Scot Ritchie - Author/Illustrator

Scot is an award-winning author and illustrator who lives in Vancouver. He grew up a block from the bush, building lean-to's and wading through the lily pond, making friends with garter snakes, frogs and tadpoles. Since then he has gone on to write ten children's books and has illustrated more than fifty books, which have been translated into Chinese, Korean, French, Finnish, Arabic and Russian.

He has been inspired, and lucky enough, to work with some of Canada's best publishers, editors and writers. Both strangers and close friends have been the source of ideas for his books. Scot loves to travel and watch people. He has lived in Athens, Honolulu, Berlin and London while writing and illustrating.

Scot draws on paper then scans the art into his laptop where the coloring is done. He then e-mails the work to his client.

He lives in Vancouver, but travels the world.

Birthplace?
I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Birthday?
September 12th.

Where do you live now?
I've recently moved back to Vancouver after 20 years in Toronto, Ontario.

When did you first start drawing?
I started drawing very early, as far back as I can remember.

What materials do you use to create your illustrations?
I work in ink and computer. First of all, I do a pencil rough. When that has been approved, I copy it out in black ink. The image is then scanned into my computer, which is basically used as a large coloring machine.

What's the thing you like most about creating children's books?
The most enjoyable thing about doing kids' books is the playfulness of it, compared to a lot of other work.

Do you have any pets?
I had a cat for 11 years (Madison), but I had to give her to a friend because of my allergies.

What are your hobbies?
Hmmm ... I like to paint and keep fit; I love tennis and cycling.

What's your favorite food?
My favorite food would probably be Pad Thai.

What was your training/schooling?
I am mostly self-taught, although I took one year of modern art in Toronto.

How did you become involved with children's books?
I initially got involved with kids' books when I approached Annick Press years ago. They published my first book, Dinner at Auntie Rose's.

Do you have any tips for young creators?
A tip for young creators would be to draw what you enjoy, the rest will follow.

What's your favorite book?
Favorite book is tough --- there are so many I've enjoyed. How about Enduring Love by Ian McEwan.

What's your favorite movie?
I loved Chicken Run.

Where do you work?
I work in my apartment with a studio set up in the living room, and then finish the work on the computer.

Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas for work come from life experiences or friends.

What's your greatest childhood memory?
One great childhood memory is catching frogs (little dwarf frogs) and building a big cage for them under the back stairs. Unfortunately they all managed to escape, because the size of the chicken wire used to hold them in was too large. It doesn't sound very happy, but I guess I had them long enough that it was okay when they escaped.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect because that's what my dad did. I decided on art when I realized how much math was involved in architecture.

What was your weirdest or most interesting job?
I had my most interesting job just recently, doing a promotion for an Internet site that needed a brochure. It was like a Where's Waldo? image of New York city with all kinds of buildings and people and cars all over the place.

Follow That Map!

2010 - Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, NCSS-CBC, Winner
2010 - Norma Fleck Award, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Short-listed
2010 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Short-listed
2010 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

Look at That Building!

2012 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner