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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: art, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 3,925
1. Chalk Lessons

How do you feel about failure?
This summer, we made chalk paint with cornstarch, food coloring, and water. 
Summery delight!
See our driveway canvas?
 Little did we know that a thunderstorm brewed two hours away.
All our chalky wonders washed away overnight.

It's that resonance of art and failure that makes us strong, right?

Do you ever wonder if we can learn as much from our flops
- our sloppy first drafts, our rejections, our imperfections -
as from our neat and tidy successes? 

I have this thing. This fear of ruining a brand new notebook or sketchbook. 
I figure if I'm constantly working at something, then naturally, I'll keep improving. 
And when I look at my old notebooks stuffed with terrible first drafts and awkward brainstorms, 
I get panicky. What if this first page represents who I am through that entire notebook or sketchbook? Can't it at least start out perfect?
Talk about writer's block, eh?
So, I solved it. 

It's my secret to hurdling the fear of failure. (in a notebook.)

I just skip the first page. 

Then I'm set. I have a one-page cushion keeping me from a first-page flop. 
(Really, it means that the second page becomes the first page, but shhh.)

But really, don't we gain something in being brave with each feeble offering of ourselves?
In truth, even if I jump right into the first page of a notebook and ink it up with a scratchy failure, 
actually my "failure" teaches me something, and that becomes growth.
And if that's true, then maybe "failure" isn't so much of a failure. 
Maybe the effort of trying something stretches and grows our skills. 
And actually, that is beauty right there: being brave.
So, go out and be brave, my friends!
Ruin some second pages.
Scribble your heart out.
Make sloppy chalk paint that gets rained on overnight.
Get all muddy and splash around in those glorious flops.

Chalky books!

Journey by Aaron Becker
Quest by Aaron BeckerChalk by Bill Thomson
Art & Max by David Wiesner
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Harold's Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

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2. September Sketches

Sunday at the Albuquerque Rail Yards Market.
Kuretake Watercolor, Sakura Micron Pen

How has your summer been? For me it went a little too fast. Thankfully here in Albuquerque it's still sunny and warm, but there is definitely a tinge of autumn in the air. Which means it's time to buckle down with a "back-to-school" attitude and get back to my main WIP, Ghazal. I also want to get back into a dedicated sketching schedule that fits in with all my other projects.

Two things that are currently helping me get there are my writer's group summer art journal project and my outings with Urban Sketchers. Starting with my writer's group, because we've been meeting at the Albuquerque Museum we've been able to stay inspired by all the amazing art exhibited throughout the halls and galleries. Several weeks ago we had the idea to set out individually to find a painting or installation that could be the basis of some of our art journal pages. 

For me it was coming across an entire room devoted to the travel sketches of New Mexico-based architect, Antoine Predock. The extensive collection ended with an intricate proposal for a southern branch of the Palace Museum in Taiwan (unfortunately never realized), but I was so taken with the loose and easy style that led up to this final, intricate fantasy that I had to go visit the exhibition three more times over the next month. Predock's example and implied advice to scribble, go for color blocks and bold lines, and to follow what you feel about a place and its landmarks, rather than what you're "supposed to see" was exactly what I've been trying to achieve on my own for the last couple of years.

I kept all of that in mind last Sunday when I went with Urban Sketchers to the Albuquerque Rail Yards Market for two hours of morning sketching:

Albuquerque Rail Yards--abandoned but not forgotten!
Kuretake Watercolor and Sakura Micron Pen

The more I go out with the group the better I'm becoming at relaxing and losing my self-consciousness. I care more about the experience than the results, and consequently I'm drawing more than I ever have before. I love it!

Kuretake Watercolor, Fine-line Sharpie,
Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pens

I then wondered how this approach could work with writing and I found it fit perfectly. For instance:
  • Go BOLD. Don't hold back; don't edit, mince your words, or fear critique and censure. Let go and let the words flow. 
  • Similar to a "gesture drawing," capturing the essence of a subject rather than the details, try gesture writing. First thoughts, first attempts, first drafts contain a lot of energy--energy that can transform your voice and writing into something only you could write. 
  • Write hundreds and hundreds of pages. I was impressed at how many sketches Predock had made, many of them simply a few lines in the center of the page, but each was so strong and effective. His examples reminded me to not skimp on materials, ideas, or any step that will express where I completely want to go.
Good ideas for some good writing time! Enjoy the season.
    Tip of the Day: Thinking of editing your work? Whatever you do, please don't kill the sketch. Whether you're sketching towards creating a more polished painting, or freewriting dozens of vignettes and character studies for your novel, screenplay, or short story collection, don't go crazy with the polishing. Yes, weed out awkward phrases, lines, and repetitions, but stay true to what made you fall in love with your ideas in the first place. Stay loose.

