What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1540 Blogs, since 2/23/2008 [Help]
Results 6,526 - 6,550 of 481,322
6526. The Boy in the Book

9780755365692Choose Your Own Adventure. Remember those books? Interactive novels written in the second person, where you get to make choices that take the story in different directions. They were enormously successful in the 1980s and there have been many other books in a similar interactive vein (including my own series, You Choose). Writer/performer Nathan Penlington certainly remembers them. And they set him off on a real-life adventure documented in his book, The Boy in the Book.

At this point, dear reader, you may…

A: Go and buy the book I am reviewing
B: Continue reading my review…

cyoa001-cave-of-timeOne day, Nathan Penlington decides to buy a set of Choose Your Own Adventure books on eBay. It turns out that all 106 books were originally owned by the same person — a boy in the 1980s named Terence Prendergast. And it also turns out that Terence wrote in the books — just a few scribbled notes about his life. Inside the pages of one particular book, The Cave of Time, are four pages of a diary. In those four pages Terence writes about bullying, the things he wants to improve in his life, running away from home and suicide. Finding this diary sets Nathan Penlington off on an obsessive search — to find Terence and get answers to the questions posed by the notes and diary entries. Did Terence overcome the bullying? Did he actually run away from home? What sort of person is he now? Is he even still alive? Or did he kill himself?

I can’t tell you whether or not he finds Terence as I don’t want to spoil the book — you’ll need to read it if you want to find out. But I can tell you that he meets a number of other interesting people in his search, including a child psychologist, a historian working on a collection of diaries, a Graphologist (someone who analyses hand writing) and even Choose Your Own Adventure author Edward Packard. There is a fascinating bunch of people wandering in and out of the pages of this book.

Time for you to make another choice. Would you like to…

A: Check out Edward Packard’s website
B: Continue reading my review…

The Boy in the Book is a twisting, turning narrative that is full of surprises, never progressing in quite the way one would expect. Although it is the story of Penlington’s search for Terance Predergast, it is also very much his own story of obsession, something that is, perhaps, more fascinating than the search itself. It is a riveting, revealing read — a journey into Penlington’s past, a study of his obsessions and an examination of his thought-processes. A unique book, indeed.

I will admit to feeling a little cheated upon reading the Afterword where Penlington reveals:

“Everything you have just read is true, but almost a lie.”

It seems that this book is based on a documentary film/live experience called Choose Your Own Documentary. So, although the events of the book are true, they didn’t always happen in quite the way the book depicts. Those meetings and interviews, personal and intimate in the book, actually took place in front of a documentary film crew. Finding this out, for me, tarnished the magic just a little. But that doesn’t make the book any less interesting or any less worth reading. It is still an excellent book and you should all read it.

Finally, you get to choose what to do now that my review is complete…

A: Find out about Choose Your Own Documentary
B: Buy a copy of The Boy in the Book
C: Read another one of my blog posts

Catch ya later,  George

PS. Follow me on Twitter


CatReturnsCheck out my DVD blog, Viewing Clutter.

Latest Post: Blu-ray Review  — The Cat Returns



Add a Comment
6527. Summer Reading Lists

Now that summer is winding down, many librarians are undoubtedly seeing an increase in patrons clutching stapled white sheets while approaching reference desks.  It’s time (or nearing time) for students to consult their required summer reading lists and hopefully choose something that will not be too much of a chore to read.

As I look at these lists, I occasionally think about what I would put on a required summer reading list. Would I even have a required summer reading list if that was a decision I needed to make? Although some summer assignments take me aback with the rigidity and amount of homework they require, I have to give credit to my high school’s freshman summer reading list; it introduced me to Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, which is now one of my favorite books.

If I were creating a required summer reading list, I would

–include a mix of standard classics and modern favorites

–include titles that featured diversity (not only racial, but geographic diversity, include differently abled characters, and the like)

–include nonfiction and graphic novels

–include authors that live in Virginia and write stories that take place in Virginia, either fiction or nonfiction (historical or present day). If I lived in another state, I would do the same for that state.

On the other hand, chucking the notion of a  standard required summer reading list is also appealing. It could be as simple as reading 2-3 new books, and to be be prepared to recommend them to the teacher and/or class at the beginning of school.

If you had to put together a required summer reading list, what would you put on it? Or, if you had the power to make such a choice, would you not have a required summer reading list?




0 Comments on Summer Reading Lists as of 7/31/2014 3:24:00 AM
Add a Comment
6528. Tren bala hacia la gran urbe

Los árboles me pasan de largo
brazos alargados diciendo adiós
amiga, regresa pronto

Corre un lago sereno sin derramar
una gota de su carga

Pasan vacas lecheras
dejándoles de regalo
sus manchas negras a las ovejas

La cabaña de troncos se desliza
muda, sin perturbar la rutina
mutiladora de deseos

Todo pasa sobre esta acera 
rodante del recuerdo
alejándome del presente
de cifras, sueños y rascacielos

News from Arte Público Press:

The Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, led by Nicolás Kanellos and Carolina Villarroel at the University of Houston, is a 2014 recipient of the Diversity Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award will be presented at a ceremony during the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and SAA in Washington, DC, August 10-16, 2014. The award recognizes an individual, group, or institution for outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record.

The Recovery Project is being honored for its outstanding achievement in accessioning important Latino archives, organizing and describing them, and making them available broadly to educational institutions and communities via publication and electronic delivery. The project has accessioned, organized, and described such important collections like that of Leonor Villegas de Magnón, a Laredo activist who in the early twentieth century recruited Anglo Texan, Mexican American, and Mexican women for a nursing corps to tend the wounded and fallen on the battlefields of the Mexican Revolution. As an early feminist, she documented the role of women in her writings. The Recovery Project has also assembled the world's largest collection of microfilmed Hispanic newspapers published in the United States from 1808 to 1960.

"[This program] has made these records accessible to increasingly larger numbers of researchers who have in turn significantly impacted the development of Latino Studies," one supporter wrote. "This has become obvious in scholarly conferences that I have attended and noticed increasing numbers of scholars acknowledging the use of digitized records made available by the program."

The Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project joins Jennifer O'Neal, university historian and archivist at the University of Oregon Libraries, as the 2014 recipients of the Diversity Award.

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America's oldest and largest national archives professional association. SAA's mission is to serve the educational and informational needs of more than 6,000 individual and institutional members and to provide leadership to ensure the identification, preservation, and use of records of historical value.

 CHAC GALLERY in Denver presents: 

Sol Creación

Seven artist with diverse backgrounds and mediums fuse together to produce one great Art Show. August 1st - August 29th at CHAC.

Christy Mundy ~ Christy is working with intricate embroidery on fine fabrics – including scarves and clothing. She will also be showing hand-beaded, multi-media jewelry pieces.

