Megan loves lines – in her job as an architect, she drew a lot of them.
While for an illustrator lines inform and compose visual space, for a writer they can also trace the arc of a story or the subtle paths of a narrative as they take a reader from point A to point B (and sometimes back to point A!) Megan draws these connecting points in her work as an author, illustrator and publisher of children’s picture books.
Raised in San Antonio, Texas, she honed her writing skills under the watchful eye of her English teacher mother. In grade school, she was an unabashed “art kid” and editor of her high school literary magazine. She received her degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, then tested her design chops at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects in San Francisco.
Extending beyond her practice in architecture, Megan uses a similar design process to create stories. She combines a love of the natural world with a desire to pose important questions to young readers. Her first two picture books were self-published with an eye for quality and detail, and she has plans for many more!
Learn more about Megan Padalecki on her website.
Q1: What three things would we always find in your creative space/studio?
Megan: 1. Shelves full of picture books, arranged by color, of course.
2. Lots of natural daylight (important for painting and Vitamin D).
3. Architect's scale (I'm always measuring or composing something).
Q2: When did you know that you wanted to be an author and illustrator?
Megan: After many years of traveling around the world, I realized that the only souvenir I would seek out in each country was a picture book. I always gravitated to the children's section of any bookstore and I knew I had my own stories to tell! Inspired by working as an architect, I hope to design and "build" the best books I can.
Q3: What authors and illustrators have most inspired you?
Megan: Dr. Seuss was an early favorite. His distinctive character style, use of bold colors and delicate treatment of important moral lessons are timeless. I also love Jan Brett's rich and detailed watercolors and Tomi Ungerer's more graphic illustration style.
Q4: Our festival theme this year is Twists & Turns. Which would you rather play, Twister or dominoes?
Megan: Dominoes — I'm pretty good with them.