With the publication of Sylvia’s Spinach this month, I thought it might be fun to share some thoughts on the main character’s development.
When I first started sketching Sylvia, three words came to mind: spunk, attitude, and sweetness. Author Katherine Pryor created a feisty girl with serious opinions. And I didn’t want her to be too girly—she needed to be hip, to appeal to a range of kids around her age.
Clothing adds lots of solutions to convey character. At first, Sylvia’s clothes were a bit too fussy and dated. Once I decided she’d wear some Ugg-like boots throughout, things began to come together.
I also wanted to be sure the color of her clothing reflected her attitude toward spinach. At the beginning of the story, her outfits are decidedly not green. As she warms up to the vegetable, touches of green are slowly introduced into her wardrobe.
One of the last decisions I made was about her hair. I have curly hair, and perhaps that’s why I enjoy drawing it so much, but it became distracting. In the end, I went with straight hair to give Sylvia a more serious attitude.
And here she is, in all her glory. If you haven’t seen the book trailer yet, you can view it here. And if you want a copy of the book, you can buy it here. Now, go eat your vegetables!