'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 13 March 2018

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Joanna Young

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I danced in Rio Carnival when I was 15. We had just moved there and my parents thought it would help us integrate. So my brother and I joined the samba school Estacio de Sa. We had to learn the words to the song on the way to the sambadrome, and got hit with long sticks if we stopped singing or dancing. But it is a great memory.

2. What is your nickname? 
Poge. Short for Jogey Pogey. Strictly for family, although friends of family also seem to use it.

3. What is your greatest fear? 
Losing someone I love. Isn’t that everybody’s?

4. Describe your writing and illustration style in 10 words.
Pure, happy, affectionate, sentimental, humorous, playful, bright, colourful, true, heartfelt.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as an author/illustrator.
Sentimental, optimistic, cheerful, excited, inspired.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I’d be Dumbo, because I am free spirited but gullible and scare easily. I like to think that I have a hidden strength that takes a while to show.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I’d like to go to a place like China in the 1400s, before it knew of the rest of the world. I imagine it would be like living in a different dimension.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Probably that the things that make you feel weird now, are the things you’ll be proud of later. Celebrate them.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
Children. Mine and everybody’s. I think we need to remember purity.

10. What/who made you start painting?
My aunt is a wonderful painter. We used to go on a beach holiday with them every April in South Africa. She would sit sketching the children on the beach and one day I asked if I could too. I think that’s when I started learning to look properly.

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
I love the letter ‘o’ as a shape. It’s friendly and doesn’t spike anywhere. So I love many words and names with o. But to contradict that, the prettiest word I can think of is September. It’s the perfect length and there are no harsh sounds. It is also a pretty month.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Regency Buck, by Georgette Heyer.

Joanna Young is an illustrator, photographer and painter. She studied in London and Paris, and spent many years living in Brazil and Greece, before returning to London where she now lives with her children. When she is not illustrating picture books, Joanna enjoys painting murals in children’s rooms and stage sets for children’s school plays. She recently created headdresses depicting African animals. She has always enjoyed oil painting and exhibits her paintings to various audiences around London. Her love of children and purity are what stimulate her, and her love and keen eye for colour and contrast dictate her style. For more information, see www.newfrontier.com.au.