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Sunday, 21 September 2008
Getting to Know Jordan Vinyard, Illustrator
Topic: Blog Tours
Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you a talk I had with Jordan Vinyard, the talented artist that took a picture in Holly's mind and brought it to the surface for all of us to see and love. 
1.  First, can you tell us a little about yourself?  Who is Jordan Vinyard? 

Well, I am 25 years old. I am a studio artist, mural painter, and of course an illustrator. I am married to a sculptor, so I am really in an art friendly environment. I work like a maniac, but it feels more like play because I so love what I do. I have a twin brother, who I am very close to. My entire family is amazing and they have all believed in what I do from the get-go. 

When I first saw this question, I e-mailed a few of my friends to see how they would describe me. Lol, I got some pretty funny answers : highly energetic, trouble, and funny. Those are probably all pretty accurate :)

2.  How do you become involved in book illustration?  Was it a dream you worked for or did the opportunity just appear and you went for it?

To be perfectly honest, it kind of happened upon me. I didn't know a lot about illustration before I really got into it. 
It all began when one of my professors called me about a posting she had seen from Vivian. 4RV needed an illustrator. I thought about it, and decided that I would give it a shot. I have always been a studio artist, so I really didn't know what it would be like, except that it involved art. That being said, I figured there was no way I could dislike it. What I didn't know, is that I would love it.  I continue to work in several areas of the art world, but to add another was quite a thrill. I have a real passion for doing artwork. I love everything about it.
3.  Writers so often have a picture already in their mind of characters, how do you work with them to bring those characters to life?  Is there some process you follow to draw their image out?

With Holly, it was easy! I felt like the images of the characters popped into my head so vividly right from the beginning. I wanted them to be extremely expressive. I achieved this by making about a billion sketches. I like to work and rework the character until they feel fluid, until they have a real sense about them. Once I am attached to a character, I feel that I can pass this "attachment" on to the readers. 

Also, when I was working with their expressions I looked in the mirror a lot. I will do whatever it takes to get the emotion of a character right, even if it means making goofy faces in the mirror!!! My husband happened upon this action several time, often asking me what on earth I was doing. lol.
4.  Have you always wanted to be an artist?  What steps did you take along the road to get where you are now?

I have always wanted to be an artist. From the time I was about 5 years old I was drawing and painting. 
As far as steps along the road, practice. Lots and lots of practice. I had some amazing and inspirational teachers. All of them have been so encouraging. To get where I am now I knew that it would take hard work. All through college I worked my tail off. I even worked so hard on one drawing that I had to go to the doctor because my finger had swollen up so big. He said he had never seen someone with a drawing injury before. He put a splint on my finger and I was banned from doing art work for 2 whole weeks. That was not easy for me to do.  
In addition to hard work, I firmly believe in asking questions. I have called artist and literally hounded them about how they go about a certain technique. Fortunately, all of them that I have encountered admired my persistence, and I learned a lot from them.
5.  What advice can you give to young artists who may be considering book illustration as a career?
In response to this question, I will pass along a quote that one of my professors  gave to me:

" You don't ever need the tricks of the trade, if you actually learn the trade."

I firmly believe this. Learn everything you can about what you are doing. Know the ins and outs of it, even if it means hounding people with questions.

6.  Is there anything you would like to share with our readers about yourself, your life or your work?  

I think all in all, I love my work. I think that is the common denominator in everything I do. I am passionate about it, and I love for others to be excited about art. I feel like with everything I do, I put myself so completely into it. I hope that the passion for my work comes across to the viewers, and most of all I hope they enjoy it!!!


Please don't forget to leave a comment for one last chance to win a Trockle totebag here.  I want to thank Holly, Jordan and Vivian for allowing Trockle and Steven to stop by and visit with us.  I wish you ladies's the best of luck!!

Starting tomorrow, we will be visiting with Susan Wingate, author of Bobby's Diner.


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:27 AM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (21) | Permalink

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 1:41 AM EDT

Name: vivianzabel
Home Page:

Thanks, Joyce, for an interesting interview with Jordan. I learned a few things I didn't know, and I loved it.

She is definitely a talented young woman, and 4RV Publishing is honored to have her on staff. 



Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 1:43 AM EDT

Name: vivianzabel
Home Page:

Oh, please leave an email address in the text part of comments to be eligible for the drawing. The one left in the space above the text box is not accessable to send notice of winning.


Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 6:22 AM EDT

Name: "Ron Berry"
Home Page:

No email address, I've already won once.

Great interview! I like that idea of hounding the experts to learn your trade. Ask Joyce, I hound her enough to pick up the writing business. She's a great teacher. From all the work you've put in, you've earned your position. It's too bad others don't work as hard at what they do (that includes me).

Good illustrations, if the cover is any indication. 


Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 9:13 AM EDT

Name: "Jordan"

Joyce, I really enjoyed doing this interview with you. Thank you so much for hosting, and putting so much thought into the questions.

Lol, "hounding" really is a great way to get advice from the experts.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 10:48 AM EDT

Name: "Holly Jahangiri"
Home Page:

Jordan is a remarkable young woman. Talented, passionate, persistent, energetic, funny, reliable but unpredictable, kind...

