Emily Bannister is/was the Art Director at Caterpillar Books.
Read the full interview here
Q: In your experience, how do publishing houses differ regarding their approach to making picture books?
A: After working at several companies now on picture books, I would say the approach is always the same...a great text or idea is always needed as a starting point! Different publishers perhaps do have distinct “house styles” however I believe that all publishers always want to try to something new and develop artists so that their list keep evolving.
Q: What or who influences your decision when it comes to selecting an illustrator for a project?
A: When we are looking for artists to use on a project, the novelty will often dictate the type of illustration we select. If we are creating a very young baby book, we would be looking for a bright, graphic style of artwork compared to something like “ By Lantern Light” which is a cosy bedtime book and required a more picture book feel. All of the artists that we select for projects are discussed together in the Caterpillar Studio with the Publisher and editors before we commission anything.
Q: Do you have a particular 'house style' when it comes to illustration and what will Caterpillar Books be looking for from illustrators over the coming year?
A: Over the next year for Caterpillar, we intend to grow the types of books that we are doing therefore the styles of artwork that we will be looking for will be much broader than in previous years. However, we are always looking for someone that has a real warmth and personality to their artwork, be it for a very simple board book or much older non-fiction novelty. Colour pallet is always very important to us and the characterisation.