Merry Christmas!

I usually make a Christmas card, but I've been chasing my tail since September and this year it'll be something for New Years or maybe Valentine's Day... I hope! Thankfully, my daughter and I have started a little card making tradition of our own and collaborative projects get extra incentive -- as do the weekly comic strips :)
 Merry Christmas!


Feet Tweet No. 6: Polar Bear Feet!

Feet Tweet No. 6

This particular animal ranks among my very favorite...


Feet Tweet No. 5: Santa's Elves!

Indeed! With bells and all. Speaking of Christmas, LOTS of gift/card making to do this weekend. Feet Tweets to return on Monday12/19/11 @ErikBrooksBooks.

Feet Tweet No. 5

These busy feet might get colored later this afternoon :)


Feet Tweet No. 4: Sand Fiddler Feet!

Colored pencil on Canson Mi-Teintes drawing paper.
A little late for the east coasters... busy days!

Feet Tweet No. 4

From a scientific illustration class...


Feet Tweet No. 1: Gecko Feet!

More tomorrow! 

FEET Tweets!

So here's an idea that I should have hatched in August :)

In honor of my latest book, I'll be "Feet tweeting" daily for as long as I can manage. Those that actually follow such things can find me @ErikBrooksBooks. I'll post pictures here as well - which should cover the bases of cyberspace to the extent that I find physically possible.

And so, without further ado I give you FEET Tweet no. 1 (featuring artwork that did not appear in the final book!):

Harts Pass Paintings

Just a couple of recent paintings inspired by the characters in my weekly comic strip. I sold a few at Saturday's Christmas Bazaar here in Winthrop -- along with a good number of hand-colored prints.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!


Books Beside My Bed: Slow Days, Fast Friends by Erik Brooks

Books Beside My Bed: Slow Days, Fast Friends by Erik Brooks: A sweet, albeit nearly year old review of Slow Days that I just discovered. Thanks Karen!


Thank You Green Gables!

A great couple of days at Green Gables Elementary School last week. I have some kid artwork to post soon, but here is a quick "thank you" sketch of a very unique class pet -- without further ado, I give you Truffles the hedgehog!

November Sketches

A few recent favorites from my sketchbook. Enjoy!



A Holiday Book Signing at Everyday Athlete

On Friday, December 2nd, step on out to Everyday Athlete for an evening of cookies and books. In honor of Polar Opposites, we'll be snacking on America's favorite black n' white cookies (the irresistible Oreo) and washing them down with a tall (probably short) glass of milk.

With due respect to Who Has These Feet?, our hosts for the night own the finest running shoe store east of Green Lake.


Who Has This Tail? Summer 2012!

The final comps arrived today for Who Has This Tail? The publication date is still many months away, but it's looking great and the designers did a terrific job once again.


Zina in Brushes

Drawing on plane rides is great. In a seat. Small table. Time. No where else to go. My experiments with the iPad Brushes App continue! Three days of school and library visits await :)


"Happy" Halloween!

Click to enlarge!
Typically melancholy Halloween wishes from the good critters at Harts Pass. Here's hoping that you have more fun than the wolf when you're out trick or treating tonight!

SCBWI Spokane

A quick photo of Marsha Qualey and I that arrived in the in-box this morning courtesy of SCBWI Spokane/Northern Idaho's Regional Conference (9.24.11). I did a reflective trajectory of my first decade in "the biz" and Marsha presented an excellent workshop-style session on writing/developing strong characters. Kelly Milner Halls (In Search of Sasquatch!) had a great Nuts & Bolts talk covering ALL of the basics, and Pamela Glauber (Holiday House) and Kerry Sparks (agent, Levine Greenberg) covered the editor and agent material to a 'T'. Wonderful presenters and a small but excellent conference!

A welcome dry spell in all of the recent school and conference visits means that I can get back to work on job No. 1 of making books :)


Harts Pass prints for sale!

Just in time for the holidays, I'm now selling hand-colored prints of the Harts Pass comic strip! I'll be hawking my wares at two local Christmas bazaars (Nov. 19th and Dec. 10th), but I'm also happy to ship them (near or far) for the additional and appropriate fees.

These unique, archival quality reproductions, are printed on 140 lb watercolor paper and packaged in clear acrylic bags. They sell for $20 a piece.

At this point, I have selected about 10 different images for reproduction on a larger scale and I will post the "catalog" soon. However, if you have a personal favorite over the last 71 (and counting) issues please just let me know and I'll be happy to create a special print.

Look for Harts Pass each and every Wednesday in the Methow Valley News, or read it online at the Harts Pass Comics blog.



Thank you Humbolt County!

A huge THANK YOU to both Pacific Union and Redway Elementary Schools for making my visits to Humbolt County last week SO GREAT! Kids, teachers, staff, pta, and other volunteers were incredibly well prepared and very welcoming.

Thank you as well to the legions of volunteers who coordinate 50+ school visits in two days, and all of the hotel rooms, transportation, and several wonderful dinner events, for 23 authors & illustrators from near and far. The Humbolt County Author Festival is an incredible event and I look forward to going back again in 2013!

For additional photos and a brief description of each, visit the Facebook page for Erik Brooks Illustration!


October Sketches...

...with a nod to things a little spooky!


