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Viewing: Blog Posts from the Illustrator category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26,701 - 26,725 of 156,713
26701. “Epic” Artist of the Day: Tom LaBaff

Tom LaBaff

Continuing our week of looking at some of the artists behind Blue Skey’s Epic, we focus on storyboard artist Tom LaBaff.

Tom LaBaff

Tom LaBaff

“Print illustration is one of Tom’s passions,” according to the bio on his website. Tom creates editorial and book illustration work in addition to working on animated features.

Tom LaBaff

Tom extends the energetic, rough line often used during the animation process to his illustration work. He works with ink and watercolor washes and sometimes with a digital/analog hybrid technique demonstrated in this time-lapse video:

Tom also has a blog here where you can see large versions of his illustrations.

Tom LaBaff

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26702. Animal Sketches from a trip to Cabelas


Last night I went to Cabelas with some of my critique group friends, and drew animals! It was lots of fun. I wish we had more time to draw even more animals. I guess I'll have to go back soon!

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26703. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Tickets on sale now

 

Hi Folks,

I ask a little indulgence today as I promote the forthcoming festival in the lovely town of Kendal, in Cumbria later in the year, at which I am one of the official attendees.

The tickets have gone on sale and more information can be found by following the link below:

Ticket Bookings

Please check back here next month when I’ll be able to share some more information with you that the organisers are presently keeping TOP SECRET.


I love teasers…

Next up, Another Malta Workshop Blog and then honestly – definitely some more NEW artwork from Worlds End – Volume 2 – A Hard Reign’s Gonna Fall.

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…
May 22nd 2013

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26704. Oliver review

The School Library Journal has nice things to say about my next book, Oliver and His Alligator. Here are some highlights:


As the first day of school approaches, Oliver, a timid boy dressed in an oversize woolly sweater, isn’t feeling very brave. He takes an alligator to school with him “in case things get rough.”  ... The gentle pastel illustrations are infused with appealing school-related details and add humor to the story. ... Young readers who are about to begin school will identify with the hero of this quirky story.

5 Comments on Oliver review, last added: 5/24/2013
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26705. It's Bath Time- Highlights Hello




I received these tiny books! They are the smallest format I have ever illustrated and so darn cute! Pages are really sturdy and since they are so small these books will fit wonderfully in toddlers' hands.

This is my favorite spread. I thought at brushing time, bunny should be brushing ducky too. :o)




Sometimes with board books there is not so much room to tell a parallel story with the illustrations as there is with Picture Books for example. Board books are very straight forward, usually with a few simple and easy to read images that little ones can really recognize. But I find there is always a way to make things interesting for little ones reading the book. I decided to give baby bunny a favorite toy, rubber ducky. So kids can look for ducky on every page, find him and look forward to the next page where they will look for him again.




Another great thing about illustrating books is that sometimes the power of an image can make the text change. For example, on this page, the text initially was "dry everywhere".

I decided instead of have dad dry bunny with a towel like on the left, it would be fun to have bunny shaking his little tail. I mean, what a better way to dry all over and fast right? Hehe.. Plus I just knew kids would really like that page. Luckily Highlights agreed with me, they really loved that illustration and decided to work the text around it.

So, never doubt sending your initial ideas of how you think a book should go. Send them your best possible interpretation of the book. These are sketches and they will go through a lot of eyes in the publishing house and a lot of revisions. People can't really guess what you have in mind. The best way to tell them is to show them your vision.




There is something so especial about creating books for babies. It's a book in it's simplest form. The thought of catching babies' attention and just thinking of baby snuggling with mom/dad looking with wonder at the book... It's a privilege to do this.

It's Bath Time is a delightful little book part of a set of books published by Highlights and goes along beautifully with their new magazine Highlights Hello. :o)


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26706.

why??

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26707.

falling down

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26708. New Wordsworth and the Dragon Illustrations!

Chapter 5:Dash just had his hand bitten...

Scotti Cohn and I are finally getting ready to bring Wordsworth and the Dragon to the printer.

