7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #417: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Molly Walsh

h1 February 1st, 2015 by jules

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means I invite a student illustrator or recent grad to visit 7-Imp, and today I’ve got the latter. Molly Walsh graduated in 2013 from RISD, and she’s here today to share art and tell us a bit about herself.

Without further ado …

Molly: Hello! My name is Molly Walsh, and I am an illustrator living on Cape Cod. I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.



I work by day as a designer at a gift company in Cape Cod and, by night, as a freelance illustrator. I love creating art for decoration, but my first love is telling stories, large or small, through my illustration. Inspiration for my illustrations could come from something as small as a little detail from a friend’s story to something as large as trying to sum up an entire concept or emotion in one image. My love of nature and goofy characters also have a way of creeping into the images I make.



I started working in my current style toward the end of my time at RISD. I had been making 3D sculptures as a way to compensate for my lack of confidence in my drawing skills. Sculpting somehow gave me a better understanding of shapes and lighting, and I began drawing and painting again to save time. (Funny how that works!)



One of my professors, Fred Lynch, was of great help to me settling into a style that suited my voice as an illustrator. I do most of my work in watercolor and gouache, though my surface design job has taught me a great deal about digital media, which I’ve started incorporating into my work.



My current sketchbook is full of doodles and sloppily-written ideas for future projects, both somewhat formed idea for series and comics, as well as notes about “great ideas” I’ve written myself while half asleep. (The other day I found the words “Gastronaut — astronaut with gas” written on one page.) Looking forward, I hope to find more opportunities to tell both my own stories, as well as the stories and ideas of others through freelance work for books and magazines. Illustration is a wonderful, exciting thing, and I hope to use this power for good!



All artwork here is reproduced by permission of Molly Walsh.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I love the characters in Molly’s work. Also I love: “Illustration is a wonderful, exciting thing, and I hope to use this power for good!” (P.S. The last illustration up there is from Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day,” which is something like the third or fourth illustration I’ve shared at 7-Imp from that story, which used to HAUNT me as a child. I’m starting a 7-Imp trend.)

2) Yesterday, we saw a stage adaptation at the Nashville Children’s Theatre of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie stories. It was fun. Here’s a bit of what it was like:

3) I talked to a big group of second-graders at a school in Nashville this week about favorite 2014 picture books and Caldecott contenders, and it was a thing of beauty to hear their strong opinions. Those lucky kids have some great teachers and librarians.

4) Oh, and the Twitter chat this week with Metro Nashville School librarians was fun too.

5) Author-illustrator Lori Nichols is going to come have breakfast at 7-Imp when life slows down and sent this preview of us in the meantime:

6) It’s neat to see friends’ photos on Facebook from ALA Midwinter.

7) Speaking of kick #2, my New Year’s resolution (though I don’t usually do resolutions) was to see more live theatre, so hey, I’m not doing too badly.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

12 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #417: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Molly Walsh”

  1. Hi Imps! Happy Sunday!

    Hi Molly! Thanks for using your powers for good. 🙂 The moving day picture reminds me of Alice stuck in the White Rabbit’s house.

    Jules: You are rocking the talks and presentations lately, lady! Congrats! Glad that you are making a point to see more live theatre. The Elephant & Piggie books are fun; I’m glad the stage show is, too.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Performances
    2) Offers
    3) Acceptances
    4) Compositions
    5) Clearances
    6) Corrections
    7) Choices

  2. Little Willow, offers and acceptances. Congrats! I think you would have enjoyed the Elephant & Piggie show. This was its regional premiere, evidently …. The piece of Molly’s that you mentioned is called Homecoming (I had titles for some, but not for all, so I left them out in the name of consistency), and at her tumblr it says under that image, “Moving back home is hard.”

  3. Molly, good luck on your career! It looks promising and for the good. My favorite is the girl in the treehouse.
    Jules, I would love to see the Piggy and Elephant show. I read some of the Newbery contenders this year so I am looking forward to finding out the Newbery Award.
    LW: I like acceptances and clearances.
    My kicks:
    1. The sunrise on Thursday was a painting.
    2. A better week.
    3. Birthday wishes.
    4. Battling blackberry vines.
    5. Being outdoors.
    6. Student poetry.
    7. This from a kinder to her teacher: “the queen of the library gave me a sticker.”
    Have a great week.

