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Results 51 - 75 of 142,007
51. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2014)

You know Mac and Jon. You love Mac and Jon. Now meet Sam and Dave. You’ll love Sam and Dave.

Don’t rush into the pages just yet. This is one of the best covers I’ve seen in a long while. If we weren’t so aware that Jon Klassen (that insta-recognizable style!) is a contemporary illustrator, I would wholeheartedly presume that it was some vintage thing in a used bookstore. A find to gloat about, a find that makes you wonder just how you got so lucky.

The hole. The space left over. The words, stacked deeper and deeper. The apple tree whose tippy top is hidden. Two chaps, two caps, two shovels. One understanding dog.

Speaking of two chaps, two caps, and two shovels, check out the trailer.

(I’ll wait if you need to watch that about five more times.)

The start of their hole is shallow, and they are proud. But they have only just started. Sam asks Dave when they should stop, and this is Dave’s reply:

“We won’t stop digging until we find something spectacular.”

Dave’s voice of reason is so comforting to any young adventurer. It’s validating that your goal is something spectacular. (Do we forget this as grownups? To search for somthing spectacular? I think we do.)

Perhaps the pooch is the true voice of reason here, though he doesn’t ever let out a bark or a grumble. Those eyes, the scent, the hunt. He knows.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

(click to enlarge)

And this is where Sam and Dave Dig a Hole treads the waters of picture book perfection. The treasure, this spectacular something, is just beyond the Sam and Dave’s reality. The reader gets the treat where Sam and Dave are stumped. Do you want to sit back and sigh about their unfortunate luck? Do you want to holler at them to just go this way or that way or pay attention to your brilliant dog? Do you root for them? Do you keep your secret?

The text placement on each page is sublime. If Sam and Dave plant themselves at the bottom of the page, so does the text. If the hole is deep and skinny, the text block mirrors its length. This design choice is a spectacular something. It’s subtle. It’s meaningful. It’s thoughtful and inevitable all at once.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

(click to enlarge)

And then – then! Something spectacular. The text switches sides. The boys fall down. Through? Into? Under? Did the boys reach the other side? Are they where they started? Is this real life? Their homecoming is the same, but different. Where there was a this, now there is a that. Where there was a hmm, now there is an ahhh.

Spectacular indeed.

I like to think that the impossible journey here is a nod to Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak’s collaboration, A Hole is to Dig. That’s what holes are for. That’s what the dirt asks of you. It’s not something you do alone or without a plan or without hope. Sam and Dave operate in this truth. They need to dig. There’s not another choice.


(image here // a first edition, first printing!)

Sidenote: I’m pretty thrilled that these scribbles live in my ARC.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Look for this one on October 14th.

SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE. Text copyright © 2014 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Jon Klassen.Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.


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52. Fairy Magic Monday: New Class


For Fairy Magic Monday, I offer a new class for October. When polled, students hands down wanted this class plus more fairy healing. A must for all part fairies.

Heal with Nature and reconnect!

As I was putting together the Fairy Beginner Class, the notes I gathered were extensive. Only some pieces were included and the rest was put away for further classes, with much of the pieces forgotten, until now. Let’s jump back in to the Fairy World and learn more healing tools and lessons from the Fairies, the Gnomes, Water Spirits, and the Cactus People. These aren’t the creatures of fairy tales, but are the energies of THIS world, right now, in Nature. Learn about Balancing with Water energies, Healing & Boundaries with Cactus People, Grounding with Gnomes and Filling in Holes, while communicating with different types of Nature beings. We end with a trip deep into the Forest to retrieve special gifts for each of us for our journeys. To read more and sign up go here.

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53. Open Studios is coming! I hope you can make it to see 25...

Open Studios is coming! I hope you can make it to see 25 different artists including me! #santacruz #studio (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1nAWQ54

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54. All’s Well That Ends Well



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.



Filed under: My Characters

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55. The Ghost Rider!

