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24526. Nick Releases “Legend of Korra” Prequel Webseries “Republic City Hustle”

Nickelodeon is releasing online a three-part Legend of Korra webseries called “Republic City Hustle,” presumably to help build buzz for the second season of the TV series, which will debut next month. The webseries takes place three years before the events of Book 1 and tells the backstory of two of the show’s central figures—brothers Mako and Bolin—and how they ended up with their sidekick Pabu. The first two episodes have already debuted online and can be viewed below:

Legend of Korra: “Republic City Hustle: Part 1″

Legend of Korra: “Republic City Hustle: Part 2″

Besides the obvious redesign of the characters, things were also done differently behind the scenes. This webseries was produced out of Nickelodeon’s on-air graphics department in New York instead of the regular Los Angeles crew. The animation was created in After Effects.

SVP Brand Creative: Matthew Duntemann
Executive Producer: James Stephenson
Producer: Eric Collins
Written by: Tim Hedrick
Directors: Chris Papa and Rob Kohr
Character Design: Evon Freeman & Rachael Hunt
Storyboards: Matthew Robinson
Backgrounds: George Berger and Alexandra DiTullio
Animation: Scott Kennell, Ross Norton, Christine Chen, Alexandra Ditullio, Brett Underhill and Mike Liu
Sound: Beatstreet

(Disclosure: The co-director of this piece, Rob Kohr, provides technical support/maintenance for Cartoon Brew.)

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24527. Inspiration: Projection and paper folding

Mixing physical and digital media can produce some wonderful and unexpected results. This Ted Talk by Marco Tempest is a wonderful example. (Motion Design: Alain Renold, Pop-up Design: Peter Dahmen)

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24528. The SCBWI Summer Conference (and other things)...

On August 1st I flew to Los Angeles to attend the 42nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference.  As usual, this year's conference was a whirlwind of information, inspiration, old friends, new friends, too much coffee and not enough sleep.  And as usual, I didn't take nearly as many photos as I meant to.  But, I did manage to get a photo of Bruce Degen (creator of Jamberry and illustrator of The Magic School Bus books) and Mac Barnett (author of one of my very favorite books, Extra Yarn).  

Bruce Degen
Mac Barnett

And here are some conference highlights...

-Laurie Halse Anderson's keynote speech.  One of my favorite things that she said was "Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes". 

-Steven Malk's workshop, "How to Take Control of Your Career and Chart a Plan".  Steven talked about slowing down and making thoughtful, proactive career decisions.  He gave me a lot of think about. 

-David Wiesner's workshop on writing for illustrators left me feeling encouraged to keep chasing a story idea that I haven't quite been able to nail down.

-Dan Santat's presentation at the illustrator's intensive.  Dan talked about the importance of design in illustration, which I thought was really interesting and helpful.

-Paul Zelinsky's thoughtful critique of my book dummy.  Now I have some new ideas on how to improve my story. 

-Carson Ellis!  I really love Carson Ellis' work and it was great to hear about her process.   Also, her really cute baby was there.

-Seeing friends!  (Check out my friend, Tina Kugler's, awesome illustrations!)

Tina and I at the Black and White Ball

-And finally, one of the biggest highlights for me this year was being the recipient of a mentorship award, as well as an honor award.

The portfolio critiques that I received from the five mentors were extremely helpful and I came away with some really concrete advice on how to improve my work.  I feel very honored to be in the company of the other mentorship winners and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better!  Please take some time to check out their wonderful work...   Andy Musser, Corinna Luyken, Linda Dorn, and Roldolfo Montalvo

I also had the privilege of meeting Lisa Woods, the other honor award winner, and Maral Sassouni, the Grand Prize winner.

After the conference there was lots of hanging out with friends, which included some delicious Udon noodles with illustrators Maple Lam and Jen Betton, and a trip to Seattle with my friend and critique partner, Lisa Anchin, to visit the third member of our critique group, Jessixa Bagley (and Jessixa's very talented artist husband, Aaron Bagley).