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    3. Visible Traces

    "The Chinese consider it childish to look for details in pictures and then to compare them with the real world. They want, rather, to find in them the visible traces of the artist's enthusiasm."

    – E. H. Gombrich, The Story of Art 

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    4. Magic Spells for Improving Your Craft

    Here is a little something I wrote for Puddle Jump Collective about magic and art-making:

    My twins just read the Harry Potter series -
    seven books and one play.
    My whole rabble of wildebeests is now running through the house with pointy sticks, saying, "Wingardium Leviosa!" and "Expelliarmus!"
    Aside from the bad parenting of letting children run with pointy objects, 
    I myself would not mind a wand for a few things in life. 

    1. The dishes.  (A den full of four hungry wildebeests and their keepers can be very full of dishes)
    2. The laundry. (Again with the den analogy.)
    3. The writing and the art.
    Wouldn't it be fun to flick a pointy stick 
    and magic oneself into a brilliant writer and/or illustrator?
    So, really, where is that magic spell?  
    Wouldn't it make everything easier?
    So, I once had the opportunity to hear picture book illustrator Renata Liwska and her husband Mike Kerr speak at a SCBWI conference in Seattle.
    Wide eyed and wonderstruck,
    I wanted to know the tricks and magic spells
    that would turn me into a picture book illustrator exactly like Renata Liwska.

    Ever do that?

    Well, maybe not. But I did. 
    So, we all of us watched thirstily as Renata and Mike unpacked for the talk.
    They pulled out a motherlode of black sketchbooks and laid them in a mountain in front of us.
    Each sketchbook was filled with perfect illustrations. 
    Perfect! Pristine in skill and finish! 
    How was there not even one scratched out, loopy mess up in the entire collection? How?

    Renata is soft-spoken, humble, and has such a kind smile.
    Her husband Mike pointed to the pile of books and told us Renata's magic spell:

    Sketch every, every day.

    That's it? 
    Just work?

    Where's the magic in that? 
    Two years later, it's beginning to sink in.It isn't an instant change, but each drop in the bucket is a spell of sorts.
    Each drop is a growing of your eyes and ears and hands,
    every sketch is an observation, a study of the world,
    each page is a honing of your vision -
    and therein you find the transformation! 

    So, my friends, let me share some magic spells for improving your craft in a nutshell:  

    1. Show up. Every day.

    (Writers also call this "butt-in-chair.")

    2. Sketch. Sketch. Sketch.

    (Or insert your passion here. Bake cakes. Practice soccer. Juggle fruit.)

    3. Write. Write. Write.

    (Especially important for aspiring authors.)

    4. Read. Read. Read.

    (Observe and learn from the world relating to your craft. If you want to be a picture book illustrator, by golly, read picture books like a sieve!)

    5. Repeat.

    6. Every, every day.

    Once more:


    And the thing is?
    The more I do it, the more I love this daily rite.

    It's like magic.

    {Excerpt first published Tuesday, August 30 on Puddle Jump Collective.}


    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
    Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
    Withering-By-Sea by Judith Rossell
    Half Magic by Edward Eager
    The Magic Half and Magic in the Mix by Annie Barrows
    A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
    Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
    Strega Nona's Magic Lessons by Tomie de Paola

    Books on Writing and Art:

    Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly by Gail Carson Levine
    Rip the Page: Adventures in Creative Writing by Karen Benke
    Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer & Ellen Potter, illustrated by Matt Phelan
    Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals
    20 Ways to Draw a Cat by Julia Kuo
    Let's Draw a Story by Sachiko Umoto

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    5. The last -ism?

    There has lately been something like an arms race in literary studies to name whatever comes after postmodernism. Post-postmodernism, cosmodernism, digimodernism, automodernism, altermodernism, and metamodernism rank among the more popular prospects.

    The post The last -ism? appeared first on OUPblog.

