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9076. Coloring Page Tuesday - Gone Fishin!

     It's starting to get to the dog days of summer. Have you grabbed some check out time? Maybe bring your copy of Huckleberry Finn along.
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages! And be sure to share your creations in my gallery so I can put them in my upcoming newsletters! (Cards, kids art, and crafts are welcome!)
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...

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

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9077. Tails


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9078. "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons"

 
For our final project for Make Art That Sells Bootcamp, we were given the assignment to make a piece of art featuring our favorite beverage. Drawing something coffee themed was a no brainer for me, but it took me awhile to figure out a plan of attack. At the end of the day, my love of coffee isn't rooted in taste per se, but rather emotion. For me, coffee is family get togethers, working in cafes and cups of Dunkin's before heading out on a road trip. Like T.S Eliot said, "I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." And this inspired me to draw the above, mindful of the way all those mugs of piping hot liquid have bound together so many disparate life events.

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9079. PAPERCHASE - danish delights

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

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9080. BOOKMARK CONTEST!!

Calling all Midsouth illustrators!

Here’s your chance to win fame and fortune (or something like that) while giving our region a boost. Come up with a winning design for the new SCBWI Midsouth promotional bookmark, and you will receive a $50 discount on a future Midsouth event – plus love and adulation from your fellow members.

See the contest section of our blog for all of the details!

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9081. It's here! It's here! It's finally here!


Tiger Lily Necklace by Ayala Bar

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??

Rosario Necklace by Ayala Bar
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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9082. drink in the garden

As usual I was having trouble deciding on a direction for my final assignment. I ended up dedicating this picture to a good friend who taught me how to make a mean margarita.

This is set in her lovely garden surrounded by her flowers.
Check out the amazing work of my fellow students here in the gallery

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9083. Digital Domain Deal Is Target of Major Florida Fraud Investigation

The actions of scummy venture capitalist John Textor, the disgraced former CEO of Digital Domain, are finally under investigation by the state of Florida.

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9084. What Writers Can Learn From ‘Goodnight Moon’

here: http://nyti.ms/1not0iV

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9085. Zoo drawing day

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9086. Illustrator: Jesmond Cat Designs

Jesmond Cat Puffin

Jesmond Cat Turtle

Jesmond Cat Space2

Jesmond Cat Space

 

After attending a craft fair, I was kindly introduced to the wonderful illustrator, Chris Leaper, founder of Jesmond Cat Designs. He is based in West Yorkshire, England and uses traditional media, acrylic on canvas or board to create these vibrant, quirky works of art.

The name ‘Jesmond Cat’ comes from a personal character story Leaper created which continued to progress and now acts as a ‘mascot’ for his personal illustration brand. There is a sense of softness in his work which can only be given justice when seen in person! Completely talented and imaginative, the artist has worked on children’s books previously which this style fits into very well!

More of his work can be seen on his Website  and Facebook page which he updates regularly.

Thanks for reading,

Carla

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9087. PAPERCHASE - cards

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

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9088. Research and writing


I'm outlining and researching a new novel, set on the island and elsewhere in Britain in Jane Austen's time.  One of the characters is super-interested in fashion I'm having enormous fun looking at clothes from the period -- these are from Fashions in the Era of Jane Austen, available on Kindle for only $6!

But researching and reading  is a LOT easier than writing an exciting story, and I don't want to let the research become an excuse for not writing......so I'm limiting myself to looking at these (and other fascinating objects from the time, like candidates for the miniature the heroine wears) in the evening, outlining in the morning.

Or at least that is the plan. And I won't start actually writing until both are done -- that is, when the story has reached a satisfying conclusion and the world is solid and clear.

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9089. A comic for those who think it's easy to write children's books

Originally posted for PiBoIdMo.

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9090. Tag! I’m it…

"Do you run?" you might ask.

"Only when chased." I would reply.

"Do you blog?" you might ask.

"Only when  tagged."

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.

 

Here is a link to Mr. Campbell's Q and A.

And here is mine...

Ready. Set. Go!

 

What am I currently working on?

I'm usually juggling 3 projects simultaneously.

This is what is on my desk today...

photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...

 

penguin notes_photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...

 

photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's the uphill work for me. Once the sketches are done, the rest of the process feels like coasting...

 

penguin_pgs_14_15_frost_lowres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLORA and the PENGUIN (September 2014, Chronicle)

 

Phew!

I am out of questions, out of answers, and out of breath from all this virtual running.

So...

Tag, Greg Pizzoli - you're it!

 

 

 

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9091. Draw Tip Tuesday - Rubber stamps!

Is your handlettering not pretty enough to your taste? Be smart! Use stamps for lettering and spice the letters up.




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9092. oliver and the seawigs launches in the usa!

The Sea Monkeys are loose in America!!! My book with Philip Reeve, Oliver and the Seawigs launches with Random House TODAY!! Seawigs is being published in 20 countries now, but how will it fare in the place where I grew up? ...I am SO CURIOUS.


Sea Monkey knitting pattern by Deadly Knitshade... Know anyone who knits? You can download yours free here!



I'm originally from Seattle, and growing up near beaches and tidepools did play a major part in the creation of our story.



Here's a drawing I made as a kid of the rocks near Cannon Beach, in Oregon, where our family used to go on vacation almost every year. (You might also recognise it as the setting from the 1985 film The Goonies.)



I drew some of the inspiration for the setting of Oliver and the Seawigs from my family visits to the fishing village of Seldovia, in Alaska. Here you can see the Crisp family house, supported on stilts and wooden pilings.



And here are some of my drawings from Alaska. I showed Philip these drawings when we were still coming up with the story idea, and we both thought it looked like the perfect place for our tale.



My Japanese-Hawaiian uncle's family owns one of the stilted cottages in Seldovia and I love watching otters swim by, and bald eagles swoop down and steal fish from the seagulls.







Another American influence comes from my dad's love of mountaineering. (Mr Crisp looks a little bit like my dad - mostly the nose and ears - and little Oliver is already an exploration pro by the age of ten.) When my sister and I each turned 16, climbing Mt Rainier - the huge snowy peak overlooking Seattle - was very much our coming-of-age activity. We were well-trained in using climbing harnesses and practiced hanging from trees in prusik slings to simulate what might happen if we fell down an icy crevasse.



Ha ha, see that little mountain goat? My sister and I used to laugh at them because they would follow us around, trying to lick up our pee. (For the salt, apparently, but... yuck!)

So what is a Seawig, you might rightly ask? Well, when you see an island, keep in mind that not all of them stay in the same place all the time. Some of them are Rambling Isles, which hunker under the water with only the tops of their heads showing, and look a bit like giants when they stand up! And they love collecting stuff on their heads, and take great pride in all the flotsam and jetsam that washes up on their shores. (Shipwrecks are particularly fashionable.)



You can find out a bit more about Oliver and the Seawigs in this video with Philip Reeve and me, filmed in my London studio. For part of it, I'm wearing a Marie-Antoinette-style Seawig I made our of saran wrap/cling film, but you can see a MUCH LARGER version here, heh heh.

Oliver and the Seawigs - Meet the creators from MB Films on Vimeo.



And learn how to draw a Sea Monkey! (You can also download a printable step-by-step guide from my website.)

Oliver and the Seawigs - How to draw a Sea Monkey from MB Films on Vimeo.


You can also watch the Oliver and the Seawigs trailer and a little puppet show with Oliver and Iris the mermaid!

If you or a friend get a chance to knit a Sea Monkey, I'd love to see it. Tweet a picture to Philip (@philipreeve1) and me (@jabberworks), using the hash tag #Seawigs, and we'll go EEP! EEP! with excitement. :D You can also find me on Facebook here, and Philip right here.

We hope you like the book! If you'd like to see my earlier Seawigs blog posts, and peek at some awesome things other people have made, you can click here.

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9093. Once Upon A Sketch - Going Digital

Hi everyone!  Check out my new post on Once Upon A Sketch about the basics of transitioning from traditional illustration to digital illustration!

http://onceuponasketch.com/2014/07/going-digital/

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9094. How to Train an Animator

In 1935, Walt Disney wrote an eight page memo to art teacher Don Graham outlining his ideas for how to train an animator.

Rico Lebrun works with Eric Larson as he draws a live deer in preparation for Bambi from Eye-Likey
It's a snapshot of what Disney was thinking about the art of animation during those formative years just before Snow White and Pinocchio, and it offers some ideas that might inspire current art teachers. Here are some exerpts:

"I have often wondered why, in your life drawing class, you don't have your men look at the model and draw a caricature of the model, rather than an actual sketch. But instruct them to draw the caricature in good form, basing it on the actual model."

"In [drawing the model] lifting, for example - or other actions - we should drive at the fundamentals of the animation, and at the same time, incorporate the caricature. When someone is lifting a heavy weight, what do you feel? Do you feel that something is liable to crack at any minute and drop down? Do you feel that because of the pressure he's got, he's going to blow up, that his face is going to turn purple, that his eyes are going to bulge out of their sockets?"

Disney observed that young animators often dwelled on the individual parts of the body that they were animating instead of the expression of the overall pose. To better understand expressive poses, he suggested setting up a translucent screen with the model behind the screen, seen only by the shadow silhouette cast by a spotlight behind, which was in fact an old parlor game.

He goes on to suggest ideas for teaching about the components of facial expression, staging, music, dialog, and the understanding of what drives the movement of the figure. "The driving force behind the action is the mood, the personality, the attitude of the character - or all three. Therefore the mind is the pilot."


In this video, Disney talks about how his in-studio training program went beyond the static poses that were taught in typical art schools by focusing on the flow of movement, action, and reaction. (link to video).

Walt's interest in an in-house studio was initially inspired by animator Art Babbit, who brought his fellow artists to his home to do figure drawing. Here's more about Art Babbit's role in animation education at Disney in the 1930s.

Artist Rico Lebrun was brought into the program later in the 1930s, primarily to help with Bambi. Read about his Disney art classes here.

Further reading
Online:
Full text of Disney's letter to Don Graham
Books:
The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures
The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams (great book by Roger Rabbit's animation supervisor, who learned a lot from Art Babbitt and other classic animators).

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9095. More from the zoo


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9096. Elegant Elephant, Arrogant?

elephant450 2

..A PERFORMANCE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET

… although a  repeat performance may depend quite heavily on the tightrope’s tensile strength.

………………………………………………………………………..

The Illustration Friday theme of the week is “repeat.”

So.

You know.

This.


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9097. Reza Yousefzadeh

Published by Shabaviz Books in Iran, 'Speed' is written by  Kambiz Kakavand and beautifully illustrated by Reza Yousefzadeh. I'd love to see more creative abstraction like this in children's illustrations…






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9098. Elegant Elephant, Arrogant?

elephant450 2

..A PERFORMANCE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET

… although a  repeat performance may depend quite heavily on the tightrope’s tensile strength.

………………………………………………………………………..

The Illustration Friday theme of the week is “repeat.”

So.

You know.

This.


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9099. It’s coming along

unexpectedsketchbook

 

I’ve been diligently working away at my FAIRY DECK for its September release. You can see my process on Instagram or Tumblr.


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9100. New Literary Agent Looking to Build List

whitleypiccroppedWhitley 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.

Email Alex: alex@inklingsliterary.com

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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