A typical Seattle afternoon with Jessixa and Lisa

After a few days with Jessixa and Lisa, my husband met me in Seattle and we headed to the Olympic Peninsula where we did some camping, visited the Hoh rainforest (which is AMAZING!), went to beautiful Ruby Beach, and had a great time (and some great food) in Port Townsend.  (Side note... while enjoying some really good sea food in Port Townsend, we spotted Cloris Leachman a few tables away!)

It always takes a little while to settle back in after a trip, but deadlines are quickly approaching, story ideas are eager to be written down, and my studio is in serious need of a sorting out.  So now I'm off to ink and paint (the sorting out will have to wait for another day).  I hope these last days of summer are treating you well!  If you went to the conference, too, I'd love to hear about your experience!   

Ruby Beach

6 Comments on The SCBWI Summer Conference (and other things)..., last added: 9/15/2013
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24529. It's Cool To Build A School!

It's now available! Yay!

I did the cover art for this children's CD to raise money for the Moore Public School Foundation in Moore Oklahoma. The sales of this CD will help raise money for the things that the insurance doesn't cover in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that demolished the two elementary schools in Moore, Oklahoma in May, 2013.

Check it out! http://itscooltobuildaschool.com/abouttheproject.cfm

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24530. Artist of the Day: Sonnye Lim

Sonnye Lim

Sonnye “Jin” Lim is a recent graduate of the film/video/animation program at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her 2013 reel is below, along with more of her films on Vimeo.

Sonnye Lim

One of Jin’s personal projects in progress is a comic called Blondie, starring her characters Blondie and Quinn and set “in a zombie apocalyptic universe.”

Sonnye Lim

Sonnye Lim

See more of Jin’s dark drawings in pencils, ink and pixels on her Tumblr and her animation portfolio blog.

Sonnye Lim

Sonnye Lim

Sonnye Lim

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24531. Dream Big

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24532. This Week's New Art

First finished illustration for my upcoming 2014 Calendar. 
These will become stickers.
A jumping wedding illustration. So cute!

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24533. fly away with me

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24534. Abandoned

I remember working on this drawing, adding some additional touches to the garrison cap, leaving for a steakhouse with family, and never finding it in me to fit this one back into the schedule.  That was a few months ago, and Abandoned seems like a fitting title - at least for now.

Things like this happen to me a lot.  I'll work on something for awhile, get pulled away, and when I have the opportunity to pick it up again, I have an idea for something else I like better.  I may forget about it entirely.  Not much unlike my teenage self (there were triple the number of unfinished paintings to finished).

Anyway, I'm putting in a little more time to complete a few project before going away for a week.  I hope all goes well.  It's been too long!

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24535. Jeff Mack's AH HA! - Giveaway!

I get a lot of books sent to me now that I do these giveaways. It's helped me understand how a manuscript can jump out at an editor. Even among published books, some stand out more than others. Such is the case with Jeff Mack's AH HA! The text is simple, very simple, with only variations of "Ah-ha!" and "Aahh!" throughout the book. Its the images that tell you how those AH-HAs are supposed to sound. Hands down, it's simply brilliant! Jeff dropped by recently to answer some questions and shared lots of eye candy...

Q. Jeff, congratulations on another brilliant accomplishment - I adore AH HA! How did the idea come to you?
A. Thanks, Elizabeth. Here's how the idea came to me: I had been working on a story about a frog who searches for peace and quiet. Over a few years, I had tried many different plots. In one version, the frog accidentally changes the other animals into monsters with a magic trick. In another, all the animals compete for space on a single rock. Even though I liked some of the ideas, the plots felt too complicated to me. So, one by one, I took out all the extra twists until only the most important parts remained: A frog tries to relax. Each time he thinks he finds a safe spot, we see he's actually in danger. He narrowly escapes, and the cycle starts all over again.