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    6. Puddle Jump !

    It's here! It's here! It's here!

    Puddle Jump Collective : 13 children's book author / illustrators combining forces to showcase art, discuss craft, collaborate, and contribute to the kidlit world.

    We'll blog, share projects, and splash often.

    I'm honored to be one of the lucky 13.

    This rain-loving girl skipped to the front of the line
    for the our very first project -
    a collaborative Puddle Parade.

    Author/illustrator Lorian Dean is next up
    to combine my rainy girl with an entirely new character and set up,
    which she will post, and tag another illustrator to follow suit.
    I can't wait to see what transpires.

    I hope you'll join us as we journey into the big pond.


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    7. Coming soon...

    They say some people match their dogs.
    I wish I had a dog so I could know what I look like.
    I so often enjoy looking behind the camera at the world.
    For an upcoming project, I was asked to make a kid portrait of myself. 
    A selfie? A sketchie? A skelphie?

    I approached it the same way I approach a new character. 
    Sketch a zillion bundle of possibles,
    then hone in on who that character is.
    So.. who am I?

    What do I look like anyway?
    What do I feel like?
    What would I look like if I combined me now
    with some of my favorite things from childhood?
    Books. Overalls. Sunshine. Rain.
    Puddle boots.
    This is the girl I settled on. Bookish. Hopeful. Happy.
    Not afraid to get messy.

    Here's to finding your happy self this week, my friends.

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    8. Poetry Friday: WONDER

    It was an Instagram darling during its run. People couldn't stop posting pictures of themselves with the re-constructed trees, walls of bugs, glass marble-encrusted waterways, index card mountains, and hobbit-ish nests that had been installed inside the newly-renovated Renwick Gallery in DC.

    Me, wondering

    Each artist had a whole room to work with. No other art was displayed. It was a playground for both creators and viewers alike.

    No wonder the exhibit was called WONDER.  I was lucky enough to catch it before it closed in June, and shared a few photos with my Poetry Sisters to inspire our poems this month.

    For my poem, I chose to be look closer at In the Midnight Garden, created by installation artist Jennifer Angus. She works entirely with bugs.

    Yes, bugs. (Her fascinating website is here.)

    The Renwick Gallery puts it this way: "By altering the context in which we encounter such species, Angus startles us into recognition of what has always been a part of our world."

    And that is exactly what I'm interested in: that moment of being startled by art.
    Because as much as I love art, I love watching people interact with art even more. I love eavesdropping on their comments and watching them tilt their heads and contort their limbs as the art invades their head space.

    I mean, look at this guy...he really, really wants to take it all in, but the room is too small, and soon, he'll figure this out and walk through that next door and look back, but at the moment, he's doing what we do when we're trying to take art home in our pocket.

    Okay. After I took that photo of him taking a photo, I slipped through the archway and and took these two photos, trying to take some piece of the experience home in my pocket, too.

    Viewing In the Midnight Garden
    by Jennifer Angus

    Then I wrote a poem about them. To extend the wonder, of course.


    Are they real? a child
    asks. In answer, a woman looks
    through the eyes of her cell phone.

    Above her, a hot but bloodless red
    backs death, the pixilated-eyed
    watcher over her shoulder.

    What do we capture of art, to port
    tidily home in our pockets? Do mandalas
    like t-shirt designs, fit into our hive

    of possibilities? Look! A compass
    rose points the way, as bugs flock
    over other bugs, posed for family portraits—

    or are they circled in therapy, masticating
    unhealed hurts? In an aerial photo, I’ve seen
    twenty-five thousand human bodies form

    a blurry-edged Liberty Bell, but these flat-backed
    bugs, so perfectly symmetrical, so aptly suited
    for display, with their fine-wire legs and boldly

    faceted bodies, could be fastidiously sewn
    to a contessa’s dress. Snap. Snap. Snap.
    The woman takes pictures. The child asks

    again: Are they real? Yes. They are real—-
    and clean, and desiccated, repulsion
    removed so we can wonder

    at wonder, at a museum within
    a museum, at a body of bodies,
    wing to wing, our mandibles open.

    ----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)


    If you're curious about that fantastic magenta color of the walls, according to the Renwick website, "The pink wash is derived from the cochineal insect living on cacti in Mexico, where it has long been prized as the best source of the color red."

