One Day I Went Rambling!

Books, Illustration

Today, I’m reviewing the most charming story “One Day I Went Rambling” (Bright Sky Press) written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Terri Murphy!

Zane is quite the treasure hunter and his wealth comes from his fantastic imagination! Like an archeologist on a dig, he greets every discovery with enthusiasm and grants it a new purpose.

His friends however, need a little help seeing what Zane sees…They don’t realize what they’re missing!

As we follow him on his adventure through his neighborhood, and he excitedly stumbles upon each piece of his new fortune, his friends explain to him what each object “really” is. Zane keeps going, enjoying every moment when he uncovers something new.

Slowly but surely, one by one, Zane’s friends start using their imaginations too!

I loved this story! The children are so sweet to each other, even when they’re teasing Zane. It’s good-natured and funny, and Terri’s illustrations work perfectly with the story. They’re spontaneous and colorful, the expressions on the children are so unique, and I feel like I’m part of the neighborhood too! : )

This story really celebrates the diversity and unpredictability of children in a close-knit community and what they can accomplish when they work together, and have fun!

I hope you’ll check out “One Day I Went Rambling” and you can find more information at Bright Sky Press.

If you’d like to find out more about Kelly and Terri, click on their names to take you to their sites!


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!

Sharing Some Work…

Books, Illustration

I received this in the snail mail the other day so I thought I’d share a few of the frames I’d created for My Fabulous Look Book, hope you dig ’em! It was a blast to do, as I was just given the size of the pages and the openings, I created all the art (for the frames, not the bodies and whatnot) and the actual cut outs, so it wasn’t just illustration, I designed as well. The book itself is a boat load of heads and bodies and accessory drawings, all waiting for a child’s just the right “fashionandtrendyandfunandcreative” touch. Then they can cut the paper from the book and slip it into the frame for their “portfolio!” So cute! I wish they’d sent me more so I could do a giveaway now, unfortunately, with economics being what they are, they’ve cut back with some of that. Still, I could be giving one or two away in the future… ; )

Ta da! New Books!

Books, Illustration

Remember the books that I’d said I’d been working on last winter? Here they are! The Look Book is available through Amazon (soon through B&N, and hopefully indies!) and Bead Rings and Ribbon Bangles are available for pre-order! I’ll be promoting the heck out of them, I’d had so much fun with ’em!! There are a lot of my surface design (all-over prints) but in the Look Book, each page is an illustrated frame. These were a blast to do, and, I’ve just finished up the spots for one more book, probably due out this coming Spring! : )



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