Gayle Cole currently resides in the small town of Sebastopol, California, on a blueberry farm where she has lived for the past 33 years raising four children with her husband, Jim. She graduated from the Art Department at San Francisco State University in 1978 with a BA degree in printmaking. Gayle considers herself an illustrator and designer, inspired first and foremost by the art in classic children’s books from such illustrators who simply went by Lucille W., H.C. Holling, Walt Disney Studio, and M. Sasek. Gayle has illustrated for Horticultural Publishing, worked in a local silk screening studio, and taken her artist’s eye in to landscaping and home designing. Portraiture of people and pets is Gayle’s muse of the moment and Dear Sun, Dear Moon is her first children’s book.
Describe Your Desk:
My desk is a long, narrow picnic table and two benches that I got at an antique fair in Round Top, Texas! They are original from Octoberfest in Germany, circa 1920. I love to spread out all my art supplies so everything is easily accessible!
What's the Story behind your latest book?
Dear Sun, Dear Moon is about letters written back and forth between the two. It is very sweet, complimentary correspondence and educational as well.
What is the greatest Joy of ILLUSTRAting for you?
I am joyful just seeing what comes out of the pencil, marker pen, paintbrush or pastel and on to the paper. It is almost always a surprise!
What are you working on next?
I am working on some portrait commissions and also fascinated with drawing vintage furniture and transportation from midcentury.
What is your iLLUSTRATING process?
When something catches my eye, be it a person, landscape, chair, car or groupings of things, I photograph it for later use at the drawing board. People also give me photos they would like me to illustrate.
Who are your favorite ILLUSTRATors?
How much time do you have?! I am inspired by every artist!! If I have to name just a few, I would start with Marc Davis, one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men”, the core of animators of the classic Disney animated films. I love comic book artists like Tom Moore who was the illustrator for the Archie Comic Book series. Roy Lichtenstein is an absolute favorite! It is so hard to stop!!
What do you read for pleasure?
I am an avid reader of fiction. Anything with great descriptive, wonderful storylines. I like to be able to taste the food, smell the flowers and know the people like they are my friends!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your ILLUSTRAting?
I grew up in southern California. The first things that come to mind are Disneyland and the beach! Both are a feast for the eyes and imagination! My parents were always great lovers and supporters of art and artists!
When did you first start ILLUSTRATing?
A little bit in high school, but mostly in college. I quickly changed from a major in Psychology to a major in Art!
Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?
Absolutely! I still have The Road In Storyland (held together with duct tape) illustrated by Lucille W. and H.C. Holling. The full of color lithographs are absolutely stunning to this day!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family, friends, pets and the magnificent world around me! What’s not to love!