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You are viewing the most recent posts from blogs in the Illustrator category in the JacketFlap blog reader. These posts are sorted by date, with the most recent posts at the top of the page. There are hundreds of new posts here every day on a variety of topics related to children's publishing. Scroll down through the list of Recent Posts in the left column and click on a post title that sounds interesting. Click a tag in the right column to view posts about that topic. You can view all posts from a specific blog by clicking the Blog name in the right column, or you can click a 'More Posts from this Blog' link in any individual post.
So thank goodness for K.G. Campbell tapping me on the virtual shoulder and saying... "You're it!"
Last week, the funny and fabulously talented K.G. Campbell was "it" in this 4 question game of blog tag. A game in which a bunch of authors and illustrators are running about tagging each other's blogs, answering questions about their working process.
Work in Progress from SEA REX (Summer 2015, Viking) @mollyidle via Instagram
I'm also scribbling away on sketches for ZOMBELINA DANCES THE NUTCRACKER, by Kristyn Crow (Fall 2015, Bloomsbury).
And... FLORA AND THE PEACOCKS (Spring 2016, Chronicle)
How does my work differ from others of it's genre?
This is an interesting question. I think that if I were a writer of thrilling crime mysteries, or satire, or historical fiction, it might be easier to find a genre basis of comparison, and then to say how my work differs. But picture books aren't really a genre. They're a medium. They are means to tell a story, like a novel, or a comic strip, or a movie. There are as many different ways to utilize the medium of picture books as there are different people making them... that's one of the things I love most about them (picture books and picture book makers).
And while I don't constrain myself to any particular genre when working within the medium of picture books, I do find that the stories I gravitate towards, the stories I want to tell, do tend to have a few elements in common.... improbability, theatricality, sincerity and humor.
Why do I write what I write?
Because I enjoy it! And because I love a challenge.
An idea for a story will strike me, and the prospect of telling it, and telling it well, is at once tantalizing and terrifying.
The terror is what causes me to procrastinate.
I know the depth of the work involved in getting a story just right. It's daunting. No sane person would willingly spend months, or years, fussing over 32 pages and 200 words, or 50 words, or one word... or no words! So, often, I will sit on idea, mulling it over for ages in my mind before I ever put pencil to paper.
But the terror is inevitably overcome by the tantalizing vision I had in that moment when an idea lit. That warm mental lightbulb glow... The vision of how awesome the story could be... So, I start scribbling.
How does my storytelling process work?
Does my storytelling process work? This questions supposes that it does...and I like that idea...so I'm running with it! (This is the only other instance in which you will see me run.)
I sometimes wish fervently that I had a set process which worked for every story...
Every story, every project, seems do demand it's own way of working. And so, I find I'm reinventing the wheel whenever I start something new.
Sometimes the words come first, sometimes an image, sometimes a whole world magically appears out of nowhere and it seems all I have to do is take dictation.
But however it begins, I find myself amassing a bunch of words scribbled in my notebook and a bunch of earnest, if unintelligible, lines drawn in my sketchbook. They look like this...
When I think I have everything figured out, I start working on constructing full sentences and/or full sketches. That is to say, that I think I have everything figured out to make the story work. But that is a very different thing than having everything figured out that will make the story work as a picture book.
Those are two very different things. I mean, can make a really beautiful drawing that works compositionally... But that doesn't matter a lick, if it doesn't work in the context of the book. Pacing, page turns, design, all this gets figured out when I start working to scale on the sequential images. Like this...
That's the uphill work for me. Once the sketches are done, the rest of the process feels like coasting...
FLORA and the PENGUIN (September 2014, Chronicle)
I am out of questions, out of answers, and out of breath from all this virtual running.
Once upon a time there was a brothers/boy band called Hanson (remember MmmBop? their titular single?). They grew up apparently. And still sing. Quite impressively even! Listen to their lovely, mature cover here:
Me and the Deep Blue-ish Sea~!
One of the Beaches while traveling up Cape Cod.
The sand wall was about 3 stories tall!
Provincetown's Colorful buildings (you can see the tip of Massachusetts from here).
Several of the buildings had blue plauqes showing they floated across the harbor from long point.
The Whydah Pirate Museum is on a pier of Provincetown, they didn't allow photos
*All I want to do is paint green things, as evidenced by the random sketchbook page.