Q. This seems like one of those concepts that comes on strong but takes forever to work out just right. Was it a struggle?
A. It was a little bit of a struggle. The two-letter concept came to me after I had figured out the plot. I had three goals for the text: It had to be useful, interesting, and fun for kids to read aloud. Since the plot is already told with pictures, I chose to have the text show what each character is thinking. That made it useful. To make it fun, I knew it had to contain lots of big emotion. And to make it interesting, I decided to see how simple it could be. I started by having the frog stake his claim to each thing he landed on: "My rock!" "My log!" "My branch!" "Oops. My mistake!" Then I wrote an even simpler version by focusing solely on how each character was feeling. When I finally got down to "Aahh!" and "Ah ha!" I found that those phrases fit each scenario perfectly. Plus, telling an entire story with just two letters was a very interesting bonus for me.

Jeff shared some early storyboards - click on them to see them larger in a new window.

Q. I found AH HA! somewhat reminiscent of Chris Raschka's YO! YES? Was that an inspiration?
A. No, I've never read Yo! Yes? I'll have to look for that. I hope it's not about a frog!

It's not! It's about two boys learning to be friends. Very groovy book too.

Q. AH HA! is so concept driven - how much of the book did you have to create to explain the idea sufficiently to your editor?
A. For AH HA!, I provided my editor, Victoria, with simple cartoon drawings of each page. We had already worked on GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS together so she knew I'd find an interesting way to change the sketches into final illustrations. Plus, she has a great imagination.

Jeff shared a work in progress...

Q. What is your medium? Can you explain how you work?
A. I create each book a little differently depending on the style of storytelling. For CINDY MOO, I used plain-old acrylic paint. For my book THE THINGS I CAN DO, I used crayons and just about anything else I could find including bubble gum, ketchup, and a shoelace. For AH HA!, I drew on paper with markers. Then I scanned them into my computer along with different types of cardboard that I'd splattered paint onto. I used those for textures. Then I colored everything using the computer. I was inspired by looking at examples of 20th-century comic books and 18th-century printmaking. But my process was more like making a collage.

Q. You've created so many beloved titles like GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS, CINDY MOO, and FROG AND FLY - and that's just your picture books! Can you describe your path to publication?
A. Every book takes a different path. Sometimes, I have a conversation with my editor about a rough idea that I eventually develop into a completely different book. That's how my CLUELESS MCGEE series developed. Other times, I carefully plan out my book dummy before I submit it, and it stays more or less the same throughout the process. Both AH AH! and GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS were like that. Each editor has a different method, and each project requires a different approach. Experimentation and serendipity are important to my craft. I have not found one tried and true path for getting all my books published. Not yet, anyway. That's one of the things that keeps my job interesting.

Q. With so many books, you must be a busy guy! How many books do you typically have in the pipeline at any given time? And (if you don't mind sharing) do you have an agent who helps keep it all running smoothly for you?
A. Typically, I juggle three projects at a time. As I write this, I'm working on final art for one picture book, the cover art for another picture book, and some revisions for a 286-page graphic novel/chapter book called CLUELESS MCGEE GETS FAMOUS. I plan out my work schedule, then try to stay focused on what's in front of me each day. My agent, Rubin Pfeffer, helps me coordinate my different project schedules with my editors. Last year, I released three picture books and a chapter book. I have three new books coming out this year and three more books planned for next year. I like to stay busy.

Indeed! This is Jeff's studio while working on CINDY MOO (with his furry assistant McGee.

Thanks so much for stopping by Jeff! It's been lovely and I wish you much continued success!

Chronicle is graciously giving away one free copy of AH HA! to one of my lucky commenters. (Must live in the continental US to win.) Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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24536. Quirky Critters: Grumpy Squirrel

These quirky critters just keep popping up and insisting on being drawn. I don't really have much choice in the matter, but as they're hugely amusing and adding even more delight to my life at the moment, I'm more than happy to oblige. One has to have a little fun now and then, right?

This grumpy little squirrel isn't about to share his acorn cupcake with anyone. Don't get closer or you might get too large a dose of nutty sweetness thrown at you.


Grumpy squirrel by floating lemons

Grumpy squirrel art by floating lemons

Grumpy squirrel sketch by floating lemons

Watercolour and black ink pen, in a Daler Rowney sketchbook.

Have a funtastic day. Cheers.


