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An Interview with the Artist: Lucy Hatter

Updated: Jan 4

Well everybody, it's officially 2024 (I'm still wondering where the last four years went!). We've made it through the hustle and bustle of the holidays and now we're back to creating more books. In case you missed it, we've just launched our very first coloring book! And yes, we're very excited.

So, in the spirit of a proper book launch, we're sharing a conversation with Lucy Hatter. Lucy is the illustrator behind our first coloring book, The Secret World of Frog. If you haven't gotten to see it yet, check out our "Coloring Books" tab in the "More" section, or view it on Amazon.

A Little Chat with Lucy Hatter

Hi Lucy! Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Lucy: Absolutely! I'm twenty-three and I'm an illustrator, primarily working with digital art tools and mixed media. Everything I make is hand-drawn by me and I never use A.I., unlike a lot of other coloring books creators out there now. I've created children's books in the past, but I just released my first coloring book so I'm excited to see where that goes.

Tell me about your favorite medium, you mentioned digital and mixed media?

Lucy: That's a hard thing to choose! Nowadays I'm focusing on digital and mixed media, but when I'm creating art for myself it's not always my go-to. I would say the most natural medium for me is pen and ink, sometimes with spots of color from paint or pencil too. Pen and ink is something I naturally gravitate towards and it's something that has been a constant in my work throughout my life.

Branching off of that, who are your biggest artistic influences?

Lucy: Oof.. I have so many. I really love anything character driven, for example Ernest H. Shepard's illustrations for the book, The Wind in the Willows. John Tenniel, the illustrator for the original Alice in Wonderland is another one.

What motivates you to create?

Lucy: Well, that's something I've had to get better at. When you're a full-time artist, you don't always feel motivated to create. I think I'm in the process of learning how to reconnect with my creativity, especially when I'm feeling burnt-out or stressed. I'm usually motivated by music or memories, and lots of times even something as simple as a walk through the park, just something to get myself out of my own head and immersed in something new.

What was the inspiration behind The Secret World of Frog?

Lucy: I'm originally from New England so I grew up being surrounded by the ocean and forests and lots of wildlife. I think I'm very lucky to have had those experiences with the natural world because they really gave roots to my inspiration when it comes to art.

My house was down the street from this pond and I used to love looking for frogs there. So, when I was coming up with concepts for the initial project, I knew I wanted to incorporate a frog. It honestly just snowballed from there, and I started pulling other memories from my childhood. Some of the big influences of the book are the stories and illustrations of Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel.

What are some of your favorite pages from the book?

Lucy: I really love the strawberry frog, which is also the cover of the book. Every detail took so much care and time to make, and I think that illustration marked one of the first times in my life where I've successfully been able to recreate the exact image I had in my mind. I also love the drawing of Frog in a sweater with a mug of hot cocoa. It's so wholesome!

What was the process of making this book like?

Lucy: The process began with what was essentially a brain dump of ideas. The Nosh Publishing team and I really came together to come up with an idea board for this book. Everybody kind of throws their ideas down on the table and we discuss them and eventually make a mood board for concepts, character styles, coloring page ideas. We wanted something that looked new but still felt nostalgic somehow, and I think we nailed it. We knew we all loved the idea of a frog as our main character, and I think we all wanted to uncover what this frog's world would be like. From there I story-boarded scenes for the book and then after five and a half months of hard work and hand cramps, it was done!

Now that your first coloring book is finished, what's next?

Lucy: The process of creating this coloring book was something I really enjoyed, so I think right now I'm focused on pursuing another Frog coloring book that will be the sequel to the one I just finished.

Do you have any advice for fellow color-ers out there who are enjoying your book?

Lucy: My advice would be that there's no right or wrong way to color! For me, coloring is about being present with myself, and making time to step away from the demanding parts of life. It should be relaxing. Also try mixing mediums! Maybe try gel pens with pencil to create contrast. It can be a fun challenge to shake things up that way. And to anyone coloring in one of my books- thank you for supporting my work!

Where can people find out more about you, or stay up to date on your next release?

Lucy: Anyone interested in keeping in touch about books, or to learn more about me, can follow my author page on Amazon. You'll get notifications for pre-orders, see my book recommendations, and lots more. I haven't made any social media accounts yet, but stay tuned!

Thank you for chatting with us!

Lucy: Thank you!

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