Catching up with Ariana Koultourides illustrator of The Big Kids Board Books: Bed Tales, Shirt Tales and Toilet Tales
Maybe your parents haven’t stopped teasing you on how long it took for you to be potty trained. What about the time you put on a shirt inside out and went to school? Or the time they stayed up with you until two in the morning because you just would not go to bed. Are you going through all of this with the toddler in your life? Hear what advice Ariana Koultourides, illustrator of the Big Kids Board Books, has for parents and toddlers reaching milestones. Read on or watch our Instagram Story.
ANNICK: Which was your favourite animal to draw, and why?
AK: If I had to pick just one animal throughout the entire series that I drew, that was my favourite−I think I’d have to choose the elephant. Even though its hard, because I love animals, I think I would choose the elephant because it was really fun playing with the huge dramatic perspective and scale. It was my goal to get kids to laugh and try to imagine a huge elephant in their bathroom. A giant elephant crammed in a tiny bathroom next to a little toilet…just for little kids I think it’s really fun. So, I think that would be my favourite.
ANNICK: When did you know you wanted to illustrate kid’s books?
AK: Ever since I was little I always loved drawing and always loved reading children’s books and looking at the art. I got really inspired and my family always drew, so I was always drawing, painting and sculpting everything. As school went by I took every art class possible and eventually I went to college for art and I majored in illustration. It has always really been with me and has been my main goal. It feels great to finally have done it with such a wonderful publishing company.
ANNICK: Do you think there should be a book based on your Chihuahua?
AK: Absolutely! I would absolutely love that. That would be a dream come true. If only I knew someone that could write it for me. I have a ton of content about his whole little personality. It’s just really hard for me to write. I love to evoke stories through images. So, I’m kind of working on something, but it doesn’t really have text so if that could happen in the future, that would be amazing!
ANNICK: What is your favourite medium to use?
AK: My favourite medium to use is a really hard thing to choose. But I think if I had to choose it would probably be just pencil and paper. I feel the most relaxed and happy when I’m just drawing and drawing and drawing. I love that traditional aspect, but at the same time I love colour, and I love digital art and I like to combine all of that in my work. It’s really hard but I guess just traditional drawing would be my favourite−doodling everything.
ANNICK: We see you like nail art. Which one is harder, getting the perfect nail or the perfect sketch?
AK: Even though a lot of my professional work is illustration and mostly children’s book illustration−I do love a lot of different mediums of art and expression. I have a passion for sculpture even, and nail art. I think trying to decide what’s harder with nail art and sketching I think getting the perfect nail art is definitely harder for me because of the tiny, tiny scale. I like getting every little detail perfect and intricate. I think nail art would probably be harder than sketching, its just not as fluid, but it’s definitely just as rewarding.
ANNICK: What animals do you think would be the most successful at 1. Using the toilet, 2. Getting dressed and 3. Sleeping in a bed?
AK: If I had to choose an animal that would reach each milestone the best throughout all three books, I think for Bed Tales it would definitely be the bear because they’re so big and cozy and they like to hibernate. For Shirt Tales I think I would choose octopus because they have all those tentacles and they have the best chances at succeeding at reaching that milestone. For Toilet Tales I think I would choose the lion because I love the idea of the lion making the toilet their throne and just being really relaxed and comfortable while taking their time. I don’t know, I think its fun to think of any of these animals reaching these milestones but if I had to choose one for each those would be the three.
ANNICK: What advice can you give to all those toddlers out there reaching important milestones?
AK: For all those adorable little toddlers out there reaching these milestones, the best advice I can give them is to just be patient, have fun with it, make fun memories and just have a good time! Everyone’s different, everyone reaches everything at a different pace and I hope that these books create memories with toddlers and their families and I hope everyone has a fun time with them.
The Big Kids Board Books: Bed Tales, Shirt Tales and Toilet Tales are on sale now!