The 2011 Humbolt County Author Fest

Bruce Hale of Chet Gecko fame!
Just a few photos from the 2009 edition, but I'm heading out soon for several great days of school visits and author peeps at the Humbolt County Author Festival. Hello in advance to all of the kids at Pacific Union and Redway Schools. Be sure to stop by the Humbolt County Library on Saturday 10-2pm for the grand finale autograph party!


Links to Literacy

Last October, I had the pleasure of creating a library "lynx" for the newly conceived Links to Literacy program of the North Central Regional Library System. Books matter. Reading works. Libraries ROCK!


An iPad Brushes Painting

I'm still working on this, but I was so excited by the results of my first hour with the iPad Brushes app that I thought I'd post the work in progress :)
For a while now I've been coloring my Harts Pass comics with Photoshop and a Wacom drawing tablet. Simple grayscale stuff with an occassional foray into color -- but not very painterly. Something about the immediacy of the stylus on screen/image with the iPad is really nice. Its more tangible and familiar than a hand on the Wacom but eyes on a screen... I'm also starting to get the hand of mixing colors via screen sampling, which is also really nice. I'll add an update with the finished lion later in the day.


Bookfest Redux

A quick reminder post about the Northwest Bookfest in Kirkland, WA this weekend. On Sunday, Oct. 2nd, I'll be drawing pictures, visiting with readers, and signing books in SCBWI Booth #16 from 10:30-11:30am. I'm also part of an illustrator's panel discussion at the Kirkland Library from 1-2pm. Craig Orback, Richard Jesse Watson and I will be fielding questions and discussing our work in picture books. A book signing to follow where I should have copies of both Polar Opposites and Who Has These Feet?


A Washington State Book Award!

In my final act of social networking for the night -- and with apologies again to the Facebook "fans" of Erik Brooks Illustration that are also among my friends -- I am pleased and honored to announce that Polar Opposites is the 2011 Washington State Book Award winner in the picture book category :)

Thanks very much to the Seattle Public Library and the Washington Center for the Book for supporting all facets of the literary arts.

Yahoo and g'night!

Polar Opposites wiki space

In association with its 2012 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award nomination, Polar Opposites now has its very own wiki space complete with age-appropriate classroom activities and topics for discussion. So cool! Much thanks to teacher Rita Shogren and the Kansas State Reading Association for putting that together.

You find a page of activities for all nominated books, including How Rocket Learned to Read, by Tad Hills, City Dog, Country Frog, by Mo Willems and  John J Muth, Big Chickens Go to Town by Leslie Helakoski and Henry Cole, just to name a few...

Happy reading!

Octvaius Bloom and the Digital Overload!

Don't have a Nook? You can now download Octavius Bloom to your Kindle (with color viewing on the iPad Kindle App), or purchase an iBooks friendly .pdf at both lulu.com and/or The Illustrated Section. As always, a review of any kind at the site of purchase is much appreciated.


Octavius Bloom for your Nook!

As of September 1st, you can now purchase a full-color version of Octavius Bloom and the House of Doom especially formatted for your Nook at Barns & Noble. Its spiffed up a bit with a more exciting cover, and at $.99 per download its a screamin' deal. Enjoy!


Northwest Bookfest 2011!

A note for your calendar: I'll be signing books and sharing the stage with two fantastic illustrators at this fall's Northwest Bookfest. My illustrator's panel discussion with Craig Orback and Richard Jessie Watson takes place Sunday, October 2nd at 1pm. We'll be hosted by the Kirkland Branch of the King County Regional Library System, but additional Bookfest events will take place at various other locations in the Kirkland area on both Saturday and Sunday. Check out their website for a complete schedule of authors and events.


Reviews for FEET?

A nice collection of reviews for Who Has These Feet? in the email this week... plus a quick sketch to accompany the hightlights :)
"Brooks’s naturalistic yet affable animals will likely inspire readers to take a closer look at their own feet." --Publishers Weekly
"The simple text, the colorful illustrations, and the guessing game combine to make this an engaging picture book for reading aloud.” --Booklist
"The text and concept are refreshingly simple, while still educating and entertaining. The richly colored and realistic watercolor illustrations depict child-friendly beasts without anthropomorphizing them. A gatefold at the conclusion brings all the animals together, and a checkerboard of heads and feet on its flaps is a ready-made matching game….Young animal fans will find much to enjoy and are sure to ask for multiple readings.” --Kirkus Reviews


Ta Dah!

Who Has These Feet?, my first true picture book project with Henry Holt is out today! You could have pre-ordered copies on Amazon months ago, and both the Cleveland public library system AND my local bookstore already have their copies (call and order to have one signed!), but the "official" release date is certifiably upon us. Speaking of which, I am going certifiably insane with final adjustments to the art for a follow-up... but that's a tale for another day.

Welcome to the world, Feet!!!!!

PS And congratualtions to author Laura Hulbert on her debut children's book publication. We've had several good reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal (no small "feet" in and of itself) -- some of which I'll post in the next several days.

PPS I too trumped the release date and was sharing this book with my summer reading visits here in North Central Washington. The guessing game format is terrific for read-a-loud library settings with younger children -- not to mention the "beyond the book" potential for discussing animal habitats and where in the world all of these varied creatures live.


Spotlight on Humbolt Author Fest: Author/illustrator Erik Brooks

A nice little bio in San Francisco's Examiner.com -- with much thanks to the promotional efforts of the Humbolt County Author Festival. Phew, does that mean its almost October?

Spotlight on HumCo Author Fest: Author/illustrator Erik Brooks