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24537. Quirky Critters: Grumpy Squirrel

These quirky critters just keep popping up and insisting on being drawn. I don't really have much choice in the matter, but as they're hugely amusing and adding even more delight to my life at the moment, I'm more than happy to oblige. One has to have a little fun now and then, right?

This grumpy little squirrel isn't about to share his acorn cupcake with anyone. Don't get closer or you might get too large a dose of nutty sweetness thrown at you.


Grumpy squirrel by floating lemons

Grumpy squirrel art by floating lemons

Grumpy squirrel sketch by floating lemons

Watercolour and black ink pen, in a Daler Rowney sketchbook.

Have a funtastic day. Cheers.


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24538. "Have a Seat!" OR "Sunshine: Party of One."

Join me tonight for 'Everybody's a Somebody,' Iam8bitgallery's tribute show to Sanrio's Little Mr/ Little Miss series of books.  See me (and this piece) LIVE!

1 Comments on "Have a Seat!" OR "Sunshine: Party of One.", last added: 9/5/2013
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24539. STORE SNAPS - habitat

I loved the retro 1970's feel of the 'freda' range of kitchenware spotted in habitat last week. designed in-house this colourful range is available on mugs, storage jars, trays and various kitchen textiles. find it in habitat or homebase now or you can see some pieces online here. I couldn't resist a snap of this colourful owl pillow as well whilst I was in habitat

2 Comments on STORE SNAPS - habitat, last added: 9/6/2013
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24540. DESIGNER - mr william draw

Mr William draw is a freelance designer based in chile, William has designed for casa  ideas, a fashionable store in chile known for its trend driven design and who have featured on print & pattern in the past. William's favourite design areas are cosmetics, stationery, and magazines and he loves 1950's style. you can see some examples of William's work when you scroll down here and see many

1 Comments on DESIGNER - mr william draw, last added: 9/11/2013
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24541. KIDS DESIGN - tiger kitty

silvia cheung is the creative force behind tiger kitty designs. silvia is an Artist/Illustrator/Designer who specializes in prints, patterns, illustrations & graphics for kids apparel, bedding, home products, paper goods and more. her clients have included babies r us and target. see more from tiger kitty here.

1 Comments on KIDS DESIGN - tiger kitty, last added: 9/6/2013
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24542. KICKSTARTER - bright stem

these stylish Christmas gift tags are part of a kickstarter campaign from bright stem. they are trying to raise funds to launch a range of mugs, wrapping paper, tags, and paper baubels. see exactly what they are planning online here at kickstarter.

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24543. Journal pages

A couple of journal pages from last week:

 I've been doing a bit of practicing with watercolours. I want to get to know the material a bit better. The portrait above is a tonal study. I am planning to try a self portrait in colour...

A little secret: in a few weeks I will tell you what's inside of that little bag that I drew on the top left page.

 ...however, time is precious. I'm occupied with 'How to Draw a Character -The Workshop' and enjoying the creative stuff the participants come up with! It's so much fun!

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24544. Maquette Making Process Video!

As promised, here's the video of how I made my maquette out of wire, aluminum foil, and Sculpey (oven bake clay)! Now I can use this maquette of my character for reference of lighting and angles. You should make one too, and tell me about it!

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24545. Newly Updated Website

So I finally got my website updated and you can check it out here.  I'm still working a bit on the format but it is loaded with lots of new work.  I also have a new blog on my site, but I'll keep posting on both of them for a while.  Now that it is up and going I have a lot of new stuff to post.

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24546. Pose Drawing Sparkbook

Hi Folks, check out Cedric Hohnstadt's Pose Drawing Sparkbook.  It's the final day so definitely check it out!

Great work Cedric!!

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24547. The Wasp Factory

Two rejects from the Wasp Factory landed on my desk today. Sketches for a possible linocut in the Four Letter Words series.
Paper53 on iPad. Click to enlarge.

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24548. I Confess

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24549. Down The Garden Path


A doodle to end the day.

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24550. Jazz and draw: BB King - I'm a Blues man

Jazz and draw: BB King - I'm a Blues man: the musician : BB King the tune : I'm a Blues man the artist : Stéphane Lauzon

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