Winner of the Booktrust Best Book For Babies award, Emma Dodd, makes an appearance on The Arts Show

By Imogen Bole
Sundays, 12noon – 2pm

This week, we welcomed Emma Dodd into the studio to tell us all about her fabulous illustrations –  and she writes too! Her books, ‘I Love My Mummy’, (written by Giles Andreae) and illustrated by Emma, won the Booktrust Best Book For Babies award in 2010. The sequel, ‘I Love My Daddy’, has sold over a million copies worldwide. And Emma’s own book, ‘Me’, has been turned into a puppet show and has toured across the UK. Now Emma and writer, Sam Hay, are working on a new book, ‘Hugs and Kisses’, so it’s safe to say that we have very high hopes.

Emma told me about the influence of her artistic family on her own artistic ventures and interest in art from a young age. Apparently, we can all draw (but I am yet to yield a paintbrush with any skill whatsoever). We discussed the impact of reading well- and excitingly illustrated books as a child and how that flared up Emma’s imagination to think up her own illustrations as she grew up.

We moved on to talk about Emma’s process in illustrating her books: what mediums she uses, how she plans and decides what she’s going to draw, how long it takes. We spoke about becoming more comfortable in your work and being less critical as you become more experienced and established.

Emma told me how difficult horses are to draw (and I believe her). But, she did get the opportunity to get over that fear when illustrating a book filled with horses. She described what things/animals are easy and/or fun to draw and others which are less interesting or difficult –  like those dreaded horses once were!

The big question was broached: is Emma a doodler? The answer: you’ll have to listen to find out.

We also talked about a book that takes on the traditional fairy-tales of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, but a story where they rescue themselves and are financially independent, so of course we talked about that and I ordered myself 12 copies!

Emma Dodd on the web: