Talking with Visual Thinker, Award-Winning Author/Illustrator and New Yorker Cover Artist Roxie Munro
Roxie Munro views the world through an artist’s eyes. She doesn’t look at a subject just to capture an image — her creations capture movement and experiences, engaging readers to dive into her work and become part of it. Whether it’s a book of mazes, a life-size storybook or an interactive app, Roxie’s art is an invitation to join her in her world.
I caught up with Roxie on a quarantined summer day in between problem-solving a new publishing challenge and researching her next project. Read on to learn more!
Q: How did you get your start in the children’s book world?
A: I moved to New York City from Washington DC when The New Yorker magazine bought my painting for their cover (I’ve done 14 in all, so far). I didn’t know a soul in NYC, and it was tough getting freelance work and trying to do my fine art paintings. I decided to approach book publishers about doing jackets — maybe cityscapes, like the New Yorker work. An art director suggested I meet with a children’s book editor. When I did, I huffily said, “I don’t do cute — I don’t do bunnies and bears.” But she said she thought I had something to offer children, and to call her if I got an idea. One week later, I woke up and saw, with eyes closed, across the dark of my mind, these words in red: “The Inside-Outside Book of New York City.” I had spent hours, days, months exploring the city, and wondering what it looked like from the top of the Flatiron Building; what was being made in a lower Manhattan factory building; how did it feel to be in subway tunnels? I knew nothing about bookmaking — I didn’t do a storyboard, didn’t know what the gutter was…. The book was published, and went on to be chosen as a Top Ten Illustrated book by The New York Times, made the Best Children’s Book List by Time magazine, and more.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I’m just finishing up a 2021 book called Anteaters, Bats & Boas: The Amazon Rainforest from the Forest Floor to the Treetops. One of…