We are going to Indiegogo to raise funds for our book. So, if you have been interested in getting a copy when it is finished, place your order here.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wordsworth-and-the-dragon/x/3207555

It has been great fun working with Scotti on this. I love getting to do some ink drawings; it seems like they are rarely done anymore.

Anyway, we would LOVE your support and spread the word!

Chapter 4


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26709. I.F. liquid

If this image doesn't bring liquid to your eye, then you may not have a soul. And you should probably go to the soul store and get an XL.



created for Illustration friday's word of the week"liquid."

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26710. Interview with Debut Author Tori Corn

toricropped290I met Tori years ago at one of the first events I put on as Regional Advisor of the New Jersey Chapter of the SCBWI. I got to see the effort that Tori put into her books and making sure her work was seen by editors and agents.  She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency and was one of their first clients.

Tori’s interest in children’s books began when her daughter was born. She fell in love with picture books after spending countless hours at the library reading to her daughter. By the time her sons were born, she was inspired to write her own stories and quickly became hooked on writing. She also studied picture book illustration at the School of Visual Arts. Tori joined New Jersey SCBWI and attended writing conferences where she learned the ins and outs of the publishing industry.  Writing and illustrating children’s books became an unexpected, exciting second career for her. She has expanded her writing for children of all ages and is currently working on a historical fiction novel.

PenelopeHer debut picture book, What Will It Be, Penelope? hits the book shelves on June 4th.

You can meet Tori Corn (author)and Dannielle Ceccolini (illustrator) at The Corner Bookstore tonight to celebrate the publication of What Will It Be, Penelope?

Wednesday, May 22nd – 6:00 p.m.

RSVP: (212) 831-3554 or cornerbook@aol.com

Here are a few questions I asked Tori that I thought you might be interested in reading:

Can you tell us about your journey with What Will It Be, Penelope?

Watching children try and decide what flavor ice cream they wanted is what inspired me to write the story. Sometimes my youngest son would hold up the line at the Mr. Softee ice cream truck! Of course there’s a bit of me in the story. I’ve been known to take forever to decide something silly like which soap to buy at Target! Penelope was the first picture book I wrote that wasn’t written in rhyme. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many versions there are!

How long ago did you write What’s Will It Be, Penelope?

It’s hard to say. I wrote the first version about seven years ago but I put it aside and didn’t look at it for years. It was way too long, around 850 words, which is a common mistake for picture book writers who are just learning their craft.  It took me a while to figure out how to tell a story in only 500 to 600 words.

Did you do revisions? 

Did I do revisions? All I did was revisions! And once I sold the manuscript, I still had to do more revisions!

What did it feel like to sign that first contract? 

It was a really special day for me, especially since I’d been envisioning the moment for such a long time.

Can you tell us a little bit about Sky Pony Press? 

Sky Pony is a wonderful publisher.(I’m not biased.) Launched in fall of 2011, it’s the children’s book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. Their list includes picture books, middle grade, young adult, educational books and reissues of some well-loved classics. Since their first list in Fall 2011, Sky Pony now has over 100 books in print. I feel so blessed to have Penelope on that list. Next year, I’ll have another picture book called Dixie Wants an Allergy on the list too. What I love about Sky Pony is that they make decisions quickly and are capable of producing their books in record time. I signed my contract in Jan 2012 and I was holding a copy of my book in my hands in May 2013! Amazing.

Did you have any input into choosing the illustrator?

No I didn’t, but I’m glad that Sky Pony chose Danielle Ceccolini to do the illustrations for What Will It Be Penelope?  In general, the publisher chooses the illustrator, not the author.

Do you ever think you will try your hand in illustrating one of your books? 

Yes! I was an art major at SyracuseUniversity. I love to draw and paint!  As a matter of fact, I illustrated the cover for my website. You can probably tell by looking at it that I was a textile designer because of the textures and the prints on my character’s clothing.

I took picture book illustration classes at The School of visual Arts and began working on a book dummy for my picture book called Sometimes I Wake in the Middle of the Night. Hopefully I’ll finish illustrating it someday. And you never know, maybe I’ll write and illustrate a story about the mice on my website! www.toricorn.com

Do you have any other books on the horizon?

I’ve written eight picture books and I’m currently working on a historical fiction novel.

What types of things have you done to help get prepared for your book launch? 

Well, for one thing, I had a website developed.  I’ve also purchased some cute Penelope giveaways to give to kids after I’ve read my book during school visits. I’m hoping the children will go home and ask their parents to buy my book and these items will help them remember the name of my book!

Do you have any words of wisdom to share that would help unpublished writers? 

The most important advice I can give writers is to be thoughtful when deciding who to send their manuscripts to. This cuts down on the amount of (and type of ) reject letters you get. For instance, I only sent my manuscripts to editors and agents that I met at SCBWI conferences and I didn’t send them to everyone, only those whom I felt were seriously interested in my stories. That way, I only received encouraging reject letters! Most of them had excellent editorial comments so instead of feeling bad, I actually felt  inspired to work harder to improve my manuscript.

My second piece of advice is for writers to envision their books getting published. That’s really important. Someone once told me to “Stay on the road and keep looking forward” which is what I did. I think it’s also important to join a writing group so you can have your manuscripts critiqued often and learn what other authors are doing right and wrong.   And remember, if a few people are saying the same thing, you should listen. That said, always stay true to yourself.

Thank you Tori for sharing your experience with us. Best of luck with the book. Stop by www.toricorn.com to see Tori’s new website.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, Book Tour, inspiration, Interview, Picture Book Tagged: Danielle Ceccolini, Liza Royce Literary Agency, Tori Corn, What Will It Be Penelope?

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26711. Sneak Peek: Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe” by Rebecca Sugar

Cartoon Network has released a seven-and-a-half-minute preview episode of theibr upcoming series Steven Universe. The show was created by Adventure Time artist (and Singles director) Rebecca Sugar. Notably, she is Cartoon Network’s first-ever solo woman series creator.

See more Cartoon Brew coverage about Rebecca Sugar.

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26712. Illustration Friday - Fluid



6 Comments on Illustration Friday - Fluid, last added: 5/24/2013
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26713. Fairy Tale Friends of Willoughby...

Violet Wings - fairy friend

Rose Wings - fairy friend

Dairy Wings - fairy friend

 Onslo T. Quagmire- Chef extraodinair in Ogreois Cusine  

Having Elderberry Tea at the Laughing Tree

Willoughby meets the fairy fae

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26714. THE NEXT BIG THING: A global blog tour

A couple of weeks ago author/illustrator, Joyce Wan, tagged me to join in "The Next Big Thing", a blog tour about children's books that started in Australia and has spread around the world.  (You can see Joyce's post here). Thanks, Joyce!!

I'll be answering questions about my two up-coming books.  Here goes!!...

1.  What is the working title of your next book?

Cupcakes Cousins by Kate Hannigan and Baby Love by Angela DiTerlizzi.

2.  Where did the idea come from for the book?

The ideas came from Kate and Angela, authors extraordinaire!

3.  What genre does your book fall under?

Cupcake Cousins is an illustrated middle grade book.  Baby Love is a picture book.

4.  What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The two main characters in Cupcake Cousins are Willow and Delia.  For Willow I think I'd choose a 10 year old Megan Follows, from Anne of Green Gables fame.  For Delia I think Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games, would be a good fit.


For Baby Love I'd choose my cousin, Laura and her very cute baby, Harper!

 5.  Who is publishing your book?

Cupcake Cousins is being published by Disney/Hyperion and Baby Love will be published by Beach Lane Books (an imprint of Simon and Schuster).

6.  How long did it take you to illustrate the book?

Well, I'm still working on both books, but it looks like each book will take about nine or ten months.

7.  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hm... I can't think of a book that I've read that reminds me of Cupcake Cousins.  Maybe Kate can field that one (you can see a link to her blog below).

Baby Love reminds me a little of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox.

