Horses...1987 to 2007.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So here is a resurrected horse piece from circa 1987...My mom just found this in the basement. Inside is a letter to Mr. Rogers too. The top is the final art for Sleepover Squad #5 Pony Party (the side-pony-tailed 5 year old in me was insanely excited to do this one). That's 20 years of horsies folks.

Ah... youth and Crayola markers. My sisters and I used to sit three in a row on the couch sharing markers between us in a wicker condiment basket. Usually we would color on the stacks of laser printer connected sheets of paper from my dad's office. The connected sheets made a GREAT format for books and stories continuing as long as you wanted.

My sisters and I loved to draw highly detailed "cozy" restaurant scenes and marketplaces, Thanksgiving dinner in a grandmother's apartment, or our very favorite, families bringing in a Christmas tree and setting it up, showing a cutaway of all levels in the house. Even the mice were doing something. This part of me was reawakened by the new one from Barbara McClintock, Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary.

What were your favorite things to draw as a child? I'm throwing this question out to the blogger world.

Esme's cover

Monday, October 29, 2007

...and here is a zoomed in cropped piece of the final art for 100 Days, 99 Nights. Esme is holding Zelda her Zebra, which means something special to her long wait for dad to come back from his tour of duty. Thanks again to everyone who checked out Jackie's interview. It was a blast :)

My Interview Is Up With Jackie Parker!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hey all! My interview for the Robert's Snowflake Blogging For a Cure is up! Thank you to Jackie Parker, for all your creative wit and making interviewing a ton of fun (click on her name too for her own interview on Seven Impossible Things!). You may want to keep her blog on your feed as well, this hip librarian has a wealth of knowledge in the teen lit department, as well as, according to her, art history and hippo making (her papier mache specialty). This girl does it all :)

Please folks, if you haven't checked out Robert's Snow, check it out now! It's book illustrators painting on snowflakes and selling them in an auction for JimmyFund. Yahoo! BTW, the picture is of the bunny bee on my drawing table.

Ike and Esme

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey! Pssst! Wanna peek inside the mysterious finished book package below? It's final art for the book 100 Days and 99 Nights for Little Brown. These drawings were done on 90 lb hot press with pencil. Click to enlarge!

I promised to show the final for the sketch of this piece in the post "School Days" to show a bit of how the drawing went from sketch to finish. I always try my very hardest to keep the original feel and energy when drawing anything final, which is challenging when tracing. I find I need to happy with faces and then I feel "friends" with the characters enough to go into the other elements. My art school drawing professors would be rolling their eyes to hear that approach, but hey! I need the spirit there first! When I packed them up to ship, I even missed these kids, but I am excited to see them in their new home: a finished chapter book.

So here are Ike and Esme on their sad walk home, missing Dad in Iraq. The chapter headers will be Esme's stuffed animals, alphabetized A (for aardvark) through Z (to zebra).

One Book Done!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pant pant... deadlines and art. Satisfying when it's all ready to go out there!

I think I was rendering a pant leg in my dream last night! Cross hatching in graphite was definitely in there somewhere. Meeting many deadlines had me up till the wee hours, and I mean very wee. Now up with the sun to the next project so I can maybe MAYBE make it to the Society of Illustrators galla tonight- the annual Original Art show. The Grammy's for picture-bookers. Going to check out yum originals, hopefully. I would love to see some brilliant work. Check out Fuse #8 for a cool invite to not only another KidLit Drink Night, but a post Society Show one, with a proposed raffle for a piece of art for Robert's Snow! Woo!

Wish me luck, if I get all my work done: sketch revisions, redrawing final art for a movie! (news later) and sweeping the ashes from the fire, I may get to the Society in time for the stroke of midnight. Now if the UPS pumpkin would just show up! I need to mail my finished book!

I'm calling it a SNOWSTORM!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Good afternoon! Brrrrrr... it's chilly here in the Northeast. PERFECT for snowflakes! The blogging effort in preparation for the November-December auction for Robert's Snow has officially begun. All the snowflakes in the auction are original works donated by book illustrators with all proceeds going to cancer research at Jimmy Fund.

Even cooler (har..har..): to get the word out, the wonderful blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast is sending out its army of bloggers and blog readers to interview snowflake illustrators each day and post them on their own blogs. It's "Blogging For a Cure" and in their words, they are "doing what they can in this multi-blog, cross-posting effort to drive traffic to the online Robert’s Snow auctions and help raise money for cancer research. And it’s all in the memory of Robert Mercer, Grace Lin’s husband, who recently passed away due to a rare form of cancer."

Wow...that paragraph was way bloggy. I apologize for overusing the "b" word.

Today is day 3 of the interviews. Go read! I'm up Oct.25th with Jackie Parker at It's a Robert's SNOWSTORM!

Genova Heights

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tonight I stayed up late in my room/studio, holed up on a Friday night, with my favorite new music filling the room. I have been so busy with projects and assignments, and been out and about. So, when I felt a tiny twinge of the "creating craving" creep back in, I put it all aside to feed it and pay some attention.

It is never a waste of time to listen to this urge, and I draw any way I'd like, let the lines break apart and live in and outside washes and just play. I always learn a bunch to bring back me back to focus, so I can center my awaiting jobs on these lessons. This process is hard to explain in words, but it is SO vital to what got me the jobs, the agency, any work in the first place. It's the quiet place I need to return to, to bring back something shiny and new.

Here is something I brought back, still working. I named her "Genova Heights" after the song by Stars that was on repeat. I am learning how to use digital paint as my opaque-ing tool, most of all and to let it not cover the nature of digital art- the pixelation and the squiggly line is something to be accepted in the relationship with the watercolor underlays and pencil drawings. Media is media. Learning....


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Here's a little hello from the desk, before I plunge into the next 2 projects for the day. Hope everyone is well. I feel so lucky to be a New Englander during this season. The leaves are just starting to turn, and everything feels new and fresh and vibrant.

I did get a tiny break this weekend to venture out to Concord MA! The center of Concord is beautiful, very old fashioned and welcoming. Of course, I also love it because Orchard House (home of Louisa May Alcott/ setting for Little Women) sits there in its original spot on Lexington Road. We walked passed my favorite transcendentalist's home, Ralph Waldo Emerson (above). Oh Ralphie!

So magical to imagine, as the long shadows of afternoon hit the house, that so many wonderful ideas and creations were thought up and written and whispered between friends and like minds in that neighborhood. Thoreau, Emerson and the Alcott family all gathered around for one of Louisa's "plays" on a cold night (these visits did occur according to the Alcott home curator).

Makes me want to write stories!
New art soon, promise.