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73726. Tori Spelling at Park Ave Borders Book for Signing


Hello Picture Bookies,
I got wonderful news on yesterday that Tori Spelling will be
in NYC doing her first book signing for, " Presenting Talluah"
her very first children's book!!! I had fun illustrating the
book. The signing will be on Sept 22, 2010, at the Park Ave.
Borders Book Store. I have only spoken to Mrs. Spelling on the phone,
so it will be a real pleasure to meet her in person. Last week I got to
be a part of Drawn for the
Brooklyn Book Festival! IT WAS AWESOME!! I had so much fun
meeting the other artist like Darren Farrell, Shane Evans,
and Mike Carvallaro.
The four of us got to draw before a large audience
while both adults and children called out things for us to
illustrate! It was crazy, but a good time was had by all.
I would love to do something like this with fellow talented
Picture Bookies! It's amazing what a little music, large pads
of paper, crayons and marker and a fun crowd can do for the
spirit! There where smiles and giggles and free artwork to take
home. I was left feeling more inspired then ever. Hopefully we
can do something like one day! That would be so grand!!!!
Have a great rest of the week!

3 Comments on Tori Spelling at Park Ave Borders Book for Signing, last added: 9/16/2010
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73727. iPad Light Animation by BERG

Interface designers BERG used iPads to create an ingenious experiment that combines the device with photography and animation. After building CG models of a typeface, they rendered a sequence of cross sections of the letters—think David Daniels’ strata-cut animation technique adapted to CG. Now, the strata-cut technique wouldn’t typically work in CG imagery because the calculated perfection of the computer disallows spontaneity, but BERG solved that by playing back the sequences on the iPad while dragging it through space to extrude the animation into physical space. Each frame of the film, which is subject to the effects of natural human movement, is a long photographic exposure of three to six seconds. There’s more information about its making on BERG’s blog and behind-the-scenes photos are posted on Flickr.

More than anything, this experiment by BERG is a fine example of environmental animation that breaks the confines of animation’s traditionally flat and square image frame. It points to a day that is not too far off when animation will play a vital role in the real world. Imagine being in an office lobby, and depending on where you’re standing in the lobby, you’d see a different kind of animation superimposed over the physical space to guide you around. Animation need not be restricted to a passive filmic experience, and interacting with animation in our everday lives is within reach as BERG has so cleverly hinted at in this piece.

(Thanks, Dave Follett)

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73728. TOP DRAWER - lovehart

typography lovers will enjoy this card & gift range "fancy fonts" by lovehart who exhibited at top drawer this week. lovehart is the work of husband and wife team simon and theresa hart who are based in devon, uk. i especially loved the tea towels above.

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73729. TOP DRAWER - polite cards

also spotted at top drawer oylmpia were these nostalgic but humourous cards by london artist magda archer. they're published by polite cards and you can see the whole set online here.

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73730. Big Robot

Avery quick sketch I did with Copic Markers and Photoshop. I drew this while watching Batman Brave and the Bold over breakfast (Kashi cereal). I've left in the mistakes because it's a sketch. If you don't see any mistakes than I meant everything.

Currently pushing to finish pencils on The situation. Almost there!! I'm feeling a bit fatigued from working on this and working part time. I'm a wimp though.

On breaks I work on the robot museum outline. It's going really well. I'd love to do an epic, multi book series of the robot Museum. A long Space Opera series with different characters. I can't think of a better way to explore ideas and stories.

Currently reading Jupiter by Ben Bova and The Man in The High Castle by Philip K Dick. Both great books. The Dick book is a bit slow but that's likely because I've read so many alternate history stories since. The Ben Bova book is an audiobook. It's well performed but I'm getting tired of audiobooks. The reader always imparts something disagreeable to me that wouldn't be present if I was reading it myself.

I'm actually reading more and more books on my iPod. It's habit forming. It's so easy to read anywhere. Anywhere but glaring sunlight.So now I always have an iPod book, an audiobook and a paper book on the go....

11 Comments on Big Robot, last added: 9/16/2010
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73731. Voyage

I've been gripped by a sense of wanderlust lately.
There are too many cities, states, highways and byways untravelled.

2 Comments on Voyage, last added: 9/16/2010
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73732. Moleskine sketchbook 17

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73733. Writer’s Critique Groups

Today the subject of critique groups came up and since I am starting to get feedback from other writers on my middle grade novel.  I wanted to encourage all of you to find a critique group. It amazes me how much others can point out about a story. 

So what do you do if you are not in a critique group?  Here are some of my thoughts:

1.  If you are a member of the SCBWI, contact your regional advisor and ask if they can post something to the members letting them know you would like to join a group or start a group.

2.  Visit your local book store or library to see if they can advertise something in their store/library letting writers know you are forming a group.

3.  Come out to SCBWI events to meet other writers.  You are not alone.  Other writers will be happy to help you find a group or join with you to make a new one.