New New painting to celebrate this year Halloween 😈 print available @ http://goo.gl/7ESbSc  Original of this piece will be exhibit at Tr!ckster on Oct 11, event detail @ http://goo.gl/f4y0vy

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56. Coloring Page Tuesday - L is for Lemur

      Adding to my alphabet of reading critters, I give you a lemur! They're so cute with their long ringed tails. Do you suppose they like to read THE JUNGLE BOOK?
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, coming out next week! Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
**A SIBA OKRA Pick!**
**A GOLD Mom's Choice Award Winner!**
**The 2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia!**
**eLit 2014 Gold Medal Winner in the Environmental/Ecology/Nature Category**

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57. Dragon tree

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58. Manga Review: Kingdom Hearts 2

Name: Kingdom Hearts 2 Genre: Action, adventure Artist: Shiro Amano Publisher: Pika Edition (France),  TokyoPop (US) Original Release Date: October 11th, 2003 (US), January 2nd, 2013 (France) Roxas has been going through a few bizarre experiences lately as his summer vacation is coming to an end. Strange occurrences involving slippery white creatures and hooded strangers ... Read more

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59. Turner Paints a Man-of-War

Once while staying as a guest at the estate of Walter Fawkes, J.M.W. Turner was asked to paint a watercolor of a British man-of-war.

His process of painting was extraordinary. According to an eyewitness, "He began by pouring wet paint onto the paper till it was saturated. He tore, he scratched, he scrubbed at it in a kind of frenzy and the whole thing was chaos -- but gradually, and as if by magic the lovely ship, with all its exquisite minutia, came into being, and by luncheon time the drawing was taken down in triumph."

Tomorrow —a new episode of Clementoons.

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60. Yellow Dress...

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61. NEW SEASON - boden

Its not just the little ones who get to wear colourful patterns at Boden - there are some interesting prints for the new season in womenswear as well. Here are a few that stood out to me.

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62. Josh Brill Interview


Josh Brill / Lumadessa Interview

I was first introduced to Josh Brill and his work though through his Flora Fauna collection. With nature serving both as a catalyst and a muse, the ongoing series explores and catalogs the identities of plants and animals from around the world. To illustrate these explorations Josh chose to eschew conventional realism in favor of a style that echoes cubist techniques. The end result is vibrant, bold and visually intoxicating.

In addition to sharing the same passion for illustration and design, I was excited to discover that Josh and I shared a similar upbringing. We unknowingly haunted the same swimming holes and drank from the same slush puppy wells while growing up. This served as fodder to fuel our friendship and with this in mind, i’m delighted to present today’s interview with him.



Lets start off with a little bit about your background. Where are you from originally?
I was born in Norway, Maine and raised in the Lake Region area nearby.


When and how did you become interested in illustration and design?
When I was a kid, I became interested in art through pop culture including animation, comic books, skateboard graphics and video games. Though I did not know it as a profession, just for what it was, something fun to me. It wasn’t until high school that I learned that people do this for a living. A friend gave me some comic books to read and I loved the artwork. As I learned more about the artists behind these books I grew excited. It was hard to believe that people could make a living from drawing fun pictures. I told my mom I wanted to be a comic book artist  and she was generally supportive. I think she was just happy to see I had a possible career direction. From here I took the closest course in desktop publishing and to be  honest, I did not enjoy it. It was the early 90′s and they were still teaching the old paste up methods and the design examples were formulaic at best. This led me to take classes at the Kubert school for cartooning and animation before enrolling in Maine college of Art. It was here that I gained a renewed appreciation for the art.

