15 Things…’ was my first picture book and I had learnt a lot by the time I went back to working on ‘Hiccups!’ My style had developed – my sense of colour became stronger and the depth in my imagery had improved. It was bolder and more confident. This was nice to see. What is on your drawing board at the moment? I am writing and illustrating a couple of new stories at the moment. Ruby and Oscar do keep reappearing, but we’ll see what happens…?? What has been the highlight of your career so far? The publication of ‘Hiccups!’. I wasn’t confident that I could write a book, so to have this book out there which is entirely created by me makes me very proud. HUGE thanks to Holly for being interviewed today! You can find her on twitter @holly_sterling and her new book with Margaret McAllister 15 Things Not To Do With A Granny is out this August. Author / Illustrator: Holly Sterling Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books / QED Publishing Buy from an online retailer in the UK: Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.