Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I grew up in a little city called Salem, in the southwestern part of Virginia. Now I live in an old church just a half-an-hour away, but more in the mountains (and therefore, in the boonies!).
What were you like as a kid?
I was driven to do well and pushed myself hard. I wanted people to think of me as “that smart girl in our class” instead of as “that deaf girl in our class.” I loved making people laugh, especially my older siblings. My sense of humor veered toward the absurdist...and the naughty!
What were some of your favorite childhood books?
Our Animal Friends of Maple Hill Farm by the Provensens
The Meanest Squirrel I Ever Met by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Ed Emberley’s drawing books
Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad series
Judy Blume's books
Beverly Cleary's books
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
When did you know you wanted to be an artist and writer?
I started to figure the art stuff out in college. I had always loved drawing, but never really saw a career in it until I saw other kids making a go of it. As to the writing, no one would hire me to illustrate their children’s books, so I realized I had to write my own books and make my own path.
Who or what inspires you?
My husband, author/illustrator Tom Angleberger, is a huge source of inspiration. He's so encouraging...and he's so good, which triggers my competitive reflexes to be better and to make more stuff.
When do you feel your most creative?
In the morning, when the house is quiet and nothing has happened yet.
Do you have a favorite type of pen, or brush, or paper for drawing with?
I like lots of media and have to admit that I love drawing on my Wacom Cintiq. I love to draw LINES so simple pen-and-ink is a favorite. Gouache! Watercolors! But no oil paints, ick. If I could make a book with illustrations made of felt and colored thread, I'd do it. Love that stuff.
What advice would you share with young aspiring artists?
If you aren't enjoying it, don't do it!
Thank you, Cece, for your words of wisdom and for sharing El Deafo with us!