NEWS! Finally, there will be a follow up to Monsters Are Everywhere! Co-written with my husband, R.A. Smith and illustrated by Amber Beach, Spiders Are Everywhere will be available this summer.
We have so much talent in our local area. Amber, a young artist born and raised in Northwest Florida, has lived in Crestview for the last ten years. She aspires to be a concept artist or animator and is always looking for new ways to broaden her creative horizons.
“I’m a firm believer in there are always things to be learned and ways to improve,” she says. While she spends most of her time drawing and writing, she has taken time away from her easel to do an interview so everyone can meet the illustrator of the new Spiders Are Everywhere. She makes spiders look adorable and friendly.
“Art has always been my outlet and a way to express myself,” says Amber. “For as long as I can remember!” Cheers to all the visual artists and creative souls that illustrate kidlit—without them kidlit writers would just be boring words on a page.
Amber, I was so excited when you agreed to illustrate Spiders Are Everywhere. R.A. Smith and I finished this story last year and have just been waiting for the right person to bring it to life visually. What other things do you do create? Do you write, sculpt or play music?
Amber—I also enjoy creative writing. My Language Arts teachers throughout the years have awakened my love for poetry. I enjoy creating silly little whimsical poems. Aside from writing I do little crafts every once in a while like making dream catchers, wind chimes, and Costume masks and accessories made out of foam.
You have a lot of work finished but this will be your first children’s book. What attracted you to the idea?
Amber—There is an element of lighthearted wonderment in a children’s book. The kind that makes curious little eyes light up with glee. I enjoy bringing smiles to people’s faces and teaching valuable lessons while doing just that!
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
Amber—That’s a hard question to answer. Almost everything I draw I’m fond of in one way or another, but if I had to choose I’d probably pick some of my older digital paintings and newer character concepts.
What’s your creative process? Do you need music or silence? Do you caffeinate before you create? Give us some insight into what happens in the Amber Beach studio.
Amber—I need some upbeat music, some piping hot coffee or tea, and a secluded area to let my imagination run free.
What do you find particularly challenging about creating in general?
Amber—Translating all the elements of a piece I’m visualizing in my mind onto the canvas before me can be a challenge, and sometimes I just have to stop, take a break, scrap it, and try again.
Obviously, Mr. Smith and I like spiders. We feel they get an unfair bad rap. One reason we wanted to publish this book is to stop the unnecessary squishing and show kids that they aren’t horrible creatures. Your illustrations communicate that in a friendly, bright way. How do you feel about spiders?
Amber—Spiders are fascinating little critters. I admire the intricacy of their webs and how durable they are!
I’m really looking forward to seeing this book finished. The illustrations have been full of charm and personality. While you wait for Spiders Are Everywhere to be finished, find Amber Beach and some of her other work on Deviant Art at this link.
Amber—Sometimes I livestream drawing commissions, or pieces of personal art so that curious individuals can peek in and take a look at the steps I take when creating things. It helps with commissioners as they have opportunities to make suggestions or requests in real-time. You can watch Amber at https://picarto.tv/BadmashBlitz.
She also has a new Facebook page and a new Twitter account dedicated to her art, so please go give her some likes, love and follows!