Featured CWILLer: Claire Lordon

We have so many fantastic and talented members of CWILL that we have decided to start featuring them on our blog with some fun and quirky interviews. Today we’re talking with Claire Lordon!]

Hi, Claire! Please give us your quick bio.
I am an author, illustrator, and designer living in Vancouver, Canada. I create children’s books, comics, surface designs, murals, maps, and greeting cards for a number of companies. I earned my BFA in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. My work is inspired by my lifelong spirit for adventure, a love of the outdoors, and an enthusiasm for travel. I enjoy long distance running, hiking, lacrosse, curling, and snowboarding. Pronouns: she/they

How long have you been a member of CWILL?
Since 2018 when I moved to Canada. I was co-vice president for a year and now I’m a co-events coordinator.

Tell us a little about yourself. What led you to writing and/or illustrating for children? Was it a lifelong passion? Something you discovered later on in life?
I studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. It’s funny in hindsight because I didn’t take the children’s book class that was offered. I was too busy trying to become a “real artist” (whatever that means). During my last semester I realized that my passion and skills match up to creating art for children. My first couple of jobs after graduation were in surface design, working for a university, and working for a start-up. Things weren’t a good fit, and I found myself looking for work again. That’s when I signed up for a continuing education class at the School of Visual Arts. I learned all about picture books and the process from the teacher Monica Wellington. It was a wonderful class and from there I started my children’s book journey!

Tell us about your latest publication. 
The latest book that has released is Winter in the City. It’s a counting search-and-find book that came out in 2019 from Albert Whitman. I think of it as my ode to New York City. I even dedicated the book to all my friends living there.

Describe a favorite or fun moment from your career. Was it from a book signing or a school visit? Was it at a conference or panel? Or finding out about a particular contract or award?
I would have to say my first school visit. I never knew how much students admire authors and illustrators until that point. They were so excited to meet me and learn more about me and my process.

What are you currently working on? Anything you can share with us?
I’m working on a graphic memoir about when I had a brain tumour at seventeen. Unfortunately, I can’t share any art yet, but it releases fall 2023.

What is your favorite book that you’ve created?

Do you do school or library visits? Tell us a little bit about what teachers, librarians, and kids can expect during one of your visits. Feel free to link to your website, or photos/videos of past presentations.
Yes! I do a variety of visits including my standard visit (book reading, drawing game, and questions), “How a Picture Book is Made”, and “How I Became an Author-Illustrator”. You can learn more here: www.clairelordon.com/visits.

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself.
I did the sport of skeleton when I was in high school (It’s like luge but head first).

Recommendations: What do you Love?
I’ve recently have been loving rug making! I have a tufting machine and I’ve made custom rugs for my home as well as my first pet rug commission.

What’s one piece of advice you want to share with young writers and aspiring authors or illustrators?
1. Join SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators).
2. Find a critique group.
3. Keep making work.
4. Show your work (online, social media, conferences, postcards, etc..)
5. Get feedback (critique groups, critiques at conferences, online groups, etc…)
6. Repeat steps three, four, and five!

Where can people find you online?

Website: www.clairelordon.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/clairelordon

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClaireLordon

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@clairelordon

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