Wednesday, May 31

My books in Suzzallo library!

Well that was SO much fun - dropping off some of my picture books to add to the collection at Suzzallo library. Believe it or not, I had NO idea a bookmaker could just donate books to a library collection. So now my little selection of books will live a quiet life on the shelves in the children's collection.

Most of my books just vanish in a short while. They vanish into remaindering bins or vanish into children's libraries - where they get crayoned and torn up pages and then they vanish. But hopefully these books will last longer. And that's actually important to a book maker.

I felt like being an author and illustrator was almost like being a celebrity! Usually in bookstores, when I go in and introduce myself as a local children's book author, the clerks will roll their eyes and look irritated, like they wish I hadn't walked in. But today, the librarian seemed astonished. First she thought I had only written the books - then when she asked 'Who did the pictures?' and I said 'I did' - it was like amazement. Usually I feel more like a nobody when I go to the library - not like a Somebody!

So I'm more than happy to quaff down some imaginary champagne of 'author recognition'. lol!

Tuesday, May 30

Pencil? or Pen Brush?

video

Pencil? or Pen Brush? That's the question of this little film. With the magic of photoshop it's possible to switch out the line by itself on a drawing - to see how they look side by side.  This makes deciding much easier. And after looking it over I decided to vote for the pencil line - at least for this page of the book.

Tuesday, May 9

Imagination sometimes arrives on it's own...

Been having too much fun compiling this new poem-picturebook - it's an exercise in imagination. 

When interpreting a poem one is free to take any tack or try a number of solutions. So I sift and compile through my scrap pile, often finding older drawings that have just what I'm looking for. It occurs to me - as an illustrator I am as much an editor and chooser of images as I am a drawer.

The process of intuitively choosing the right image seems to arrive on it's own. I know exactly what I'm looking for arrives.

The idea that somehow an artist could go out and draw all that is kind of absurd.

Monday, April 24

Been Busy Bookmaking...



Writing, writing, re-writing.... brainstorming, dreaming, gnashing teeth, revising, redrawing, drawing, coloring, erasing, computing, Indesigning, Photoshoping. That's my life lately - with the re-writing being prominent.

It's true that one does not write so much as one re-writes. And one does not paint so much as one re-paints! (which is easier to do with digital art)

Sunday, April 23

The Missing Link In Bookmaking


If you're a picture book maker with words and pictures, you probably have some experience of 'the missing link'. 

What is the missing link? It's that sticking point that's stuck in your story - where something is wrong and you don't know how to fix it. Believe me, I've been there.

I remember when I was taking a picture book class from Maurice Sendak at Parsons, he had suffered from 'the missing link'. There was one page in 'Outside Over There' where something was wrong. It puzzled him for weeks until he finally discovered the art of the ice babies page needed to be changed... and then things worked. 


One mistake at a time - fixing up a page of art or changing the ending of the words or the dozen other changes one makes in a book are all part of the fun. I'm totally bored with crosswords or other puzzles, but I'm as stubborn as a donkey when it comes to trying to solve 'the missing link'

Monday, March 20

Book making is odd...


I feel like I've been in the maternity ward, giving birth to my new characters and stories. I had a wonderful time making up a new story with pictures - crafting a dummy.

I used Indesign for all the thumbnail boards and page turns. One does not write and draw so much as one rewrites and redraws I find. I made many dozens of changes - changing names - changing locations - changing page sequences - changing text. But the last thing is to send it away to my agent. Too much fun! I wonder if the world will like my stories as much as I do?

Book making is so odd. Maybe the first drawing arrived years ago - and then got lost in a folder - and was forgotten. But then everything comes together years later. Funny how that works.

So what's the last thing I do when I'm making a new picturebook? The last thing I do is I try to forget it all. Yes, bookmaking is odd...

Friday, January 27

A Book From the Time of Dinosaurs


Dinosaurs are always something to wonder about.  For one thing, they're really BIG. But this particular Dino is very easy going and fun.


It's been interesting to recreate the classic art of Syd Hoff for these books about Danny and the Dinosaur. They seem to come from a simpler time... the time of Dinosaurs!

Sunday, January 22

Never Lose Hope


On the train yesterday was a child with a tiny pink knitted hat. It was pinned on since it was far too small to fit. She was also wearing a silly backpack and carried a handmade sign. Outside on the station wall was a poster of MLK looking out that read 'Never Lose Hope'. I had to sketch it out from memory when I got home.

So many parents brought their children to the march - and to great effect I would imagine.

Pinklash in Seattle



It was a bright beautiful day to get out and keep hope alive in Seattle.


Last November America got a dose of what Van Jones called 'Whitelash'. Today is what I think might be called a good dose of 'Pinklash'.


It was the largest march and public gathering in the history of Washington state - so that means something!

Friday, January 6

A new year message arrives!


The old year has grown old with woe... but a message arrives from the New Year requesting imaginations to alight and rejoice.  And so we might try... having little choice in the matter.

This is from a hilarious graphic novel sort of story I wrote up. I think it's hilarious... as penguins tend to be.

Saturday, December 31

Some new sketches...

It's a bit peculiar how artists and their drawings seem related. Once I had a famous illustrator come visit my studio and the first thing that popped into my head as she walked up the steps was 'You look exactly like your drawings!' - even though her drawings are mostly of bunnies and mice. In any event, here's to a fun new year of making art.