*July 4th visitors were delightful (and were adept at unearthing birds' nests).
*I saw the Shaker exhibit at the Farnsworth for my birthday and it was beyond words. The Farnsworth is a terrific museum (and the Wyeth Center is my favorite space). Speaking of favorite places/spaces, if you find yourself in Rockland, Maine anytime in the near future, in the name of all that is good, please go to hello hello Books/Rock City Cafe. You can thank me later.
Linda Woolverton is a writer, mother, and wife who also owns five dogs. She is an extremely talented and inventive screenwriter. She has written scripts for Disney that have captured the interest of hundreds of millions of people around the world. She has done this by reimagining and reinventing fairy tales and myths while retaining essential elements of earlier versions.
Her current success story began after college when she formed her own children's theater company, playing in a variety of venues in northern California, and working as a writer, director and performer. She later worked as a secretary, a substitute teacher, and from 1986-1989, she wrote several animated television series.
She also wrote YA children's books. She used one of them, Running Beforethe Wind, to help convince Disney of her writing talent.
Her films have brought billions of dollars to Disney.
Among her achievements: Beauty and the Beast(1991) including the Tony Award winning stage musical version; co-writer of the Lion King (1994), for film and stage; Alice InWonderland (2010), directed by Tim Burton; and, Malificent (2014).
Maleificenthas currently grossed over $660,000,000.
Ms Woolverton's next Disney film is her version of Lewis Carrol's Through the Looking Glass, scheduled for release in 2016.
Here is a link to an entertaining video trailer for Maleficent focused on Reimagining Sleeping Beauty. In the trailer, Ms Woolverton describes Maleficent as a "reinvention".
The Road Goes On Forever...
Sleeping Beauty, a fairy tale from earler centuries, and also known as Briar Roseby the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, became Maleficentin today's movie version.
What are the enduring qualities of this story and other classic fairy tales? What are the special qualities that causes kids, young adults, and their parents to respond through the centuries?
These were among the ideas considered in a New York Times editorial, Throw Out the Rules! Read a Fairy Tale. Written by Verlyn Klinkenborg (author, cultural analyst, and Yale University professor). This unusual topic -- for a Times editorial -- was inspired by Phillip Pullman's retelling of fifty of his favorite stories by the brother's Grimm. Here is an excerpt:
"And that is the fun of going back to the Grimms. The stories veer vertiginously. There is no narrator to complicate things. They occur in a landscape whose every feature is instrumental to the plot. A castle appears if a castle is needed, a dock if a princess is going to sea. There is never weather for weather’s sake. Everyone has a terrible memory and a dim understanding of consequences. Emotions are powerful but simple — envy, love, selfishness. It is a world where boasting and cleverness can make a tailor a king."
"The Fairy tale is...a transcription made on one or more occasions of the words spoken by one of many people who have told this tale. And all sorts of things, of course, affect the words that are finally written down...The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep one version is to put a robin redbreast in a cage." Phillip Pullman in his introduction to Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm
The illustration is by Walter Crane.
"What he wanted to do was to distil what he saw as the narrative story, the myth, of the English heroes in epics, romances, legends, dream visions, chronicles – Beowulf, Sir Gawain, Sir Orfeo, English Arthuriana (Wace, Layamon, Malory), Pearl, Patience, Purity, The Battle of Maldon – and works that may have influenced or impacted on these English works, especially the Volsunga Saga, the WelshMabinogion, and Finnish folk-myths found in the form of the Kalevala."
Dr. Jane Chance, an authority on medieval mythography, writing about Lord Of The Rings in an exceptional National Geographic
"National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year...Founded in 2004 by pet lifestyle expert and author Colleen Paige, National Dog Day was created to honor dogs more than we currently do, to give them "a day", to show deep appreciation for our long connection to each other -- for their endearing patience, unquestioning loyalty, for their work, their capacity for love and their ability to impact our lives every day in the most miraculous ways..."
Kids Reading to Shelter Dogs and the Nebraska Canine Connection
The photos tell the story.
They were taken at the Nebraska Humane Society as part of their Camp Kindness Program for kids 6-12. I learned about this wonderful program from author CA Wulff (we publish her books*) on her excellent website for dog lovers,Up On The Woof.
