Story behind the story: Meet Jedda Robaard, author of the I’m Ready For series

Story behind the story: Meet Jedda Robaard, author of the I’m Ready For series

The amazing illustrator behind the I’m Ready For series, Jedda Robaard, chats with us about all things drawing, designing, storytelling and holding a little one’s hand through life’s milestones.

Originally from Tasmania, Jedda is now based on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, where she lives with her husband, children and pets. She has been illustrating and writing children’s books since 2011 and has had over 40 books published.

These characters are all so adorable! Which mediums do you use in your illustrations?

Thank you! In the I’m Ready For series the characters are all created digitally. Although I previously used traditional watercolour in my illustration work (and still do at times) I have adapted my technique to include digital watercolour using an iPad and Procreate.

What is your creative process like?

Once I receive a project, I like to have it in the back of my mind for a while. While I’m not actively thinking about it, it still gets churned over, so by the time I get to writing down my ideas (mind mapping mostly) the ideas come more freely.

From mind mapping, I move onto the storyboard thumbnails and hand it in for review. After it’s been approved I develop the black and white roughs, then colour roughs and lastly the final artwork.

The I’m Ready For series is all about celebrating ‘firsts’. Do you remember your first time going to preschool, swimming or welcoming a new sibling?

For this series I like to draw on my own experiences and those of my children.

I’m Ready for Preschool is based on taking my children to their first day, but I’m Ready for Swimming is all about my own first swimming lessons. The yellow floaties really stand out in my memory, so I just had to include them.

In the I’m Ready For series, which character is your favourite to illustrate?

The wombat in the first book, I’m Ready for Christmas, is definitely my favourite. Wombats don’t need a lot of help to look cute and she was a delight to illustrate.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?

The main advice I have is, don’t focus too much on having the perfect illustrating style before starting your career in book illustration. You learn a lot along the way.

Also, traits like a good imagination, problem-solving skills, a good sense of design and composition and a willingness to listen and take on constructive criticism can be just as important as your illustration skills.

 

Find the latest books in the series, I’m Ready for Swimming and I’m Ready for My Birthday at your local bookstore.

Reviews

We’re ready for anything – are you?

Review | Book Life | News

8 December 2020

We’re ready for anything – are you?

Put your party hat on: Read an extract from I'm Ready for my Birthday by Jedda Robaard

Review | Extract

7 December 2020

Put your party hat on: Read an extract from I'm Ready for my Birthday by Jedda Robaard

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Publisher details

I'm Ready for Swimming
Author
Jedda Robaard
Publisher
Puffin Books
Genre
Children’s Picture Book
Released
01 December, 2020

Synopsis

I'm getting ready to learn how to swim . . .This adorable story describes the heartening apprehension and elation of beginning swimming lessons.The I’m Ready series is a collection of fun, bright board books about exciting milestones and events in many children’s lives. These gorgeous board books are designed as handy explainers for children that parents can trust, with a look the whole family will love.The I’m Ready series serves as a stepping stone between first concept books (numbers, alphabet, colours, animals, etc) and longer narrative picture books. They are ideal for children ages 3 to 4.The series is illustrated by Jedda Robaard, a beloved Australian author and illustrator. These gorgeous books will win over parents and children alike with Jedda’s adorable illustrations, full of familiar Australian scenes, animals and flora. The books are about key experiences in a child’s life, whether it’s feeling anxious about learning to swim or getting ready to celebrate with family.

Publisher details

I'm Ready for My Birthday
Author
Jedda Robaard
Publisher
Penguin
Genre
Children’s Picture Book
Released
01 December, 2020

Synopsis

I'm getting ready for a very special day . . .This stunning story shows the exhilaration and anticipation of celebrating a birthday in Australia.The I’m Ready series is a collection of fun, bright board books about exciting milestones and events in many children’s lives. These gorgeous board books are designed as handy explainers for children that parents can trust, with a look the whole family will love.The I’m Ready series serves as a stepping stone between first concept books (numbers, alphabet, colours, animals, etc) and longer narrative picture books. They are ideal for children ages 3 to 4.The series is illustrated by Jedda Robaard, a beloved Australian author and illustrator. These gorgeous books will win over parents and children alike with Jedda’s adorable illustrations, full of familiar Australian scenes, animals and flora. The books are about key experiences in a child’s life, whether it’s feeling anxious about swimming lessons or getting ready to celebrate with family.
Jedda Robaard
About the author

Jedda Robaard

Jedda Robaard grew up in a small town on the island of Tasmania and now lives on the coast of Victoria with her husband, children and a variety of pets. Jedda trained as a graphic designer, the manual cut and paste way, and ran children's art and craft workshops for many years. The interaction with her young students, a passion for her craft as well as family life and a discerning eye for the innocuous but evocative little moments in life all contribute to her page-turning, whimsical and imaginative illustrations and stories for children. Jedda's books have been published in many languages including English, French, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Korean and Chinese.

Books by Jedda Robaard

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