8.  Who or what inspired you in illustrating this book?

For Cupcake Cousins I was very inspired by Kate's writing.  Her descriptions really brought the characters to life and I've loved exploring the world that Kate has created.  The two main characters love to bake and so do I, so that helped, too.

For Baby Love, Angela's text is really lovely and simple and left a lot of room for me to explore.  I asked both Angela and my cousin, Laura, to send me pictures of their babies, which has been really helpful since I don't have a baby of my own.  One of the most inspiring things has been to hang out with my friend Bethany and her darling baby and to see how they interact together.

9.  What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Cupcake Cousins is such a warm, heart-felt, summertime story.  And there are recipes!!

Baby Love will make a wonderful gift for new parents (or anyone who likes babies!) and is a very sweet story.  It will be perfect to read to little ones at bedtime or anytime they need a little extra love.


And now it's my turn to do the tagging...

The fabulous Kate Hannigan will be talking about Cupcake Cousins.  Hooray, Kate!



And my friend, critique partner, and amazing author/illustrator, Tina Kugler, will be talking about her new picture book, In Mary's Garden, which she is creating with her husband, Carson Kugler.



Thank you again to Joyce Wan for inviting me to be a part of "The Next Big Thing".  Please be sure to visit Joyce's blog

Thanks for reading and happy Tuesday!

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26715. Some Recent Things






Here are some recent sketches. I'm working on finding a more defined style so my portfolio is consistent. Thinking of exploring the story of Annabell & Huckleberry more...

Also, below are a few of the very talented people I've been art stalking recently. They are incredibly inspiring. And the resources Chris Oatley offers are like nothing I've ever seen before. He has a ton of free information/Photoshop brushes/inspiration/advice. Definitely worth checking out.


Take care!

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26716. From Animation School to the Real World

Last week, I flew out from Los Angeles to New York to attend the annual Dusty animation screening at the School of Visual Arts. I watched forty thesis films from this year’s graduating class—a very solid year, I might add—and witnessed many of the students experience pre-show jitters and post-show relief. It was a fun night getting to see a lot of my old classmates, friends and teachers again, but most importantly it made me reflect on my own experiences since my own thesis screening two years ago.

While graduation was a big deal, the thesis screening was really the big night for us. The films we put a year’s worth of blood, sweat and tears into were going to be shown in front of an audience on the big screen, and for most of us, that was a completely new experience. Some of us felt that our thesis films were like big flashy business cards or “HIRE ME” signs, so if there were any industry people in the audience that night, it just might be the ticket to having a job lined up after graduation.

A few days later at the Dusty Awards ceremony, my film ended up winning the Outstanding Traditional Animation award (tied with my friend Zach Bellissimo’s Blenderstein, which was featured here on Cartoon Brew), so in a way I felt validated that I was a decent enough animator to go out and make a living after I left school.

There were times that I felt my future was uncertain, and that having a career in this field might not work out for me.

But after college, the excitement of working as a professional animator gradually began to fade. I went through many ups and downs (mostly downs). I had long periods of busy work, and even longer periods of unemployment. And some of the jobs I had, while keeping me busy, barely supported me. There were times that I felt my future was uncertain, and that having a career in this field might not work out for me. I became disenchanted with the medium, felt emasculated by my peers and started falling into a depression. And seeing a lot of my friends and classmates in equally dire straights filled me with even more trepidation about my career path.

After dealing with this for over a year, I finally made a very big decision to pull up stakes, leave New York and move to LA. It was risky because I didn’t have a job lined up for me when I came out here. Luckily I had friends who found a place for me to live and I got a job in the industry almost immediately upon arrival. Even though I’ve been in LA for only three months, I consider it the best decision I’ve ever made. I feel like I’m in an environment where creativity and appreciation for the craft is never-ending, and I’m the happiest I’ve been since I graduated two years ago.

Be hopeful, hone your craft, push yourself out there, and eventually you will find your place.