  4. What a nice surprise to see Molly’s work here this morning. I like the sculptural quality of the work, made dreamlike by the watercolor.
    Hi Molly – waves from over the snow drifts.
    Jules – That sounds like a fun discussion with the students about picture books. You must have been thrilled.
    LW – Choices, always good to have.
    Jone – Queen of the library doling out stickers is a great image. Was it your birthday? I hope there was cake.
    1. Four, count ’em, four snow days and we are all still speaking to each other.
    2. Slowly but surely getting through the tax prep.
    3. My husband being able to get my parents to our house when their power was out and the roads were barely passable.
    4. Wearing pajamas for extended periods of time.
    5. Saw Birdman with my husband last night. We both loved it.
    6. A Dr. Sketchy’ started a Cape Cod chapter this year. I attended one of their events. So fun! https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=822923174435177&tsid=0.691151482751593&source=typeahead
    7. Go Pats!!!
    p.s. Very curious to see the Caldecott results.
    Rabbit, rabbit

  5. Happy Sunday Imps!

    I really like the sense of fun and whimsy in Molly’s work. I think my favorite is the mom and kid riding the elephant – such happy faces – I want to know more.

    Jules – what a busy and fun week you had. Elephant and Piggie onstage sounds like a lot of fun!

    LW – I like your acceptances and clearances kicks too.

    Jone – Happy belated birthday to the Queen of the Library! I hope there were stickers and cake. Go Seahawks!

    Moira – congrats on successfully making it through 4 snowdays! Glad all your family kept safe and warm. Pajamas are awesome.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Busy and fun week of work.
    2) Accidentally catching the ice dancing performance of Hubbell and Donohue to Joe Cocker’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On” and “I Put A Spell On You.” Electrifying.
    3) Series finale of Parenthood. Laughter and tears. Perfect.
    4) Cocktails & catch-up with a good friend.
    5) Fun going away party for a friend moving to Chile.
    6) Wine tasting with another friend.
    7) I have such girl crushes on these 2 young women: Sam Gordon and Karlie Harman. Both are athletes and awesome, Here’s Sam making a Super Bowl prediction:

    Go Seahawks!

    Have a great week everyone!

  6. Happy new month to all!

    Jone: “The queen of the library gave me a sticker.” A world of yes. Happy belated!

    Rachel: May your friend have a safe and happy move.

    Moira: Stay safe and warm! May the snow clear up there soon!

    Jules: I think it’s cool that they didn’t put the actors in animal costumes.

  7. Jone, Queen of the Library, I’m very glad this week was better.

    Moira, glad you all are still sane. I wonder if school was cancelled tomorrow, too? Surely not?

    Rachel, I have never seen Parenthood and want to fix that. Glad you had a good week!

    You all, I’m excited to hear the awards in the morning, especially all awards that can go to picture books. I also did a pretty good job of reading Newbery contenders this year, so I’m excited about that too!

    Little Willow, I like that too. I always prefer to see actors “find” the animals with movement, etc.

    Have a good week, all!

  8. No school tomorrow.
    But the Patriots just won the Super Bowl, so it’s all good.

  9. Still no school? That’s some serious snow.

    Congrats to your Pats!

  10. Molly, hi! Congratulations on being featured here, it’s a wonderful honor! I was a student illustrator on 7-Imp a few months ago, and since then I’ve signed with an agent and have gotten a 2-book picture book contract. You’re on such a good track here. LOVE your work! Looking forward to seeing more of it soon!

  11. I like watercolors when they’re ethereal washes of pastel, but also when they show such movement and vivacity as in the thickly applied colors here. I love the doll-looking characters- and the fact that some of the girls kind of remind me of the LumberJanes for some reason. Also, Raggedy Anne in 3D!

  12. Holy gorgeousness, Batman! Very late to the game here but I just have to say I love your color, Molly. Best of luck to you.

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