Emma Yarlett kindly agreed to answer some questions for us, which you will find below! The second part of her interview is right here.
If you'd like more information about Nibbles, including content, aging, pricing and more, take a look at our Nibbles product information sheet.
What does being a children’s author/illustrator mean to you? How similar or different is this to the expectations you had beforehand?
What would you say are the biggest hurdles you face as a children’s author/illustrator? Have they changed over the course of your career thus far?
EY: I think for me the biggest hurdle has been public speaking! It’s something I’ve never been comfortable doing, and never truly realised what an important part of being an author & illustrator it would be! I’ve had to work quite hard to overcome this and learn how to speak confidently and professionally--but still so often feel so very nervous. Another hurdle had been identifying which opportunities to take and which opportunities to leave… Having a literary agent has made this so much easier, as she helps me to make tricky career decisions and overcome my fear of letting people down or holding out for the right project! And the final hurdle has been financial--particularly when I first started out, it was very hard to make ends meet, especially as I immediately threw myself into doing it full time without a part-time job! But thanks to a wonderfully supportive family I was able to get through that tricky stage.
I read an interview where you mentioned incorporating the beauty of your surroundings into your work, which, as you said, is not necessarily relevant to every book. Where else do you find yourself most often turning for outside inspiration? Does this change drastically with every project or do certain sources continue to endure regardless?
EY: I find inspiration in the oddest of places… well-written films, conversation, a visit to a lake. Perhaps the two places I most often return to are the internet (I follow a number of blogs that showcase excellent illustration talent and find that these can be such an inspiration for me to continue sharpening and honing my craft) and also books. There’s something that I find so intriguing and inspiring about a physically printed book… the look, the feel, the smell! The immersive experience of opening, reading and enjoying a book is a great enduring source of inspiration, especially those written by and illustrated by fantastic authors and illustrators.