    And that Liberty Bell made by 25,000 human bodies? Here.

    See how my Poetry Sisters wondered and wandered through the exhibit with their poems:


    Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tara at A Teaching Life.

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    9. my little mixed media *experiment*...

    so, last week i was doing some cleaning/organizing (i do that often-major OCD girl here) and i found tons of paper (which i LOVE) and all kind of little art goodies that i had laying around. i decided to stop looking at them (so perfectly organized) taking up space and actually USE them (there's a novel concept...) and now i seem to have gotten myself into a  full fledged mixed media painting.

    originally intended to be an abstract...

    mixed media fun...

    background mix of papers and acrylic....

    a tangerine haired mermaid decided she'd like
    to be the featured attraction
    of the *experiment*...

    {'cause i can never just "experiment" (OCD+perfectionist=all or nothing). more pics to follow...in between other paintings, that is.}

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    10. Parlez-vous party?

    It's birthday week for my three girls.
    It took them awhile to agree on a theme.
    Paris + kitty cats + French pastries.

    Kitty cat cafe ?
    Ooh la la. 
    And you know me - I love any chance to make art,
    especially for a party.
    After researching all manner of things French,
    I sat down to sketch in the book fort.
    (Avec iced coffee in a jar, no less.)
    Oh, happy day, mes petits.
    I think I'll make some hanging art
    and some tiny, cupcake art.
    I should probably figure out games. 
    I'm no good at games. 


    Hide the baguettes? 
    Name the French cities? 
    Guess the French words? 

    Some French books we love:

    This is Paris - Miroslav Sasek
    Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
    The Story of Babar - Jean de Brunhoff 
    The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle by Barbara McClintock
    Madame Martine by Sarah S. Brannen
    The Story of Diva and Flea by  Mo Willems & Toni DiTerlizzi
    Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, ill. by Terry Fan

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    11. This Jim Woodring animated SPX poster is the trippiest thing you’ll see today

    Via the SPX tumblr, a reminder that once San Diego Comic-COn is over it’ll be straight to the fall show line-up including the annual Small Ppess Expo in Bethesda, the annual Camp Comics for the indie inclined. Visionary master Jim Woodring created this animated poster, and a 3D version will be available at the show. […]

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    12. Ronald Wimberly on asking artists for sample pages for free

    On Tumblr, artist Ronald Wimberly wrote a very cogent post on why artists should get paid to do sample pages: A quick preface: Yesterday a friend of mine told me the story of how she was scouted by DC Comics to participate in their “talent” workshop. My colleague, who worked as a professional for 7 years […]

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    13. The Covers That Weren't

    original image by Joseph Maclise
    In the Weird Fiction Review conversation I had with Eric Schaller, Eric asked me to talk a bit about designing the cover of Blood: Stories, and in my recent WROTE Podcast conversation, I mentioned an alternate version of the cover that starred Ronald Reagan (this was, in fact, the cover that my publisher originally thought we should use, until she couldn't get the image we ended up using out of her mind).

    I thought it might be fun to share some of the mock-ups I did that we didn't use — the covers that might have been...


    (click on images to see them larger)

    1a & 1b. These two are variations on an early design I did, the first one that seemed to work well, after numerous attempts which all turned out to be ghastly (in a bad way). 1b for a while was a top contender for the cover.

    2. I always liked the idea of this cover ... and always hated the actual look of it.

    3. I made this one fairly early in the process, using the Robert Cornelius portrait that is supposedly the first photographic portrait of a person ever made. It ended up being my 3rd choice for the final cover. I love the colors and the eeriness of it.

    4. This never had a chance of being the actual cover, but I love it for the advertisement alone. As far as I can tell, that was a real ad for revolvers.

    5. The inset picture is one I took in my own front yard. I like this cover quite a bit, but there's too much of a noir feel to it for the book, which isn't very noir.

    6. Here it is, the Cover That Almost Was. The image is a publicity photo from one of Ronald Reagan's movies.

    7a, 7b, 7c. Once I found the Joseph Maclise image, I immediately thought I'd found the perfect illustration for the book. It took a long time and innumerable tries to figure out the final version, but it was worth the effort.

    Actual cover


    Though the book designer Amy Freels ultimately did the back cover herself, I gave it a stab. As you'll see, we went back and forth on whether to use all of the blurbs or just Chris Barzak's and put the other blurbs on an inside page.

    1-7. These are a bunch of early attempts. None quite works (some really don't work), and they would have all felt sharply separate from the front cover. We had lots of conversations about #4, though, as the publisher was quite attracted to the simplicity and boldness of it for a while.


    8-14. I love these, but they're all too complex for the back cover. As images, though, they still appeal to me deeply. I also like that they use the Alejandro Canedo (or Cañedo) painting from Astounding (September 1947) that plays such an important role in the story "Where's the Rest of Me", though I also know we probably would have had to figure out how to get the rights to use it, and that could be a huge headache and a wild goose chase.

    Full, final cover

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    14. Break Out of Your Shell!

    "Mussel Shells"
    Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils
    on Canson Pastel Paper
    The drawing challenge from my color pencil group this month was to draw seashells. As you can see, I tackled four of them including the inside surfaces. Despite my initial resistance (too hard, too repetitive, not my thing, etc., etc.), I learned a lot from this exercise, much of which can be also be applied to my writing life, starting with practice, practice, practice. 

    Thanks to my reluctance to start, I procrastinated like a pro. I answered email, cleaned my house, wrote more poetry; anything to avoid drawing. Finally the day came when I either had to get to work or go to my group empty-handed, aka "being a quitter." Not my favorite option. So with deep misgivings I started in with just one. Hmm. Not so bad. So I tried another. And another. And before I knew it I had drawn all four. Hey, I did it! Which made me realize:
    1. Repetition is valuable. One of the main things holding me back was fear of boredom: how could I draw four similar shells without losing my mind? The truth, however, was very different: first, the shells were NOT similar, and second, by repeating the process several times my technique improved as I got to the last shell. Practice, practice, practice! Whether you want to improve your drawing, write exciting action scenes or learn the intricacies of arranging a pantoum, it takes more than one attempt to get it right.
    2. Don't hide away in your "I can't do it" shell. Rather than setting yourself up for failure by aiming for the most incredible work in the whole of human history, start a dreaded project by drawing or writing in your most basic style: just get some shapes or words down on paper. Once that's done, tweak a little here, add a little there--before you know it your right-brain will be engaged and intrigued with all the possibilities. At this point, I dare you to stop.
    3. Shells make great writing and art journal prompts. The first time I wrote about a seashell in my art journal was an entry about playing with my grandmother's collection of shells from the Gulf of Mexico when I was a little girl. I loved holding those shells to my ear and "listening to the sea." You might have a similar memory, or you might want to write about your first trip to the beach, or your own collection of seaside finds. On the fiction side, including a seashell in a short story, poem, or novel could trigger all sorts of themes, associations, and plot twists--especially if the shell is rare and valuable!
    4. Artwork isn't always about drawing. How about brushing some ink or paint onto a shell and using it as a stamp in your art journal or mixed-media piece? Or pressing a shell into earthen or polymer clay? Drilling a hole into the top of a shell to add to a jewelry piece? Or simply painting and/or collaging the shell itself for a whole new look? 
    5. Using shells for meditation and mindfulness. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, there's something profound about a seashell. Whether it's the patterning, the colors, or just the fact it once housed and protected some small and distant creature, shells make a good start to pondering life's mysteries. Add them to household altars, your writing room or studio, your garden or any other kind of creative sanctuary you like to visit. Personally I like to keep them all over the house in various nooks and crannies. 
    Shells have always fascinated me, but that's no reason to take them literally and hide out inside one of my own. The drawing challenge for July is to draw green leaves. I'm so fired-up by the prospect I'm going to start and base an entire art journal on the subject. No hesitation, no holding back, just going for it. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme! 

    Tip of the Day: One of the things I love about drawing is how it relaxes and pulls me into what I could almost call a different dimension. Memories; new ideas for writing; the book I'm currently reading: my mind seems to just float along with the tide. While I was working on my seashell piece I was reminded of one of my favorite books that I hadn't thought of for a long time: Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea. If you've never read it, or haven't read it for a long time, I can't think of a better text to check out for summer inspiration. Enjoy!

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    15. Aloha

    A small friend is turning 6 in two weeks.
    She lives across the country,  
    and we can't make it to the luau party.
    We can't come for cake and balloons and birthday hugs,
    but we can send pineapples
    and kitties
    and fancy toothpicks.
     They're like tiny, paper aloha hugs.

    So, in shuttling wildebeests to soccer camp lately, 
    I have discovered a few good surprises 
    in being the carpool soccer mom.

     Books on CD. 
    Car-goofy kids.
    And sketchbook time
     while all my soccer players 
    do their runs and drills.
    Big chunks of sketchbook time 
    help when working out new ideas.

     It's funny that I can sketch happy around a crowd, 
    but I can't write a drop.
    My thoughts turn to stone and my stories sink.
     But then, that's kind of a theme for me with words anytime lately.

    I know some writers who scribble serious magic 
    in coffee shops and airplanes. 

    What about you?

    When do you do your deep story work?
    Can you create masterpieces with everyone there?
    Do you thrive with hum and buzz?
    Or do you like a hush when you create?


    Wherever you find yourself this week,
    I wish you peaceful breezes, sweet surprises, and

    Books {and CD books} we're enjoying this week:

    Captain Cat by Inga Moore
    Dream Friends by You Byun
    Ling and Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin
    Ling and Ting: Together in All Weather by Grace Lin
    A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, ill. by Catia Chien
    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin 
    Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko
    The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof by Annie M. G. Schmidt 

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    16. School's out!

    Goodnight, pencil jars. 
    Goodnight, lunchboxes. 
     School's out!
    Hello, sunshine books.
    Hello, swing seats. 
    Hello, sandy feet. 

    Summer is in session!

    Summery reads:


     Sam and Jump by Jennifer K. Mann
    A Beach Tail by Karen Lynna Williams, ill. by Floyd Cooper
    Listen to Our World by Bill Martin Jr & Michael Sampson, ill. by Melissa Sweet
    Surf's Up by Kwame Alexander, ill. by Daniel Miyares
    Ocean Sunlight by Molly Bang & Penny ChisholmIsland: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin

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    17. Help Out of Step Arts win a small business grant

    We’ve covered Out of Steps Arts here a few times before. OOSA is an art collective that offers prints from some talented artists and sells their original art as well. They work with top notch people, and I’ve heard good things about them. Right now they’re competing for a $25,000 small business grant that FedEx […]

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    18. New House Banners of “Cursed Child”

    As Leaky stated on all of its social media, we will be honoring J.K. Rowling and the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s wishes to “Keep the Secrets.” We will not be reporting on any content of Cursed Child, but we will share any small details that Pottermore–J.K. Rowling’s website–deems acceptable to share. No spoilers.

    Just as the curtains were rising for the first preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child earlier this week, Pottermore shared a photo of Rose Weasley standing in the middle of the Great Hall, during what appeared to be a sorting ceremony. Read more of Leaky’s report on that here.

    In that photo, the world was presented with a new set of House banners! Pottermore tweeted today, revealing a clearer picture of these banners as concept art.




    Every house banner incorporates its mascot into the initial of its house, rather than using what became known as “Harry Potter font.” As expressed before, multiple times, the play is a continuation of the books, not the movies (movie canon differs from book canon). Because of this, it is not surprising the banners differ from the movies, but could potentially fulfill the description of house banners in the books.


    However, the banners do not seem to support official house colors; unless, differing from both book and movie canon, the house colors are now different. Because book canon and movie canon differ, many fans know that Ravenclaw’s house colors are different in the films than in the books. Ravenclaw’s colors are blue and bronze by book canon, and blue and silver by movie canon. In the movies, the shades of the other house colors don’t stay true to for either. If these new banners are representing house colors, Gryffindor and Slytherin’s colors are the only set of colors that have remained mostly true to both book and movie canon.

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    19. StoryMakers | Julie Hedlund & Susan Eaddy

    STORYMAKERS - Julie Hedlund and Susan Eaddy Featured Image

    Author Julie Hedlund and illustrator Susan Eaddy collaborated on My Love for You Is the Sun, a beautiful book that celebrates the many ways we express love for others. In this craft-based episode of StoryMakers, Eaddy teaches Hedlund and host Rocco Staino how to make a relief sculpture based on the illustration style used in the book. The author and illustrator provide examples of additional activities parents, caretakers, and teachers can do with children. Viewers are encouraged to explore color and texture creation.

    Julie Hedlund is familiar to many aspiring and established children’s literature authors. She is the founder of 12×12, a year long picture book writing challenge where members write 12 drafts in 12 months. Hedlund celebrated five years of the 12×12 challenge in early 2016.

    We’re giving away three (3) prize packs for this episode of StoryMakers. Each prize pack includes a of copy of Julie Hedlund’s picture book, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN and art supplies to make your own clay art inspired by Susan Eaddy’s work. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on May 31, 2016. ENTER NOW!

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    My Love for You Is the Sun
    My Love for You Is the Sun - Julie Hedlund
    Written by Julie Hedlund, illustrated by Susan Eaddy
    Published by Little Bahalia Publishing

    My Love for You is the Sun is a love letter from parent to child, written in verse and expressing that timeless and unconditional love through metaphors from the natural world. My love for you is the sun, a tree, the rain, a river but of course, its also about more than familial or parental love, its about the universal, infinite nature of love itself, and as such, will hold crossover appeal for all ages. Edited by best-selling childrens book author Emma Walton-Hamilton, and illustrated with the amazing clay art of Susan Eaddy, this melodious tour of parent-and-child animals in their various habitats will mesmerize children at bedtime, and help them feel a connection with the loved one sharing it with them. With soothing verses evoking the beauty and wonder of the natural world, combined with stunning, hand-sculpted clay illustrations, this book is one families everywhere will read again and again.


    Inspired by my two children, I began writing picture books. I took a course in children’s book writing and joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in order to learn more. All while continuing my “day” job.

    Finally, in the fall of 2009 I attended a regional SCBWI conference in Denver. I was swollen with inspiration, hope and desire to not only write, but to make a career from writing. On the drive home, I had an epiphany — “What if I could feel as inspired, driven and hopeful every day as I do today?”

    So I made the decision to leave my job – right as the world economy collapsed. Everyone, myself included, thought I was crazy, but I no longer felt like I had a choice. I knew I needed to give a writing career a shot, and that I needed to start immediately.

    I began writing my blog, signed up for a few social media networks, wrote another picture book manuscript, signed up for an SCBWI national conference in New York and never looked back.

    People often ask me why I write for children. I write for children because I want to make their lives better through books.  Yes, books educate children, give them adventures, escape, and entertainment.  But books also give children hope.  And what could be more important and profound than that?

    Read more, here.

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    One of the reasons I enjoy clay so much is that I don’t really know how to do it.  Each illustration is a discovery process as I study nature and animals and try to figure out how to bring them to life in clay.

    My finished clay critters live in pizza boxes, and I suspect that they play at night while we slumber.

    I was an Art Director for fifteen years, and won some international 3D illustration awards and a Grammy nomination. But my passion is, and always has been, illustrating and writing for children.

    I am the Regional advisor for the Midsouth SCBWI, and a member of the SCBWI Bologna Team. I love to travel and have done school visits anywhere in the world from Taiwan to Alabama to Hong Kong.

    Read more, here.

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    Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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    20. Ready Set Draw! | Dan Yaccarino Draws ‘Doug Unplugged’

    Ready Set Draw - Doug Unplugged Dan Yaccarino Featured Image

    Award-winning author and illustrator Dan Yaccarino returns to Ready Set Draw to teach viewers how to draw Doug from Doug Unplugged. Doug is an inquisitive little robot boy who sets off to see the world beyond his home. After drawing Doug it is a good idea to go on a walk to explore your neighborhood.

    Dan is joined by KidLit TV team member, Katya Szewczuk who learns to draw Doug too. Katya is an aspiring author and illustrator. You can find Katya’s work, here.


    Did you, a child, or student draw Doug using this video? Share your images with us via FacebookInstagram, or Twitter! Use the hashtag #KidLitTV on Instagram and Twitter too. We can’t wait to see what you’ve drawn!

    Watch Dan’s episode of StoryMakers to learn more about his books.
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    Doug Unplugged

    Doug Unplugged
    Written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
    Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

    Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning facts about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about the city by going outside and exploring it. And so Doug … unplugs. What follows is an exciting day of adventure and discovery. Doug learns amazing things by doing and seeing and touching and listening and above all, by interacting with a new friend. Dan Yaccarino’s funny story of robot rebellion is a great reminder that sometimes the best way to learn about the world is to go out and be in it.


