Friday, September 29

Every dog has his day...



Every dog has his day... even me! Now what should happen the other day but the UPS truck stops by and drops off a mysterious package.

And what's in this mysterious package? Mysterious and mysteriouser it gets as I open it up. First I was thinking its a bunch of corrections to a project I'm working on. But instead I see it's from Highlights for Children, but I wasn't expecting anything from them. And Lo & Behold... there's a fancy box inside, not just filled with paperwork... but in fact there's a silver plate with engraving on it! WHAT?!! Amazment and confusion take over as I try to figure out what it might be.

Turns out it's a brushed steel plate with my name engraved on it as 'Illustrator of the Month' for my Squealy Scholar artwork that I recently did (and posted about in the last post)! Imagine that! Me... a prizewinner! LOL! I have to say, my first reaction to all this was mostly embarrassment and it all made me want to run and hide.

But now I'm thinking it was actually nice to get some kind of silly little plaque so I can at least say I won something during the course of my long and prize-free career. Anyhow... no further congratulations required.

My book 'One Smart Cookie' was officially released yesterday. Go Cookie! I had a party all by myself. I think being one of the distant shut in creative vendors in the publishing industry is almost like being invisible lots of times. I don't think wanting to be recognized out of the invisibility is about ego at all. It's just about being recognized in terms of no longer being invisible. I mean if you're trying to make a living selling art and ideas, it's helpful to be able to have a little visibility... just so you can punch your timecard at least.

I keep planning to do some posts about Cookie... but I keep putting it off. I was thrilled to discover www.jacketflap.com the other day. What a great resource for having most all of the publishing world all in one site! Now maybe more than 6 people will stop by my blog.



I finally broke through and wrote out a great little story this morning that had been a simmering for a year or more in bits. I think writing works like that for me. All the parts are there, unconnected mostly... but it requires some alignment of the stars to coalesce it all into a written form. Anyhow, it was a delight and fun and who knows, maybe it'll go somewhere. Of course stories are hard to judge. When they're brand new, they seem spectacular... and contrarily, after you've polished them for a year you can't hardly tell anymore if they're really great or just rubbish.

If I could only get the pictures done as fast as the words.

Sunday, September 17

Cartwheeling down the back steps...


Finally it's rained again in Seattle! I know how ironic that must sound to anyone who probably thinks of this town as the rain capital of the world. In fact it rains as much in New York as Seattle... it's just here it takes all winter long and in the summer we often never get a drop.

This has been the driest summer on record here, with just 1/4" rain between April and the middle of September. In other words it only rained once all summer. The lawns turn brown and crunchy and no one bothers to water them. Even some of the old maple trees on my street looked like they were drying up and dying.

I find my brain cannot connect two consecutive thoughts when it's over 80 degrees in the dog days of late summer. Summer was great but thank gosh it's raining again. Rain = Life for me.

I've recently proven out a theory I had that all an illustrator needs to continue working are eyes to see with and just the drawing arm from the elbow down on one's drawing hand.

I've been recovering from a backwards cartwheel down the kitchen steps and landing on the concrete walkway. And no, it wasn't a fall off the ladder pictured in last month's blog, in case you're guessing. Amazingly I didn't break my neck and even more amazingly I could still manage to do illustration, since my right arm still worked. That's all we really need to keep working, after all... eyes to see with and just from the elbow down on our drawing hand.

My body throbbed with pain for about a week. I could only hobble up and down steps one at a time. But I could still draw. But now I'm almost all better. I read that Dylan Thomas always needed to have something wrong with him... a broken foot, a cane to walk with, anything so that he had limits.



This month's illustrations are from a magazine piece I did for Highlights.

I recently found out through on an online friend that these little spots had been turned into an online animated poem with music. People seem to enjoy what Highlights did with it... they must have clipped out the main piggy character and added in the missing bits of the background, and then used a program to add the motion and music and voiceover.

www.highlightskids.com/Stories/AudioStories/Sept06_squealyScholar.asp

If that link doesn't work, you can just Google the term 'Squealy Scholar' and that brings up a link.