A little, but not too little,
about Val Lawton
When you're a little girl growing up on the golden prairies of Saskatchewan, you dream dreams as big as the endless swaying wheat fields and the eternal blue sky stretching overhead. For me, those dreams were filled with simple, yet compelling images of people dotted against a landscape washed with sun. I turned to pen and ink, splashed my drawings with muted watercolours, and attempted to capture that spirit of wide-eyed innocence. What I discovered was that, by using simple and often broken lines, you leave the imagination intact and the possibilities wide open. Paired with stories, the images take on a magical quality.
Of course, I wasn't the first to notice the effect. A whole generation of illustrators had paved the way. The wonderfully whimsical Edward Ardizzone (Tim and Lucy), the cheeky and occasionally naughty Jean Jacques-Sempe (Le Petit Nicolas), the strange and quirky Quentin Blake (Matilda), and the endearing Ernest Shepard (Winnie The Pooh) each perfectly captured their characters with a free-wheeling, economically rendered style that lured me into countless stories and spurred my own imagination. I am forever in their debt.
Although it's illustrated books that still excite me the most, I am
constantly finding new avenues for my artistic style. Whatever the project or school I'm working with, I like to approach it with the simple perspective of a prairie schoolgirl -- childlike without being childish.
University of Victoria - B.A. Canadian History
Institut de Touraine - French Language diploma
University of British Columbia - Masters in Library Science (MLiS)
Victoria Sketch Club - Acting Communications Chair
Canadian Society of Childrens’ Authors, Illustrators and Performers - Island Chapter