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I'm so thrilled to announce the release of my Bird Art App for the iPad. It's available from the App Store now - and it's FREE (for a limited time)!
It is a collection of some of my favourite sketches, drawings and paintings, including some of the rough original sketches made prior to the finished artwork. I've been passionate about painting and drawing birds for over 20 years, and this is such an exciting way for me to share some of my pieces with you.
I hope you enjoy taking a look at this other side of my creative life - this app has been a pet project of mine for the past year, made possible by the clever folks at daydreemin, who compiled the images into this lovely format.
I was introduced to this fabulous resource today - my perfect pitch created by author Brian Grove, hosts an up-to-date list of approximately 1000 book publishers (worldwide) which are currently accepting submissions. They're all sorted out for you by their various genres, with handy-dandy links to the publishers submission guidelines page on their own website . . . a great site to bookmark for future reference.
I just received advance copies of the Korean edition of Ruby Makes a Friend. Yay! It's lovely - and it includes little activities and parent/teacher notes in the back! Super cute and beautifully produced. I'm thrilled with it.
"Ruby Makes a Friend" written and illustrated by Tina Burke
These days I find I'm sharing my favourite things via my Facebook page and Twitter more than on my blog, but I realize that for the most part, I have completely different followers of each platform, so I will be sure to post some here, too, with more of a discussion as to what I like about them.
I created this blog mostly to share what I am working on, and share my latest news - however there are times, like now, when I go into a long incubation period and I'm not quite ready or able to share my current project.
I am currently working away on new concepts and characters (with minimal time but much enthusiasm). Creating my own works in private and without deadlines brings the freedom of being able to play with processes and styles, open my mind to new options and platforms, and generally daydream about where I'd like this creative journey to take me next. It's crazy fun - this is when I'm in my element.
Along the way, I'm listening to lots of inspiring podcasts, videos, and reading and learning new things. And throughout a lot of these things, I am starting to sense recurring themes and messages: about happiness, following your passions, being true to yourself, and playing to your strengths. And I think I should share them here, in the hope that they will help or inspire you, too.
I will start with this awesome, entertaining TED video, The Happy Secret to Better Work (found via Tristan Bancks) about happiness, positivity and success. Really good, informative, funny stuff.
Grab a cuppa' tea. Watch it. It's only 12 minutes long.
Yesterday was my little Tyler's first birthday. It felt as much of a celebration of us making it safely through one year of parenthood, as it did a celebration for him.
Although I started writing and illustrating children's books well before I had my own child, I can see why so many people are inspired by their own children to start creating. To be honest, part of me had felt (and feared) my creative life would be over once our baby arrived — due to time constraints as a mum — but now I feel I'm actually being refueled and inspired as I watch him grow and develop, as he takes each new step in his life journey, and exhibits his funny little quirks. And don't even get me started on the cuteness of his round head and chubby feet.
The journey as a parent is a fascinating one, full of highs and lows, laughs and frustrations and exhaustion. I created this video for Tyler, for us, and for family and friends near and far, to mark his first year. He has watched it about 20 times already as he dances along, and each time it ends, points to the computer and demands "a-deh!" ("again!").
I hope you enjoy meeting my little bunny rabbit...
I've just returned from a fantastic trip to New York, where I finally made it to the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) annual winter conference. I'd been wanting to attend one of these since we moved to Toronto.
This one enticed me for three main reasons:
A) The Friday, full-day Illustrator's Intensive focused on "Books and Beyond" (particularly ebooks and apps); something that's of interest to all of us. (I know there's info and discussions all over the internet about this stuff, but sometimes it's more fun to be told in person.) B) Mo Willems was speaking C) I ♡ NY So I booked my ticket.
This conference is HUGE. Approximately 1200 attendees, all buzzing with excitement and chatting about the industry, and cram-packed with amazing, quality speakers. It was a beautiful thing. I love writers and illustrators conferences. I find it so inspiring to listen and learn from the best, and even more importantly, get to meet and mingle with like-minded souls. This type of work can be fairly isolated, and getting out and speaking to other passionate people is incredibly energising and uplifting, and just good fun.
My conference highlights:
• R.L Stine gave a fantastic talk over lunch - for a guy who is the king of creepy, he is incredibly funny and charming.
• Seeing the amazing work in the Illustrator's exhibition
2010 was a busy year: I married Damian, my partner of 10 years ... what a lucky gal :) ...
... and we had a sweet little boy, Tyler. He is truly a darling and an absolute joy.
So certainly a joyous year, and one of new beginnings (and not enough sleep!).
I'm gaining so much inspiration from this gorgeous little bundle of cuteness, and now I'm gradually settling in to my new life as a mother, I've been catching up with all the activity in the online world. I'm completely out of the loop, but I'm so excited to be back and join in on the conversation again! I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you all, and making new friends, too.
I was just updating my portfolio, and came across some more images from Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave.
Part of what I loved about illustrating this book (aside from what I havealready mentioned), was the fact that one of the main characters was a bird artist! Like me!
I have been fascinated with birds — particularly parrots — since my late teens and have been drawing and painting them ever since. I find them wonderful subjects, so elegant and interesting, and they give me infinite inspiration for what I call my "grown up art" (if you're interested you can see some of them here).
So it was fun to mix things up a bit, and creating these little artworks for the character's wall in this book ...
(The little parrot with the big eyes and beak is from my first book "Fly, little bird" :)
I want to see this documentary on children's book authors and illustrators! The filmmakers also have an interesting blog with snippets of interviews and articles with impressive kidlit folk including Lemony Snicket, RL Stine, and Arthur A. Levine. Worth checking out and bookmarking.
Ooh, this event looks interesting for illustrators in Melbourne this weekend (here's an article on it, in today's SMH). I wish I was there for it! I always find it so interesting and inspiring to hear other authors and artists speak, even if they write or work in a different format to my own. There's always something to learn, and graphic novels are a wonderful form of storytelling with pictures. In fact, I believe the more diverse our inspiration, the more we have to draw on (heh heh, a pun).
After multiple viewings and laughs, I wanted to share this animated short with you this morning. It was created by Bernard Derriman, an incredibly talented artist/animator who also happened to be my mentor when I was training in animation at the Walt Disney Studio — did I ever mention how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to work with talented people like this??! He now has his own animation production house, Squetch, and pretty much everything he produces makes me laugh out loud. This piece is no exception. It's a competition entry for the Annecy International Animated Film Festival — one of the biggest animation festivals in the world, held annually in France.
The fantastic champagne effects were done by Adam Phillips, also a friend and and ex-Disneyite, who has also made a success of himself with his own animation and related projects. Both guys have each created quite the fan base and have established themselves as experts after learning and combining paperless/computer animation techniques with their solid background in traditional drawing, animation and special fx.
Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers (and mothers-to-be!) out there. On special day's like this I feel very far from home, and wish I could be back in Australia with my family, having bbq salmon on my brother's deck with a flock of king parrots in the tree above. But my thoughts are there, and with all of you today! I hope you take some time out to be good to yourself, and have a lovely one!
IMAGES: "Sophie and Scarlett were helping to bake a cake..." fromSophie Bakes a Cake by Tina Burke
Thanks to Marisa Haedike for forwarding this link via Twitter. I love illustrator and designer Sandra Boynton's unmistakable style and humour, so it was great to see this behind-the-scenes interview with her. What a success story! Absolutely inspiring. And funny. Hope you enjoy it.