Kim Soderberg

Kim Soderberg

Represented by Illustration Online LLC
Kim Soderberg Interview

Kim Soderberg

Children's Illustrator

Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?

Part of me thinks I was born an illustrator, and all paths led me to where I am today.  I remember there was a point in college, after the first year of fundamental classes, where we were asked to choose our major. When presented with the Illustration information I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be.  Years later I took a Children's Book Illustration class, and the rest is history.

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Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?

I recieved my BA from the Columbus College of Art Design, in downtown Columbus.  When people tell you college is the best years of your life, they really mean it.  The friends I made there will stay with me for a lifetime, and they came from all over the world, from Florida to St. Croix Island. Art School is not for the faint of heart, it was hard work, but I loved every minute of it! 

Was creativity part of your childhood?

My entire childhood revolved around creativity.  As a little girl I carried a box of paper, and pencils everywhere I went.   Drawing nature, and all my animal friends. I visited the library weekly, and learned about different art forms, such as origami, balloon animal making, cross stitch, etc. My mom was also creative, and worked as a cake decorator. Together we took art classes, and crafted often. 

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Which books from your own childhood really stand out?

Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire was always a favorite, it's about a leopard with spots who longed to live in the zoo.  Another favorite was Golden Books, The Poky Little Puppy, the illustrations are beautiful, and he is one adorable pup. As I got older, a few books that really stand out are Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White, Midnight in the Dollhouse, by Marjorie Filley Stover, and the entire Goosebumps series. 

Do you keep a sketch book?

I have a bin of sketchbooks from over the years. Sometimes when I'm stuck for an idea I look through them to spark my creativity.  I try to sketch as often as possible but sometimes deadlines make it hard to keep up. It's amazing what you can learn from keeping a sketchbook!

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Talk us through the process of creating one of your latest illustrations or books.

With every new book project I first start off with character sketches of the main characters, what they look like, what they wear and any details that makes them stand out.  Once the characters are developed I work through quick thumbnails of what each page layout, and page turn may look like.  Then I'll take the thumbnails, and fine tune them into a storyboard.  The line drawings are sent to the client for approval first, and changes are made as feedback is recieved.  Once the line drawings are approved I choose the right color palette, and move to final art. 

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Which 4 words would you use to describe your illustration portfolio?

Bright, Genuine, Kind and Professional

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Have you visited any schools to speak or hold workshops?

Recently, I ran a snowman painting class at my child's school for parents and students.  I've also participated in a few illustrator visits at our city library, and neighboring schools.  

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What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

Not only am I a professional illustrator, I recently became a certified Registered Behavior Technician (RBT).  I'm a mom to three kiddos, and my middle son is a child with Autism.  The special needs community means a lot to me, and I'm proud to be part of it. 

What are some of your favourite subjects to draw?

While I love drawing children, animals are my favorite. I enjoy Googling a specific animal, learning all I can about them, and drawing them as an unique character. 

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