Author Interview: Matthew Porter
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a Seattle children’s book author and illustrator. I have nine books published and have one in the works for release this summer. I love radio programs, big cups of tea, old worn books that I can flip through to find inspiration. I feel many of my books and illustrations stem from things that are iconic or archetypal. The scenes and stories feel familiar but I put my own twist on them.
I will be selling my newest board book Fox on the Loose! at Urban Craft Uprising. It’s a poem that threads throughout the book about a sly fox that sneaks into a barnyard. It’s aimed at younger children but I feel the poem lends a level of sophistication to the book that you don’t see in most board books. It’s a slight departure from my other board books so I am excited to see if my fans enjoy it!
Tell us about your creative process.
I think of the stories first. I write many drafts of a story before ever getting started on the illustrations. When I have my story relatively where I want it I start next on my sketches. I create my sketches on paper and then I create a final illustration on tracing paper which then gets transferred to wood. All my completed pieces are done on wood. I love the distressed and worn feeling that come through the grain.
How did you get into making children’s books?
I grew up painting and drawing in a small village on the South coast of England. In 1998 while at art art school in Edinburgh Scotland I met my future wife, Andrea. We married and moved to Seattle and opened an art gallery. In the second year of the gallery I created an animal alphabet series of wide eyed critters which was featured on the back wall of the gallery. As fate would have it a childrens book publisher popped into the gallery and mentioned that the series would make a lovely childrens book. I leapt at the opportunity and my book career began!
The next addition of Monkey World picture books will be released this summer. In the Thunderbolt Express you get to meet Oscar the Magician. In my next book The Rise and Fall of Oscar the Magician you get to read about how Oscar got into the situation he did in the Thunderbolt story. This book is it’s own separate story but there is much more depth to the story if you have read the Thunderbolt Express first. I love the idea of stand alone books but if you really get into the series you will find all sorts of interesting tie ins between the books.
Where can we find your books?
You can find my books online on my website, Indie Bound and Amazon. Indie Bound is great too as you can type in your zip code and find where you can find my titles at an Indie Book Store near you. Mockingbird Books, Third Place Books and Secret Garden Bookstore always have a great selection of my books.