Steve Rozic ~ Steve’s artwork is inspired by nature.  Working in acrylic allows Steve to express his illustrative painting in bright bold colors.  Little Bleu Egg is a company started by Steve to highlight and sell his Natural Soaps, Hand Scrubs, Bath Salts and Sugar Scrubs.

Leann Stelzer ~ Leann continues her devotion to fabric art, choosing projects that depict nature's beauty and diversity.

Janis Adams ~ Janis has been making things all her life and in the last few years, she has discovered new mediums in glass and in fiber. Janis will be showing fused glass jewelry and other glass creations, as well as hand painted silk scarves and felted scarves. She is always drawn to color and texture, especially in nature. She is inspired by her wonderful circle of fellow artists, who encourage and challenge her.

Paul Potts ~ Paul is deep in his fixation with steampunk, which means this show will have more of his owls, foxes, gears, and queens. He is a storyteller with his art. Many of his paintings include humorous twists that he hopes no one has seen before – an octopus waving a wrench, owls at Marti Gras, a gentleman owl enjoying a good cigar and a deer experiencing a close encounter to name a few.

Rene Horton ~ In Rene’s words “I went to a Saturday market once with a friend. She saw a chair she liked, and I made the comment that I could make the chair, so why buy it? She said prove it. So I did.”  Rene creates wire and beaded jewelry.

Suzanne Sigona ~ Suzanne has created vibrant oil paintings to add to her works in watercolors and acrylics.

0 Comments on Tren bala hacia la gran urbe as of 7/31/2014 3:42:00 AM
Add a Comment
6529. a peek at this sweet face....

©the enchanted easel 2014
on the easel this week!

i am currently working on a little scarlet haired beauty who i have fallen madly in love with. must be the red hair...or that's it's my ode to my favorite musical maven, the gorgeous and wickedly talented, ms. tori amos. i have MAD LOVE for this woman. always have. always will. 
is it the red hair? the fellow piano player? the fact that we're both leos? it's all of the above and so much more! just adore her! *enter plug for the new cd, "unrepentant geraldines"*...http://toriamos.com/go/music/#. this wins my top spot for favorite tori cd. seriously. this replaces my beloved "scarlet's walk". but, not by much. ok, let me stop because i could go on and on and on about her and her music. speaking of....

the song, "ribbons undone" (written for her daughter and located on the 2005 release, "the beekeeper") was the inspiration for the painting on the easel this week. such a sweet song...

{p.s. and btw, you can't be a leo and NOT be awesome...and we should know ;)}

laying down layers of color...
©the enchanted easel 2014
crimson colored lips...
©the enchanted easel 2014

strands of scarlet...
©the enchanted easel 2014

0 Comments on a peek at this sweet face.... as of 7/30/2014 11:58:00 PM
Add a Comment
6530. Review – The Final Silence by Stuart Neville

9781846556951Jack Lennon returns in Stuart Neville’s relentless new thriller.

It has been a while between drinks for Jack Lennon. We last caught up him in Stolen Souls and we left him a lot worse for wear. The intervening period though has not been kind. Suspended from the police pending multiple reviews of his health and performance Jack has developed some extra bad habits to the ones he already carried, mainly involving painkillers and alcohol. His relationships are in free fall including, sadly, the one with his estranged daughter who his is the only family he has left.

Just when Jack thinks things couldn’t get any worse an ex-girlfriend contacts him. She has just inherited a house from her uncle. An uncle she never met who lost contact with her family years ago. She has contacted Jack because she has found something in a locked room. A journal detailing murders going back two decades and it appears there are links to her father, a prominent Belfast politician. She can’t trust him and she can’t go to the police so instead she has turned to Jack, who can’t even help himself at this point.

I really love what Neville has done with the Jack Lennon character. He was only a few mentions inThe Twelve before assuming the lead in the next two books. He is not your typical flawed detective, flawed is too nice a term for Jack, yet he still manages to keep your loyalty.

Stuart Neville doesn’t take his foot off the pedal once in this gripping thriller and once again demonstrates why he is the crime writer everybody is and should be talking about at the moment.

Add a Comment
6531. August Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar

Two big events this month, thanks to libraries.

Fri., Aug. 1, Sarah Albee, Elise Broach, Jeff Cohen, Jennifer Donnelly, Valerie Fisher, Wendell Minor, Burleigh Muten, Marc Rosenthal, Eighteenth Annual Sharon Summer Book Signing and Dinner With Authors, Hotchkiss Library, Sharon 6-8 PM

Mon., Aug. 4,  Chris Weitz, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 6:00 PM

Tues., Aug. 5, Marilyn Davis, Stacy DeKeyser, Gail Gauthier, , Local Author Book Fair (30 authors), Avon Free Public Library 7:00 to 8:00 PM

Tues., Aug. 12, Josh Chalmers, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 10:30 AM

Sat., Aug. 16, Jane Sutcliffe, Tolland Public Library, Tolland 10:30 AM Book launch 

Thurs., Aug. 21, Bob Shea, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 10:30 AM 

Tues., Aug. 26, Dav Pilkey, R. J. Julia Booksellers, Madison 4:00 PM 

0 Comments on August Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar as of 7/30/2014 11:56:00 PM
Add a Comment
6532. 2014 PEN Literary Awards

       They've announced (most of) the 2014 PEN Literary Award winners. (The winners of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize -- for a debut work of fiction -- and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction will only be announced in September (the former at the awards ceremony itself, on the 29th, the latter "in early September"). And the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants will be announced in August.)
       There are two translation categories: the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (winner: Diaries of Exile by Yannis Ritsos, translated by Karen Emmerich and Edmund Keeley) and the PEN Translation Prize (for a work of prose), won by Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, translated by Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov.
       My favorite category, however, is the PEN/Edward and Lily Tuck Award for Paraguayan Literature, awarded: "To a living author of a major work of Paraguayan literature not yet translated into English". This year's winner was Raúl Silva Alonso, for En Tacumbú.

Add a Comment
6533. Welcome to the new world of street art..BANKSY can SUCK IT.

I have been at the Harborview Me3dical Center in Seattle for almost 14 days (court mandated) and was delighted to see that Tayfun Sarier and Guus ter Beek have done what I have wanted to do all year.  Namely, the two artists have redefined waht street art is by using GIFs in the real world.  Making GIFs part of the analog world is the whole fucking point.  THings are going to change bug time in the next few years in terms of advertising too.  I'm too tired to write anymore so i will just post a link to the article that mentions me....Thanks Tayfun and Guus for making the world more interesting for me.  I also own all the copyrights to my artwork and drawings which are done with ink pen and color dye marker on paper.  Maybe now I can get a fucking art gallery to represent me since i'm tired of the interweb. READ ON...
Duo takes street art to the next level....

