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Monday, October 24, 2011

Illustrator/Author Patti Gay Sharing a Glimpse of Her Books and Art

After graduating from the Columbus College of Art and Design, I started illustrating for advertising agencies in Columbus Ohio then New York City. Then a move to San Francisco started a career as an art director for greeting cards. A few years later, it was time to get back to doing my own illustration again. I began doing art for licensing, and I have images on a variety of products including; gift bags, cards, garden flags, mugs, prints, 3-d plush, needlepoint, stickers, holiday clings and paper product goods.

Tell us about your art and books.

I have illustrated a children’s book, Cats for Golden Books as well as two educational books for Evan Moore publications. I also have two e-books that I wrote and illustrated, Friends, Amanda and Max and animals, Must Be.

I like working in different media and styles. I do realistic images as well as whimsical, and like working in oils and watercolors. I have a studio in my home in the Santa Cruz Mountains and can be contact via e-mail at

Why did you choose to be an illustrator, and tell us about some of your illustrations and books that have been published?

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be an illustrator. I am very lucky to have known always what I wanted to do. I am especially excited about the e-books that I have done recently. One is Friends, Amanda and Max is about an orange tabby cat and a wee dachshund pup exploring what it means to be a friend. It is available at Barnes and Noble. .
Amanda and Max also have their own blog in their voices with free downloads of paper dolls and coloring pages.

Would you tell us more about your books and art work?

Must Be is about a menagerie of friendly animals that are playing in the park when they notice the reader) is observing them. What must it be? Each animal tries to discern what is watching them. They each have their own ideas based on the wonderful, individual characteristics they themselves possess. Finally a clever pig declares that it is in fact a child. Upon this discovery, the animals invite the child reader into their play.

Nutty is one of the
 animals in Must Be.

Ronnie Herman currently represents me for books and JMS Art Licensing for licensing. For books, I have never worked directly with an author, but have always worked with the art director. You can see my work on my website;, and I also have a blog with updates of what I am doing at  What are some of your illustrations that have been published? My blog also has links to my books and my agent’s sites.

What do you do when you are not writing or illustrating?

When I am not writing or illustrating, I am managing a home teaching program for my son, who is autistic. I train all of his aides and cover for them when they are not here.

Two Can Art
Since my studio is at home, I am also on call for them whenever they need me. I do my illustrating and writing when his aides are here during the day. I also do sketching when we are hanging out together in the evenings. One new exciting project I have recently done is to create a line of art called Two Can Art. My son loves to paint and creates wonderful textures.

I have taken his paintings and scanned them into my computer than fused them with design. I am now working on setting up a blog for signed and numbered giclee prints on demand. It will be at when it is done. Right now, you can see images on my agent’s site.

Do you usually work directly with authors, or with the publishers?

Characters in a
possible future book.
I have not illustrated book cover for publishers, but have designed a few for my portfolio. I think if an author is thinking about hiring an illustrator the first thing to think about is that they may have a different vision than an illustrator may have. When working with a publisher the illustrator’s job is to put their vision to the words. It may be very different from what the writer may have visualized, but I think it can often enhance what the words say in a way the writer had not thought of.

What “Made It” moments have you experienced?

Patti may have created
this one just for fun,
but I love it.  Don't you think
this would make a great
character in a new book?
I do not really think of things as made it moments. One thing I love about what I do is that I know I can always grow and learn. I do not think there is a goal higher than being better than I am. I think if what I have visualized in my head makes it to my illustrated image I have succeeded with that image. I like pushing myself outside of my comfort zone with my work.

Check out more of Patti's work on her website at:

P.S.  Don't forget to leave her some comments. 
I am sure she would
appreciate the feedback.


Janet Ann Collins said...

What a talented woman! I love the art you showed, too.

Patti said...

Janet, Thank you for the lovely comment and thanks to Sylvia for the article.

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