Julia Breckenreid

Q & A

Where did you grow up? 

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


What is your earliest memory of drawing? 

My kindergarten teacher was very excited when I drew a girl holding an umbrella... Most kids drew the arm holding the umbrella as an upside-down arc, like the handle of the umbrella, but I drew an elbow!  Apparently this was unusual.


What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? 

The Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

The Cuckoo Clock, by Mrs. Molesworth, illustrated by C.E. Brock

The Water Babies, by Charles Kingsley, illustrated by Linley Sambourne

Little House on the Prairie (the whole series), by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Garth Williams

Charlotte's Web, by E.B White, illustrated by Garth Williams

Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Joseph Schindelman

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery

Are You My Mother? and Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman

All books by Dr. Seuss

Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, by Mordecai Richler

Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales


What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?

Painting, watching movies, cooking, running, boxing, seeing theatre, dancing...


Who are a couple of your favorite illustrators?

That's a very long list!  But here are a few current book illustrators that I adore: Dusan Petricic, Geneviève Côté, Isabelle Arsenault, Lisbeth Zwerger, Christoph Niemann


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

Be patient, hang in there!



An Eye for Color

Natasha Wing; art by Julia Breckenreid

As a child, Josef Albers loved to watch his handyman father paint houses.When Josef grew up and became an artist, he reduced each image to its simplest shapes, breaking it down into blocks...