You know, Jordan, I really treasure that photo of you and my son autographing books in Denton. Both of you looked so intent on what you were doing, but the fun and cameraderie shone through, too.

That one's posted at <a href=""></a>.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 10:54 AM EDT

Name: "Jordan"

Awww shucks. Thanks Holly. That was really nice.

I've informed my twin brother on more than one occassion that we have a new sister. Lol. Denton was a great experience on all different levels.  I really enjoyed meeting William, he seems like he has a lot of your creative genes.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 11:41 AM EDT

Name: "Elysabeth"
Home Page:

Yet another interesting side to a very good illustrator.  Jordan, I didn't know you were married but again that was my first impression of you looking so young - you didn't look old enough to be married (but what do I know, I'm an old woman who's been married for 20 years and has a child who is almost your age).

Joyce thanks for hosting the Trockle tour.  Hope some others will stop by today and find out about Jordan - see you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 12:42 PM EDT

Name: "Rena"

Nice inteview! I have a seventeen-year-old daughter who loves to write and draw, so it was interesting to read Jordan's answers here.

Can't wait to get our book and see it up close!

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 12:44 PM EDT

Name: "Beverly"
Home Page:

A great interview. I learned some new things about Jordan. Who would have thought a monster could be lovable? I never had, until I met Trockle. Look at that sweet picture. You gotta love him.

This has been a super tour, for a super book. 



Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 4:40 PM EDT

Name: "Jordan"

Elysabeth, yep- I am married going on 2 years this coming October. My husband is a sculpture professor at UCO---its funny because he looks much younger than he is too- so people are always shocked when they found out our ages.

Rena, I would definately encourage your daughter. I couldn't have gotten where I am without the support of my family. If it is something she truly loves I am sure she can do really well. I hope you all enjoy the book!

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 5:18 PM EDT

Name: "Holly Jahangiri"
Home Page:

I was fortunate enough to meet Jordan's husband and her parents at Denton. Wonderful people, all of them - and I can't thank them enough for creating that supportive atmosphere Jordan mentions that allowed her to breathe life into Trockle's story. 

Stay tuned, folks...Jordan and I are already...plotting. ;) (Viv might say, "That's a nice way of saying, "They're up to no good." LOL! Mischievous, we are...mischievous indeed.)

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 6:53 PM EDT

Name: vivianzabel
Home Page:

Oh, my, I can't take my eyes off those two for even a few minutes. I take a short Sunday afternoon nap, and they start plotting more trouble, uh, mischief to get into.

 And they used to be such sweet children. *sigh*



Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 7:05 PM EDT

Name: "Joyce A. Anthony"
Home Page:

Wow--what wonderful comments today!! I disappear for half the day and find such a wonderful surprise with all these hits--and comments.  Thanks for being such wonderful guest Holly, Jordan and Vivian!!!

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 7:45 PM EDT

Name: "Susan"
Home Page:

Hi everyone,

Just dropping by with a plate of cookies and some milk. Got extras from the other day. Noah and I baked way too many.

 I enjoyed the interview. Great work!



Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 8:07 PM EDT

Name: "Jacque"

What a great interview.  I loved your point about loving what you do.  That makes life so much more fun.  My grandaughter was accepted into Art II this year in her 7th grade because she loves art so much.  It is fun to see her develop her talent both in drawing and in writing.  Whether it becomes her career like Jordan's did or not, she will always have a wonderful hobby to add value to her life. 

We have all fallen in love with Trockle and with Holly and Jordan as they have developed this wonderful children's book.  I hope their mischief plot includes more books of the same quality.  My grandsons would be delighted to read a sequel.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 8:09 PM EDT

Name: "Jacque"

I just wanted to add appreciation to all the hosts of the blog tour this week.  It has given such a 3 diminsional view of the author and illustrator of Trockle.  Thanks for the wonderful interviews!!!

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 10:11 PM EDT

Name: vivianzabel
Home Page:

We'll have the drawing for the Trockle tote bag in about an hour. Hope everyone has posted an email addres IN the message box itself so I can notify the winner and get a mailing address.


Thank you for a fun series of blog posts, Joyce.


Thank you, Holly and Jordan, for making this blog tour fun.


Thanks, everyone who read and who posted a comment. 

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 10:50 PM EDT

Name: "Suzy Koch"
Home Page:

My son loves to listen to the story of Trockle.  We read it all the time.  Occassionally we must check under the bed to see if we have our own monster. 

This book is wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated.  Congratulations on your release and this tour!

Sunday, 21 September 2008 - 11:30 PM EDT

Name: vivianzabel
Home Page:

Suzy Koch is the winner of the Trockle tote bag.


Congratulations, Suzy. Thanks for leaving a comment.


Thank you all. This blog tour now comes to an end, but didn't we have fun?


Monday, 22 September 2008 - 12:11 AM EDT

Name: "Holly Jahangiri"
Home Page:

Joyce, you've been so kind to host Trockle and Team Trockle for four days! Thank you for helping share my little monster with your readers. It has been so much fun, here!

Monday, 22 September 2008 - 1:19 AM EDT

Name: joyceanthony
Home Page:

I don't think I've ever had more fun on a blog tour--Team Trockle was wonderful--and those who commented mean the world to me!!  Thanks for making this such a wonderful few days, Everyone!!

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