Josh Brill / Lumadessa interview


When did “Lumadessa” come into being and what is the story behind the name?
“Lumadessa” took shape in the summer of 2003. At the time, I was still new to field and I didn’t have much client work to show. I was making short experimental interactive narrative art pieces in Flash, and I needed a portfolio site to showcase my skills. After completing the website I decided I wanted to create an identity that would compliment my work but also allow me to grow with it. I liked the word luminosity, because it worked for the literal side of art and the interpretation of light for creativity. The word “odyssey” struck a chord for me as well, as it implies the journey that art takes you on. From there, I combined the two words to form Lumadessa.


Josh Brill / Lumadessa interview


We would love to highlight one of your projects. Could you walk us through the Nature Explorer poster? Please include the tools you used to create this project.
I used Flash and Illustrator to create the vector art, then brought it into Photoshop and used RetroSupply Co.’s Blacksmith filter actions and brushes to create a subtle press printing with an ink bleed effect. Next, I added some light textures using a Wacom tablet.

Josh Brill interview

What were some of the thoughts that fueled the direction of the design?
I have been working on animal art for seven years and while i’ve enjoyed making the work, it’s a challenge to stay focused on one thing. Overtime, it’s caused creative fatigue and for this poster I wanted to head in a different direction. I wanted to logically bridge my existing animal work with my new found love of travel posters. I am planning to create a complete series of posters, but for this initial attempt I chose to create something that encourages others to embrace and explore nature.


In what ways did the initial concepts differ from the finished work?
When I started the project, my intentions were to create a Maine travel poster. Unfortunately, I became busy with other projects and reached a creative stopping point. When I came back to the poster, I toyed with other locations, like Patagonia and Acadia that might work better for such an iconic theme as nature, but each time my explorations felt visually forced.  I then realized that this project was more about nature as a visual symbol, rather then a place.

 Josh Brill / Lumadessa interview

What are your passions outside of design?
Wait a minute, there is a life outside of design? When did this happen? (laughter) All kidding aside, my job takes up much of my time. When possible, I love to travel. The next trip i’m planning is to Acadia National Park in Maine to do some hiking and exploring. In addition, I’ll be taking reference photos for a travel poster based on the park.



We would like to thank Josh Brill for taking time to share with us. You can see more of his work at Lumadessa.com. For a limited time Josh is offering $10 off his Nature Explorer poster. Please use the coupon code “GrainEdit1012″ at checkout. The offer is good till 10/12/14 at midnight.

This interview is brought to you by RetroSupply Co. Working with authentic materials (including real paint, ink, paper and screen textures from screen printing shops) they have crafted a vast library of vintage inspired design resources for Photoshop and Illustrator.

Free  Brushes + Textures!
If you sign up for the RetroSupply newsletter you will receive an amazing collection of brushes, textures and templates.

Sign up here to receive all the goodies.

Save 20%
RetroSupply Co. is graciously offering grain edit readers a discount on all products for a limited time. Type in GRAINEDIT20 at checkout to save 20% off all purchases.


Also worth viewing…
Brad Woodard Interview
Brent Couchman/ Moniker SF Interview
Ty Mattson Interview



Thanks to this week's Sponsor // EasyBanners: your number one source for all your large print advertising.

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63. Japanese Company SoftBank In Talks To Buy DreamWorks Animation: Explained

Everything you need to know about the possible sale of DreamWorks to Japanese company SoftBank.

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64. Draw Tip Tuesday: Feasting on Fall!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!
Let's make a fall-themed page. Everyone can do this.

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65. Music Monday - The Mercurotti

The longer I watched this 'duet' the more I liked it. Marc Martel has a great voice, and does a surprisingly good impression of Freddy Mercury (he is the lead singer of Queen Extravaganza, a Queen tribute band - endorsed by the original members of Queen). It's pretty great:

I do miss Freddy.'Love Queen....

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Check it out check it out CHECK IT OUT!
They'll be for sale on the first of January, but THEY ALREADY EXIST AND THEY ARE AWESOME LOOK!

