The Art of Making Art: Lucy Knysley


The book tells a story in words, and a sketch or picture depicts a story with images. The comic tells a story with words and images. Lucy Knysley of Evanston (pronounced “in a dream”) created comics for which she wrote the story, painted the images, and colored the pages. She creates complete visual stories ready for publication.

Lucy Knysley in her studio.

Her books or graphic novels are considered fiction for middle class and young adults by publishers and are aimed at readers aged 8-18.

Her first seven published books are fictional memoirs from her own childhood.

To date, Knysley has published more than 15 comics. She is also a professional illustrator, speaks at Comic Con and other congresses, and works with school groups for young adults.

Most of her work is done in her home studio and on the porch. I am well acquainted with this situation, because in full revelation I met Knysley when she and her husband bought my house.

The studio on the third floor is a large west-facing room with lots of light and a closet. Knysley has a desk used for painting and crafts, shelves full of her books, as well as books by fellow authors she admires, and a closet full of supplies. She writes and sketches in an ergonomic, properly adjusted chair with an attached desk surface.

Lucy Knysley’s studio, as described by the artist.

Her art tools include the iPad, where she scripts stories in Microsoft Word. She uses Blackwing pencils and plain paper to sketch scenes, and will then color the work digitally or with watercolor paint.

Some of the books by the artist Lucy Knysley.

Knysley usually works on many stories at once. She says she continues to “spin a lot of records” so she can switch between the publisher’s requirements and the illustrations. She usually completes one book a year, but she lost care of her children during COVID-19 and had to extend her publication schedule.

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