4.  Don’t limit yourself to just hooking up with local writers.  Cast a wide net.

5.  Visit writers blogs and talk to the other writers.  Ask if anyone is looking to start a group.

6. Consider joining an online group. There are a lot of pluses to online groups.   They open you up a broader range of writers, because you don’t have to worry about coordinating meeting locations and times.  Another plus is you can work on other people’s submissions when it is convenient for you and since the pool of  people is larger, you can join a group of like-minded writers.  That might not be an easy task if you are limited by geography.

7.  Join a writers list serv. Make friends and let them know you want to form a group.

8.  Get on Twitter and put out some tweets.

9.  Volunteer your time at your local SCBWI chapter or other writers organization.

The main thing new writers do wrong is write something and rush it out without other writers taking a peek.  Getting feedback from your friends, students, and family doesn’t count unless they write.  Believe me when you are starting out everything you write will sound great to you.  I know, because I have seen it over and over and I did it myself.  I swear I thought everything I wrote my first year was fantastic.  I read the “How to” books that told me to let it sit, so I did that and then I went back and revised and sent them out.  All were rejected.  Then one day about a year and half later, I was cleaning out my files and found some of the pieces I had sent out.  OMG!  I was so embarrassed.  I prayed no one would remember my name.  Then I sold a few magazine articles and since it takes a couple of years for the articles to come out, I felt the same way.  I had grown as a writer, so it was still OMG!

As a Regional Advisor I have watched so  many writers grow and develop, so all I am saying is don’t rush.  Make sure you allow your skills to develop.  A good way to check when you think you are ready is to attend an SCBWI event and sign up for a one-on-one critique with an editor.  In the meantime, read, learn  your craft, educate yourself on the standard guidelines, get a critique group and network.  

Remember you have choices if you are serious about advancing your writing career and getting published.  Make a plan of things you can do to make your way down the publishing road and stick to it.  I just know finding a critique group is one of the important stops on that road. 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

PS:  If you have any other tips that can help a follow writer, please share them here.


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73734. day and night

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73735. Sketchbook Project #4 - Cats and flowers with vines


Here's my latest Sketchbook Project drawing. I have sure missed traditional pen drawing with a higher level of detail. I sure am feeling rejuvenated this week with all of this fine pen work.

This one is based on a sketch I've had for years. I love it as the basis of a textile pattern. Maybe now I'll actually get around to developing that idea further. It's a good start!

Enjoy!

3 Comments on Sketchbook Project #4 - Cats and flowers with vines, last added: 9/16/2010
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73736. Nutherworld 18

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73737. DRAWN IN BROOKLYN

My work is included in the upcoming exhibition, DRAWN IN BROOKLYN, displayed at the Brooklyn Public Library's Central branch. The show runs from September 21, 2010 — January 23, 2011. (click on the above flyer to view details)
Here's the official description of the show:
'This exhibition of children's book illustrations, curated by John
Bemelmans Marciano, features the work of 34 illustrators who live and work
in Brooklyn, from the most exciting newcomers in publishing to the legends
of the business. View more than 100 pieces of art from books such as Duck
for President, The Curious Garden, Moonpowder and Madeline and the Cats of
Rome. Also, see the work of Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott Kind Award
winners Leo and Diane Dillon, Brian Selznick, Paul O. Zelinsky, Bryan
Collier, Pat Cummings and Brian Pinkney. Original picture book art is
displayed in the Grand Lobby. In the Youth Wing, find sketches, models,
tools and more that reveal the processes behind the works.'


I will be at the Opening Reception and the Illustrators' Festival.
Hope to see you at one or both of these fun events!

Opening Reception
Wednesday, September 22nd, 6 — 8pm
Dweck Center Lobby
Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238


Family Day: Illustrators' Festival
(features readings, workshops, book signings and music)
Saturday, October 16th, 10:30am — 3pm
Plaza in front of the Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza

Brooklyn, NY 11238

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73738. Fantasy Football

As the proverb says: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

This week marked the first step in the Fantasy Football league I have joined. Before you stop reading... let me tell you about our league. It is AWFFL, which stands for Another Worthless Fantasy Football League. And it IS awful... awful fun! It is a family affair. All the other league members are related to me. There are brothers, nephews, kids... and the wife of a nephew. We run the gamut from those who have followed the NFL for decades... to those who have never watched a game.

Our league has two Divisions. The Bipolar Division and the Dementia Division. I am glad I was assigned to one of the Divisions, because I could have never chosen between the two.

The teams include such fearsome names as the High Plains Drifters, the Wild Weasels, the Phlegm, the Chinese Bandits... and my team... the Poodle Walkin' Sissies. If perchance the planets all align one week, and my hapless team actually wins a game, I want the looser to have to tell their friends that they lost to the Poodle Walkin' Sissies.

AHhhh...THAT will be so GOOOD! Highly unlikely... but it would be so GOOOD!

The first game is now in the record books. The POODLES limped to their locker room with their tails between their legs after a bitter loss. After a round of Purina Poodle Chow, some Perrier water and some hot tubbin', the Poodles are ready for week two.

Next week we meet the PHLEGM. Hope we don't get slimed.

