It was an honor to sip coffee and chat with Kenard Pak. A remarkably successful illustrator in film and in publishing, he has worked at companies such as Disney, DreamWorks Animation and Laika Films. He has illustrated wonderful children's books like, Have You Heard The Nesting Bird? and The Dinner That Cooked Itself (check out more at www.pandagun.com).
Ken has a wonderful sense of humor as well as a down to earth quality that makes you feel at ease. When asking him advice on the world of picture book making he made it clear that having confidence in your work is very important. This confidence comes through in the shape language, colors and composition that you create. It's the type of confidence that comes through your own voice. Here are six quick questions Ken graciously answered. Hope you leave as inspired as I was after talking with him!
NWF: "Where do you like grabbing coffee and how do you like it prepared?"
KP: "I like to go to Philz, they make great coffee. I drink my coffee black. I like my coffee light and airy but not acidic."
NWF: "What is your favorite thing to illustrate?"
KP: "Nature, flowers plants and open fields. Anything that reminds me of my mom's life in Maryland."
NWF: "What is your least favorite thing to illustrate?"
KP: "Fan Art. I'm just not into Wizards, swords and dragons."
NWF: "If someone asked you to illustrate an animal character, how would you approach this creative project?"
KP: "I would think about my mother. I'd like to look through the world through her eyes. She was an immigrant so she saw things in a unique way."
NWF: "What advice would you give your "younger" self?"
KP: "I would tell my 10 year old self to keep doing what you're doing. I would tell my 18 year old self to look both ways before you cross the street. And I would tell my 25 year old self to stop working so hard. Live a little and everything is going to be fine. "