0 Comments on Welcome to the new world of street art..BANKSY can SUCK IT. as of 7/31/2014 2:10:00 AM
Add a Comment
6534. LICENSING - it's a small world

Today's post features the wonderful work of Mary Blair and her 'It's a small world" creation. Her iconic designs are currently pleasing a new wave of fans through various different licences on products such as wall decals, teapots, and stationery. Mary created the designs for Walt Disney in 1964 and this year sees it celebrating 50 years with a talk of a full length movie being made. Licensees

0 Comments on LICENSING - it's a small world as of 7/31/2014 8:44:00 AM
Add a Comment
6535. Nick Previews Its First Web Series ‘Welcome to the Wayne’

Nickelodeon unveiled the revamped Nick.com today, and as part of the new site, they offered a 90-second first-look at "Welcome to the Wayne," which is their first animated series made exclusively for digital platforms like the Nick App.

0 Comments on Nick Previews Its First Web Series ‘Welcome to the Wayne’ as of 7/31/2014 3:06:00 AM
Add a Comment
6536. Peter Pan Diamond Edition - You Can Fly Clip

0 Comments on Peter Pan Diamond Edition - You Can Fly Clip as of 7/31/2014 2:10:00 AM
Add a Comment
6537. DROWNED by Nichola Reilly {Review}

"Review My Books" Review by Emily  DROWNED Drowned #1 by Nichola Reilly Series: A Drowned Novel (Book 1) Hardcover: 304 pages Publisher: Harlequin Teen (June 24, 2014) Goodreads | Amazon Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright

0 Comments on DROWNED by Nichola Reilly {Review} as of 7/31/2014 1:30:00 AM
Add a Comment
6538. Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Add a Comment
6539. #622 – Eddie and Dog by Alison Brown


Eddie and Dog

written and illustrated by Alison Brown

Capstone Young Readers      2/01/2014


Age 4 ro 8      32 pages


“Eddie is looking for a friend—a friend who likes adventure. Then Eddie meets Dog. And the fun begins. This wonderful story, with stunning artwork celebrates the excitement of a beautiful relationship.”


“Eddie dreamed of adventure.

“He imagined flying off to far-off places and doing amazing things. Then one day . . . “


Eddie found Dog. No, wait, Dog found Eddie.

Eddie is at the airport, dreaming of adventures, when he sees Dog in a pet carrier, which Dog opens with his paw. (Dogs can get out of anything.) Dog wants a life of adventure and must see the same in Eddie. Dog asks Eddie if he would like to play. This is the beginning of a unique friendship and a lovely picture book. Eddie and Dog is one of my favorite picture books this year.

What fun the two enjoy together. Their adventures are loaded with suspense, intrigue, and some silliness for good measure. The two hunt crocodiles, sail the seven seas—I’m thinking in alphabetical order—build a grand fort, and traipse through lush jungles. That was day one.


When Eddie introduced his new best friend to his mother, she said Dog could not stay—the yard is too small.  Poor Dog. Poor Eddie. Eddie keeps thinking about Dog and it is a good bet that Dog thinks a lot about Eddie. The next day, Dog returns to Eddie. Mom stands her ground. Dog needs a bigger yard and a better home. Mom’s imagination and creativity has taken back seat t her larger practical side. She can’t see the blossoming relationship between Eddie and Dog or how important it is to the new friends. Instead of working with the yard, she instantly says it is too small.

Dog is trying as hard as he can to keep his friendship with Eddie alive. Good friendships should never die—they are too hard to cultivate. But Eddie’s mom is consistently saying no to a dog. Do dogs make her nose sneeze and her eyes cry? Maybe mom really is concerned with Dog’s happiness. Hm, I wonder what will happen next.


I love Eddie and Dog. They must belong together else, Dog would not make such grand gestures, would he? Dogs do love unconditionally. And Dog is a dog. You cannot beat logic. Eddie and Dog belong together. I bet Dog keeps trying until Eddie’s mom runs out of excuses and places for Dog to go.

The story is well-paced and the illustrations hit the mark on each and every page.The final spread is my favorite illustration. Eddie sits behind Dog as Dog flies his shiny red propeller plane to their next awesome adventure.. Dog is a cute, cuddly canine. He is the perfect size for Eddie. Dog loves adventures, just as Eddie wanted! The ending has an unexpected twist that I love. Dog can accomplish many fantabulous things in a short amount of time.


Children will love Eddie and Dog. They will be sad when Eddie is sent away, but after the first return—a wonderful twist—kids will keep smiling even when mom sends Eddie off several more times. Sometimes knowing the punch line can be fun. Kids will love Eddie and Dog, even to the point of wanting their own Dog (sorry Eddie). Parents can take heart. Eddie and Dog is an easy and fun read with moments needing sound effects only a parent can provide. Will Eddie and Dog become your child’s favorite book? Quit possibly so, at least until the next edition of an Eddie and Dog adventure hit bookstores. Enjoy!

EDDIE AND DOG. Text and illustrations copyright © 2013 by Alison Brown. Reproduced by permission of the US publisher, Capstone Young Readers, North Mankato, MN.

Purchase Eddie and Dog at AmazonB&NCapstone Young Readersyour favorite bookstore.


Learn more about Eddie and Dog HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Alison Brown, at her website:    http://www.littletiger.co.uk/authors/alison-brown

Find more good books at the Capstone Young Readers website:  http://www.capstonepub.com/

Capstone Young Reader is an imprint of Capstone:   http://www.capstonepub.com/

Eddie and Dog was originally published in Great Britain by Little Tiger Press in 12/18/2013.


Also by Alison Brown

I Love You Night and Day

I Love You Night and Day

Mighty Mo

Mighty Mo








eddie and dog

copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Filed under: 5stars, Debut Author, Debut Illustrator, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Alison Brown, Capstone, Capstone Young Readers, chidren's book reviews, creativity, determination, Eddie and Dog, friendhip, imagination, Little Tiger Press, persistance, pets, relationships

Add a Comment
6540. Custard

Today I had some custard
But it didn't cut the mustard
Though I really thought that it would be the best.
Guess you can't make an assumption
Based on ice-cream loving gumption
That what looks impressive must leave you impressed.

So the next time I'll be cautious;
Though this didn't make me nauseous,
It was mediocre and not up to snuff.
A prediction's surely wasted
'Cause until your tongue has tasted
All that other information's not enough.

0 Comments on Custard as of 7/30/2014 11:34:00 PM
Add a Comment
6541. Top Ten Ways to Deal with Curious Spectators

Yesterday's post about the challenges of curious spectators generated a lot of interest— 35 comments on the blog.....and on Facebook: 533 likes, 104 comments and 83 shares.

As promised:

James Gurney's Top 10 Ways to Deal with Curious Spectators 

10. Deflect questions by answering them in advance. There's the "Critic Be Gone Shirt," marketed by Guerilla Painter, which has a rather sarcastic tone.....
....and blog reader Christian shared this T-shirt design made by his friend Graeme Skinner for a friend Laura Young.

9. Place headphones on your head, so that you look zoned out, even if you're not listening to any music. Good way to overhear candid comments.