And being back at the SVA Theatre watching these incredibly talented young animators go through the same reactions and emotions filled me with both excitement and concern. These students, as well as the hundreds upon hundreds of other graduates coming out of animation schools all over the country, will be put through the same paces as myself. After graduation, that safety net of college life is gone, and despite what your professors or friends tell you, nothing can really prepare you for what happens after you graduate. But the important thing that I want to express to these soon-to-be professional animators is to be hopeful, hone your craft, push yourself out there, and eventually you will find your place.

Don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING disenchant you. Everybody goes through these motions at one time or another after leaving school. Some of you might have jobs lined up right after school, and some of you might have to wait a little longer. It’s a very scary thing to go through, but it’s all part of the experience. You appreciate things more when you experience the bad alongside the good. It’s something you learn from, and carry with you for the rest of your life. Never wait for opportunities to come along, but instead seek them out. It’s different for everyone. I had to move from one coast to the other to find what I wanted, and I’m glad I did. Keep doing personal work, develop your skills up and surround yourself with people who love and support you and what you do. If you do that, everything will be okay.

With that, I want to congratulate and wish the best of luck to all the recent and soon-to-be graduating animation students. Don’t let employment statistics fool you. The world is chock full of opportunities waiting for you to snatch up. So go out there and keep this industry alive and thriving!

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26717. New Paintings

Self portrait with Rage Cage Hulk, 2013. Oil on paper.
 
Tonto, 2013. Oil on paper.




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26718. more fake words


Bitterary Agent: Your literary agent who does not phone you frequently to gush about your genius.

Rehersal of Fortune: Secretly writing your Caldecott acceptance speech. Boy Scouts say to be prepared.

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26719. The Many Definitions of Plot

PlottingAwhile ago I did an 8-part series on Plot to help me understand the differences between the terms: plot, story, and structure. (I’ve since revised some of my thoughts from that series when I did my grad lecture on story structure. More on that coming soon). But what I seem to find interesting is that no one seems to be able to agree on what plot is.

Sure, everyone sort of knows what plot is on a gut level, (and there’s plenty of overlap when writers discuss it), but there isn’t a concrete single definition. I think this is fascinating (and confusing), and oddly empowering. It means each of us gets to create our own personal definition of plot. We get to pick a definition that works for us!

I’ve begun to collect definitions of plot and I’ve shared my list below. Take a look through them and see if any resonate with you. Or maybe you’ll find you disagree with some (I sure do!). Perhaps some will confuse you, while others might help you consider plot in a whole new way! I’d love to know what you think.

As writers, we create our own philosophies about how we each define good writing and how the craft should be approached.  Coming up with our own personal definition of plot is an interesting part of that journey. I’ve never found two writers who articulate it exactly the same way.

Here’s what some of my craft books, friends, and teachers have to say about plot:

“Plot is how the events in a story directly impact the main character.”  - Martha Alderson 

Story is: “The king died and then the queen died.” Plot is: “The king died and then the queen died of grief.” - E.M. Forster

“Story is what happens; plot is the structure of what happens.”  - Cheryl Klein

“Plot is merely the mechanism by which your character is forced up against her deepest fears and desires.”  - Margaret Bechard 

“Plot is nothing more than the way you organize your story.”  - Nancy Lamb

Plot is “merely one way of telling a story, by connecting the happenings tightly, usually through causal chains.”  - Ursula Le Guin

“Story [is] what your novel is about. Plot [is] what happens within your story … Structure [is] how it’s organized.”  - Sheryl Scarborough

“Plot is the arrangement of events that make up a story…  Plot is the sequence of unfolding action. In examining plot we are concerned with causality, with how one action leads into or ties in with another.” – Chea Stephenson

“Plot is a system of actions.” – Susan Fletcher

Plot is “the under-the-surface weaving of various lines of action or sets of events so that the story builds steadily … It is a combination of what happens and how those events are revealed to the audience.” - John Truby

“Plot is not just what happens in a story. Rather, plot is a pattern of cause and effect or conflicts upsetting the equilibrium of a situation.” - Ron Layne and Rick Lewis

“Plots engage our capacity to understand motives and thus the logic of action.” - Roger Seamon

How do you define plot? I’d love to hear your personal definitions, thoughts, and ideas!

writing

The above quotes come from the following sources:

Alderson, Martha. The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2011. Print.
Bechard, Margaret. Small Workshop Plot Handout. Vermont College of Fine Arts. 2012.
Chea, Stephenson. “What’s the Difference Between Plot and Structure.” Associated Content. 16 Feb. 2010. Web. 7 May 2010. 
Forster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. 1927. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985. Print.
Klein, Cheryl. “The Essentials of Plot.” CherylKlein.com. Web. Nov. 2012.
Fletcher, Susan. Structure as Genesis. Faculty Lecture. Vermont College of Fine Arts. 2012.
Lamb, Nancy. The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, 2001. Print. 
Layne, Ron and Rick Lewis. “Plot, Theme, the Narrative Arc, and Narrative Patterns.” English and Humanities Department. Sandhill Community College. 11 Sept, 2009. Web.  7 May 2010. 
Le Guin, Ursula K. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. Portland, OR: Eighth Mountain Press, 1998. Print.
Scarborough, Sheryl. “Re: Laura’s (Way Late) Lecture Thread.” MFA Student Forum. Vermont College of Fine Arts. Web. Nov. 2012.
Seamon, Roger. “The Price of Plot in Aristotle’s Poetics.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 64:2, Spring 2006. Ebsco Host. Web. 10 May 2011.
Truby, John. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller. 2007. New York: Faber and Faber, 2008. Print.

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26720. Distance Running: A world far crazier (better) than anything past the looking glass

Running is a crazy, paradoxical, numerical-obsessedo, backwards world.

Just when you don’t think you can run another step, you push through five more minutes, then instantly you feel like your legs have transformed into two totally different running entities. You go on for miles.
runner profile
The first interval for a runner can sometimes feel like the worst. That’s where the nerves are, getting started.

Races are even crazier, poised at the line, in the seconds before the gun is about to CRACK you feel certain if they take any longer to fire it you’ll explode. Then, CRACK, and the whole world slips away.

“Back to those intervals…ya, suckers say the hardest is the first one…plowing through miler number three of five HAS to be more painful,” you think.

You then say, “Legs, don’t worry, this is the last interval we have to so…promise.” You say that after every one. Until you finish. Scr##w honesty.
yield for runners
Funny how a running partner that you train with feels like a war partner. You come to know them so well, read their breathing and stride as well as your own. You become intrinsically linked in the shared quest for your best.

Easy days can feel like the epitome of hypocrisy sometimes.

Out of nowhere getting blessed with one of THOSE days is a special kind of euphoria a runner never forgets.

The good days, the slog runs, the meh ones, the mentally tough workouts you’re proud of, the long runs that you wish never end…all of it. It’s crazy stuff. But it’s runner crazy and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

1) Just before you start a race, what makes you feel confident on the line?

2) Best lie you’ve told yourself/legs to get through a workout?

3) One of THOSE days, how many do you think a runner gets?
best running shirts

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26721. terra


terra, originalmente cargada por elffz_jvs.

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26722. “Epic” Artist of the Day: Sang Jun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Continuing our week of looking at artists who worked on Epic, we focus on Sang Jun Lee.

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Sang Jun has designed characters and concepts for many blockbuster movie franchises including Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and Men In Black. After a stretch of working in California on these live-action films, he moved to New York to work on Blue Sky features such as Horton Hears a Who, Rio, and most recently, Epic.

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Sang Jun’s website has a generous amount of drawings and digital paintings to explore. He also keeps a blog here.

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

Sangjun Lee

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26723. A BIG GUY TOOK MY BALL! publishes today!

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.Gerald and Piggie are best friends.In A Big Guy Took My Ball! Piggie is devastated when a big guy takes her ball! Gerald is big, too...but is he big enough to help his best friend? Available your favorite local book store or library today! I hope you enjoy the BIG surprise!

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26724. The Many Definitions of Plot

PlottingAwhile ago I did an 8-part series on Plot to help me understand the differences between the terms: plot, story, and structure. (I’ve since revised some of my thoughts from that series when I did my grad lecture on story structure. More on that coming soon). But what I seem to find interesting is that no one seems to be able to agree on what plot is.

