J. Rutland

J. Rutland J. Rutland

Q & A

Where did you grow up?

Alabama and North Carolina


What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?

Kindergarten; writing and drawing stories with my best friend Matthew during free time.


What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?

It just came natural. And me and Matt could bounce ideas off each other.


Do you use your childhood as inspiration?



What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?

The Giving Tree

Where the Wild Things Are

I'll Love You Forever, I'll Like You For Always

As an adult, I own many concept art books from movies. They are a constant source of inspiration.


Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?

Polly Dunbar, the fluidity and playfullness of her characters

Kadir Nelson, his choice of content

Peter Brown, his eccentric use of form

Rick Bragg, his engulfing description of Southern settings and characters


What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?

Find any way to keep working as an artist, and make one step forward every day.



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