I probably spent a whole year doing the rough drawings for Yitzi and the Giant Menorah. Yes, I draw slowly but that wasn’t the only reason it took so long. There is a lot of planning that goes into each rough drawing… you have to make sure the characters look like themselves and that the scene relates to what is happening in the story. I also like to have fun with the scenes by putting something humourous (at least humourous to me)in the background… for example a cat watching a spinning dreidel or a picture on the wall of a man eating a bagel.
For the scenes in Yitzi and the Giant Menorah I wanted to evoke the feeling of a shtetl in wintertime and for that I spent time researching how people dressed in the shtetls of Europe and what the insides of their houses looked like. I have a small collection of reference books filled with photographs that helped me with this part.