A picture book is nothing without its illustrator. Stefanie Geyer has illustrated over 30 published children’s books and activity books, including Sweet Sounds of the Night. I discovered Stefanie’s work on Upwork. Not only was she fantastic to work with, her illustrations are fun and colorful and bring life to the characters and sounds in my story.
I interviewed Stefanie to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how she approached illustrating Sweet Sounds of the Night. As the author, I was surprised to learn something new about her inspiration for the dogs spread! Read our conversation below to find out what I learned and so much more!
Q&A with Stefanie Geyer:
Kristen Farrell: Hi Stefanie. Thanks so much for having this Q&A with me! I’m excited to introduce you to our readers.
Stefanie Geyer: Thank you. I’m happy to talk with you!
Kristen Farrell: Let’s start with some rapid fire questions. First, describe yourself in three words.
Stefanie Geyer: That’s a difficult one! I’ll go with artistic, homebody, and dreamer.
Kristen Farrell: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Stefanie Geyer: An artist! I’ve been in art classes my whole life. It has always been my passion.
Kristen Farrell: What’s your favorite children’s book?
Stefanie Geyer: My favorite children’s book is The Invisible Leash by Patrice Karst. This book was gifted to me by an author friend when my childhood dog passed away and it has always held a place in my heart.
Kristen Farrell: Aw, that’s so special. I bet many of the pet parents and animal lovers tuning in to our talk can relate to that. What’s your favorite color?
Stefanie Geyer: That’s a hard one! I think my favorite color to use in digital art is a bright pink/red color that I use for pops of color in ladybugs or flowers.
Kristen Farrell: Favorite food?
Stefanie Geyer: Tacos!
Kristen Farrell: How do you like to end your day?
Stefanie Geyer: I end most days by cooking dinner and relaxing on the couch watching one of my favorite shows with my boyfriend Chris and our three dogs.
Kristen Farrell: That sounds so relaxing! Where do you feel most inspired?
Stefanie Geyer: I feel most inspired on hikes through the woods. I love to walk through the woods and catalog the plants, colors, and textures around me for use in my art. Nature helps me relax when I’m overwhelmed and helps inspire ideas when I’m having difficulty starting work.
Kristen Farrell: Nature was one of the inspirations for this book, so that’s something we have in common. And that’s a great segue to my questions about the book. How did you approach creating the illustrations in Sweet Sounds of the Night?
Stefanie Geyer: I started with rough sketches to lay out the book, and we worked closely together to map out the illustrations. It was fun to base the characters off of your adorable daughter, Riley!
Kristen Farrell: Yes, that was so much fun. The book is for her. There are so many subtle references to her throughout the story that I love pointing out to her. What’s your favorite illustration?
Stefanie Geyer: My favorite page is the spread with the stars flying around her room. I think this page is so fun and bright and magical! I loved capturing the light and movement of the stars. My second favorite page is Mother Nature and the lightning!
Kristen Farrell: The spread with the stars is so captivating. You did an excellent job with the stars. They really pop on the pages. What was the most challenging illustration?
Stefanie Geyer: The most challenging part of this book was capturing the nighttime feel without looking too dark. The spread with all of the different sounds was the most difficult if I had to choose.
Kristen Farrell: You did a great job bringing all the sounds together on that spread. It’s exactly what I envisioned – all the sounds together as if they are a choir performing to our readers. What do you enjoy about the story?
Stefanie Geyer: I adore this story! I think it’s a great way to help children make different sounds of the night less scary. I love reading this book to my niece. It’s her favorite book so far!
Kristen Farrell: Wow, that’s amazing. I’m so glad she enjoys it! What’s your hope for our readers when they read the story?
Stefanie Geyer: I hope our readers will read out loud and make their own sounds along to the words. Really make it an interactive experience to make fun memories and remove any fear they have about nighttime sounds.
Kristen Farrell: Is there anything else that you would like to share about the book?
Stefanie Geyer: If you open the book to the spread with the neighborhood dogs, you will find Kristen’s dog on the top of the slide and a few of my dogs in line! I love to incorporate my dogs into illustrations as often as possible.
Kristen Farrell: I had no idea those were your dogs! I’m happy our dogs get along so well! Haha. So, let’s now look to the future. What projects are on your horizon?
Stefanie Geyer: Right now I have a few children’s books in the works and then I’ll be taking time off to enjoy the summer!
Kristen Farrell: I can’t wait to see what you put out next. And I hope you enjoy your time off. Thanks so much for talking with me and sharing with our readers!
Stefanie Geyer: My pleasure!