[JM] Illustrator or author/illustrator? If the latter, do you begin with words or pictures?
[JM] Where are you from/have you lived and how has that influenced your work?
[NT] I was born in Detroit, but have lived in Texas, New York and Massachusetts
[JM] Tell us a little of your beginnings and journey as an artist.
[NT] I was always a shy kid, and drawing was both fun and an escape. I always loved pictures – both creating and looking at them, and never got bored or tired of picture books. WhenI was in college, I did a series of sequential images that reflected my interest in comics and storytelling. It was around that time I realized I wanted to become an illustrator. After graduation, I got involved in graphic design, and worked toward illustrating books on the side.
[JM] What is your preferred medium to work in?
[JM] Can you share a piece or two for us, maybe from recently released ASTRONAUT ANNIE, and the process of creating them?
[NT] I pretty much follow the same process for each book: Research, rough sketches, final pencils, final color.
[JM] What is your favorite spread from ASTRONAUT ANNIE and why?
[NT] Hard to choose a favorite! Maybe the end scene with Annie in outer space. It was unusual and unique because I had never painted an astronaut before.
[JM] Which book do you remember buying with your own money as a kid?
[NT] Probably from the “Dragonriders of Pern” series when I was a teenager.
[JM] What does your workspace look like?
[NT] When I worked on Annie, this was my workspace.
[JM] Do you have themes or characters that you keep returning to?
[NT] If I do, it is unintentional!
Five Fun Ones to Finish?
[JM] What’s your favorite park (state/urban..) in the world?
[NT] I don’t have a current favorite. I spent a lot of time at Spencer State forest when I had dogs.
[JM[ Cats or dogs?
[NT] Not anymore! Brandy and Boomer passed away many years ago.
[JM] Please recommend a coffee shop or restaurant for me to visit in your city!
[NT] Sawa Hibachi in Shrewsbury is fantastic!
[JM] What was your first paid job out of high school?
[NT] I worked at Friendly’s over the summer while in college.
[JM] Go to snack/drink to sustain your creative juices?
[NT] Mixed nuts