Our team was incredibly luck to meet Mr. Ted Arnold when he visited our elementary school for an Author's Fair. Here are the questions and answers from that interview!
1) Before you moved to Florida and started taking art lessons, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a soldier. Both my dad and uncle served in World War II.
2) Was anybody else in your family creative, like you are? (Such as your brothers or parents?)
Not in the same way that I am. My mom always made things with her hands, she sewed, etc. She encouraged me to work on my art.
3) What books did you enjoy as a child?
Dr. Seuss and a series of books called Freddy the Pig.
4) Most people spell Ted with one 'd'. Why do you use two 'd's' in your name?
Before I went to college I signed my name with one d. When I went to college, I wanted my signature to look cooler, more artistic, so I started using two d's.
5) You sometimes illustrate books for other authors. Is it harder to illustrate something you've written or something that a different author has written?
It's different, but not harder. When I illustrate my own books, I have seen all of the pictures in my head as I'm writing the book. When I illustrate for other authors it is all fresh to me, and since none of the story will change, my ideas are without all of the baggage.
6) Even though you said in your Website that you come up with the ideas for the stories first and then do the illustrations, do you think your background as an artist makes it harder or easier for you to be an author?
Definitely easier for making picture books because I make sure the books have the action for cool drawings. In my mind I'm more of an artist than an author.
7) If kids told you they wanted to write and illustrate books when they grow up, would you encourage them to get a degree in English literature or journalism, or would you tell them to get a degree in fine arts, like you?
My experience is through art, but that is not the only way to do it. You do not necessarily have to major in journalism, but you need to keep reading ... even picture books. You don't have to study any one particular thing to be an author.
8) On your Website you have really neat sketches of old schoolhouses. Why do you particularly like to sketch old school house? Do you have other things that you like to sketch?
I visit public schools a lot these days, so I get nostalgic about schools. In the 1950s I attended a one-room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. I also like to sketch landscapes. My favorite artist is Andrew Wyatt.
9) Of all the illustrations that you have done, which is your favorite?
Each book has a hero.
10) In your new books with Huggly the Monster, do the ideas of "what lives under the bed" come from your own childhood thoughts or what your children have told you they think lives under the bed?
Neither. The ideas came from a classroom of 3rd graders that I visited. The kids sent me a package of their own drawings about No More Jumping on the Bed, but since it was around Halloween they had drawn monsters jumping on the bed.
11) Out of all the types of books (such as fiction, humor, poetry) which one do you like best?
For personal reading I enjoy fiction almost exclusively. I do buy poetry books and read poetry every once in awhile.
12) Out of all your other jobs, which one did you like best?
The Author/Illustrator job is my "dream-come-true". After that, my jobs as a worm counter and at the drive-in theater were among the most interesting.
To learn more about Tedd Arnold visit his site!