Nicole Tadgell – Illustrator Interview

Nicole Tadgell

[JM] Illustrator or author/illustrator?  If the latter, do you begin with words or pictures?

[NT]  Illustrator!

[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?

[NT]  Watercolor

[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.

Cover of Astronaut Annie

[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.

Brandy and Boomer

[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

Coming Soon!
Follow Me Down To Nicodemus Town by Alexandria LaFaye. Albert Whitman and Co. Forthcoming 2019.
Twitter: @nicoletadgell
Facebook: nicole.tadgell


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4 Responses to Nicole Tadgell – Illustrator Interview

  1. Oh, I love her work. She draws with abandonment. I especially love the giggling Annie and the delightful expression on her face. I want to read because it focuses on pursuing your dreams, imagination and strong girls. Great interview!

  2. Patricia Nozell says:

    Love the detailed & vibrant illustrations. I look forward to learning more about Astronaut Annie in your PPBF post tomorrow.

  3. Joanna says:

    Yes, the illustrations are so full of life.

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