I Done Did My Dummy

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After months of working on my new book, I finally finished up my dummy and sent it off to my editor. I am pretty jazzed about it. It’s my baby. If you have ever had a baby, you are convinced that yours is the best looking baby around… while others are thinking… “What a funny looking kid”.  Haha!

I am hoping that others will love my baby too.  I made it for others to enjoy!  Parents reading to little ones, those are my target audience.  I can picture them reading this to their little one on a cold winters night before bedtime. I love the idea of wide-eyed little kids being swept into a story… walking into the very pages and settling in.  I hope my editor likes it!

(If you don’t know what a dummy is, it is a prototype or mock-up of a book).

The Art Licensing Show Ribbon Cutting!

ribboncut Oh What fun!!!  The Art Licensing Show website is up and running today!!   You may ask, what is it?  Here is the explanation by founder Cherish Flieder.

ArtLicensingShow.com is a permission based, virtual portal where artwork can be reviewed privately by Art Directors who are looking to commercially license artwork. Authorized Art Directors may request to see art from a wide assortment of participating Artists and Licensors and highlight favorite art pieces, all with a single login.

It is an online directory where art licensing companies and professionals in supporting roles can be be listed and found with a simple search by name, keywords, subject and genre.

Lastly, it’s a a social gathering where industry professionals can network and connect with one another in groups, site updates, and via direct messaging to advance their goals.

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All of us on the site have been working hard to get our art up and loaded.  Today is our big day!

Am I finished?  Is an artist ever really finished?  There are always more things to do!  More drawing, more coloring,

more ideas, more more more!

Living in my Illustrations

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Being an illustrator is great fun.  Why?  Because you can use your imagination to go places you’ve never been and do things you’ve never done. For instance, I have always wanted a log cabin up in the mountains.  As a teen, I used to imagine having a studio up a flight of wooden steps to a big room. It would have rafter ceilings and a window seat for me to look out of.  It would be warm and cozy and I could sit and do my art all day long near a roaring fire in the wood stove.

When I began thinking of places for my character Burl the bear to live in, I made it just like “I” wanted it!  Warm and inviting!  When you walk through the doorway of my story, you will find a home that lives in my imagination. It will be a place that I love and I will revisit it many times as the story progresses. I must be passionate about what I draw or it becomes listless and boring. This process is what makes a story believable.

My experience tells me that children notice the tiniest of details.  I did a school visit after Peepsqueak was published by Harper Collins Publisher.  I read the book to the children and then we talked.  Through out the story there was another story going on in the book. It was a little tiny mouse who appeared on many of the pages.  The children did not miss it. They even commented on the mouse as I read to them.  I let them in on a little secret.  I named the mouse Elliot.  When I told them his name they all squealed with delight and pointed to the cutest little boy in their classroom who was named Elliot!   He was beaming.  Suddenly he became part of the story. He was so happy!

These are the things that make a story magical in the eyes of children and adults alike.  Its also why I continue creating images.  I love seeing characters develop.   I love finding their voices. .. what they are like… what they like to do.  It does not stop when I leave the studio.  I think about them all the time, until I finally know how they would react in any given situation. That way they become very believable creations and loved by all.

Stay posted,  Burl and Briley are growing on my heart daily.  I can hardly wait to illustrate the books that are in my mind!

All’s Well That Ends Well

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Do you ever have those days when nothing goes right?  When everything you try does not work? That was my day today, accompanied by a doozer of a headache.  Photoshop just quit on me. I could not open CS5 or CS6.  Finally at the end of the day the Adobe Twitter Support came through!  Hooray! It works!!

While I was waiting for support to write me back I was able to begin writing my stories for Burt ad Briley, my new characters.  Their conversations made me smile.  All’s well that ends well.  I will post another picture soon.

 

 

Re-inventing Oneself

Funny words. It suggests that there was something wrong with the first invention something that needs fixing. I suppose that is true. When something isn’t working you should look for another way. You should fix the thing.

I began working on a new set of children’s books. I was hammering away at a story, trying to get something good down in order to illustrate it. Everything was flat. Nothing was working, nothing felt right. My characters were looking at me like I was crazy. They were all yawning! Try writing when your characters are shaking their heads!

It was then that I realized I was going about it all wrong. As an artist, I need to star with the art!!!! …the story would follow.

I sat with sketchbook in hand and began drawing little cartoons. One thing led to another and star was born! I will share more. This is a discovery for me. I will let you know how I make out in the days to follow!

For now, I’ll just keep sketching!

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Is Spring Springing?

I love flowers!

I love flowers!

The weather is teasing me!  A warm day, a nice breeze, flowers peeking from the cold wet ground, and then WHAM! A freak snow storm!  Such is life in Colorado.  Peepsqueak is not worried.  As you can see in this picture, he is thrilled to find the first Spring flower.

Do you have any flowers up yet?  We only have a few tulips and iris peeking out of the dirt. Flowers are still a few weeks away.  I am ready!