Picture a Story: Interviews with Illustrators (Episode X)

Interviews with five Canadian illustrators about creating narratives in words and pictures. Featuring guest author-illustrators Peggy CollinsKatherine BattersbyFarida Zaman, Christine Tripp, and Chris Jones. All ages.

Listen to the episode here or from your favourite streaming platform.

Picture a Story: Interviews with Illustrators (Special Episode X)

Read the full transcript of this episode:

Show Notes:

[0:00] Intro: You’re in for a treat.

[2:15] Commentary on how picture books are made: it’s not usually a collaboration.

Interviews with illustrators about illustration your own words vs. another’s

[5:15] Chris Jones on rewarding collaborations

[7:40] Peggy Collins on responsibility

[9:20] Katherine Battersby on unexpected freedom

[11:45] Christine Tripp on having fun

[13:10] Farida Zaman on having control

[15:00] Commentary about developing characters: It’s not that different for writers and illustrators.

[16:00] Interviews with illustrators about developing characters

[16:10] Peggy Collins loves designing characters

[17:45] Chris Jones develops his characters in action

[19:45] Christine Tripp has her characters in her head

[21:20] Farida Zaman steps inside her characters

[22:30] Katherine Battersby traps characters on paper

[24:10] Commentary on the fear of drawing: don’t let it stop you. 

[27:40] Interviews about traditional vs digital art

[28:20] Christine Tripp likes the safety of digital art

[29:20] Farida Zaman misses her pencils

[30:40] Katherine Battersby finds freedom in digital imagery

[32:25] Peggy Collins is happier with her tech

[34:15] Chris Jones refines his sketches digitally

[36:20] Illustrators’ advice to young writers and artists

[36:30] Katherine Battersby: Read, play, be yourself

[37:50] Peggy Collins: Your stories matter

[38:50] Farida Zaman: Everyone has a story

[40:10] Christine Tripp: Don’t be in a rush

[41:20] Chris Jones: Don’t get discouraged

[42:25] Story prompt: Picture a Halloween tale

[43:40] Thanks and coming up on the podcast

Next week it’s Episode XX: “The Halloween Special,” featuring spooky stories and weird tales from student writers, with no interviews at all. Thanks for listening.


Music on the podcast is from “Stories of the Old Mansion” by Akashic Records, provided by Jamendo (Standard license for online use). 


Art: The B&W image for this episode is from a wood engraving by Émile Bayard from Le général Dourakine, written by Sophie comtesse de Ségur, 1882.


Host: Catherine Austen writes books for children, short stories for adults, and reports for corporate clients. Visit her at www.catherineausten.com.


Guest Authors:
Katherine Battersby

Katherine Battersby is the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of ten picture books, including Perfect Pigeons and the popular Squish Rabbit series. Her books have received glowing reviews in The New York Times, starred Kirkus reviews, and have been named CBC Children’s Choice books. Her debut graphic novel series, Cranky Chicken, will be published in 2021.

Katherine Battersby illo

Katherine is regularly booked to speak in schools, libraries and at festivals and she is a passionate advocate for literacy and the arts. Katherine currently divides her time between Brisbane, Australia, and Ottawa, Canada, with her husband, daughter, and their mischievous puppy. Find her online at www.KatherineBattersby.com, on Twitter @KathBatt, on Facebook at @KatherineBattersbyAuthor, on Instagram  @katherinebattersby/.


Peggy Collins

Peggy Collins is a mother, a storyteller, an artist, a teacher, and a lover of books, technology, and learning. She lives in Ontario, where she teaches concept art and character design development.

Peggy Collins book

She is the illustrator and author-illustrator of more than a dozen picture books. 

Find Peggy online at www.PeggysIllustration.com, on Twitter @peggysbooks,on Facebook @ thelittlesproject, on Instagram @peggysillustration.


Chris Jones

Chris Jones is an illustrator with a passion for visual storytelling. He illustrates for picture books, graphic novels, magazines and educational materials. Chris has illustrated over 20 books for young readers, including Scholastic’s Take Me Out to The Ice Rink, and This is The Rink Where Jack Plays.

Chris Jones book

When not illustrating for clients, Chris spends his time writing and illustrating his own comic and picture book projects. Find Chris online at: www.mrjonesey.com; Instagram @mrjonesey; Twitter @mrJonesey


Christine Tripp

Christine Tripp has worked in animation, magazine and newspaper Illustration, gag cartooning, and comic strips, but eventually she found her real passion… illustrating children’s books. 

Chris Tripp art

Over the past 20 years, she has illustrated over 50 books for publishers such as Scholastic USA, Scholastic Canada, and Pearson Canada. 

Chris considers herself fortunate to have a career that allows her to do exactly what she has loved to do since she was a child: draw! She lives in Stittsville, Ontario, with her husband and their dogs, Kevin and Bob. Their 4 children and 9 grandchildren are her greatest source of pride and joy.


Farida Zaman

Farida Zaman is a Toronto-based illustrator, author, and educator known for her upbeat, sophisticated, and whimsical style. She has worked with clients including the Latin Grammy Awards, The New York Times, UNICEF, London Underground, Toronto Transit Commission and many more. 

Farida Zaman book

Farida has illustrated more than a dozen picture books. Her first authored and illustrated picture book – I Want to Be: A Gutsy Girl’s ABC – was published in 2020. She is currently an instructor at Toronto’s Avenue Road Art School, where she runs art workshops and illustration classes for adults and children. Find her online at www.FaridaZaman.com, on Twitter @fzamanart, and on Instagram @fzamanart.

Published by Catherine Austen

I am an award-winning Canadian author of books for all ages, including Walking Backward (Orca), My Cat Isis (Kids Can Press), 26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6 and 28 Tricks for a Fearless Grade 6 (Lorimer) and All Good Children (Orca). I live with my family in Gatineau, Quebec.

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