8. If you like to smoke, blow smoke out of cheap cigars. It keeps away mosquitos, too.
The only problem with these first three solutions is that you can miss out on the really rewarding encounters that can come from curious spectators. How do you make the experience work out better for both parties?

Let's remember that most spectators mean well. They're not as judgmental as we suppose them to be. They almost universally admire an artist who is courageous enough to bring their studio outside. Spectators often ask dumb things because they're shy and they don't know what to say to an artist.

If a person comes up and they seem unsure of what to ask, I usually have a stock line ready to help orient them, such as, "Hi, I'm working in casein, which is an old fashioned milk-based paint that people used before acrylic was invented."

In other countries, the language barrier often helps. When I sketched in China, people watched with quiet, respectful absorption, or they would just smile and make encouraging gestures. In my experience, Europeans tend to be really considerate and watch for a reasonably short time, and just saying a kind word or two.  In Ireland everyone is such a wonderful and witty talker that every encounter is great fun, so I love painting in public there.

In Africa, curious spectators have volunteered to be models. In Morocco, kids can't resist gathering very close and even blocking the view.

Most of the time when kids hang around, it make sketching much more fun. If you bring an extra sketchpad to loan to a really interested kid, you might change a life. Long-time blog readers may remember the time I wore a steampunk outfit to Amish country, and everyone totally accepted me.

But being inviting and friendly doesn't always work, and sometimes I get annoyed, especially by questions that obsess over sales and careers and money and commerce, and all the things that stop the wings of inspiration from flapping.

....so, let's continue the list:

7. Let them know it's OK to take a quick look, and invite them to come back later. That gives them permission, but it lets them know implicitly that you may not want them to park too long next to you. If you're in the middle of a difficult passage, and can't talk, just briefly explain that you'd love to chat, but you can't right now because your speech centers aren't working. People get that.

6. Change the topic of discussion away from you, your proficiency, or the price of your painting. Ask the person something about the place you're in or the thing you're painting. For example: "Do you know who owns that old building?" Or: "How high did the floodwaters get here in the last storm?" This often leads to truly interesting encounters, and it lets them do the talking so you can concentrate. I've learned a lot about many of my motifs this way.

5. Before you go out painting, create a web page or blog post with common questions and answers, including information about your galleries or your books, or whatever, and generate a QR code so that they can read your answers on their cellphone. You can put up a sign that just says FAQ and the code, and it will be fun for them to read it on their cellphone.

4. Bring a friend or a spouse along who doesn't mind fielding the questions from the spectators. (Thanks, Mikey!)

Andrew Wyeth en plein Jeep
3. Choose a motif where you can back up to a wall or a rosebush so that no one can get behind you.
Or sit up high. Andrew Wyeth would sit on the hood of his car, with his feet on the bumper so that no one could watch from behind. (image courtesy Making a Mark/Squidoo).

2. Wear a uniform shirt and surround yourself with traffic cones, or crime scene tape or "caution" barricade tape. If there's more than one of you, and you're wearing uniforms, spectators are so bewildered, they don't know what to say. That's what our sketching group, the Hudson River Rats does—we disguise ourselves to look like some obscure municipal department. The "Department of Art" patches add to the official effect. (Thanks, Steve).

1. I mocked up this T-shirt design to suggest a final thought. The challenge of spectators is just one of the things that makes plein air painting so exhilirating. There's also wind, rain, bugs, animals, traffic, and changing light. Dealing with all these issues helps develop our concentration and gives us a sense of urgency that makes us do our best work.

Winston Churchill said about painting: "Painting is complete as a distraction. I know of nothing, which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen."
Previously: Interview on Urban Sketchers

0 Comments on Top Ten Ways to Deal with Curious Spectators as of 7/31/2014 3:22:00 AM
Add a Comment
6542. SDCC ’14: Journal – 4 Days and 10 Years Later, What I’ve Seen and Learned

By Victor Van Scoit


I planned on writing journal updates based on my daily experiences, but the time vortex that is San Diego Comic Con always wins at some point. With its voracious appetite it eats up every second of time that isn’t reserved for basic human survival – like sleep and sustenance – and even those begin to suffer. But I have time now to look back not only over the past few days, but the past ten years of attending San Diego Comic Con.

I was surprised that by Thursday afternoon I felt like I’d seen all ten football fields worth of pop culture goodness on the convention floor. Any additional time I spent was focused on Artist’s Alley and chasing down the final issues of Locke & Key. The former involving great conversations and artistic discoveries. The latter left me empty handed and proving that SDCC was no longer suited for back issue digging, and I would have to go to a smaller convention to experience the thrill of the hunt to fill in my collection.

The expectations of acquiring SDCC Exclusive merchandise remained in high gear. Hasbro was king with the biggest draw and people camping overnight, while Funko and Super7 had fervent demands for their toys as well. Publishers also pushed their exclusives often in combo with creator autograph sessions yet in both cases (toys and comics) the lines were in control.

In speaking with seasoned attendees there was a sense that while crowd size grew day-to-day the floor felt less packed and more maneuverable than in prior years. The Warner Brothers booth still drew large crowds for celebrity signings for the casts of Game of Thrones, The Hobbit and the like, but gone were the spectacle booths, holy grail giveaways, and additional celebrity signings that often caused traffic bottlenecks. Considering SDCC sold out of attendee tickets this year again, I was curious where all the people were especially since the number of off site ventures had decreased as well.

The new mainstays were still there like Geek & Sundry Lounge, Nerd HQ, and PetCo Park’s Interactive Zone whose main draw is Adult Swim. Geek & Sundry served its niche audience well with activities like board games, video game demos, and panels featuring talent from their YouTube shows that kept attendees engaged and sticking around for their evening parties. PetCo Park’s Interactive Zone and the park near the Hilton Bayfront had brands that drew people in for a carnival like atmosphere. Nerd HQ continued to offer its Conversations for a Cause and celebrity photo opportunities but didn’t have as many offerings as last year that would keep attendees around, though they did throw a fun Thursday night dance party. Such as it was, there was a decrease in off sites that contributed to the sense that Comic Con wasn’t in crazy showbiz mode.

The decrease in Hollywood studio presence and other big branding attempts was definitely noticed. There were only a couple of hotels wrapped with ads for upcoming TV shows, and the number of parties and interactive branding spaces were small compared to years prior where there were 3-5 times as many. Consider that in 2011 when Trickster, the creator driven alterna-convention, was located in the wine bar across from the convention center. Each subsequent year they were pushed farther away from the convention center due to rising event space costs and the companies that could pay them. That same wine bar from 2011 remained unbranded and relatively empty all convention long. Rumors of greed had event space owners asking for five times more in 2014 for the same space in 2013. Mix in Hollywood being more cautious after not gaining returns on SDCC darlings like Scott Pilgrim and Cowboys and Aliens, one can speculate as to the diminishing presence.

