Cam Pirrip’s interview about the new Illustrator Life vlog asked new questions I’ve never shared with followers.
Cam Pirrip: You are currently in the process of creating a illustration channel on Youtube. What made you want to do illustration?
M. W. Adams: While at the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards ceremony in Miami, FL, Rj Tolsen, CEO and Novelist, and James Ventrillo, President of Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, suggested I share my illustrator life with aspiring illustrators and readers. I chose illustration as a career based on my speed and income possibilities in the industry.
Cam Pirrip: How long have you been an illustrator?
M. W. Adams: My professional illustration business, Mark Wayne Adams, Inc., started full-time 2008, only a decade ago.
Cam Pirrip: What are you looking to accomplish with your new channel?
M. W. Adams: When I started my illustration company in 2008, I had no professional illustration mentors. So I learned through trial and error about publishing industry requirements. By drawing from my professional experience as an art director, manager of a printing company, and experience with Walt Disney World Company and SeaWorld Orlando, I approached illustrating as a business. I started by creating a business plan as a guide rather than working contract-to-contract. I hope my YouTube Illustrator Life episodes will help illustrators worldwide succeed through applying one or more techniques I’ve used.
Cam Pirrip: When can we expect for it to come out?
M. W. Adams: The first episodes release in January covering topics like: creating a business plan, pricing illustrations, and contacting clients. Authors may find these techniques useful too!
Cam Pirrip: As well as your illustration business you have a whole category of children novels, what lead you there?
M. W. Adams: My fans stopped reading my picture books in the third grade and graduated to chapter books. I decided to grow with them by writing in their next genre.
Cam Pirrip: Which one of those books was the most fun to illustrate for?
M. W. Adams: Jilli, That’s Silly! A Story About Being A Girl. I illustrated that book while on vacation in Costa Rica. Each morning I woke early to work until 11 a.m. from the rooftop deck of my villa that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. That book won eight children’s book awards and is the most awarded book I’ve illustrated to date.
Cam Pirrip: You also have a series of novels called the Family Tree Novel series. Do you mind telling us a little about that series?
M. W. Adams: Driew, the protagonist, relocates to his grandfather’s farm. His siblings, which he affectionally calls bothers and sinisters, begin to torment him. He meets the Australian girl-next-door and decides to uproot his family tree with her assistance. From family customs, Driew discovers his family is of aboriginal decent. Each book in the eight book series resolves a family relationship to discover his true family—his friends.
Cam Pirrip: What was it like actually writing a novel versus illustrating?
M. W. Adams: Writing has become a fun balance to illustrating. A picture is worth a thousand words, but weaving words together is equally as inspiring.
Cam Pirrip: What was your source of inspiration for this series?
M. W. Adams: As a kid, I spent summers participating in the local library’s summer reading program and playing out back on my parents farm. I pretended my Outback was a Never Never Land, which was far more adventurous than Peter Pan’s Neverland. About three years ago my cousin suggested I write a story about all those adventures and sibling torments our parents didn’t know about. Like the time a cousin pinned me to the ground, licked her thumbs, and smeared them across my glasses.
Cam Pirrip: Do you have any advice for young illustrators out there?
M. W. Adams: Subscribe to my YouTube channel and blog. Also follow me on social media. I do my best to post quality content to help others succeed. The best way to learn is by being better than your mentor. I know many talented illustrators will achieve far greater success than I have by learning from my professional experiences.