Here is an excerpt fromher blog:
"The program is not just helpful to improving the skills of young readers, but to the animals who find themselves in this loud and strange environment. A camper’s story helps them feel calm, noticed, and less lonely; giving them some loving companionship. Pam Wiese of NEHS says that any shelter can offer therapy reading to their animals for next to nothing. All that is needed are some 5 gallon buckets (turned upside-down for seats) and a box of books. Children don’t need to come into physical contact with the animals, (and therefore avoid any potential risks) but can sit outside the kennel cages, still providing focus and comfort to the animals."
Here's a comment by Mom Jennie Wright " Our son is doing this and he is loving it! He loves animals but dislikes reading! Best way to get him to read! Thank you for offering this program!
To read more about this program and how it can be adopted and funded by shelters nationally, read Up On The Woof. We are donating a set of the Planet Of The Dogsseries to Camp Kindness.
CA Wulff's books include Born Without a Tail, Crcling The Waggins and Finding Fido. She is associate publisher at Barking Planet Productions.
The Planet Of The Dogs Book Series
“It was wonderful to witness my students applying character lessons from the books in their own peer interactions…my students love them…(these books) are great motivators to encourage young people to read”… Julie Hauck, third grade teacher, Sheboygan WI, creator of Pages for Preston, a pioneer therapy reading dog program.
Librarians, teachers, bookstores...Order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount.
Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore or via Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more...
Therapy reading dog owners, librarians and teachers with therapy reading dog programs -- you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you free reader copies from the Planet of the Dogs Series...Read Dog Books to Dogs....
The photo, above, of the Pages for Preston classroom reading session is courtesy of teacher Julie Hauck.
The Planet Of The Dogs Series is now in China Our Chinese publisher, Beijing Chongxianguan Books Co, Ltd,g, has created new illustrations for Chinese children...
Balance between audience sales and creative effort is a never ending quest. The influence of customer data analysis on the books, films, videos, and games for kids, the YA market, and adults is growing all the time.
Andrew Leonard decribed the situation in this excellent article for SALON:
How Netflix is Turning Viewers into Puppets
"I hit the pause button roughly one-third of the way through the first episode of “House of Cards,” the political drama premiering on Netflix Feb. 1. By doing so, I created what is known in the world of Big Data as an “event” — a discrete action that could be logged, recorded and analyzed. Every single day, Netflix, by far the largest provider of commercial streaming video programming in the United States, registers hundreds of millions of such events. As a consequence, the company knows more about our viewing habits than many of us realize. Netflix doesn’t know merely what we’re watching, but when, where and with what kind of device we’re watching..."
Question: Does this mean that violence will continue to overcome content? Perhaps Peter Jackson, who has become Tolkien's movie storyteller, has the answer.
The illustration by Darth is courtesy of theAtlantic, a great source of information on this and related issues.
Tornadoes Hit Farmhouse, Shelter, and Gardens of Way Cool Dogs
I have long been a fan of Nancy Houser's Way Cool Dogs website for the never ending flow of quality information, news and insights for dog lovers. Alas, mother nature, in the form of tornadoes, brought destruction to her area of Nebraska. Here's an excerpt from her report...
"On Saturday evening, June 14, 2014, the Wilcox area … where we live … was hit during the evening by three tornadoes in the area and a high straight wind of over 90 mph. The first thing I noticed was when our large wheel barrow soared by the front of the house into the corn field on our west side, and we could not see in front of our hand.
It was as if our world was wrapped in a gray cellophane with high winds drowning everything around it. We could not even hear the emergency sirens coming from Wilcox, about one-quarter mile from us. But a preliminary count of 9 tornadoes landed that night, from Wilcox-Hildreth-Minden area on northward, leaving a trail of damage that resembled a war zone...
There are many reasons why I love my dog, starting with the massive amounts of unconditional love my dog has for me. In fact, unconditional love is a key word in every relationship, whether it involves your partner or your pet. I went out and did a little researching on dog love,, while listing reasons that work for me and the girls. Enjoy!..
Read all of this delightful post by clicking the title link above. Nancy took the photo of her dog, Joyful Jasmine.
Measuring Canines and Cancer...Nancy has also posted regarding a pioneering scientific study at Vanderbilt University that is studying the effect of therapy dogs and children with cancer (over 13,000 children diagnosed with cancer every year in the USA). Here is the link: Children's Cancer and Canine Connection.
