Illustrator Interview with Lisa M. Griffin

Please enjoy my interview with Lisa M. Griffin, illustrator of Nonnie and I and multiple other picture books, including the upcoming Spacing Out!

countrycitymice.lmgriffinIllustrating with new technology over the “old school” way of mediums on paper has caused you to _______?

Well, I still combine the two processes. All of my illustrations begin on paper with pencil. I work out thumbnail sketches and then move on to more finely rendered pencil sketches until I am happy with the composition. Then I scan in the artwork and begin to add color. New technology certainly makes the creative process easier in terms of revisions and proofing though.

Do you accept every illustration job/contract you receive? How do you decide what to accept? City.Country.Mice.LisaMGriffin

No, I don’t. There are a lot of factors that go into taking on creative assignments. My current production schedule, my interest in the project and even the ease of working with the client. It is a funny balance at times, but I prefer this approach to ensure that I can deliver the best artwork possible (and on time) to the client.

If you could go back to the past and illustrate any book what would it be?

That is an interesting question. I don’t know so much about going into the past, but I would someday love to illustrate a version of “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice”  by E.T.A. Hoffman.

How do you research landscapes for illustrations? Such as Botswana for Nonnie and I?

Nonnie.sketchThere is a lot of research that goes into most of my illustration projects and that certainly holds true for “Nonnie and I”. I visited the library for resources and sketched out parts of the landscape, particular trees and animals that are native to the area. I really dig the research process and find it helps greatly with the creative process overall. If I can take my own photographs, that is a benefit too, and for this project, I had a lot of reference for Nonnie thanks to a trip to Animal Kingdom Park a few years ago.

Who is your favorite artist that has passed and who is your favorite living artist?Nonnie.Page1

It is so hard to pick only one! Can I choose two? From childhood through adulthood, the two artists who have influenced me the most would have to be Trina Schart Hymann and Maurice Sendak.  I am part of an Illustrator Critique group and the individuals that are part of that group are so crazy talented and supportive that I feel they have made me a better artist. So as a collective group, I would have to say that they have influenced me the most. As far as a popular living artist goes, hands down Chris Van Allsburg.

To learn more about Lisa and her work please visit her website.


* Nonnie and I (Xist Publishing, 2014) authored by Savannah Hendricks, illustrations by Lisa M. Griffin.

Available through Amazon


  1. What an informative article, Savannah! I always find it interesting to get the illustrators perspective on books and their creative process. I also like how you layed out the rough sketches and then the finished artwork.

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