Meet Nick Bruel
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Bad Kitty based on a real cat?
Kitty’s personality and overall character is not based on any particular cat so much as on that of every cat, every ornery and self-important cat, I have ever known. However, she is physically modeled after a cat named Zou-zou we owned when I was little. Zou-zou was a small cat, even for a cat she was small, who had the deepest black fur of any cat I had ever known all over every inch of her body except for a single, elegant tuft of white fur on her chest. When I first conceived the idea for the first Bad Kitty book and needed to decide on what she should look like, I immediately thought of Zou-zou. All I can say is thank goodness I made Kitty a black cat because I had no idea back then that just a few years later I would use her in chapter books in which all of the interior illustrations would be black and white and gray.
Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes ideas come to my while I’m taking a walk. Sometimes while sitting at my desk. Sometimes while talking to my family or my friends. Sometimes while reading. Ideas can come from any and all walks of life. The hard part is not coming up with ideas. The hard part is recognizing them when they arrive and making the effort to honor them with thoughtful contemplation.
What writing or drawing advice do you have for kids who want to make their own books or comics?
Be brave. I know that might sound like a non-answer, but for some people, this can be the hardest part of any creative process. Meaning… if you WANT to sit and write a story or make a comic, then just do it. Be brave. Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself. You won’t. Don’t worry about succeeding or failing. It’s not a contest. Don’t worry what other people might think. You don’t have to show them. But someday you probably should. Art needs to be shared; it’s part of what makes it “art”.