That’s not to say studios weren’t represented well in the lines for panels in Hall H, Ballroom 20, and the Indigo Ballroom. Attendees were quick to pull out the sleeping bags, pillows, and lawn chairs for their overnight stays so that they could gain a seat. Even the wristband mechanism that was implemented for Hall H this year seemed to help the organization. But once again it was curious to see how things had changed from what may very well be the peak of last year.

While all weekend long each of the big rooms had long overnight lines, once the rooms opened up the dynamic changed across each. Ballroom 20 would fill in for its first panel of the day and then the line hardly ever extended outside again. You could actually show up for the panel you wanted as much as an hour in advance and sometimes as little as five minutes and get your seat. Indigo Ballroom’s line remained strong compared to prior years but it benefited from better programming, yet suffered since it had less seats to offer than Ballroom 20. Such was the case Friday when I arrived at 4PM to check out both the Bob’s Burgers and Archer panels. The folks at the front of the line had been in line for four hours and were finally going to get in. These were two shows that would’ve been better suited in Ballroom 20 rather than, say, the world premiere of unknown pilot Scorpion. Perhaps we’re at a sea change where there’s not as many cultural phenomenon shows out there as there once was.

Hall H also showed how programming would affect it. I almost felt guilty being able to walk into a panel on Thursday in Hall H without having camped the night before. The only reason Hall H filled up on Thursday at one point was because Twitter notified everyone of Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan’s presence. The Interstellar trailer wouldn’t be far behind and that sent everyone running. Hall H then came back in full force on Friday and Saturday with stronger programming and concluding with its usual Marvel Studios high come Saturday night. Marvel Studios still remains the Hall H crown jewel for popular culture fan as they displayed once again what other panels lacked – showmanship and hype. Just before the Marvel panel started at 5:30PM I spoke with those around me and they had only just gotten inside having been in line since 11PM the night before. That’s the harsh mistress I know the Hall H line to be.

My first San Diego Comic Con I thought to myself, “They were right. This is big. This is way big.” The Hollywood dollars changed the game and many proclaimed SDCC was too big, overexposed, and couldn’t possibly get bigger. I thought I missed the boat to visit back when the convention was small. Each year it seemed as if something new was added like brand experiences in parking lots, video game companies participating, every hotel being wrapped in giant movie and TV posters. Hell, the Hilton Bayfront hadn’t even been built. Now I can’t even imagine San Diego Comic Con without the Indigo Ballroom or the Hilton’s Odysea Bar where I’ve met many creators and talented directors and actors. Little did I know that years later I would look back and think “My first year was tiny compared to all this.”

That first year I was helping to make HD quality video blogs for DivX’s content network. The company needed someone who understood the comic book landscape to host video segments. Back then there were no iPhones, small HD cameras, and Facebook and YouTube were nascent companies. So with high quality cameras the team would hit the floor each day looking for interviews and cool items I could point out to show exactly why comic books, pop culture, and this convention was great. It’s funny to think that there were probably only twenty similar camera crews on the floor back then. Whereas now it feels like the floor is swarming with camera crews and their portable devices, trying to record interviews and bits for their YouTube channel. You also better have industry contacts because those press and professional badges don’t go as far they used to.

Ten years also gave me the perspective to notice what I’ve alluded to earlier, which is that San Diego Comic Con just didn’t seem that crazy. I used to to enjoy walking from my hotel near Broadway down to the convention center so I could see all the brand take overs. And yet this year there wasn’t much of any pop culture interest until one would hit the area near the Hard Rock Hotel. My panel schedule of the day is typically filled with plan A, B, C, and D knowing I might not get into my first choice due to crowds. And yet this year the only reason I had to go to my second choice was due to mood and not capacity being reached in a room. While attendance for Comic Con 2014 didn’t go down the looming presence of the entertainment industry certainly did. Frankly this was the first San Diego Comic Con where I felt paced, I had time to meet with various friends, and got to do 95% of what I wanted to do. Did the entertainment money bubble burst and are we in for a few years of a normalized landscape? Is the Comic Con audience now so broad that studios and brands aren’t getting the discerning looks and cultural penetration they once were? I’ll be curious to see, and if I’m lucky I’ll get another ten years to find out.

4 Comments on SDCC ’14: Journal – 4 Days and 10 Years Later, What I’ve Seen and Learned, last added: 8/2/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
6543. Agent Looking for Clients

MarykAgent Mary Krienke: Mary joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2006 after receiving her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She now lives in Brooklyn.

Mary works with Sterling Lord and represents literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and realistic YA that pays close attention to craft and voice. She is especially drawn to new and emerging writers who seek to push boundaries of form and content, and she responds most strongly to writing that reaches great emotional and psychological depths. She is equally interested in work that illuminates through humor or by playing with genre. Her other interests include psychology, art, and design.

How to submit: You can email Mary with your submissions. For fiction, please send a synopsis and the first three chapters or a 50 page sample. If submitting non-fiction, send a detailed proposal.

Queries should be sent to info @ sll.com with “Attn: Mary Krienke” in the email subject line. Cover letters should be in the body of the email but send the actual submission as a Word document attachment.

You can find Mary on Twitter: @MaryKrienke.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Editor & Agent Info, opportunity, Places to sumit, Publishers and Agencies, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Mary Krienke, Sterling Lord Literistic

0 Comments on Agent Looking for Clients as of 7/31/2014 3:56:00 AM
Add a Comment
6544. Getting the Words Out (7)

A weekly post about writing and life in general

You may have noticed the lack of anything going on over here. Don't worry! It's a good thing. 

First, Thuy and I (and a few hundred thousand other people) went to Comic-Con in San Diego. It remains to be seen whether I will actually blog about all that. Stranger things have happened.

Second, we're moving! Yes, after 5 years on Blogger we will be moving to Squarespace. No need to update all your feeds etc. just yet. Soon, though! Everything at readnowsleeplater.com will actually remain the same; our new site will still be under the same name but look and feel very different.

Third, I have a bunch of web projects that I'm working on and will, hopefully, have up and running soon so I can tell you about them. But they are taking up all my time and energy at the moment so... I'd better hop to it!

If you really want to know what I've been reading and working on lately, head on over to my Instagram feed.

In the meantime, we have a couple of blog tour posts coming soon before we head over to the new blog. Stay tuned for those...

Anyone waiting for raffle prizes, hang in there. I am aiming to get to the post office on Saturday.

0 Comments on Getting the Words Out (7) as of 7/31/2014 5:36:00 AM
Add a Comment
6545. Berry Tart

Its all done! Phew. I thought I'd never finish. Being sick is a drag (some kind of 'bug', requiring lots of naps and 'lie downs'). But I managed to pick at this in bits of being up and around and finally gone it done.

The paper is 11 x 17. I used Polychromos, Pablos, and Prismacolor colored pencils, on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press paper.

Not too much else to share. Its so #&* hot here, 100 or over for I've lost count how many days now. The cats have gone wild, insisting I keep the cat door open so they can roam around at night when it cools off. Charlie brought me a mouse, on the bed, at 3:00 am one night, which I did not appreciate. 

