Books, Illustration, Kid Lit Art

I’m doing it…Picture Book Idea Month! I’m sixteen days in and not doing too bad. For those who don’t know, PiBoIdMo is the brainchild of Tara Lazar, and goes through the month of November to coincide with Picture Book Month and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve heard all about it over the past couple of years on Twitter, and I decided this year I would give it a go. Just an idea a day, for 30 days. It’s not as simple as it sounds but I have been able to keep up. At the end of the month, I’ll have 30 ideas, and I’ll see what I can mold into a story from some of them. I’m more of a short story/magazine girl myself, that’s where I’d like to start… Gotta jet, but I’ll be posting some art here in a day or two, and thinking quite seriously about that Etsy shop : ) OH, I did add a hat up top, on the banner, just for Thanksgiving, hope you all have a great one!

My First (Unexpected) Visit…

Books, Illustration, Kid Lit Art

Today I had my first class visit, ironically in the summer, when school isn’t in session! It was short, an hour. No Keynote presentation, no process slideshow. Just me, my stuff and 25 3rd and 4th graders at Art & Nature Camp : )

Yesterday, I was approached by a couple of the educators at the camp. They’d had an artist lined up, but she had to cancel at the last minute, and would I mind filling in? They knew I was an illustrator, because my son had told them when they explained to the campers what had happened to their speaker. Normally, I would need more notice because I am only just getting prepared for school visits. And there’s always the question of payment. However, I believe in volunteerism, these educators were also volunteering, and this could help me work out a few of my demons standing in front of a large group: of children.

Adults are easier to present to: They have an idea of what you’re going to do, they usually at least act like they’re interested, and most times, they’re easily impressed. Children are more difficult: You KNOW when they’re not interested, they ask the questions you weren’t expecting, they touch everything, and you’re competing with so many other things for their attention. When they get home, are they going to even remember to tell their parents they had a real live illustrator talking to them? I’ve been listening to Seth Godin’s Linchpin and finished Poke The Box. I’ve been coasting for years without visits, and of course, I haven’t gone much further in my career since the boys were born. I knew I’d have to talk to kids sometime. It’s time for me to “ship it.”

I took a few photos before the kids sat down. There’s an outdoor gathering area with graduated stone and grass seating. It’s beautiful there, I can only imagine what it’s like in Autumn. My son took a couple photos of me with his camera, but I forgot to show him the zoom…I’d set up all my work. It was the perfect day, perfect temp, no wind, no humidity, great kids with good questions. I hope I kept their interest, and I hope they got something out of it!

This is the walkway down to the gathering area, and where the kids were sitting.

My perspective, except imagine there were 25 kids and 3 educators sitting there!

I was tempted to bring all the books I’d worked on, but just narrowed it down to ones that were more nature oriented.

Me, jib-jabbering away with my books in front of me…And Highlights and prints…And even some of my traditional stuff…Because this is an Art and Nature camp, the books that I’d brought on the far right are books by different illustrators using different mediums, but also who use/have used nature as their inspiration: Charles Harper, Chris VanAllsburg, Susan Swan, Leslie Evans, Kurt Cyrus and Susan Branch. Had to add Old Bear by Kevin Henkes AND Ground Hog Weather School by Kristin Sorra too! : D

Oldies But Goodies!

Books, Illustration, Kid Lit Art

Just finding time to post has been really challenging as of late. Between paying jobs and trying to find time to get a promo done (fall didn’t happen, likely not Christmas either)I have no time for personal projects, which is really disappointing… I am still making Halloween costumes though, will I get mine done? I doubt it! In the meantime, I thought I’d share some work that I’d done in the past few years. I’d actually forgotten some of them, and with a lot of my reference, and work, accidently deleted, I was so happy to find these in the depths of my Mac!

Puzzlers-Highlights for Children

Houghton Mifflin

Leo’s Dancewear (I created the prints on the shoes, and they sent me a pair!)

Christmas Gift Card – Tesco

Usborne Books

Poetry Illustration-Pearson Learning


Illustration, Kid Lit Art

I’ve been experimenting with a more painterly style. What do you think? I’d created this for an art submission, and when I read about piccoloes on Wikipedia, it said it’s the sparkle of the band. So for this week’s Illustration Friday, my little Evie is creating a sparkling atmosphere with her piccolo! Hope you’re enjoying a very creative weekend, and thanks for visiting! : )

Anatomy Refresher

Books, Illustration, Kid Lit Art

We had a great KidLitArt chat last night on Twitter. The topic was one how-to book you can’t live without. Needless to say, there isn’t just one! But we all came away with so many great recommendations, I made a list, and need to get to the local to look ’em over. I struggle with anatomy and backgrounds and I’m always in search of material that will help me overcome that. I’d purchased these books at Barnes and Noble ages ago, of course I hadn’t cracked them. That’s my typical M.O: buy ’em and shelf ’em to read later. Later never comes because life squeezes in there and kind of takes over and five years later you still haven’t read the books! So after last night’s chat, I decided to look at them. I didn’t even know what I had, geez!! The Cyclopedia Anatomicae was $15, and the Anatomy of the Sea was $9, in their bargain areas (I also got a $40 book about the art of Maurice Sendak of $10)! The Anatomicae is just what I need: varied expressions, poses and orientations, human and animal. The Sea is similar, and I love the old fashioned style of drawing. After seeing a few posts from Kate Rietz with her leaf studies, and last night’s Kidlitart convo, I think there are some classic still life drawings and anatomy studies in my future (expressions are a bugger)! Wish me luck! ; )