Confessions: Peter Carnavas shares 3 artistic secrets

It is no secret that Peter Carnavas is one of My Little Bookcase’s favourite authors and illustrators. We love his sentimental stories and whimsical illustrations. After reading his three secrets (below), it’s not hard to see why this observant, gentle and nostalgic writer creates books with such heart and sincerity.

Peter has recently added to his wonderful line-up of books with The Children Who Loved Books. This recently published book celebrates the power of books and libraries in helping to connect families and provide children with fulfillment.

You can read about some of Peter’s other work here.

Peter was happy to take part in our Confessions of a Picture Book Genius series, but he worries that he might come across a little bit creepy. I say his people-watching tendencies have helped him to create tender characters and heartwarming stories. What do you think?

1. I use poppy seed ink for all of my illustrations

What I mean is… I pour my drawing ink into an old poppy seed jar before I use it.  Years ago, I was looking for a small jar for my ink and the only thing I could find was this little jar, still full of poppy seeds.  My wife promptly made an orange and poppy seed cake and the jar was mine… ALL MINE!

2. I’m living in the past

I know there are lots of fancy technological thingamajigs out there but I still listen to records and cassettes while I work.  I accumulated a battered collection of records when I was a uni student, when they were still quite cheap.  The cassettes are my treasured collection of mixed tapes put together by good friends years ago.  I occasionally venture into the modern world of compact discs but I usually revert to the old formats.

3. I spy on people

Not in a creepy way… but when I’m around lots of people, I try to take a mental picture of some of them so I can draw them later, especially if they stand out in some way.  For example, I recently saw a young woman in a red dress and glasses riding a bicycle in the city at night.  When I see things like that, it feels like a story just waiting to happen.  That’s not too creepy, is it?

Confessions: Peter Carnavas shares 3 artistic secrets

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  1. I love that Peter is so old-school and down to earth. Ahh…mix tapes! Don’t think I even have a working cassette player to listen to the ones I’ve still got!

  2. No way your not creepy! Haha first thing that comes to mind is “cool”. I love the way you listen to music! That sounds weird I know, but I have recently decided I can’t handle listening to my music anymore through a computer!!!!

  3. I’m a Stevie Wonder fan too. Mixed tapes might be on the daggy side but never creepy. Peter’s a brilliant author/illustrator- love his work.

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