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67. Sweater Weather

Illustration of a woman wearing a sweater by Christine Marie Larsen

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68. Literary vs. Commerical Fiction

Don’t be afraid of the difference between literary and commercial fiction like these Scaredy Scouts illustrated by B.L. Bachmann below. B.L. is a writer and illustrator living in Los Angeles. Her mission is to make people smile, and even giggle :) See more at http://www.blbachmann.com

scardeyscoutsI spent last week running two writer’s retreats in Avalon, NJ. The agents at the first retreat were Sarah LaPolla from Bradford Literary and Carly Watters from P.S. Literary. The agents at the second retreat were Ammi-Joan Paguette from Erin Murphy Agency and Heather Alexander from Pippin Properties. 

It was a gorgeous week. Everyone received a full manuscript critique with an agent and a full manuscript critique from everyone in their group. I have to say, I think both of the sessions were the best retreats I have put together. The agents were top notched and each writer  in each group took extreme care with their critiques, so we walked away with lots of ideas for revisions and with many doors open with the agents. On top of that, everyone meshed well and we had a tons of fun. Can’t think of anything that was missing. 

Sarah-Bradford-Lit-photoDuring the week the question came up about the difference between Literary Fiction and Commercial Fiction. Lucky for us, Sarah LaPolla had written an explanation  on her blog and gave me permission to post it on Writing and Illustrating.

Here is Sarah:

I don’t think writers should get too hung up on labels, but it’s important to know what genre you’re writing. You’re expected to give an agent an immediate sense of where they can sell your book, but even more than that you should be able to know who you’ll be next to on a bookshelf so that you can read your comparison titles accordingly.

Figuring out thriller vs. mystery vs. suspense or paranormal romance vs. urban fantasy vs. supernatural horror can be difficult, I know. In these cases, it’s best to just choose the closest and let a professional decide the best way they can sell it. But the line between literary and commercial isn’t as vague. You shouldn’t claim your book is literary fiction if it isn’t. For one, it’s rare you’ll find an agent who looks for literary fiction and genre fiction with the same fervor, if they take on both at all. You don’t want to get a rejection based on a mislabel. Secondly, literary fiction is quite different than genre fiction, and not learning the difference can reflect a lack of research on your part.

The common argument, however, is that all books are technically literary. Right? Well, yes and no. Saying all books are literary is like saying all Young Adult novels are about characters under 25. The genre labels can be misleading, which is why it’s important to know what they mean.

If you’re unsure about which you’ve written, here’s a quick definition of each:

Literary fiction: The focus is on character arc, themes (often existential), and the use of language. I like to compare literary fiction authors to runway designers. The general public isn’t mean to wear the clothes models display on the runway. They exist to impress the other designers and show the fashion industry what they can do. Literary writing is a lot like that, but on a more accessible level. Many dismiss literary fiction as “too artsy” and “books without a plot,” but this isn’t true. At least not most of the time. The plot is there; it’s just incidental. Literary fiction is meant to make the reader reflect, and the author will almost always prefer a clever turn of phrase over plot development.

Commercial fiction: For the purposes of this blog post, I’ve been using this interchangeably with genre fiction. Basically, all genre fiction is commercial, but not all commercial fiction is genre. There is also “upmarket” commercial fiction, which I’ll get to later. Unlike literary fiction, genre fiction is written with a wide audience in mind (aka “commercial”) and always focuses on plot. There is still character development in genre fiction, but it is not as necessary. Characters get idiosyncratic quirks, clever dialogue, and often learn something new about life or themselves by the end. The difference is that their traits are only skin deep. The reader stays with them in the present. Rarely do we see a character’s past unless there is something pertinent to the plot back there. Genre fiction has a Point A and a Point B, and very little stands in the way of telling that story.

Keep in mind that an agent or editor will rarely prefer you to play with these formats, especially if you’re a debut author trying to find (and build) your audience. If you’re writing a plot-driven genre novel that adheres to a sci-fi, romance, or thriller structure, don’t try to load it with literary devices and huge character back-stories that aren’t relevant to the plot. It won’t impress an agent if you have a super literary genre novel. It will more likely confuse us and make your book harder to sell.

