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Toni Yuly Tears a Tale and a Prize!

I Love the adorable animals in Tony Yuly's books. As cute as they are I love her Torn Tissue images even more! It is wonderful to see how Toni's style has changed. It's even more amazing to see it happen over a period of just a few years! Toni talks about the changes she's gone through as an illustrator!

Be sure to check out the Prize after the post!


Dani: I know that you have just started in torn tissue paper. Could you tell us a bit more about that and the previous art styles you tried?

Toni: The torn tissue began while I was playing around one day...I really wanted to re-connect with that totally free, non-goal oriented creative activity I had had in abundance before I became an "official" author with book contracts. I have always been attracted to collage and had some tissue paper laying around so I started tearing it up... It was fun! I love to randomly tear paper and see what shapes jump out at me. After I see a shape I like I add some details with pen and ink. I have always loved working fast, also making many "bad" things or mistakes doesn't bother me. I like the quickness of ink and watercolor...I kind of like not planning things out...I am process oriented, which to me means, I like to work on something over and over again until I get it right or it turns into something else that I like. The process of doing something over and over quickly but maybe getting to the end goal slowly works for me most of the time. I have tried oil painting but it drives me crazy. I love working with pieces of cardboard and making wall sculptures with a glue gun.

Dani: How did being a librarian influence your career now as a writer and illustrator?

Toni: It helped me to stay alive! It also gave me close access to tons of books! I would get to see new picture books before they were in the stores and the Children's Librarians in particular were my sounding boards. I pestered those folks constantly and they never tired of being happy to help me. I spent many, many years bouncing my ideas off of so many helpful Children's Librarians. I was not a Children's Librarian but worked in General Reference. I also think helping people and being in a big public library was so different from being alone creating stuff that it was a really great balance, and kept me sane.

Dani: What are some of the things you've always wanted to do?

Toni: Design images for everything! I love fashion, textiles, etc. and would love to design theater sets too. Finish all of my writing projects! Take a long road trip to the Southwest. Get a piano. Get a dog. Meditate every single day...

Dani: What is your favorite thing about Picture Book Illustration?

Toni: Everything! It is like a dream come true to be able to make a book for children using words and pictures! I don't think of my self as an illustrator because I wasn't trained as an illustrator but I think that is part of my strength. I love making visual images and I try not to limit myself in any way....I love the design process...of course actually making a picture book is hard work, but so satisfying when you are finished!

Dani: Could you give some advice to those of us finding our place in the Picture Book Industry?

Toni: Don't give up. Keep going. Pester people (in a nice way of course.) Try to connect with the KidLit Community as much as possible. Let your heart lead you in your work.

Dani: Any last bits of advice you'd like to share?

Toni: If you just keep working inch by inch you will get there.


Follow Toni:

My website:

Follow my Torn Tissue Tuesday posts every Tuesday on my facebook page.


I have 2 new books being published in 2017! THE JELLY BEAN TREE, June 2017, (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan) and THANK YOU, BEES, Fall 2017, (Candlewick)



One lucky winner will win a torn tissue illustration created by Toni Yuly! This prize can only be shipped to the US or Canada.

This post first appeared on Dani Duck: Artist Obscure, please read the originial post: here

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Toni Yuly Tears a Tale and a Prize!


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