For her winning entry to this years' Undiscovered Voices anthology, illustrator Monika Baum chose the legend of the Loch Ness monster. 

Tell us about yourself in 50 words or less.

I was born and raised in Germany with a love for art and books. After school and a gap year, I graduated with a B.A. in Linguistics. Nowadays I live in the north of Switzerland with my husband and I am an accountant by day.

Who or what do you think informs your illustration the most?

I love discovering new things about the world I live in - the notion of endless wonder waiting for you just around the corner. It’s what drew me to books as a child and it’s ultimately what I would like to illustrate. First illustration heroes: John Howe, Alan Lee, Beatrix Potter and John Patience.

Monika Baum

What materials do you enjoy using the most?

Watercolours, no question. They can be so unpredictable it is almost freeing. You can digitally render the soul out of an image, but with watercolour you have to leave the illustration alone after a certain point. I do use digital as well as traditional tools for playing around on the iPad and in my sketchbooks. If I want to take an illustration to final though, I will do it traditionally with watercolours and maybe some ink.

Why did you choose the scene you illustrated for UV2018?

I lived in Scotland during my gap year. I have fond memories of that time and my only regret is that I didn’t spend more of it exploring the highlands & islands. So: when I looked at my options for which “scene from a well-known myth” I could illustrate, I went with my gut feeling in the end and drew a scene involving the Loch Ness Monster.

If there was one thing that stood out the most about being a part of UV2018, what would it be? 

The camaraderie that developed amongst the finalists and the in-depth guidance we received from the UV volunteers at, and leading up to, the workshop, as well as the launch party. Knowing that you’re not the only one with a bunch of questions and being able to reach out about any of it has been such a huge support.

What has been the most valuable part of UV2018 for you?

The camaraderie I mentioned above!


 Monika can be contacted by email Here.
Her website is www.monbaum.com
Follow Monika on Instagram and Twitter.

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You can download the Undiscovered Voices 2018 anthology here.

Undiscovered Voices is an anthology published every other year by the British SCBWI and aims to help fresh, new voices in children’s literature – both writers and illustrators – find agents, publishers and ultimately readers. Undiscovered Voices has launched the careers of writers and illustrators, who have gone on to publish more than 200 books. These authors have been nominated for and won an amazing array of literary prizes: including the Carnegie Medal, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and nearly 30 regional awards. Visit www.undiscoveredvoices.com for all the details and news when submissions will open for the next anthology.

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