Sure, everyone sort of knows what plot is on a gut level, (and there’s plenty of overlap when writers discuss it), but there isn’t a concrete single definition. I think this is fascinating (and confusing), and oddly empowering. It means each of us gets to create our own personal definition of plot. We get to pick a definition that works for us!

I’ve begun to collect definitions of plot and I’ve shared my list below. Take a look through them and see if any resonate with you. Or maybe you’ll find you disagree with some (I sure do!). Perhaps some will confuse you, while others might help you consider plot in a whole new way! I’d love to know what you think.

As writers, we create our own philosophies about how we each define good writing and how the craft should be approached.  Coming up with our own personal definition of plot is an interesting part of that journey. I’ve never found two writers who articulate it exactly the same way.

Here’s what some of my craft books, friends, and teachers have to say about plot:

“Plot is how the events in a story directly impact the main character.”  - Martha Alderson 

Story is: “The king died and then the queen died.” Plot is: “The king died and then the queen died of grief.” - E.M. Forster

“Story is what happens; plot is the structure of what happens.”  - Cheryl Klein

“Plot is merely the mechanism by which your character is forced up against her deepest fears and desires.”  - Margaret Bechard 

“Plot is nothing more than the way you organize your story.”  - Nancy Lamb

Plot is “merely one way of telling a story, by connecting the happenings tightly, usually through causal chains.”  - Ursula Le Guin

“Story [is] what your novel is about. Plot [is] what happens within your story … Structure [is] how it’s organized.”  - Sheryl Scarborough

“Plot is the arrangement of events that make up a story…  Plot is the sequence of unfolding action. In examining plot we are concerned with causality, with how one action leads into or ties in with another.” – Chea Stephenson

“Plot is a system of actions.” – Susan Fletcher

Plot is “the under-the-surface weaving of various lines of action or sets of events so that the story builds steadily … It is a combination of what happens and how those events are revealed to the audience.” - John Truby

“Plot is not just what happens in a story. Rather, plot is a pattern of cause and effect or conflicts upsetting the equilibrium of a situation.” - Ron Layne and Rick Lewis

“Plots engage our capacity to understand motives and thus the logic of action.” - Roger Seamon

How do you define plot? I’d love to hear your personal definitions, thoughts, and ideas!

writing

The above quotes come from the following sources:

Alderson, Martha. The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2011. Print.
Bechard, Margaret. Small Workshop Plot Handout. Vermont College of Fine Arts. 2012.
Chea, Stephenson. “What’s the Difference Between Plot and Structure.” Associated Content. 16 Feb. 2010. Web. 7 May 2010. 
Forster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. 1927. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985. Print.
Klein, Cheryl. “The Essentials of Plot.” CherylKlein.com. Web. Nov. 2012.
Fletcher, Susan. Structure as Genesis. Faculty Lecture. Vermont College of Fine Arts. 2012.
Lamb, Nancy. The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, 2001. Print. 
Layne, Ron and Rick Lewis. “Plot, Theme, the Narrative Arc, and Narrative Patterns.” English and Humanities Department. Sandhill Community College. 11 Sept, 2009. Web.  7 May 2010. 
Le Guin, Ursula K. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. Portland, OR: Eighth Mountain Press, 1998. Print.
Scarborough, Sheryl. “Re: Laura’s (Way Late) Lecture Thread.” MFA Student Forum. Vermont College of Fine Arts. Web. Nov. 2012.
Seamon, Roger. “The Price of Plot in Aristotle’s Poetics.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 64:2, Spring 2006. Ebsco Host. Web. 10 May 2011.
Truby, John. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller. 2007. New York: Faber and Faber, 2008. Print.

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26725. Hopscotch Sample


I have enjoyed doing a few books for Dover Publishing. I once proposed an activity book teaching outdoor kid's games like hopscotch, leap frog, kick the can. Ultimately, they asked me to do a yoga book instead. Here is one of the samples I created and now colored to add to my portfolio...

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