Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Q&A - Jason Kirschner

Jason Kirschner

Hi everyone. I'm Jason -set designer, illustrator, author, comics enthusiast and occasional maker of kale chips. This is my first ever blog entry so bear with me.

Any Good news?
Yes!! My very first picture book, Mr. Particular:The World’s Choosiest Champion will be in bookstores everywhere on May 10!! It's the most exciting thing that's happened since the birth of my kids and the invention of sliced bread.
Mr. Particular's Cover!

What are you working on?

I am working on a ton of stuff--or maybe it just feels that way. I'm always juggling a bunch of things which keeps it really interesting. I’m working on a new picture book manuscript that I really love. I've dipped my toe into the “trying-to-write-a-middle-grade” pool-- not sure how that's going to turn out. I've got some magazine illustrations on my plate. First and foremost, I’m working on all of the marketing and promotions for  Mr. Particular, which is due out in May people! I can hardly wait. Mix in a day job, my lovely wife, and 8 year-old twins and I barely have a second to spare.

What inspires you?'s just us here so I feel I can admit something. I'm a...a...nerd. I grew up reading/watching/inhaling comic books, sci-fI and fantasy. If someone made a pork chop in outer space I wanted to know about it. And so as a “grown-up,” I love delving into those worlds and trying to make my own small additions to those genres. Mr. Particular is my shot at writing superheroes --with a dash of personal experiences and a kidlit twist. The pb manuscript I'm working on is drawn from a love of “monster movies” and the middle grade is my outer-space adventure.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Petri dishes of inspiration I live with and provide meals kids. They're a constant source of ideas. Anything from everyday occurances to strange turns of phrase can spark ideas. If you don't have kids, I highly recommend visiting your local megamart and picking some up. Very useful.
Mr. Particular - Interior page

Super...Raccoon? Not sure. I just liked that it looked like he was wearing a mask.

If you were an animal what would it be?

It's probably the most widely picked answer but I'd probably be a dog. I really like having my back scratched. Not my ears so much- but i’m open to it.  I eat most things out of bowls and I'd bet I'd like the crunch of kibble. Ooh- and I'd love one of those plaid doggie coats. They always look so comfortable. Not sure about the little booties though. I like bare feet.
I will share, as a bonus, that my daughter would like to be a giraffe and my son, a penguin.

Just a girl and her space lizard.
Your Picture book process: Do the words come first or the images or both?
I think the image comes first. I'm an illustrator first. I still look behind me when anyone looks in my direction and says the word “author. I usually start with some character sketches so I know who I'll be writing about. I feel like I can hear their voices a lot better when I know what they look like. Then I go to the manuscript. I try to get that to a really finished place before I start a dummy. Otherwise it's an endless cycle of revision. Once I feel the manuscript is done-ish, I start the dummy. It's sort of freeing-- like drawing someone else's script. I don't have to worry about word changes or plot revisions. When it's all drawn, I can go back in and edit. I tend to be able to edit out a lot of words once I see the pictures. Not sure if you can tell but, like me, my manuscripts…wordy.

Hopefully a bit self-explanitory - except for the dog.  What's he doing?

Who are your creative influences? address either your illustration or writing or both influences.

My take on Nanny Piggens.
So many. I taught myself to draw by copying comic strips like Jim Davis’s Garfield and Charles Shultz’s Peanuts. Like I said, I'm a tremendous comic book nerd so artists like John Byrne, Alan Davis and Art Adams had a huge influence on me. And in the kidlit world, first and foremost, I love love love Maurice Sendak. The way he drew kids was a revelation to me. My other real kidlit love is Lisbeth Zwerger. One of my set design professors turned me on to her long ago. Her take on things is always so different than anything I would have ever chosen… And, of course, super-beautiful.

See more of my work or get to know me better at:

my website:

Facebook: JasonKirschnerStudio

Twitter: @jason_kirschner

represented by Rachel Orr at Prospect Agency


  1. Love your lively illustrations! Great interview!

  2. Love your lively illustrations! Great interview!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind word and for taking the time to check us out.

  3. Your work is so well structured and funny... I've been a fan since day 1. I'm so excited that I get to have my very own Mr. Particular on May 10th! What a fun day that will be. Where will the book launch be?

  4. Yes, please tell us when and where the book signing is so we can crash it and get a book! I agree with Barbara, love your work from that very first workshop with the monsters and the kids on the log!!

    1. Thanks Deb! Still working out the launch. One day we'll have to get other people besides ourselves to comment on these things.;)

  5. Yes let us know about the launch - looking forward to getting your book. Hey at least someone is commenting.