Sigh. Cats. Summer. Maybe I should eat this tart - its still in the fridge. 
Stay cool!

0 Comments on Berry Tart as of 7/30/2014 11:58:00 PM
Add a Comment
6546. German literary prizes

       The flood of German literary prizes is apparently unceasing. The latest:

  • They've announced that Angelika Klüssendorf has won the Hermann-Hesse-Literaturpreis 2014 (worth €15,000; to be awarded 15 October)

  • Arnold Stadler has won the biennial Bodensee-Literaturpreis; no announcement at the official site yet, but see for example this (German) report; the award will be handed out on 9 November
       The Bodensee-Literaturpreis 'only' pays out €5,000, but has a pretty solid winner's list: the last one (2012) went to Agnes-author Peter Stamm, the 2006 prize went to Zündel's Exit-author Markus Werner, etc.

Add a Comment
6547. Author, illustrator, or both? By Hannah Shaw

We're delighted to welcome Hannah Shaw as July's guest illustrator. She discusses how it is to be both an author and an illustrator.

Dianne Hofmeyr has no need to worry about picture book authors who don't illustrate being left in the cold. From the perspective of an illustrator who illustrates for others but does write too, there is room for all of us!

My most recent picture book collaboration with Gareth Edwards  (The Disgusting Sandwich) is probably my favourite picture book so far. I had far more art direction and involvement from the wonderful team at Alison Green than on any of my previous books. I think the end result shows that. I also feel that Gareth's writing brought out something exciting and new in my drawings that I might not have done in my own work.

A spread from the Disgusting Sandwich

Another author / illustrator collaboration that caught my eye recently was 'Oi Frog!' by Kes Gray and Jim Field. That is my picture book of the year, what an hilarious book! What a fabulous pairing. And where would we be without Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, or Julia Donaldson and David Roberts for that matter?

Oi Frog images by Jim Field and Kes Gray

Saying that I do think prizes like the Greenaway are very much focused on the artistic merit of a book rather than the story. I also think they often choose books that appeal to adults rather than necessarily to children - but I think that is another debate.

As an illustrator I do admit that overall, I find illustrating my own books an easier process, I have far more artistic control and generally I feel happier illustrating my own stories, it doesn't necessarily mean that the end result is better but I feel this is the case for my Stan
Stinky young fiction series. I have recently found a niche with these in 'Pic-fic' (picture-fiction, a fiction book which has many integral illustrations such as speech bubbles, diary extracts, doodles and maps). I write around 13,000 words but I end up doing over 200 pieces of black and white interior artwork. This is where someone like me, an illustrator who writes, has the distinct advantage.

Could Pic-fic be the future of young fiction for reluctant readers? Children are used to the bombardment of images from TV and online media. A heavily illustrated fiction book does pique their interest. I

Tom Gates by Liz Pichon another example of Pic-Fic
am a very visual person and as I write, I know exactly what kind of illustration I am going to add. Often I leave gaping holes in my text as I know that I can get my message across as a series of images instead. 

I guess my argument is that books are always evolving and collaboration can be a wonderful thing but having a book which has a strong author-illustrator means no compromises. The best books will always be by authors or author/illustrators who keep pace with changes and push the boundaries, bringing new ideas to life, whatever their skills.

0 Comments on Author, illustrator, or both? By Hannah Shaw as of 7/30/2014 11:42:00 PM
Add a Comment
6548. Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Add a Comment
6549. Author appearances

       As longtime readers know, I'm not a big fan of taking into account much (especially of the personal/personality/appearance sort) about authors when it comes to literary appreciation -- a losing fight in this age where image trumps everything. Yet even I have to admit to being amused by Dmitriy Romendik considering The look of Russian literature: From Pushkin's sideburns to Solzhenitsyn's chin curtain at Russia Beyond the Headlines -- and there are some (semi-)valid points to this.
       Anyway, the piece is worth it just for this inspired GIF of 'Mayakovsky's shaved head':

Mayakovsky !

Add a Comment
6550. Your experiences with curious spectators

On Facebook people shared many more experiences dealing with curious spectators while painting outdoors. It's a rich topic. Thanks, everybody!

Carl Larsson -- Plein Air Painter, Winter-Motif from Åsögatan, Stockholm, 1886

Phil Mamuyac
"He's a drawer!"

Anath Sheridan
"I can't draw a straight line" is another... Always want to say "well neither can I, do you SEE that horizon line?!"

Timothy Atkins 
"What are you doing?"
"Playing tennis" is my usual half joking/half snide answer. After all, you never know who you are talking to!
I actually really enjoy interacting with people on the street, especially kids, but they have a tendency to turn up just when you're 3 seconds in to an important watercolor wash. And then all is lost.
I liken it to someone walking up to a DJ and ripping the needle of the record, only to ask "are you playing music?" and then you're left to find the exact spot on the record again.

Kathy Partridge
How long does it take you? Do you do sheeps? (Yes, "sheeps"!)

Arun VB
LOL ! "I can't draw a straight line" is very typical and usual question

Thomas Gieseke 
"My mom's an artist. She does macrame."

John Trotter 
HA! I did a fundraiser at Zoo Atlanta in June where a bunch of us worked plein air and the profits went to the zoo. A lot of the artists had never worked in such a public forum before and we got lots of stories. The camp groups and patrons were overwhelming but also very complimentary. (Although I did end up with a child mostly sitting in my lap at one point!)

Phil Moss 
'My sister's friend's brother's third cousin twice removed is studying art at university, you should meet him!' No, it's fine, really!

Sara Otterstätter 
Are those people Mennonites? And one particular story came to my mind:

I was at the local zoo, sketching the rhinocerosses - their anatomy is a nightmare - and in a short distance was an older lady with her grandson. She may have thought that it is better not to talk to me because I might be disturbed while fighting with the awkward rhinoceros-anatomy. So she talked with her grandson about me. But hell, in what way.

"Oh look how nice this lady draws! Does she not draw nicely?! Shall I pick you up that you can see how nicely the lady draws?!....." I really felt like I was merely an drawingmonkey at the zoo and wished she had talked to me instead of over my head. Maybe I should get a "Do not feed the Artist"-sign and put it next to me the next time I am at the zoo sketching.

Simon Schmidt
100% hit. Also the age distribution is nearly perfect. Usually there are a few more elderly people.

Eric Wilkerson 
My favorite is from a time I was painting with Garin down by the hudson. A man came up and said to him "If it comes out good I'll give you a hundred bucks for it".

Harmony Baudelaire Carrigan 
"I can't even draw a straight line" and "I can't even draw stick figures" are the two I always hear.

Laslo Iera 
a classic.