If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.” ...A.A. Milne
Always # Like A Girl
I found this important, eye-opening video on Maria Tatar's Breezes fromWonderlandblog. The video deals with self esteem, puberty, and being a girl.
"The story of the child is the story of literature itself: of finding characters that fit your mold; of telling tales about yourself to audiences skeptical or censoring; odealing with parental stricture, pedagogic task, and social expectation in ways that preserve the inner self while at the same time keeping on the mask of conformity.
Girls and boys do it differently, but what their stories always tell us is that childhood is an age of the imagination, and that every time we enter into fiction, we step back into a childhood of 'what if' or 'once upon a time'."
Seth Lerer in his book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter. The illustration is by Arthur Rackham.
Book War Intensifies
David Streitfeld writes in the New York Times...
"The confrontation between Amazon and Hachette is growing louder and meaner, as the combatants drop all pretense that this is a reasonable dispute among reasonable people...
For more than six months, Amazon has been trying to wring better e-book terms out of Hachette. The publisher, which is the fourth largest in the United States and whose imprints include Little Brown and Grand Central Publishing, is energetically resisting.
Amazon has responded by delaying shipments of Hachette books and making it harder for customers to order them. Hachette authors have responded by publicly excoriating Amazon.
With its newest proposal, Amazon is trying to break the impasse by getting Hachette’s writers to switch allegiances"... Here's the link to read it all: Book War
Wags for Mags
PGI"Wags for Mags" is a student-led organization at Bradley University that has teamed up with Paws Giving Independence to train service dogs to assist those with disabilities. "Wags For Mags" was launched in 2012 to involve students with the service dog training process.
Paws Giving Independence (PGI) was started 5 years ago by Donna Kosner, a third grade teacher, her daughter, Michelle, a physical therapist, and her daughter's best friend, Brandi, an ER nurse. At that time, both Michelle and Brandi were students at Bradley University.
PGI is training and providing service dogs free of charge to people with a variety of disabilities ; they are also providing support to encourage independence. PGI also educates the public to the benefits of service dogs and a great many of their dogs come from shelters and rescue groups.
We salute the growth, dedication and life changing work of PGI. Visit their site: PGI
Here's a heartening video of PGI working with three disadvantaged 3 kids: PGI Video
Start Reading to Children at Birth! In an article by Motoko Rich in the New York Times, 62,000 pediatricians advocate early reading to nourish the brain...Here are excerpts:
"In between dispensing advice on breast-feeding and immunizations, doctors will tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth, under a new policy (from) the American Academy of Pediatrics ...
With the increased recognition that an important part of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child’s life, and that reading to children enhances vocabulary and other important communication skills, the group, which represents 62,000 pediatricians across the country, is asking its members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor.
'It should be there each time we touch bases with children,' said Dr. Pamela High, who wrote the new policy. It recommends that doctors tell parents they should be 'reading together as a daily fun family activity” from infancy'"...The illustration is by Arthur Rackham
KidLitoSphere..."is the go-to site if you are looking for blogs focused on children's or YA literature...Here's an excerpt from their website that sums it up:
"The 'KidLitosphere' is a community of reviewers, librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, publishers, parents, and other book enthusiasts who blog about children’s and young adult literature. In writing about books for children and teens, we’ve connected with others who share our love of books. With this website, we hope to spread the wealth of our reading and writing experience more broadly."
The Beagle Freedom Projecthas an important mission... In their own words: "The Beagle Freedom Project is a mission to rescue beagles used in animal experimentation in research laboratories and give them a chance at life in a loving forever home."
CA Wulff alerted me to this special video of their latest success:Beagle Freedom Project TEX-MEX Rescue - July 8th 2014
"We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace."
—Albert Schweitzer, "The Philosophy of Civilization" -
I found this quote on Sunbear Squadwhere guidlines, free wallet cards, and "how to" save a dog in distress information are available at no cost for all good people.
"Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog; can there be more said?" William Shakespeare. The Merry Wives Of Winsor
The new season of Ayala Bar jewelry has finally arrived, and believe us, it does not disappoint! Heading into Fall/Winter (hard to believe when it's still so dang hot!) the new collection dazzles with earthy colors, lush jewel-tones and a smattering of all-new shapes and sizes. As if all that weren't enough, the talented Ms. Bar has created a new style collection made from mostly silver pieces with tiny accents in muted greens, golds and pinks. Can you say LOVE??
