Erik BrooksWhy did you choose to submit this art?
"Wolf on Top" is definitely one of my favorite paintings from any book I've illustrated. It was hard to pull off, but I love the perspective that was ultimately achieved (after MANY hours of sketching and mistakes) and the series of expressions on the animals––from the wolf who is SO excited to be on top to the bear on the bottom, who knows the whole thing is about to come crashing down around him.
What does being part of SCBWI mean to you?
SCBWI is great. Even though I live in relative isolation––too far from Seattle to really attend regular meetings––SCBWI membership is an important mark of professionalism and interconnectedness in a career that can otherwise be very lonely. And the other authors and illustrators that I've met (too many to name)––these are my sort-of co-workers and have been excellent models on which to base a career. The group and its network structure allow for a degree of familiarity and an appreciation for other artists' work that is quite valuable. And for that I am very grateful.
What is your favorite picture book from childhood?
Need a House? Call Ms. Mouse, by George Mendoza and illustrated by Doris Susan Smith (Grosset Dunlap, 1981) is among my favorites. A simple book about a mouse architect who builds houses for many different forest animals, I loved––and still love––the amazing details in the illustrations. Like any kid who once designed his/her own spaceship on graph paper, I couldn't help being inspired by this book.
Fun fact: Erik is a skiing coach. Learn more, and see more images, on STQRY here.