MeKenzie Martin 
That's exactly why I am afraid of painting in public. I'm deaf and that would definitely make an awkward situation where I would have to spend more energy on explaining the fact that I can't hear and have less energy for actual painting time. Awkward, I tell ya... but I guess it's also awkward in your world, having all people watch you painting and have those questions that shouldn't have been asked in the first place. Lol.

Andy Volpe ·
"Oh, can't you let my child/ren draw on the corner of your paper?! They're Master Artists themselves!". It's true, it takes a lot of energy and patience to work in front of the public…A…Lot. But for the most part comments and questions are fairly descent and genuinely curious. It's similar to reenacting/living history, and that "You're wearing wool?! Aren't you HOT in all of that?!" No, I'm pouring sweat because I'm cold….

Andy Volpe ·
I feel really bad for that Spanish artist trying to paint, I've never seen anything like that. It makes me wonder now if the Old Masters who painted outdoors scenes where there's only 2-3 people in the painting, had dozens of onlookers standing behind them that we don't see.

Jasper Patch "that looks good. What is it ?"
"are you painting that?"

Eran Fowler ·
I always get the stick figure comment. Usually accompanied with "I could never in a million years." Makes me wonder if they were too afraid to ever try.

Another case was the crazy dude at the bakery. I just put a link to my blog with the story. It was sort of really uncomfortable and one of the rare occasions where I refused to show my sketchbook:

Dougie Hoppes 
I love painting in public. It's where a lot of my sales comes from. I usually get the request: "Can I be in your painting?" I usually tell them "Sure... if you are willing to stand there for about 1/2 hour or more". I'm sure that, one day, someone will take me up on that!

Shenge Bana Gon Paja ·
Just smile

Ulrich Zeidler 
All the freakin' time

Destinie Janea Carbone 
Still trying to figure out what people mean when they say "Are you an artist?"

Barry Van Clief ·
Mostly people are friendly and pleasant, perhaps many of them would like to do art themselves. I've always thought plein air painting would be a good way to generate sales, if I were less shy and did it more often.

Joe Nazzaro 
'Did you do that freehand?'

Steve McInturff 
...yep...and ...when i set up at an art festival...i have my work on display...people like to ask ..'did you draw all these..?"..."..."...why yes i did"...."Dang!!...you're good.."...the tell me about a relative who draws or paints..."they ain't as good as you, but they're pretty good".....and then they walk away....

Richard Smith
I know I love it. "I can't even draw a straight line"... "no you don't understand I can't draw, I've tried."
I always tell people "good, if it were a straight line it wouldn't be art."
And as for not being able to draw or paint, I usually just say " the only reason you 'can't' is because you simply 'don't'. I try to encourage people..."You could draw or paint as well or better if you'd practice as much. It's not a magical power...talent = desire + discipline".
The world can never have enough artists

Weston Hobdy ·
"I saw a TV program on Ansel Adams a few nights ago, but you.... you do these freehand, don't you?"

Tim Vedel ·
when you blast a wall at 3 am with a spray can people usually keep their mouths shut hahah

Karalyn Johnson 
Them, "I can't even draw a straight line!" Me, " Me either, that's why I use a ruler."

Greg Newbold "did you just start that today?" Yea, like an hour ago. "How much would you sell that for?" In the gallery, about $900. "Yea, right. Good luck with that." Thank you for watching.

Carlos Castañón ·
I had a guy stand behind me for some solid 45 minutes, claiming he "just loves the smell of turpentine".

Danielle Nicole De Shane I still get a crack out of the people asking, "Did you draw that?" While you're in the middle of drawing. My friend had responded with this shocked expression, "OH MY GOD, what's this!? I didn't draw this! How did this get here!? My hand has a mind of it's own!"

Shannon Beaumont
At the Munich zoo people ask "Did you make that yourself?"... I usually say to them "Nope, bought it on Amazon.com..."

Jenny Wolfe First time I was plein air painting a lady stopped her truck in the middle of the dirt road, ran out, and asked "Can I have that? For free? My neighbors would adore that in my house!" Of course I said no, and told her her neighbors could adore it from where I'm painting. Some people.

Mervin LovesZbrush
I get lookers all the time at coffee shops. It turns up the pressure to perform lol

John Cullen
I don't mind curious spectators. If someone comes up to me and asks me 'did you draw that?' (while I'm in the middle of drawing something), I don't belittle them or talk down to them for doing so. They are merely showing curiosity in what you're doing.

Remember that it can be scary for people to approach and talk to complete strangers, so saying things such as 'did you draw that?' or 'I couldn't draw a straight line to save my life' are just easy ways for them to attempt to break the ice. It's the equivalent of starting a conversation with 'how about that weather?'

Yes, it can get a little annoying at times, but people mean absolutely no offense when they try talking to you. The amount of snide and stuck up comments here about such people truly disappoints me.

Patti Glynn Haarz
I am a magnet...that is one of the reasons I don't like plain air. However, I have always wanted to turn around quickly and say, "you can see me!!!" with a wild look in my eye or perhaps a tick.

David Cameron had most of those. I had a young lad say to me once,' wow did you draw that? do you know what, you should become a real artist'!!!

Eric Wolf
No, since I can't paint. But I do get similar comments when practicing archery or when reciting my poems to my girlfriend.

Chithra Mitra can add one more...." can u teach my 4 year old son,tony.......he paints exactly like u "!!! ...lols

Aline Schleger In art school (of all places) I was "in the zone" when I noticed some first years checking as I drew with pastels. I was shocked when turning around an hour after and still see them there (was wearing headphones). I blushed.

Lyn Lull oh yeah heard 'em all and more

Harvey McDowell "never show a fool a thing half finished"........

Cliff Cramp I got, "my 5 year old daughter is an artist too."

Mike Kloepfer 
Currently, 'Stick Figures' is tied with 'I can do that.'
My stock response: "I'll tell you a secret. My stick figures are terrible."

Angela Bell
lol I've had the stick figure comment so many times I've lost count. I also had neck-craners when I was sketching on a train, this lasses head almost fell off trying to see who on the train I was sketching whilst I tried my best to ignore her, then I realised after that she was holding a pose and looking to see if I was sketching her yet...I didn't.

Lyn Lull I took a workshop up in the White Mountains of NH last year. Trying to paint a waterfall and had a steady stream of tourists hiking by and saying many of those comments and many others like my friend, wife husband, cousin etc are artists too and they do this that or the other

Ricky Mujica 
"If I give you a photograph, can you draw it?"

Susan Fox 
"I wish I could do that."

Erik Pen ·
Spectators can be so distracting.

Patrick Hanenberger

Thijs Wessels ·
"Do you also have a real job?" When people ask me this I see it as a compliment

Tracy E Flynn 
you left out....
" my cousin is a natural artist, they never went to school for it "

Barb Cimity ·
Just proves art has a human connection for every person. We should cherish that.

Christopher Radko It's so rare to see ladies in dresses, these days....

Robert Paulmenn ·
i always think of myself as "public domain" when I'm on the street painting. I've had people purchase work on the spot, it's worth a little distraction from time to time.