“Upmarket” fiction is where things get tricky. Books like The Help, Water for Elephants, Eat, Pray, Love, and authors like Nick Hornby, Ann Patchet, and Tom Perrotta are considered “upmarket.” Their concept and use of language appeal to a wider audience, but they have a slightly more sophisticated style than genre fiction and touch on themes and emotions that go deeper than the plot.

With debut authors, I think the main source of uncertainty tends to come from what they set out to write vs. what they actually write. Genre fiction is written with a clear purpose. The author has an idea and writes a story to accomplish their goal. Literary fiction can be more accidental. A writer may start with an idea, and then discover along the way that they don’t want to write about that anymore. They’ve fallen for their character’s personal tale or the images they want to evoke within the reader. If the writing ends up falling somewhere in the middle, then it might be considered “upmarket.” Or, it could mean it needs more focus one way or the other.

What’s important to remember is that none of these types of fiction is better than the other. It’s all about personal preference, based on what you like to read and how you write. If an agent doesn’t represent a certain genre, it doesn’t mean he or she think it’s bad. It just means you’re better off with someone else. Be aware that a genre label can influence an agent, but be honest about what your genre is. It wastes everyone’s time – most importantly, yours – if you try to guess what you think agents want. We want books we can fall in love with that fall under in genres and styles we represent, whether they’re young adult, adult genre fiction, or literary to a Proustian degree. That’s all.

You should drop by and take a look at Sarah’s blog: http://glasscasesblog.blogspot.com/ Sarah has agreed to be a Guest Blogger in the near future on a different subject, but another enjoyable post that will broaden your knowledge.

Thanks Sarah for sharing.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, Agent, article, demystify, need to know, reference Tagged: Bradford Literary, Commercial Fiction definition, Literary Fiction definition, Sarah LaPolla

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69. Lunch Lady exhibit in Worcester, MA!

"All Hail the Lunch Lady," an exhibit of original works from the Lunch Lady books opens at the Worcester Historical Museum this Friday!  A book signing is happening on October 28th from 3-5 PM. 

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70. Editorial Submission :: Barry Lee

Post by Natalie




Barry Lee is an Atlanta based freelance illustrator who has a love for bright colors, weird characters and pop culture. He feels humor can be universal through illustration and gains inspiration everywhere from early eighties funk records to the Muppets. Follow him on Instagram @barrydraws for daily sketches.
You can see more of Barry’s work on his website.

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71. Once In A Lifetime

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72. KIDS DESIGN - boden AW14

Their have been some fabulous new print arrivals at Mini Boden this Autumn. I love this colourful woodland scene (above & below) but there are so many colourful flower and bird prints this season I couldn't stop posting all the lovely images. Scroll down to see what is obviously going to be a bright Autumn Winter for Boden and go online to see full details here.

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73. A generous witch is repaid for her kindness

Recently I received a copy of ROOM ON THE BROOM by Julia Donaldson, pictures by Axel Scheffler. (First published in 2001.) Donaldson is an expert storyteller. Her website states that she really enjoys writing in verse, and her enjoyment shows.

ROOM ON THE BROOM is a musical romp, perfect for story time or quiet inspection. Scheffler's illustrations are simple and rich at the same time. I loved the detailed landscapes and characters, especially the not-too-scary red dragon.  Great fun.

  • ISBN-13: 9780803726574
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

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74. Goodbye September

I'm really looking forward to Fall. It's not here yet, weather wise, but I'm ready. I can't wait for pumpkins, colorful leaves, crisp air, and what I hope will be a very wet winter in this dried out state of mine. 

Happy Fall!

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75. ‘The Missing Scarf’ by Eoin Duffy

A black comedy exploring some of life's common fears: fear of the unknown, of failure, rejection and finally the fear of death.

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