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Head on over to the main PaperTigers website to read our new interview with the wonderful Lisa Yee and find out about the background to some of her best-selling books.
After having my emotions wrenched between tears of laughter and genuine weeping during Lisa’s presentation at Serendipity 2012 in Vancouver earlier this year, I came back to the UK laden with her books. Older Brother, Younger Brother and I have been hijacking them from each other ever since – and it’s just as well I’ve read them as Younger Brother will bring a character matter-of-factly into conversation while I now have the necessary knowledge to do the mental somersault towards the fictional identity of this “person”. So if you don’t yet know Lisa’s books, I can thoroughly recommend them for you and any middle-grade/YA readers you know. In the meantime, head on over to our interview to find out more…
Tim Bowers was born in Troy, Ohio, where he began drawing at an early age. His career in illustration grew from his childhood interest in art and an active imagination. Even then, his artwork reflected an ability to tell stories, using humorous characters.
Bowers continued his art education at the Columbus College of Art & Design (Ohio), where he would pursue a career in illustration. During those years, he was introduced to the work of many great illustrators of the past, including Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell. He was influenced by the work of popular illustrators of that time, including Mark English, Bob Peak and Bernie Fuchs. This is also when he began collecting children’s books and admiring the work of Maurice Sendak, Wallace Tripp and Etienne Delessert. Such a diverse group of artists inspired Tim to explore his interest in both decorative and realistic imagery. He graduated from C.C.A.D. with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Tim worked in a Dayton, Ohio illustration studio after graduating from college and gained valuable experience creating artwork for corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Kenner (toys), Huffy (bicycles) and Wendy’s. His drawings were also used for local television commercial storyboards and his cartoon characters were used to promote various products.
Bowers left the Dayton studio and was soon recruited by Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri. There, he worked in several humor groups and helped launch the popular Shoebox Greetings card line. It was during those five years in Kansas City, that Tim also illustrated his first three children’s books.
Tim Bowers and his wife now live in central Ohio. He has illustrated over thirty children’s books, including The New York Times bestseller, Dream Big, Little Pig! written by Kristi Yamaguchi and Dinosaur Pet by Neil Sedaka and Marc Sedaka. His work has been published in children’s magazines, his illustrations have been used on a wide variety of products and his characters have appeared on hundreds of greeting cards. Each year, Tim travels to schools and libraries to promote literacy and share his artwork with students.
Here’s Tim as he walks you thru an illustration from Cat and the Fiddle:
For The Cat and the Fiddle, I photographed my daughter in bibbed overalls. I positioned her and the fiddle to closely match the cat that I had drawn in my initial idea sketch. Then, I took several photos of the arrangement. The photos gave me information that was needed to paint the clothing and fiddle with convincing detail. It’s the combination of an imaginative idea and realistic detail that captures my interest.
1. Idea sketch (pencil drawing
2. Underpainting- Monocromatic value study (sometimes painted with acrylic washes).
3. Laying in areas of local color (background).
7 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Tim Bowes, last added: 7/29/2012
Sarah S. Brannen has illustrated more than a dozen books for children. She is the author and illustrator of Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008). Uncle Bobby’s Wedding has received extensive publicity since its publication; it was the eighth most-challenged book in the US in 2008.
As a journalist and photographer, Sarah is a regular contributor to Skating Magazine and icenetwork.com. Along with figure skating, Sarah’s other interests include opera, Italy, sailing, insects and astronomy.
Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 2001. In 2007, Sarah won the Ann Barrow Scholarship from the New England chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She was the runner-up for the 2006 SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant, and the runner-up for the 2003 Don Freeman Grant.
Here is Sarah sharing her process for one of the spreads in UNCLE BOBBY’S WEDDING.
I started with a storyboard, with tiny sketches of each spread. I knew that this spread would show Bobby and Chloe in a rowboat, but I wasn’t worried about details at this point.
This is one of the thumbnail sketches – I tried various views but I wasn’t committed to any of them.
Here’s the sketch from the dummy. At this point I had made a lot of decisions about the composition and text placement but hadn’t thought about color yet. All these sketches were done in pencil.
This is a color study, done before I had finalized the composition.
6 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Sarah Brannen, last added: 7/24/2012
Occasionally, I will watch children read and reread a story, absolutely carried away on the story's journey. They will want to revisit that special story world again and again. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore amazes children and adults when they first read it. Some are amazed at the way the book app integrates animation and interactive features, but many readers are simply captivated by the story. Now, this wonderful book is available as a picture book to share with children.
Morris Lessmore is a man who loves words and stories, so much so that he surrounds himself with books. One day, he is swept away to a distant land when a terrible storm strikes. Adults may see reference to The Wizard of Oz or Hurricane Katrina, but children just follow Morris into a magical land of stories.
“Then a happy bit of happenstance came his way. Rather than looking down, as had become his habit, Morris Lessmore looked up. Drifting through the sky above him, Morris saw a lovely lady. She was being pulled along by a festive squadron of flying books.”
The young woman sends him a story that leads him to a stately old home where books from years gone by apparently ‘nested.’ Morris explores this wonderful place, discovering his true home among the books and stories, each “whispering an invitation to adventure.
I was honored last month to listen to William Joyce talk about his inspiration for this story. Listen to the speech he gave to gathered librarians and admirers at the Simon and Schuster party at the American Library Association, in June 2012. First, you'll hear Justin Chanda, his editor and the publisher of Books for Young Readers at Simon & Schuster, introduce Bill. And then listen to Bill describe the story behind Mr. Morris Lessmore. Bill Joyce tells us that he originally wrote t
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This week we feature the wonderful illustrator Barbara Johansen Newman. Barbara has been illustrating professionally for more than 20 years. She’s done art for books, art for magazines and newspaper articles, art for calendars and advertising, greeting cards, corporate reports, medical reports, and invitations.
