Guest Edition

Paulette Bogan–What Was on Her . . .

Paulette Bogan (photo: Sheila Davidson)

I am over the moon to have Paulette Bogan here today! I’ve admired her work for years, both as a writer and an illustrator, and I feel very lucky indeed to have her joining in the fun of What Was on her post-its, easel, studio walls, and more.

Paulette knew pretty much from the day she was born that she wanted to write and illustrate. Being an artist took center stage first. She went to Parsons School of Design and then went on to illustrate for The New York Times, Business Week, Scholastic Magazines, Publishers Weekly, and a lot more. When her first daughter was born, she decided it was time to give her inner author a chance. After taking classes, going to children’s book conferences, and “basically driving everyone crazy,” she published her first book, Spike, about an adorable dog who doesn’t want to be a dog. Paulette now has a total of fifteen books to her name, including more books about Spike, Bossy Flossy, about a girl who is—you guessed it, bossy—Goodnight Lulu, about a sweet little chicken who can’t get to sleep, and my personal favorite Virgil and Owen, about the challenges of learning to share a favorite friend with others.

Paulette lives in Greenwich Village, where she is known for her fantastic stoop decorations, her very dramatic dog, Moof, and being a fan favorite at school visits. Rumor has it that she can draw the fastest chicken in New York City and maybe even the fastest pig in Brooklyn! Please join me in welcoming Paulette Bogan as she tells us What was on Paulette’s . . .

Post-its: So many post-its, so little time! Some of my best characters start out on a post-it. They are usually just quick squiggly sketches, nice and loose! Here are a few on the cabinet next to my computer. A hint of what is on my drawing board!

Drawing Board: I’ve been working on the alphabet. I like to do the #100dayproject on Instagram. This is my second year doing it and it’s a great incentive to draw something every day! I like having a theme, so this year was an animal (or two) for every letter. I do lots of research, mostly on google or one of the gazillion books about animals I have on my shelves. I can spend hours just looking at pics and reading about whatever I am working on. Next step, sketches usually on tracing paper, then final art. For the final art for this project I have been working in watercolor, then scanning the art in and reworking in photoshop.

Paulette Bogan O animalPaulette Bogan P animal

I’ve also been working on several different manuscripts. One story about a little raccoon named Millie and her “Too busy family.”

And coffee! During quarantine, coffee shops were closed. No LATTES! Yikes. I had to learn how to make them at home. (I cannot live without lattes.) Of course, they had to be artsy… kind of. This is my “Turtle wearing a graduation cap and sunglasses with a bullet hole in the head.” Yuk, yuk.

School Easel: Doing school visits on zoom is a whole new world. One of the things I like to do is combination animals. The students choose three different animals on the spot and I combine them. Some come out great and some not so great, but always fun!

I also teach the class how to draw a penguin or a chicken! Two of my favorite animals to draw. Here are some sent to me during quarantine. (That’s my niece, Sonia.)

Studio Walls:

Paulette Bogan Studio1Paulette Bogan Studio2Paulette Bogan Studio3

Carpet: My sidekick, Mufasa. We call him MOOF or Mr. Grumble Pants. He does a great side-eye. He always makes me laugh and he loves to be snuggled.

Paulette Bogan Mufasa1Paulette Bogan Mufasa2Paulette Bogan Mufasa3

Halloween Door: My block is ground zero for the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village. Our whole street gets closed off to traffic and fills up with kids (and adults) in costumes! So, of course, I have to decorate my door. That’s Moof dressed up as a Ninja-superhero.

Paulette Bogan Halloween1Paulette Bogan Halloween2Paulette Bogan Halloween3

Mind: Hmmm, what’s on my mind? A very polite owl and a very rude alligator.

Paulette Bogan Alligator Achoo

I’d also really like to illustrate more of other people’s manuscripts. I really enjoy reading something and coming up with characters and adding little tidbits that aren’t in the story.

I’ve also been thinking about more art for #kidlitartsurprise. This was set up by two kidlit peeps, Ruth Chan and Elisha Cooper to support independent bookstores. I loved working on this project!

Paulette Bogan Kidlitartsurprise1Paulette Bogan Kidlitartsurprise2

Thanks so much, Paulette, for stopping by! It’s hard to choose which of your sketches I like best, so I’ll just to go with ALL OF THEM. 

Over 75 illustrators have contributed their work to @kidlitartsurprise to support independent bookstores who are struggling during these difficult times. If you buy a book from Fairytales Bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee or Marcus Books in Oakland, California you have a chance to win one of Paulette’s fun illustrations.

You can stay up to date with Paulette Bogan and her art at, on Facebook @paulettebogan, on Instagram @paulettebogan123, and on Twitter @paulettebogan1.

If you would like to order Paulette Bogan’s books, simply click on the images below.

bossyflossy_lowrescvrvirgilowencovergoldseal600x800virgilowensticktogethercovergoldseal600x800Chicks and Salsa

If you would like to know more about me and my upcoming books, visit me at

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