Hope that everyone had a happy turkey day! A pleasant surprise in my neck o' the world as we woke up to 5 inches of snow and cold cold temperatures yesterday AM. Brrr. I love it, but 7 degrees on a November morning is still a little shocking :) As promised, here is a full bleed, double spread piece of artwork from the current book-in-progress, Boo's Dinosaur (Henry Holt & Co.), written by Betsy Byars. This should hit shelves in Fall 2006 and I am very much enjoying the painting process to this point. About half of the book to go. Tally ho!
In the midst of artwork for BOO'S DINOSAUR written by Betsy Byars. I posted a sketch for this image earlier and now you can see where it ended up. Black & white, ink & pencil, etc. is a different way of working for me, but I am liking it quite a bit. This particular spot illustration is very small so details are kept to a minimum. I will post a larger double page spread in the next few weeks.
Freed at last from his ancient prison, the Monkey King quickly proved himself a demanding, boastful, arrogant beast -- rampaging though the world. Some treat their freedoms with grace and dignity...others wreak havoc. So it has gone. So it goes.
Jumping the gun on Thanksgiving - just like everyone else* - here is a sample of my holiday card offerings at the Practically Perfect Press. I'll add 2-3 additional images in the next week or two. You procrastinators out there, myself included, will therefore have even more choices available for sending holiday cheer and new year's resolve.
*While not at all a supporter of ever excellerating Christmas and New Year's into September, it is at least reasonable to start thinking about stationary... or so I will justify ;)
I once heard an author reference the period of time just after publishing a new book as " dancing on quicksand". I must say, totally true! On the one hand, I am always very excited to have a new book out there - first, third - whatever, energy and excitement are in great supply. I want to get it into the hands of as many people as possible! For several months leading up to release, I ponder promo ideas (IE this BLOG), schedule book readings, and practice my "talk" about the new book from every possible angle. The book arrives, and all of that kinetic energy pours fourth -- rather quickly... Somehow, the first weeks and months of a book's release never quite measure up to my visions. I'm no "big ticket" by any means, but I do feel good about my work and want to see it soar. Unfortunatley, the "dancing" and elation can so easily turn to slogging about and stagnation -- flinging your newest book towards too distant a limelight. It is so easy to get lost in that - to drown in expectations and bog down completely. Thusly, a reminder to myself: This work -- like so many others -- is about persistance and patience. Develope the ideas, work hard at the craft. Keep focus on the books -- the stories and the telling -- and perhaps, with a little luck your work will find its way into a reader's hands. x
My previous post lends credence to the fact that I have finally started the final artwork for a chapter book that has been hanging around for quite some time. BOO'S DINOSAUR, by Betsy Byars, will be my 4th book illustrated for another author, and my first "early reader." I've really enjoyed this story, and can only hope that my illustrations add just a little bit extra. I'm also excited to be working in almost entirely black & white (sans cover art) for the first time. As chapter books go, early readers etc., this is pretty much the norm, but new for me. Its great to be thinking entirely in terms of line and texture, light and shadow. No doubt it will help me in my other work as well. BOO will be followed by another chapter book with Henry Holt, so it also extra nice to be getting in the black & white mindset. Speaking of which, I should get to drawing!
Up most of the night working on a book project... stayed up later to finish this. I've been very taken with a rediscovery of comic art lately (after stumbling onto Flight), and will likely try some more line art like this for future Fridays.
A quick post as well to announce my first official "prints" for sale. I've uploaded several images to my online store at zazzle.com: The Practically Perfect Press, and in addition to notecards and a few t-shirts, I can now sell some pretty nice (but not too expensive) reproductions of my illustration work...wonders never cease.
The 2005 Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure online auction is off and running...
Check out an amazing variety of children's book illustrator art, and bid on a snowflake or two.
Last year's auction raised over $100,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and this year could be even bigger. My own snowflake hits the e-bay auction block on November 13th. Bidding on that particular item continues through the 2oth. Ciao!
Somehow I am always too busy and not online enough to follow through with my "every other day" format... Making my first official Illustration Friday post to this site instead. I love the concept, the trading of images, a community of illustrators, but we'll see how well I handle the punctuality...
In time, I will try to dedicate a part of my own portfolio site to these images...