Raven Amos 
Every. Time. Or "'What is it?' (I tell them) 'Oh...it's cute' !"

Mike Kloepfer 
It's a strange phenomenon, and I've had quite a bit of experience with it.
The way I look at it, most people never have the opportunity to see art being created. So I try to be engaging as possible.
Plus, It's not like they broke down the door of my studio. I put myself out there in public, doing something interesting. Most people are genuinely curious, and that's natural. It's counterproductive to be offended when they engage.
To the vast majority, the art-making process is a mystery, and there is a lot of 'myth' surrounding artists. So you get a lot of interesting, unusual, and sometimes totally unexpected comments. Some are downright hilarious.
For me, it really depends on the person, how they present themselves (some people are nice, some are just rude,) and other factors, like my concentration level, noise, weather conditions, etc. And sometimes I'm just not in a talkative mood. I'm human.
I've noticed that I'm not as talkative right after I've eaten. That's Mikey's quiet, inside-my-head, art-making time. LOL
It reminds me of something Jeff Watts said. (Paraphrasing....) Talking while making art is a unique skill. Some people like it, some don't.

Johnny Morrow
If I had a quarter for every time I heard, "I can't even draw a stick figure!" Oh man

Graham Nightingale
Hold on! you forgot the other inspiring comments James!!
What's that supposed to be?
You should see the stuff my kid paints its way better than that!
Nobody ever made money doing this son, why don' you get a proper job!
etc etc.

Mike Kloepfer Yes, Johnny - I could buy a lot more art supplies! LOL

Mike Kloepfer 
Hey I have an idea... I'll read the blog post. LOL

Virgil Elliott
I appreciate the idea that people are interested in art and artists, so I don't mind the comments. A sale or commission might result from any new human contact. I'm able to concentrate while carrying on a conversation, so it doesn't interfere with painting. Maybe I'll pick up a new student; maybe someone will buy my book.

If I want to paint without people around, I know a wild place that's full of rattlesnakes. They never bother me, and I don't bother them.

Peter Hoss
One of my favorites, "my aunt is an artist".

Leslie Jordan 
That's funny. When I see an artist on the streets like that, I take a quick look and move on. I know they are in a creative zone and don't have time for interruptions, though if I saw you on the street, I would at the very least just say hi.

Andy Volpe
Leslie - Yeah, I try to just say a quick hello, take a quick peak and move on, knowing they're trying to work.

Andy Volpe
The one peeve I have is when I'm doing a demonstration (i.e. Printing) and trying to explain what it is I'm doing, and then someone decides they're going to cut in and explain it to someone else for me. "What are you doing?" I'm inking the plate "See? He's inking the plate!"

Tommy Scott 
That face says, "kill me now."

Johanna Westerman ·
One reason I avoid it. Of course you say, "You realize who I am, don't you?"(haha)

Mike Kloepfer Wow, that guy in the video could sure use some traffic cones. LOL
I've got a plen air outing this weekend (which I am VERY excited about) and this got me to thinking about it. A lot. And a lot of good ideas came out of that thinking.
I posted at length about the subject in the comments on the blog post.
(Mikey said... "Wow. That guy sure could use some traffic cones. LOL " etc.)

Susan Rankin-Pollard
^I like the part of your comment where you suggest a liason. i do this at comic cons where I'm drawing so that I can actually do the work I've got in front of me and take more commissions. Helps A Lot!

Susan Rankin-Pollard When I draw in public, I take stock of how I'm feeling ahead of time and that determines where and how I sit. If I'm not open to chatting, i'll have my back to a corner. Most people are really good about respecting personal space. Earbuds/headphones help too, but I'll always talk to kids. To kids it's magic that they're willing to try without immediately tearing themselves down with I can'ts.

Monarchs Die 
Why are you drawing this you should be drawing bla bla bla ... Coud you draw me? I have a school homework would draw things for me? Etc...

Mike Kloepfer Chithra Mitra 
Maybe her son Tony's last name is Pro. You never know... LOL

Mike Kloepfer Susan - I agree. I was having this discussion with a fellow artist this weekend. We understand that what we do is applied skill, but to the lay-person, it has the same effect as a magic act.

Mike Kloepfer I'll try to gauge my mood and my audience, and if it's right, I'll go for the funny. However, I try to calibrate my humor to be entertaining, not insulting. I try to give them the same consideration I would like to receive.
(I've gotten pretty accurate, but even so, there's times... )

Mike Kloepfer 
Geez, gang - there's some great stories and anecdotes here. Got so entertained, I almost forgot...
Time for me to get drawing!!!

Blanca Plata Ortega
What about this one: if I had money I will bay it from you! But I'm just a kid! LOL

Aline Schleger James, ever thought of putting a printed F.A.Q. somewhere near you? With pamplets pointing to your books,prints,etc?

Eric Bowman ·
Aren't you that guy who wrote Jurassic Park?

Reginald Atkins 
yep.. several times. since taking up digital art and working on a tablet.. less so, since it's not as easy to see the entire thing over my shoulder as I focus on a small detail.

Arthur Machabee 
If I had a nickel for every time someone asked "Did you draw that?" while I'm still drawing, I could buy a whole new set of art supplies (which I wouldn't mind having).

Ed Redgrove ·
Yep, all of them, also while lying in a park, had a grandmother drag her screeching kid towards me with "oh lets see what this man is drawing" a graphic sword fight was what... she did not appreciate it

Mike Kloepfer 
Okay, Mr. G - ya got me thinking. A LOT. LOL
So I started a post on my own blog. Feel free to check it out.
http://mikeyzart.blogspot.com/.../making-art-in-public......See More

J Wm Lonnee "You should do this for a job!"

Carolyn McCully Yes, it really put me off trying to paint outdoors, also got "Is that a paint by numbers", that did it for me.

Maurine Starkey 
My favorite is. did you trace that?

Ed Nickerson ·
How about : my friends daughter is an artist too, she won a ribbon for the art in her 3rd grade class last week.

Rebecca England ·
all the time!

Raphael Schnepf 
I've done some outdoor murals and mostly got good comments. My watercolor teacher in high school used to flick her wet brushes absently to shoo the onlookers.

Cameron Davis 
"I can't even draw a straight line!" Har har

Jessica Boehman 
I couldn't get this to load to the site, but this was my comment: "The worst spectator I ever had was a goose that beaked the paint off the corner of my painting."

Kern Afton 
Those and "My son/daughter is also an artist. You should be friends, you might learn something!" and "So I have this cool idea for a comic book... but I can't draw, so..."

Linda Binkley 
I once had a German tour group surround me in Paris. (I had to leave it freaked me out)

Patrick Waugh 
Usually kids. One time while erasing a kid said "I thought artists didn't use erasers."
Previously on GurneyJourney

0 Comments on Your experiences with curious spectators as of 7/30/2014 11:40:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts