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By: Kathy Temean,
Blog: Writing and Illustrating
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, Tracy Campbell
, authors and illustrators
, How to
, Illustrator's Saturday
, 3-D wood designs
, How to Paint
, Interior Design company
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Here is Tracy explaining her process:
Below, I’ve included some of the steps I used to draw and paint the “Watermelon Barrette”.
- Draw the design, scan it, and then reduce the drawing to fit the surface.
- Trace the design onto tracing paper.
- DecoArt Americana Acrylics.
- DecoArt Matte Varnish Sealer.
- Krylon Matte Finish Spray.
- Brushes—1/8” and 1/4” Stipplers, #1 and #3 Round, 3/4” Wash, #2, #4, and a #10 Shader, #6 Filbert, and a #10/0 Spotter.
Wood Surface Preparation:
- Sand the wood barrette with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper.
- Remove the dust with a tack cloth.
- Apply one coat of DecoArt Matte Varnish Sealer.
- Allow to dry, sand, and then wipe clean.
- Paint the background with at least three coats of paint.
- Center the tracing over the barrette.
- Slip the dark blue dress-maker’s paper under the drawing, and then
- Trace the main pattern lines with a stylus and/or a pencil.
- Use a 1/8” Stippler to drybrush small areas.
- Use a 1/4” Stippler to drybrush large areas.
- Dip the brush into the desired paint color.
- In a circular motion, wipe off the excess paint onto an absorbant paper towel.
- In a circular motion, applying slight pressure, begin in the darkest area and move toward the lightest area.
- Follow the above steps until the desired results are achieved.
- Let the piece cure (I wait three days).
- Apply one coat of DecoArt Matte Varnish Sealer.
- Let dry (15 to 30 minutes).
- Lightly sand with a brown paper bag.
- Apply at least three coats of sealer, sanding between each coat.
- Spray with Krylon Matte Finish.
Did you go to school for art?
No, not unless you count the “How to Paint” workshops I signed up for in 1991.
What types of things helped you to develop as an illustrator?
In 1994, a published picture book illustrator encouraged me to draw my own designs. So with shaky fingers, I picked up a pencil and gave it a whirl. And voila! The fabric tree and snow mama was my first design, and I painted it on slate.
I continued studying “How to Paint” books, and then with three years of drawing and painting practice under my belt, I designed “How to Paint” pattern packets. During that time, I attended a Tuesday morning group for young moms at a local church. The moms loved my designs, and they invited me to teach on Tuesday mornings. One of the designs I taught them, Noah’s Flying Angels, was painted on a wood piece.
My confidence bloomed like the flowers in my garden, and I decided to sell my expanding portfolio. Without access to the Internet, I packed up my car and traipsed all over Southern Ontario, begging and pleading with store owners to stock my designs on their bulging shelves. Krafty Kennedy’s, a store in London, Ontario, took a chance and purchased my packets. Wait, it gets better. They even asked me to teach workshops. A few years later, I became a “Big Brush” teacher at national painting shows in Toronto and London, Ontario.
Here is a pattern packet design.
What was the first piece of art you did where someone paid you?
A small marketing company hired me to design thirty cards. I recently revamped “Gone Fishing” to create a Father’s Day card.
Did you start out doing interior design work?
It wasn’t until 2004 that I received accreditation as an International Design and Decorating Professional. I then obtained my Staging, Color Consulting, and Professional Organizing designations. While I was running my decorating business, QC Design School approached me to tutor students and, later, to facilitate Color and Professional Organizing workshops. I’ve recently cut back on my decorating services to allow more time to pursue my new love…writing.
What are your favorite art materials?
Hmm…I don’t really have a favorite. I paint on many surfaces—illustration board, slate, tin, wood, and canvas.
Here is a “Musical Angel” I painted on a CD box.
Have those material changed over the years?
Yes, I’ve discovered Copic markers, which I must say are not forgiving. To avoid making mistakes, I test the markers on scrap paper to ensure I choose the correct tint, tones, and shades. The upside, I reduce my painting time in half.
Here is a very rough sketch for the painting below.
Once the idea takes shape, I redraw each figure, scan it, and then enlarge or reduce each element until I’m happy with the placement. I then transfer the final drawing onto Strathmore WindpowerTM smooth finish, acid free Bristol.
How long have you been illustrating?
I seriously began illustrating in 1994, so that means almost twenty years!
I like your note cards. How did you start creating and selling them?
Thank you, Kathy. Some of my three-dimensional wood designs were the inspiration that lead me to produce a line of square-shaped greeting cards, which I submitted to the Thirteenth Uniquely Ontario Creative Arts Show in Toronto, Ontario. My cards were judged on design, workmanship, promotional materials, and saleability. After receiving a score of 92 out of 100, I was invited to participate in the show that assists in the growth of Ontario’s best home-based entrepreneurs. I was disappointed I didn’t receive 100.
Kathy, I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment. Regal Gifts hired me to create A Country Charm Collection, reproduced on wrapping paper and gift cards.
Here are just four designs.
My confidence soared. I queried a well-known calendar company in Markham, Ontario. Rejected, I sulked, unaware God was still at work. A few months later, I received a call. My name had been passed on to Zebra Publishing. They hired me to design a “baby’s first year keepsake” calendar, and the following year, a “twelve-month folk art” calendar. Both calendars sold like hot cakes in mom-and-pop bookstores, Chapter’s bookstores in Canada, and Barnes & Noble in the U.S.
It looks like you have written and illustrated a children’s book. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?
Our Story—You & Me is much more than a children’s book. It’s also a record-keeping book sprinkled with quaint quotes that will appeal to mommies and expectant mommies who want to capture the milestones of their baby’s first year. The book is unique in that it elevates a record-keeping book to an early-reader storybook a mom can read to her child, and uses a child’s natural curiosity about their first year of life to help interest them in reading. In the years to follow, mom and growing child will giggle together, poring over candid photos of things like a toothless grin, wobbly first steps, the ultrasound, and other special moments. This fifty plus page book mirrors my calendar art and will make the perfect baby shower gift.
Do you have plans to self-publish?
I’m on the hunt for an agent.
Is illustrating children’s books a new direction for you?
It sure is.
Have you ever illustrated something for a children’s magazine?
I haven’t pursued that avenue yet, but I have been published numerous times in American and Canadian “How to Paint” magazines.
Here are two tear sheets.
The drawing and painting instructions for the “Musical Angel CD Box” are similar to the “Watermelon Barrette”. Below, I’ve listed the differences.
- DecoArt Walnut Gel Stain.
- Krylon Matte Finish Spray.
CD Box Surface Preparation:
- Prep the box as per the previous instructions, paint the base Napa Red, paint the lid Antique White, and then paint the edge Deep Teal (apply at least three coats of paint).
- Drybrush the Deep Teal area with Blue Green, and again with Deep Teal plus Buttermilk to brighten.
- Apply scotch tape 1/4” from the edge, and then paint the border Country Red.
- Paint corner squares Lamp Black.
- Dilute the gel stain with water, and then apply with a foam brush. Wipe the excess stain with a cotton cloth. Let dry.
- Spatter with Burnt Umber and again with Lamp Black.
- Trace main pattern lines onto the lid.
Color Worksheet 1:
Color Worksheet 2:
What have you been doing to get your artwork noticed?
I have an online whimsical shop over at http://www.tracycampbell.net/shop.html and a website over at http://www.tracy-campbell.artistwebsites.com, where Fine Art America reproduces my original whimsical works of art on metal, stretched canvas, and acrylic. You can also buy unframed prints or framed prints that are ready to hang on your wall or on a friend’s wall.
Have you made picture book dummies to show art directors, editors, and reps.?
Do you have an agent?
I’m hard at work querying agents.
Do you ever use two different materials in one illustration?
Not materials per se, but here’s another style where I used a Micron pen and watered down acrylics.
The above piece was painted on illustration board. The process is the same as painting on wood, except I don’t have to prepare the surface. I just transfer the line drawing, ink the design, and then apply watered down acrylics.
I also paint on Paper Mache items.
Have you seen your style change since you first started illustrating?
Oh my, yes! My earlier drawings and paintings were stiffer than my ironing board.
Have you gotten any work through networking?
Yes, from author extradornaire, Susanna Hill. She purchased designs for her online course—Making Picture Book Magic. Take a peek over at http://www.susannahill.blogspot.ca/p/making-picture-book-magic.html.
Do you do any art exhibits to help get noticed?
Not at present.
Are you open to doing illustrations for self-published picture book authors?
Not at the moment. I’d like to concentrate on illustrating my own books.
Do you use Photoshop?
Yikes! I hear the learning curve is steep and I’m not getting any younger. I do scan my artwork, and manipulate my designs with Microsoft Publisher and Paint. Here’s one I reconfigured.
Do you own a graphic tablet? If so, how do you use it?
How much time do you spend illustrating?
Not as much time as I’d like. Some days I work on marketing, other days I write and/or paint.
Do you have a studio set up in your house? Where do you live?
I have a second-floor studio in my 1841 farmhouse, nestled high on a hill in a secret location.
Is there anything in your studio, other than paint and brushes, that you couldn’t live without?
My art and writing reference books.
What are your career goals?
My career goals are to find a literary and/or art agent, finish writing two picture books, polish my middle grade novel, and continue creating art that one day will appear on home décor and giftware items. Lord willing.
What are you working on now?
Besides tutoring, I’m querying agents, blogging, writing a rhyming picture book, and adding art to sell on my website.
Are there any painting tips (materials, paper, etc.) you can share that work well for you? Technique tips?
I love dark blue dress-maker’s paper. I lay my line drawings over the transfer paper, and then I use a stylus to trace the design onto any surface I like. The beauty of this paper is that as soon as you add ink or water—poof—the lines disappear.
Any words of wisdom you can share with the illustrators who are trying to develop their career?
Don’t be afraid to try new things, step out of your comfort zone. As Will Rogers once said, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple: Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”
Thank you Tracy for sharing your artwork and process with us. We will be watching to see how you develop your style to illustrate picture books.
If you want to see more of Tracy’s work or follow her in the future, her website is www.tracycampbell.net. Please take a minute to leave Tracy a comment. It is much appreciated. Thanks!
Filed under: authors and illustrators
, How to
, Illustrator's Saturday
Tagged: 3-D wood designs
, How to Paint
, Interior Design company
, Tracy Campbell
If you've written an article on a subject, can you adapt it to a book?
This month, as a follow up to my March 14th post, "Making the Case for Magazines - Again," Joelle DuJardin, Senior Editor at Highlights
, agreed to answer some questions.
1. How long have you been at Highlights?
I've been at Highlights
for nearly 9 years, which, now that I think about it, is as long as the lifetime I seemed to spend at my K-8 elementary school. These Highlights
years have flown by a lot more quickly - and have fortunately been filled with a lot less angst!
2. What changes have you seen in the magazine world?
In a tough marketplace, with so many exciting products competing for kids' time and attention, I think most kids' magazines are trying to clarify their vision and make their content more dynamic, which can ultimately be a good thing. As always, the best way for a writer to know the market is to read the actual magazines and get a feel for what they're trying to do. At Highlights
, we're always trying to keep our brand fresh and engage readers in new ways, so in recent years we've become more open to considering new story formats and ideas as long as our mission isn't compromised.
3. Which genres do you edit at Highlights?
I edit all the fiction in Highlights
magazine, which includes rebus stories for beginning readers, 500-word count stories for less-advanced readers, and 750-word stories for more advanced readers. We'll do an occasional story that runs longer. I also acquire all the poetry for the magazine.
4. About how many submissions do you receive every month?
We receive several hundred submissions a month.
5. What is the Highlights submission process?
I'm the first reader on manuscripts sent directly to me. (We also have an outside reader who reviews some of the submissions addressed to Manuscript Coordinator, and she'll pass along certain ones for us to consider further.) If I think a manuscript has promise, I might ask for feedback from two or three other editors before making a decision on it.
Once we purchase a manuscript, it goes into our inventory, where it waits until it fits with the overall balance of an issue. It's true that it can sometimes take a few years before a writer sees his or her story in print - but it's not that we've forgotten the piece. We remember vividly the stories we bought in past years!
6. How long can a writer expect to wait for news about their submission?
We try to respond to submissions within two months, although it can sometimes take a little longer than that, depending on how busy we are.
7. What are you looking for now?
I'm always looking for funny stories. Historical fiction, holiday stories, and mysteries are amoung our current needs.
Thank you, Joelle, for taking the time to answer my questions!
Most writers yearn to publish a book. No surprise! Writing conferences, blogs and professional journals are mostly aimed at book publication. Five years ago, I wrote about magazine publication as an option. Since then, the traditional book market (especially for picture books) is even tighter. And the digital/app market for picture books? Unless you are an author/illustrator, or your work is already illustrated, you're pretty much out of luck. Apps are expensive to make and developers usually look for established authors or a branded series.
So why not write for magazines? You'll get some rejection letters, but aren't they're always a part of the writing life? For non-fiction articles, you may have to write the dreaded query letter, but don't we all need practice with them? The only other disadvantages are smaller checks than a book advance and your moment of glory only lasts a month.
But consider the advantages:
1. You don't need an agent to submit.
2. Most magazine pieces are short - not as time consuming as producing a novel or picture book.
3. Using a different slant, you can often reuse your research for another piece.
4. You might see your name in print without waiting for years.
5. Often a wide audience sees your writing and you needn't spend hours on promotion.
6. You don't get wacky book reviews in professional journals.
7. Your magazine piece could earn additional money through reprint rights.
8. There are a bundle of contests and prizes to be won in the magazine world.
Next month I'll interview a senior editor at Highlights. Stay tuned.
By: Genevieve Petrillo,
Blog: Cupcake Speaks
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, children's literature
, picture book writing
, school visits
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Last week, we reached 10,000 views on our blog. I’m not much with the math, but 10,000 seems like a lot, seeing as how Mom only lets me post once or twice a week. I am excited that so many people and pets wanted to see what we were up to.
Of course, about 9,000 of the views were probably Mom, looking for mistakes and reading comments and stuff. She is my biggest fan. I am her biggest fan, too!
A long time ago, Mom got a fan letter from a little girl who read one of her poems in Spider Magazine. The little girl said that Mom’s poem made her laugh.
I’d like to say Mom was excited about the fan letter, but excited doesn’t even begin to express how she felt. That letter was her favorite piece of mail of her life, until she got the contract for her first book years and years later.
Even though Mom’s book had a ton of good reviews and won The Moonbeam Award, she has never received a fan letter from any of her readers. She has lots of thank you letters from the kids at the schools she visited…
….but no fan letters.
If I could write, I’d send her one, but paws aren’t much good with a pencil.
Thanks to all my fans for visiting Cupcake Speaks. Every Visit, every Comment, and every Like feels like a fan letter to me!! xoxo
I am happy to say that my artwork is currently appearing in a brand NEW little magazine published by our friends at Highlights.
Highlights Hello is designed for the youngest babies and toddlers, and is even printed on rip-proof coated paper and stitched like a little board book.
I love illustrating for this age group. Here is my “Find It” feature, which is like baby’s first Hidden Pictures!
Julia Bluhm, Anti-Photoshop Campaign
Since we so love reality on our TVs, why not in our magazines?
Well, because of the efforts of one 14-year-old girl, we may soon be getting just that.
Maine teen Julia Bluhm grew so tired of models photoshopped to the point of unrecognizability that she began a petition on Change.org. And once she accumulated over 85,000 confirming signatures, she and some friends brought the petition to protest outside the NYC office of Seventeen Magazine.
Although Julia didn’t have high expectations, Seventeen actually responded with a published “peace treaty,” agreeing to “never change girls’ body or face shapes” and to “celebrate every kind of beauty in [their] pages.”
That first success then fueled Julia to join other girls in similarly petitioning Teen Vogue. To help her win them over, sign on at:
Do you know a toast-worthy teen you’d like to see featured here at BWATE?
Comment below with your email address so we can get a post together!
Well, hello, little blog- so good to see you. I’ve been away for while, mostly getting a kid through an extended hospital stay (she’s good now!), and scrambling to catch up on everything else. But hey! Here’s some stuff that showed up recently!
One of my new FRED items, Mr. Tea (a tea infuser shaped like a little guy), was on the Today Show today. Here’s the mighty Al Roker mocking it now!
Watch the whole segment HERE, whereby you can see Al declare, and I quote, “Oh, that’s disturbing. That’s just not right.” HA! He’s right, you know.
More good stuff:
The December 2012 ELLE Magazine: After you’re done checking out Jennifer Lawrence, perfecting your rosy cheeks and dramatic eyes, check out my Pizza Peddlar on the Gift Guide pages! And now you know how sexy women REALLY think.
Changing themes, here’s the December 2012 Issue of Family Circle (not to be confused with Family Circus, Little Billy). They have Mr. Tea featured in their 50 Presents Under $50 Gift Guide.
Ooh, la la! Qu’est ce que c’est? It’s one of my older-but-wiser items, the Chopstick Kids, featured in the Canadian style magazine, Signature. This is the Fall 2012 issue. Très bien!
By Mridu Khullar Relph
The world is flat, asserts Thomas L. Friedman, the New York Times‘ Foreign Affairs columnist and the author of the bestselling book by the same name. Never before in the history of the world have opportunities been distributed so evenly between people of colors, countries and gender. This is certainly true in freelancing. You could live anywhere in the world, never have stepped foot in New York City, but still have a fantastic career writing for some of the most respected names in the business.
I know of what I speak. I started my career ten years ago from New Delhi, India, writing for small publications around the world, including in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Bahrain, France, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and of course, India. I’ve now lived and worked in four continents and written for The New York Times, Time Magazine, Marie Claire, The Christian Science Monitor, The International Herald Tribune, Ms. magazine, Vogue, Glamour, and many more.
I have also come full cirlce and wound up where I began in India and even today, 95% of my income comes from publications that are based outside of my home country.
Selling work to countries outside your own isn’t just an ego boost (though it can be one when you get fan mail from Malaysia). With editors increasingly demanding more and more rights and your income threatening to dwindle, selling reprints in different countries and non-competing markets can be a fantastic solution. Even if you simply resell your pieces to different markets in various countries, you’ll earn substantially more.
Pitching to a foreign magazine is no different from pitching publications at home. Just be careful of cultural differences though. What works in the West may not necessary be right for, or even acceptable in, the East and vice versa. You can find international publications pretty easily these days. Just enter in keywords of your choice with country names into Google and just watch those babies pop up!
Here are a few more good reasons why you should be writing publications outside your own country.
1. Better pay.
Publications in the US typically pay a lot better than publications in Asia. Publications in Europe typically pay a lot better than publications in the US or Canada. Publications that are in foreign languages will translate your work and pay you for doing no extra work. Publications that are outside of the English-speaking world that need good writers in English will come back to you repeatedly for more work.
There is immense opportunity out there if you’re willing to look, do a bit of legwork, and keep your eyes open for opportunites beyond your newsstand. I get e-mails on a weekly basis from editors in European countries from publications I’ve never heard of asking me to write for them. If I do a good job, repeat work is almost inevitable. And my income has soared as a result. These aren’t the sexy gigs, but they’ll keep you in business.
2. Less competition.
Most writers — new or experienced — will usually look for publications in their own countries to pitch story ideas to. This means that there are editors in about 200+ other countries that may not have regular reporting or analysis from your country. That’s a very fertile market with very little competition.
For instance, I currently write for two construction trade magazines, one in the UK and one in the US. Both pay well, give me regular work, and have no other correspondents based in my country. They’re eager to hear about new developments from my part of the world, and I’m more than happy to provide it. Because I’m the reporter on the ground, I’m the eyes and ears for these publications and hence my relationship with my editors is much more involved and friendly than it would be if I were just another one of a group of writers they hire in their own country. I bring a specific part of the world to them and that’s what makes me stand out.
3. Less legalese.
American writers are often so used to 10-page contracts that will ask for everything but the deed to your house that when a publication doesn’t offer up a written contract or just, you know, wings it, they balk at this idea and think it must be some sort of scam. Sometimes, it is. But in much of Asia, and a lot of Europe, this is the way business is done. “We’re going to buy your article, we’ll have first rights, we’ll pay you £1,000 for it. Deadline is end of this month. Capiche?” How simple is that?
4. Extra income for work already done.
As I alluded to earlier, if you’re smart enough to hold on to your rights (and admittedly, it’s getting harder these days), you have 200+ more opportunities to sell that piece for first rights in specific territories. And that’s just in the English language alone. Then there are translations, audio rights, all sorts of rewriting opportunites, and don’t forget reslanting that information.
You’re obviously not going to go all that far with each piece — you chose this career because you found it exciting to write and report new things, after all — but even if you follow up on 1 percent of those opportunities, you’ll have a better income and more credits.
How do you get paid by all these publications? Wire transfer is my method of choice, but checks should work, too. Paypal works. Talk about tax with European publications — some like to deduct at source, which means they might lop off a third of your paycheck before it even gets to you even though you’re not paying tax in that country. You can get that money back, but it’s a headache. So discuss these things beforehand so there are no nasty surprises.
5. Higher readership.
If you’re looking to sell e-books or products from your own website, bringing international readers into your fold can substantially increase your readership and your market.
And why just e-books? You might end up selling international rights to your paperbacks, Kindle versions are now available all over the world, and Friedman’s flat world is especially becoming a reality in publishing where readers have always been open to new ideas, new authors, new cultures.
By consciously making an effort to include international readers in your work, you make fans for life. And how do you find these readers? By publishing in newspapers, magazines, and websites in their countries, of course.
6. Short lead times.
You know the women’s magazine that has been sitting on your FOB for about six months and has just now slated the piece for March next year? That doesn’t usually happen with non-US publications. Lead times around the world are far, far shorter than those for US magazines, so if you’re looking to beef up your resume with a few quick clips and credits, look to publications in Asia, where the lead time is the shortest I’ve ever seen. There — I think I just answered the age-old question of “How do I get published quickly?” that every new writer seems to ask. Tell me you don’t love me.
7. Makes you an expert.
Writing for international markets is a fantastic way of becoming a specialist in a certain topic. Say you’re an IT expert. If you can say you’ve been published in IT magazines around the world (or in X number of countries), that immediately lends you credibility and boosts your perceived experience on the topic. This, in turn, brings you more opportunities for speaking, presenting, teaching, and, of course, more writing. So if you write because you’re a specialist in a certain subject (or have a book out on a specific topic), writing internationally can be the key that unlocks many potential opportunties.
How about you? Do you regularly publish outside your country? Do you have any additional tips to add to the Comments?
Mridu Khullar Relph is an award-winning freelance journalist who has written for The New York Times, Time magazine, The International Herald Tribune, Marie Claire, Ms., Elle, and hundreds of other national and international publications. Check out her tips for writers on her blog and connect with her on Twitter or Facebook. She’d love to hear from you.
Thanks to Zinio
for offering up 10 free magazine subscriptions to share with our readers! Living in an apartment and being a total magazine junkie--I used to have more than 30 magazine subscriptions--some of them weeklies! eek! not to mention all the books--does not bode well for a clean and happy home. I still have several boxes of magazines I can't bear to get rid of (since I do re-read them or use them for reference), but now that digital subscriptions exist, I'm having an easier time converting and letting the paper copies go.
Use the Rafflecopter widget at the end of my post to enter the giveaway. I'll randomly pick 10 winners. Good luck!
has 300 magazine titles available at up to 50% off already-discounted prices.
Here are some of my favorites:
Did you know? On Zinio
you can browse and purchase subscriptions or single issues instantly from your computer or mobile device to read wherever and whenever you like. The Explore section lets you read--even without a subscription--thousands of articles from your favorite magazines and share them with friends.
Thanks again to Zinio
for sponsoring this post, and for giving away some freebie subscriptions!
(If you are not in the United States I recommend going to the site first--see if you are able to view magazines and articles. Some countries have more restrictive digital copyright rules, so check to see if the service is available to you before entering the contest. You can view their Terms of Service here
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was sitting in a restaurant on Friday. On the wall was a very cool painting of fish. It had a whimsical childlike quality. The stuff I like to paint. The longer I stared at the painting, the more impressed I was by how well the artist had captured fun and playfulness in the work.
When the owner of the restaurant stopped by our table I just had to ask, "Do you know the artists that created that painting?"
The restaurant owner leaned over with a big smile on his face. "I sure do." He said. "My kid painted that along with her elementary class."
How great is that?
The painting is pictured above. I hate that the photo is so low quality but it was dark in the restaurant and the photo was taken on a cellphone.
The painting was so inspiring that I decided to pick up my brushes again this weekend. It is the inspiration for my new magazine cover series
. Here is one of the covers in the works....
Meet Chug is a new art initiative I concocted this morning while drinking coffee. I thought, what might be fun to paint on? Then I went to my studio and the only thing there were some old magazines. How fun to redesign the cover of a magazine?
I pulled out some sketches I did during a Christmas party on Friday night. You see, sometimes I go to parties and the people there talk about work. I don't know why people talk about work at parties. I bet when they go back to wrok on Monday they talk about the party. But I digress.. While they talk about work, I sketch stuff. It keeps my eyes from completely glazing over.
The magazine I found was an outdoor sportsman magazine chock full of articles about hunting and fishing and fun stuff that could be talked about at parties instead of talking about work.
The sketch is a cartoon version of a backhoe. I am fascinated with backhoes. If you are looking to get me a Christmas present a backhoe could be on your short list. The backhoes name is Chug. And now you have met.
It's probably a little cliche to paint a backhoe on a magazine that is nature related but it happened by chance.. it's the sketch I did and the magazine I found... so i'm going with it.
Above is a blurry photo of the magazine with the cover painted. There is also a book just incase the magazine doesn't pan out due to technical issues (glossy paper might peel, might curl, etc..)
They may be the same number of words, but they're not the same.
Author Evelyn Christensen provides links to submission guidelines for children's magazines.
Scrawl is a new digital magazine about comics & illustration created solely for the iPad. Scrawl was created as an independent platform for artists, which enables freedom and the opportunity to create and share their work with others. The pilot issue, which is now available as a free download, won both the best in the comics category and the first prize at the “Magnify your world” contest held by Mag+.
Also worth viewing:
Laura Cattaneo aka Halfpasttwelve
Anorak Magazine Interview
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Something strange arrived in the mail yesterday. I’m worn out from the wondering,
tuckered out from the thinking….
It’s not a rejection, because Mom didn’t put it into the shredder (to destroy the Karma). It’s not a bill, because Mom didn’t get online (and mumble) and pay it. It’s not a catalog, because she didn’t order me ( or herself) a new dress or toy.
Is it…? Could it be…? It IS! It’s an acceptance from Turtle Magazine.
They are buying one of Mom’s stories! Yay! The contract is signed and ready to go, and the letter is hanging on the bulletin board. It’s not Book #2, but it’s an acceptance, and we LOVE that! Look for Mom’s story, Waiting For Petey in the November/December issue of Turtle Magazine for Preschool Kids. That’s if you can find a copy. Mom might go mental with excitement and buy them all herself.
I wonder if Turtle Magazine tastes as delicious as the rent bill…..
Speaking of delicious things … and happy things, I’d like to thank our friends at DogDaz for giving us another Addictive Blog award, and our friend Chelsea at The Jenny Mac Book Blog for saying we’re Lovely again. Both these blogs are fun to laugh with and learn from. See more about these awards here and here.
Things always work out even-steven for me. If I lose a ball, I find another one on the field. If I accidentally eat the wing off my stuffed chicken, Mom buys me a stuffed goose.
Sometimes I fall off the chair. Other times I fall off the couch. Sometimes, I’m naughty, and sometimes I’m super-cuddly. Even-steven.
Mom was even-steven yesterday. Early in the morning, she got an acceptance for her story Too Many Pets from Stories for Children Online Magazine. She printed it out, hung it up on her bulletin board, and said, “Yay!” and “Yay!” and “No, you may NOT eat the thumb tacks.”
Then the mailman brought her an envelope from Highlights Magazine. Mom said, “I bet this is another acceptance!” and “We’re on a roll!” and “Yay!” Then she opened it (insert dramatic music here). I was hoping she would take out the box of thumb tacks (which I’m DYING to taste), to hang it up next to the other one, but nope. No hanging, no tacks, …no yay.
Mom said, “Bummer.” and “Rejection.” and “At least she personalized it with a little note.”
Sometimes, even-steven stinks! But not for me! Later I plan on being super-cuddly….
Jillian Tamaki takes my breath away. In her words:
A 6-page visual essay for Print Magazine’s “Trash” issue. Over about four weeks in April, I surveyed lost, abandoned, and discarded items on three blocks surrounding my apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The “trash” ranged from the mundane to the bizarre to the seemingly-poetic.
Click through to see the full post, which is beautifully drawn, beautifully painted, and beautifully paced. *sigh*
A call is out from APPLESEEDS magazine for ghost stories written by kids. Below are the details for submitting your own spooky story. One of my first published short stories was a ghost story written for a local newspaper contest. What fun it was to see my words in the newspaper for everyone to read.
So here is your chance. Scare the socks off some eager readers with your spook-tacular story!
BOO! AppleSeeds is looking for ghost stories from its readers! The October issue is all about ghosts and other spooky things, and readers probably have some great ideas for a story of their own. Have your child send us their ghost story (along with illustrations to go with it) by Nov. 15, 2011. Handwritten stories are okay, but make sure that we can read them. The winner will receive a copy of Robert San Souci's Dare to Be Scared. Send them to AppleSeeds Ghost Stories Contest, 30 Grove St., Peterborough, NH 03458.
Just received copies of the December HIGHLIGHTS with my story "Why Bears Sleep All Winter: A Tale from Lapland."
No, I have no ancestral family stories from Lapland. I found this charming story in a tattered second hand volume of Scandinavian folktales published decades ago. The moral of my discovery (ditto the folktale) is to do good works. I was volunteering at a church book sale when I pulled the volume from a dusty donation box.
I've always loved the how or why (pourquoi) stories. One of my favorites is the old African-American one called "Why Dogs Hate Cats." The story begins with dog and cat best of friends until the day they go to town and buy a big ham. On the hot, dusty road going home, they take turns carrying their prize dinner. When dog carries the ham, he always chants, "Our ham, our ham," but when cat carries the ham he always chants, "My ham, my ham." Well, you can see it coming - not far from home cat climbs a tree with the ham and eats it all. Dog declares, "I can't get you now, but when you come down out of that tree, I'm going to chase you 'til you drop."
What's your favorite folktale?
Last week, I took a trip down memory lane when I attended the annual convention of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) in Washington, D.C. It was my first NCSS conference since 1977, when I was a recent college graduate doing research for an American history textbook that Scholastic was planning to publish. The book was written and field tested, but never saw the light of day, due to the company’s change of heart about entering the basal social studies market. I soon moved on to Scholastic Newstime, a newsmagazine for sixth graders, and eventually, to the company’s math and science publications.
My excitement at being surrounded by social studies teachers again after going to a few dozen math and science teacher conferences was tempered by the news I received on Saturday that a former Scholastic colleague had passed away. Eric Oatman was the editor of Search magazine in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and he was the first person to pay me to write about American history. Besides hiring me as the freelance writer of the teaching guides and reproducibles that accompanied the magazines, Eric also assigned me the articles and history plays that nudged me toward my current career as an author focusing on history. I wrote articles about men who hauled freight across the Old West; an oral history project with World War II Rosie the Riveters; the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919; and the spirit of exploration in America. My classroom plays dramatized the exploits of a former slave who spied for the Americans during the Revolutionary War; the kidnapping of Daniel Boone’s daughter in 1776; and a family’s westward journey during the Gold Rush.
Writing for Search allowed me to indulge my endless curiosity about the people who were left out of the American history textbooks I read when I was growing up. It also gave me the chance to earn a little extra money as I established my independence. (I still have the reclining chair, lovingly called my “Search chair,” that I bought with my first $300 check.) Eric was a wise and enthusiastic editor, offering a guiding hand but letting me go where the stories took me. I also appreciated that he was not without a sense of irony. In 1983, when Search and Senior Scholastic were folded into a new publication, Scholastic Update, Eric assigned me to write the magazine’s last play. It followed Amelia Earhart’s preparations before she set out on the 1937 flight from which she never returned.
February is right around the corner and that means Valentine's Day! More importantly, that means CANDY!
Fittingly, the February issue of Odyssey magazine is all about Candy!
Be sure to check out my article "Making New Candy Concoctions"
. Ric McKown, an old friend and author of The Candy Bar Cookbook: Baking with America's Favorite Candy
(Longstreet Press, 2000), graciously helped me with some of the candy science. (See, old friends do come in handy.)
To complement my article, Odyssey has a Candy Concoction Contest
. Entries must be postmarked by March 30, 2012, so check it out.
And, four pages after my article, check out a piece by fellow INK member, Karen Romano Young
. Her Humanimal Doodle is titled "Honey Doodle"
Librarians, teachers, and parents, looking for other books about Candy and Sweets for February? In May 2011, I wrote Sweet! Interesting Nonfiction for Kids
with a list of book suggestions.
Here are a few more suggestions that may inspire some candy concoctions:Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches' Knuckles, and Much More!
by Sharon Bowers
Storey Publishing July 2009Raw Chocolate
by Matthew Kenney and Meredith Baird
Gibbs Smith February 2012 Twist It Up: More Than 60 Delicious Recipes from an Inspiring Young Chef
by Jack Witherspoon, Sheri Giblin, Lisa Witherspoon
Chronicle Books November 2011
Happy Valentine's Day to All!
Blog: YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association
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Can we finally put the argument to rest? E-readers are not killing reading, nor are they killing books. As research shows, people who own e-readers not only read more than people who don’t, but they read both e-books and print books. Not to mention, there are plenty of populations, from prison inmates to seniors, who will need print books for a long time coming. Neither one is going away.
That’s not to say that they’re the same, though. Far from it. In my experience, e-readers attract different types of readers than print books, and they’re also engaging more people who were previously non-readers. Anybody who thinks that’s not great, well… There are also scads of e-reading apps available for phones, tablets, and computers, so e-content is available to more than just people with Nooks and Kindles. People use e-readers for a variety of reasons, from pleasure reading to research, so it’s good to consider how many bases you can cover. The Pew Research Center released a report on reading, readers, and e-readers recently, and ALA of course responded. While Pew’s data is encouraging (among other statistics released, the study found that people who use e-readers read more books per year than people who only read in print), ALA pointed out that the stats of who reads at all, and who reads in what format, are also related to education and income level. So what can you do about it?
First, take a look at your e-book collection and see what types of materials are most widely represented. In my anecdotal experience, I’ve found that bestselling memoirs and adult fiction are easy to find in e-book format, as well as genre fiction like westerns and romance. Pew’s study also indicated that people are drawn to print and e-books for different reasons, based on the types of materials they can find. This is your chance to offer innovative e-materials, as well as to fill some gaps that your print collection just can’t do. If your library offers Kindles or other devices for checkout, and not just the e-materials, see if you can designate one of them as the YA e-reader, and fill it up with some teen-friendly stuff that will attract readers and non-readers alike. If you don’t have library-owned devices, you can always offer these suggestions on a flyer for your patrons who own personal devices.
Download literary and other magazines that are published for online audiences, in PDF format. For me, this is why I bought my Kindle in the first place–my grad school reading heavily leans toward the downloaded journal articles, and I didn’t want to clutter my hard drive or break my eyeballs reading it all on my computer. You might try things like Sucker Literary Magazine, a new magazine of YA fiction available on PDF and Kindle form, the Fairy Tale Review, which publishes fiction and poetry based on or inspired by fairy tales (their first issue is free and in PDF form, and the rest can be bought on an issue-by-issue basis), or Anthology, a collection of writing from a longstanding literary magazine by and for teens, Cicada
Load your e-reader with some free or inexpensive word and logic games. Both Nook and Kindle have a variety available. For a cost, both major retailers, as well as educational software companies, offer specialized dictionaries and other apps for academic subjects, too.
Have a strong immigrant, refugee, or bilingual population in your library? E-readers offer you the chance to bulk up your collection in other languages for a lower price than many print books. Amazon’s Kindle store has a huge selection of Spanish-language e-books (though it will transfer you to its Spanish version of the website, so make sure you can read it
Here are some fun characters by a mysterious "Greenwald R." They're from Pageant Magazine, a smaller, "digest" size magazine for the "gentleman." Bordering on the cheesecake from time to time, the magazine actually has an interesting connection to Mad Magazine. Well, I wish I knew more about "Greenwald R." I've seen similar work done by this artist, but never have been able to find anything more about him/her.
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By Daisha Cassel
Imagine a “niche writer,” and you might think of someone who is limited. Boxed in. Pigeonholed.
Or maybe you actually envy niche writers because they obviously have years of deep experience in a particular field which they can now apply to their writing. And you don’t.
I haven’t been writing for decades, nor do I have any spectacular educational or career experience in the topic I write about most. I write for a variety of publications, from national and local mags to those entertaining booklets that grocery stores hand out before the holidays. Most importantly, I am able to make more money—and write for a much wider variety of clients—now that I have developed a niche.
Connect the Dots
Sometimes your niche is something you never would have thought about developing. This was certainly the case for me. When I started writing, I had a dream… I had an awesome dream. Lionel Richie would narrate my life through song while I wrote for the big glossies. Focus area? I didn’t need that! I could write about anything!
It went well at first. And then, I got frustrated. Each new piece required research into an area I was completely unfamiliar with. It was interesting and educational, but it was time consuming. When I broke down my hourly rate for these pieces, it wasn’t looking good.
I had written for a national food and lifestyle title when I learned about a new in-store magazine that was being developed for a big grocery store chain. I contacted the editor, flaunting my food mag experience. She immediately assigned me an article. A job had never come so easily.
Shortly after that, I was in another grocery store when I noticed this store had a much larger, very professional looking food-based booklet. I called up the publisher, introduced myself as a food writer, and stated my credentials. By the next week, I had two assignments for the publisher worth a total of $4,000. I had never had an assignment that paid so well.
Wanna know a secret? The articles I had written for the big food magazine—the one I name-dropped to get my other food assignments—weren’t even about food.
But I was familiar with the world of food writing and publication, and I connected the dots… and if you have even a few clips, you can do the same. Maybe you’ve done a round-up of hot new lunch box ideas, a review of a children’s book, and a article for the local newspaper about new policies at the elementary school. Who would be interested in all of these articles? Parents. Why not say you specialize in topics of interest to parents?
Once you’ve narrowed down your niche, it’s time to niche down your pitches.
Go long! Go wide! Go…less obvious!
Linda tells me many of her Renegade Writer students would love to write about a topic close to their hearts. This is a fantastic—having a topic you are truly passionate about is a great start to building a niche. Yet the problem is that many of these would-be niche writers think about markets where they would be preaching to the choir.
Having a niche sometimes means being an ambassador for your special topic. Give some thought to whether your piece would drive the average reader of that publication to action. Let’s say you love dogs, and want to tell the world how great they are. Do you think the readers of Dog Fancy magazine will change their thinking when they read a point-by-point analysis on why dogs are terrific pets? No. Those readers already love dogs, and except for a rare few have already acted on dog ownership.