Stay tuned.

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73739. Looney Tunes CG Fail

The shape of things to come? Let’s hope not – an ad for MacDonald’s from France:

(Thanks, Kurtis Findlay)

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73740. More Hidden Fun!

I've recently created a fun new hidden picture illustration for a children's magazine! The full-page illustration is titled Stolen Plums and features two lovable, mischievous raccoons! Can you spot 4 hearts, 4 bananas and 4 caterpillars?

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73741. The only place online you'll see Alexis Deacon wearing a monkey...!

...Over at my Lightbox blog!!! :0)

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73742. DailySketch 09-15-10

My first sketch done on the iPad!
I read How to Train Your Dragon (the movie picture book) to my son tonight so I was inspired by the little Viking in that movie.

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73743. Now Taking Questions

Ming Doyle (for whom I have an admitted art crush) is answering questions on her Formspring page

. I probably wouldn’t mention it but Ming weaves words like a writer’s Rumpelstiltskin. Which makes it a worthy waste of time for those who want one.

1 Comments on Now Taking Questions, last added: 9/19/2010
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73744. Are Voting Sites Like Threadless Worth an Artist’s Time?

(Illustration by Peter Diamond)

I’m going to open this article with two disclaimers:

1. I’ve never used Threadless or any other ‘design voting’ site.

2. The ideas expressed in this article are intended as a topic of discussion rather than a qualified opinion.

The reason that I wanted to make those points right off the bat is that I know many artists participate in sites like Threadless on a regular basis, and so are likely more qualified than I to offer their opinion. In fact, I invite them, along with anyone else, to join in this discussion because I think it’s an important question worth considering.

Lastly, I mention Threadless by name because it’s one of the most popular and successful voting sites online, but I’d love to hear about any other sites that you may have experience with.

Are They Worth It?

You see, I’ve been asking myself this question for quite some time now, as I see my fellow artists asking for votes on their designs here and there through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

A thought that often comes to mind is that as an outsider, voting sites like Threadless seem more like popularity contests than methods of promoting good design.

While I understand that the number of votes you earn is not necessarily the only factor that can lead to your design getting printed, it certainly seems to play the biggest role.

However, the design with the most votes isn’t necessarily the best.

Obviously, a voting system is a good business strategy when a company wants the artists to do their share of the legwork in getting visitors to their site, but I’m sure that this concept is just my cynical reaction to what seems to be a less-than-perfect method of choosing designs.

Or is it?

Time Better Spent?

Another thought that comes to mind is that surely an artist’s time would be much better spent on building their own business, setting up their own print-on-demand e-commerce site, or even starting their own printing company, rather than focusing their efforts on getting their friends and family to vote for their designs.

Of course, I’m sure that there is a lot to be gained from participating in the community on voting sites. Don’t get me wrong.

But I’m speaking more to the artists who might be looking to sites like Threadless as a reliable way of making a living and getting their work into the public eye.

It seems to me (again, as an outsider) that there are much better, more profitable ways to accomplish these tasks.

The Other Side

Lastly, I should point out that I’m approaching this question from a business-minded standpoint, and I understand that there are other, more social reasons for participating in voting sites.

If you’re more interested in the community-aspect of things, then I definitely see why you might be involved in them. If, however, you are trying to expand your business or promote your work I struggle to see the value when compared to other forms of promotion.

Please Share Your Thoughts

I realize that the ideas I’ve expressed here might aggravate those who are involved in voting sites like Threadless, but I have done my best to present them as a question from a skeptic, rather than a criticism.

I think this is a topic worth talking about

11 Comments on Are Voting Sites Like Threadless Worth an Artist’s Time?, last added: 9/16/2010
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73745. Childhood, right or privilege?

Illustrated by the wonderful Natasha Rosenberg.

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73746. TOP DRAWER - rob ryan license

on tuesday i attended the top drawer fair at london olympia and was very excited to see a rob ryan licensed range from wild & wolf. products included the wonderful 'please smell us' vase, plates, mugs, notebooks, oil cloth bags and yardage. the whole collection is great quality, stylishly done and has beautiful packaging too. look out for it in gift shops soon.

17 Comments on TOP DRAWER - rob ryan license, last added: 9/18/2010
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73747. TOP DRAWER - 1973 pantone

publishers nineteen seventy three were showcasing their new pantone range at top drawer this week. the ranges consists of greetings cards, notecard sets and gift wrap, and featured in the trends display area at olympia.

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73748. Re-engineering

Pressure cooker TrumpetDuo Tube Cowboy Bomb

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73749. Terry and the Pirates

1935 1940 Click to enlarge

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73750. Clean At Last!


Wow!  The studio is clean at last!  I must have spent a good two weeks cleaning out old files, art, books, papers, old art supplies and … SPIDERS!  Eeeeek!

The finishing touch was purchasing my little futon.  Now I can sit and read or even take a nap!  I am ready to hunker down over the winter months in my comfy cozy home away from home.  It is tiny but just right!  My little doggies are right at my feet!


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