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).

Ideas!

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Life for the artist is a continual collection of ideas.  Those ideas generate new work. It’s a fun process.

Ideas come from so many sources.  Books, movies, fabrics, nature, magazines, paintings, dreams and more. Sometimes they simply drop out of the sky into my thoughts.  I love good ideas.  They are scrumptious morsels to feast on.  I have some waiting for me now.

 

 

Happy Toosday!

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And why am I happy?  The “flu” flew by in record time.  One day in bed is enough for this happy camper. It’s back to the studio!

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Over the weekend I attended the Picture Book Summit in the privacy of my studio!  I joined more than 300 other authors and illustrators. What fun!  We listened to advice from all the experts from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm!  Barely enough time for lunch and potty breaks but well worth the time. There is already talk of another one next year.  If you are an author or illustrator I highly recommend it!

ONWARD to new adventures!

 

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.

 

 

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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