Today, TeachingBooks.net welcomes author and illustrator Devon Kinch as she stops by on her blog tour.
By the time I turned 25, I had three credit cards and more debt than I could handle. The long process of digging myself out and repairing my finances inspired me to create the “Pretty Penny” book series. I wanted to create a character that would inspire children to learn about money basics at a young age so they could avoid making the same mistakes I had.
These books are influenced by my own childhood memories. My parents were very supportive of my somewhat wacky childhood adventures. I opened a rock museum (yes, plain old rocks) and held exhibitions with details about each specimen. I built three-dimensional cities out of folds of paper, covering all the surfaces in our house. And, of course, there was the Small Mall that I opened with my childhood friend, Heather. I took those memories and multiplied them tenfold to create the spirit of Pretty Penny—a character who is fearless in her creativity.
Penny’s discovery of the attic is a very important moment in Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop (Random House, 2010). The Small Mall is the nexus for the book series and the central place where many of Penny’s entrepreneurial adventures unfold. Her imagination is uninhibited here and she is free to dream up unconventional solutions to everyday money problems.
After deciding the various objects that would fill the attic, I set out to draw it. I sketch in pencil and then do the final drawings with a fine point micron pen. I scan the drawings and clean them up with the computer to get images like the one below.
Then, as you can see in the next image, I add color in Photoshop using the Wacom tablet. Using the computer for color is a wonderful tool. It allows me to do various versions without ever permanently altering the original drawing.
That is how I came to create Penny’s Small Mall. It is a magical place for an adventurous young girl. Penny encompasses a great do-it-yourself spirit that I hope will be infectious!
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Devon Kinch continues her blog tour here.