(c) Yaroslava Apollonova, odnatamyara.com
Member of Kelly Dyksterhouse's Kidlit Crew
I’ve always been keen to illustrate children books. Book sections at stores have always been my favorite places--spending hours by! I've been drawing and illustrating literally half my life, since I was 12-years-old. (I'm 24 now.) Also, when I was 12, my sister was born, which was very inspiring to me. I wanted her to hold a book that I had illustrated! Though she’s 13 now, and not interested in picture books anymore--yet still!
I'm sure your sister will find it pretty cool when she does hold your first traditionally published picture book! So what do you love about writing and illustrating for young readers?
I really enjoy drawing kids, cute things, and fun scenes with lots of objects, basically all those things are portrayed in picture books, so if one niche fits everything I love, then why not, right?
Makes sense to me! I notice, your illustrative style hints of geometric shapes. What about that style attracts you? Would you call it cubism?
All my artistic life I've loved experimenting and challenging myself, so geometry and forms have been something that keeps my brain working, if I can say so. Actually, I think what really had a huge influence on me was taking geometry in school. It was my favorite class. (I was a “know-it-all" annoying student back then. (HaHa!))
I love simplifying things, adding shapes and pushing forms.
I wouldn’t name my style "cubism" or anything else. To me, my style doesn’t seem to fit into those “artistic” styles represented in art galleries and museums. I would actually love to see more work by contemporary artists in galleries and solo exhibitions!
I would love to work on recipe and cook books! I looove baking, if not drawing I’d definitely be a cook or baker. Haha! That’s always been my dream to illustrate my own recipe book!
Besides that I’d love to work on any exciting project with interesting narrative story about friendship, parenthood, mental health, or childhood, in general. (I especially love stories with deep physiology meanings.)
How did you and Kelly find each other and why are you glad?
I was looking for an agent for months, had so many declines, even started thinking something is wrong with my art. Originally, I had queried a different agent at Tobias Literary. Though she didn't offer me representation, she was kind enough to forward my inquiry to Kelly! Kelly was the only one who believed in me! She even seemed happy to sign the contract with me!
So far we have had great conversations. I can ask her anything that bothers me, and we've already begun working on very nice project that I’m very excited about! Working with Kelly feels like a win win for both a us!
She creates her illustrations for a wide range of clients, from packaging and character designs to children's books and stickers. Currently, she concentrates on kidlit illustrations and projects. Her artworks are always based on geometry, simple forms, unique combinations of textures and colors. She loves using soft color palettes and finding fascinating ways to reveal the story. Find Yara online at odnatamyara.com and on Behance HERE. Yara is rep'd by Kelly Dyksterhouse of The Tobias Literary Agency.