Now that you’ve had some time to get to know the Game Face girls, I thought you should meet another critical character in this whirlwind adventure – the artist who brought them to life! Allow me to introduce illustrator extraordinaire (drumroll please) … Tim Heitz!
Have you ever gotten to know someone before actually meeting them in person? You know specific details about them – sports they played in school, the way they pronounce their words, favorite ice cream flavors – yet have never actually seen their face. You start to create an image in your mind’s eye. You envision eye color, hair texture, freckles or lack thereof, until finally, despite never having laid eyes on the person, you are convinced that your perception of them simply has to be correct.
But then the time comes to finally meet face to face and you start to wonder, “What if they don’t actually look like that?” Author, meet Illustrator. Illustrator, meet Author.
It’s a scary thing, passing your characters off to someone else. After months of developing personalities, carving out quirks, and honing voices, it’s now up to someone else to breath life into them. I knew the Game Face cast like I knew the back of my hand (pale and covered in freckles, by the way), but would someone else be able to see them as I did?
Thankfully, I was in the hands of a master. Tim Heitz, Head of Story of Dreamworks Animation, has contributed his brilliant artwork to well-known projects like Trolls, How To Train Your Dragon 3, Megamind and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, to name just a few. He’s illustrated series for powerhouses like Penguin, Harper Collins and, of course, ABDO, and his Tumblr account is flooded with fresh and exciting images. Plus, he’s a redhead! Need I say more?
From our first interaction, I knew it was just as important to Tim that he accurately capture the Game Face girls. He asked questions, shared sketches, and elicited feedback so that I felt included in the illustration process. Somehow, Tim was able to pluck the best bits from my imagination and add a few amazing twists of his own. (Louie with short hair? Genius!) The result? A cast of characters that I not only recognized but loved. Here are some of my favorites:
The cherry on top? Tim even made an illustration of yours truly! How cool!
Tim, I cannot thank you enough for bringing my girls to life. As a debut author, there is nothing more rewarding than finally seeing your characters for the first time. You made that happen for me, and I will forever be grateful.