    Children the world over know Dan Yaccarino from his children’s books, Parent’s Choice Award-winning animated TV series Oswald (Nick Jr) and Emmy-winning Willa’s Wild Life (NBC and Qubo) and character designs for The Backyardigans (Nickelodeon), as well as his many illustrated toys, games, and other children’s products. His bold, stylized illustrations add wit and energy to the work of such prestigious authors as Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Kevin Henkes and Patricia MacLachlan in addition to his own stories.

    Dan’s internationally recognized art style has earned him a large following in Japan, exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Bologna, and a visit to the White House. Dan’s books have been translated into many languages and have inspired ebooks, children’s musicals and video adaptations. People all over the world enjoy Oswald, Dan’s animated television series about the wonderfully whimsical world of a lovable octopus, which Time magazine chose as one of the top 6 shows to watch on cable. Animation Magazine hails him as “an American original.”

    Dan’s work has been recognized with a host of prestigious awards including the Bologna Ragazzi, The New York Time 10 Best Illustrated, ALA Notable and the Parents Choice Award. Over 1.5 million of his books have been sold to date.

    Read more, here.

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    21. Research is My Friend by Lauren Castillo

    Lauren Castillo, a Caldecott Honor author and illustrator, kicks off this year's Author Spotlight Series with a piece about how important research is to her artistic process.

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    22. Research is My Friend by Lauren Castillo

    Lauren Castillo, a Caldecott Honor author and illustrator, kicks off this year's Author Spotlight Series with a piece about how important research is to her artistic process.

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    23. Painting with Primaries

    Our local school is building a Natural Playground, and they are holding several fundraisers. I was recently asked to be part of a Really Good Idea for a fundraiser, which I think would make a fun library program! The idea, which was hatched and hosted by the owner of our local craft shop, was this: local artists would each lead a classroom in painting a large 2-foot square painting which would then be auctioned off.
    I was happy to find out that I was chosen to work with the Grade Primary class (here in Nova Scotia that translates to Kindergarten). I went with a big flower for them to paint. I had them in groups of 3 — the painting had seven areas to be painted, and I had each group work on a section. I might be biased, but I love our painting the most. I love the colours and the freedom of expression that 4 & 5 year olds are unafraid to exhibit. I really didn’t paint much at all— I gave them tips, and once had to quickly grab a paintbrush from an over-exuberant artist who was about to turn the whole thing into a big smear.

    I started in the classroom with a stack of books and talked to them about art in picture books.  I read Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales to them and we talked about the art in that book. Their teacher had been part of some workshops I did earlier in the school year, and she had them looking closely at the art in picture books, so this group of 4-5 year olds were pretty savvy about examining the pictures. We had a lively discussion about the art and how everyone can do art. I was impressed that they were able to determine the medium, and talk a little about shape and colour.

    I love to combine literacy with art lessons, and this project – and a Caldecott honour book – allowed me to do that. We also did a really great painting which will help raise money for a playground that will further their learning in the great outdoors. IMG_1401

    So— to turn this into a library program, you could buy several large canvases (you can get them for a pretty decent price at dollar stores these days). Draw the outlines on the canvases, and have your program participants paint them in, using acrylic paint (again, a fairly inexpensive investment at dollar stores). These could hang in the children’s area, could be donated for charity fundraisers, or you could auction them as library fundraisers. Add a few books on art and a few art picture books, and you’ve got yourself a fairly simple, low-cost program that kids will remember each time they see those paintings. Host an art show in your library and you’ve got another program that will draw in the families of the kids who did the paintings. Art and literacy. They make good companions.

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    24. Author – Artist Residency Tips

    by Joyce Audy Zarins If someone from a school overseas invited you to do an author or artist residency in connection with your picture book what would you do? I said yes even before I knew the particulars. If that would be your reaction, there are a few things you may want to consider to […]

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    25. 2016 Russ Manning Award nominees are announced and three of them are women

    DCBOMBS_01_300-004_HD-mtv-1437594173.jpgThe wave of promising young female cartoonists that we've all been seeing change the face of comics got a bit of an endorsement with the release of this year's nominees for the Russ Manning the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award. The Manning Award, as it's commonly know, is presented every year at the San Diego Comic-Con as part of the Eisner Awards to "a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics." The 2016 nominees are:

    0 Comments on 2016 Russ Manning Award nominees are announced and three of them are women as of 1/1/1900
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