With a background in set and costume design, is it any wonder that Ayala's creations carry a theatrical flair? Instantly recognizable, we see over and over how people flip for her unique necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Some clients have collected her work for years - we even know a woman who brings her earring collection in for a little show-and-tell from time to time!
Amaranth Earrings by Ayala Bar
As always, these beauties are available for a limited time - only 6 months! You can see a sampling of what's available on our website, and there's more to love in person at #ChemersGallery. Hurry in before they're gone! #AyalaBar
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Forest Online Camp starts this Friday! OMG! Since I can’t take all of you to the forest, I can bring the forest to you. Let’s have a campfire and roast marshmallows, and find ladybugs to talk to, while counting the new seeds in the trees. We will discover and play with our different “clairs” while nurturing our bodies with the sensual treasures found in Nature. I made a movie about the class and registration is open, so head on over to see and sign up HERE.
Also snapped at Paperchase I found lots of great new cards in what must surely be the best card store in London. Above and below are designs from Jane Ormes and then two florals from Hannah Pontin both published by The Art Press.
Below : And two lovely florals from Rachel Cave for Black Olive.
Below : New designs from Caroline Gardner featuring Cats & Dogs and Circus
So it seems I got a lot of time with Josie this weekend. She wanted me to draw Frozen princess, so I started on the chalkboard, but she kept on participating again. She continued to come up with different colored chalk and put “makeup” on her face. This wasn’t going to work. So I decided […]
So it seems I got a lot of time with Josie this weekend. She wanted me to draw Frozen princess, so I started on the chalkboard, but she kept on participating again. She continued to come up with different colored chalk and put “makeup” on her face. This wasn’t goingRead More
Books for sale! Books for sale! Andrea's book for sale!!
Excuse me for peddling my wares, but you know, being a freelancer in the creative industry really is as reliable, financially, as it sounds and sometimes you just got to shout about what you do. Usually, when you've just got a couple of big bills in.
Anyway, you can get my book HERE. It is full of drawings, thoughts, sketchbook pages and what have you, from the last eight years of my obsessional drawing.
Whitley Abell joined Inklings Literary Agency in 2013. Before joining Inklings, she completed successful internships with Carol Mann Agency and P.S. Literary Agency. She is based in St. Louis, MO, where she daylights as a production manager for several medical and S & T journals. She graduated in 2011 BA in English and Creative Writing, and again in 2012 with a MAT in Secondary English Education, which basically means she can tell you anything there is to know about feminist literary theory and the Common Core Standards.
Whitley is primarily interested in Young Adult, Middle Grade, and select Upmarket Women’s fiction. She likes characters who are relatable yet flawed, hooks that offer new points of view and exciting adventures, vibrant settings that become active characters in their own right, and a story that sticks with the reader long after turning the last page, be it contemporary or historical, realistic or supernatural, tragic or quirky.
She loves mythology and literary re-imaginings, heartbreaking contemporary novels, historical suspense, and craving cute romantic comedies for YA through adult (ex: Sophie Kinsella, Lauren Morrill, Stephanie Perkins).
She is not interested in vampires, werewolves, angels, zombies, dystopian societies, steampunk, or epic fantasy. Please no paranormal / fantasy for adults. Submission guidelines:
They accept electronic submissions only. Do not call the agency to query, or to inquire about querying. Do not use the postal service to mail your submissions.
To query, type “Query (Agent Name)” plus the title of your novel in the subject line, then please send the following pasted into the body of the e-mail to query(at)inklingsliterary(dot)com:
A query letter that includes:
The title, genre, and word count of your project.
A brief blurb about the story.
A brief bio including any publishing credits.
The first 10 pages of your manuscript
A brief synopsis (1-2 pages)
Your subject line should look like this (If you were querying Michelle and the name of your book is “One Thousand Ways to Drink Coffee”):
Query Michelle: ONE THOUSAND WAYS TO DRINK COFFEE.
They will not open unsolicited attachments, so make sure you send all of the above pasted into the body of the email.
Their response time varies for queries, but they do answer all queries that come in while we are open to submissions.
I have been attending the Paperchase Autumn Winter 2014 press show at their HQ in London and will bring you all the preview pics soon. But one of the good things about being there on 'official business' is that I also get a chance to photograph the store below as well. So before we look ahead to Autumn I wanted to enjoy what they still have available for Summer. Here are some snapshots from