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!

A Good Day of Drawing

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It was a great day in the studio.   My characters for my story are growing.  Can you see how they almost tell their own story?  Look at this little pigs face. Does he like cooking?  What is he making? What is he thinking?

Writers develop their characters with pen in hand. I also have pen in hand, but mine is to draw the characters first… then move on to writing the story. 

There is still so much to do… I have only JUST BEGUN!

 

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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Another Big Give-Away!

Once again, it is time for the 2nd Big Peepsqueak Give-A-Way!   

Will you be the winner?

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Will you get a box in the mail full of Peep goodies?

This time around, the prize is for both of my books, “Peepsqueak”, and “Peepsqueak Wants A Friend,”  AND a Peepsqueak plush toy!

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Are you up for it?

Here are your 2 easy instructions:

1.   If you have not read Peepsqueak yet,  go to the story link below and listen to Brad Mendleson read it aloud.

2.  Go to the Amazon link below, and give me a review.  So I know you are entering the contest, start your review with the words, “I LOVE PEEPSQUEAK!”.  If you have read the second book, please feel free to review it too.  At the end of two weeks, I will take the names off the Amazon site and put them in a bowl and pick the winner!!!  You will be able to watch me draw your name!!  Here are the links! 

Peepsqueak story link:  http://www.readmeastory.tv/category/read-me-a-story/

Amazon review link:  http://www.amazon.com/Peepsqueak-Leslie-Ann-Clark/product-reviews/0062078011/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_link_3?ie=UTF8&pageNumber=3&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Please SHARE this with others.  Peepsqueak is waiting for you!!

love, Leslie Ann and Peepsqueak!

Bear With Me

PSbearPeepsqueak LOVES BEARS!  …. and so do I!! I LOVE toys!  I love weird toys, stuff animals, special teddy bears, and more. Having three grandsons gives me a great excuse to buy MORE toys!  I took a trip to the thrift store just this week to look for action figures!  I ran them through the dishwasher and stowed in my big toy trunk.  Three more trucks are sitting near the book-case in the “YaYa” room.  Its great fun!  On Tuesday I played “Superhero”!  My youngest grandson loves the stuffies!  Including my own little Peeksqueak plush by Merry Makers.  If you want to order one, you can go to the website, or call them.

retail orders online at http://www.merrymakersinc.com and retail and/or wholesale orders at 888-989-0454 or via email at merrymakers@merrymakersinc.com

They are a great toy company.  I want ALL THEIR TOYS!  ha ha!

You can also find Peepsqueak on his Facebook page.  I am going to have another book Give-A-Way as soon as the new toy gets here!  Peepsqueak and I are so excited!  I may also put it on this Word Press site so stay posted!

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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!