For the ten years before she was an illustrator, she worked with puppets and created figurative fiber sculptures which she has exhibited at shows and galleries around the country.
She holds B.F.A. in Art and a ceritificate in Art Education. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband Phil, her three sons, Dave, Mike, and Ben and her dog Bitty (in picture on left).
Here is a picture of Barbara’s studio.
When Barbara paints big, she uses antique dough boards. I asked about them and Barbara said, “They are large slabs of wood, usually one single plank wide, probably cut from old growth trees, mostly of pine. They are also called “noodle boards.” Women used them for kneading dough for bread and noodles of sorts. They are often fairly large–20 by 28 or more. Some have lips that hung over the edges of tables to make them more stable.”
I like painting on them and have purchased them whenever I can find them at a reasonable price.
This is the first color illustration assignment Barbara ever got–a piece on Turkey farms for Boston Magazine back in the 80s.
Tell us a little bit about the puppets and dolls you did right out of college. Where the puppets marionettes? What materials did you use to make the dolls?
While I was still in college I met Lois Bohevesky and with her and Frieda Gates I spent a summer studying puppetry and puppet making at the Bil Baird Theatre in New York. (it is no longer there) I learned to make and operate hand puppets, rod puppets, and marionettes. That course planted the seed of a love of puppetry and everything puppet related. By summer’s end my future husband had built us a portable stage that could be used to do small shows. We packed up our rented van and moved to Buffalo, where we had transferred for our fall semester in college to be together. I posted puppet show flyers in different places and somehow we began to get calls and jobs from out of nowhere to do puppet shows all around the Buffalo area.
The big change in our lives came when we were hired to perform at a craft show. Instead of paying us a full fee, we took a table to sell puppets, because I had discovered that I loved making them as much as performing with them (actually more). After that show we were hired for othe
Today, I have the honor of sharing an interview with William Joyce, the amazing creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Joyce is an author, illustrator and animator of many books and films, most recently winning an Academy Award for the short film of Morris Lessmore. The app, based on the same story, has been one of my favorites for the way it blends a touching story with incredible combination of animation, interaction and narration.
Come listen to this interview on Katie Davis’s podcast, Brain Burps About Books. You can listen for free on iTunes or on Katie’s site. It was an amazing experience getting to sit down with Bill Joyce - I've admired his work for so long.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore truly opened my eyes to what a book app can do (see my review of the app over at SLJ's Touch and Go). Above all else, the story resonates with children – it’s a story about the power of books and stories to sustain us, to fill our lives and imaginations. But it’s also an incredible combination of narrated text (beautifully written and read), animation that leaps off the screen, and interactive features that surprise readers as they are pulled into elements of the story.
If you’re fascinated by books, stories and how the new medium of the iPad will affect the way we share stories with our children, please take some time to listen to this interview. Bill Joyce is a visionary, in my mind. He sees that stories are really what we fill our lives, but that technology can be used in so many different ways to bring these stories to life.
As Bill said in this interview, halfway through the production of the short film for Morris Lessmore, the iPad was released. He and his coproducer realized that this is going to change everything. They wanted to see how this technology can be used to tell a story, to pull you into an immersive story world. The iPad can complement books, helping publishing, not hurting it.
This week we have author/illustrator Roger Roth with us. He comes from a creative family, where his great uncle painted sets for the New York theater at the turn of the century, his mother went to art school (she later became an elementary school teacher) and his dad was a writer. He’s been interested in art since he was young, and actually, by 1st grade kids were paying him to draw their portraits! When he was 15, his parents sent him to Saturday art classes at the Philadelphia College of Art (now called University of the Arts) and he studied under Milton Feldman. Roger says this was very important to his development as an artist and when he published his first children’s book (The Giraffe That Walked to Paris), he dedicated it to him.
When he is not working on a children’s book, visiting a school, or doing an editorial illustration, you can find him at the University of the Arts, where he is a senior lecturer in the illustration department.
His wife Darlene, is a writer and editor, and they worked together on Star of the Week. It’s a story about a girl who resembles their wonderful daughter, Eden and inspired by her story. Roger, Darlene, Eden, and their dogs, Dobo and Drizzle live outside of Philadelphia.
Roger graduated from Pratt University in 1980, with a degree in fine art and has been a working artist ever since. He’s done everything from painting murals in restaurants to illustrating a column in the New York Times (He did that for 4 years). He’s been illustrating children’s books since 1982.
He has written and illustrated two children’s books, both came from real life experiences. He used to work as a sign painter, and the man who owned the company, Clarence, was the inspiration for The Sign Painter’s Dream. He loves to go ice fishing with his friends, Chris, Ed and Rick, so that theme turned up in Fishing for Methuselah.
His editorial work has appeared in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Barron’s and he has also done a lot of work for advertising agencies.
Over the years, his work has drawn a lot of positive attention. His editorial work has been selected for the Best of Newspaper Design Annual, the International Graphic Annual of Advertising and Editorial Graphics
Yesterday on CBC’s “Q” Jian Ghomeshi interviewed both Terry Mosher and Matt Bors regarding the state of editorial cartooning. Trying to embed the CBC’s audio player is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree, so rather than embedding only that segment, I was only able to add the entire 75-minute show. Just forward to the 4:00 mark and you can listen the 20-minute segment on cartooning.