Friday, October 26, 2012

happy mule day!...what?!...

Today is October 26th—also know as Mule Day—so in the spirit of metaphorically kicking some a**, I am pleased to share with you a sneak peek at the cover of World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of, by the wondrous J. Patrick Lewis, due out in March, but available for pre-order online

Last night was the reception for the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators, showcasing the finest in picture book art from the past year. In addition to being a great way to see some amazing illustration and catch up with my old pals in children’s publishing, it was the first time I got to meet some of the lovely people from Candlewick Press who made this project possible. Many thanks to art directors Kristen Nobles and Anne Moore, and editor Liz Bicknell. Happy Mule Day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sylvia’s Spinach - developing character

With the publication of Sylvia’s Spinach this month, I thought it might be fun to share some thoughts on the main character’s development.

When I first started sketching Sylvia, three words came to mind: spunk, attitude, and sweetness. Author Katherine Pryor created a feisty girl with serious opinions. And I didn’t want her to be too girly—she needed to be hip, to appeal to a range of kids around her age.

Clothing adds lots of solutions to convey character. At first, Sylvia’s clothes were a bit too fussy and dated. Once I decided she’d wear some Ugg-like boots throughout, things began to come together.

I also wanted to be sure the color of her clothing reflected her attitude toward spinach. At the beginning of the story, her outfits are decidedly not green. As she warms up to the vegetable, touches of green are slowly introduced into her wardrobe.

One of the last decisions I made was about her hair. I have curly hair, and perhaps that’s why I enjoy drawing it so much, but it became distracting. In the end, I went with straight hair to give Sylvia a more serious attitude.

And here she is, in all her glory. If you haven’t seen the book trailer yet, you can view it here. And if you want a copy of the book, you can buy it here. Now, go eat your vegetables!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

rolling sushi (with avocado and squash)

It’s autumn, and what better way to enjoy this season’s harvest than with a homemade batch of vegetarian sushi? Uh...yeah...

If you need a lesson in rolling, look no further than the current issue of Kiwi Magazine. Better yet, learn how with an avocado and a butternut squash leading the way.  

This was my last issue with Art Director Ridge Carpenter, who’s moving on to bigger and better things. It also marks the my three year anniversary illustrating the “Cooking with Kids” section of Kiwi

It’s been a terrific and challenging stint, and hopefully will continue, even with the changing of the guard. 

In the next issue, we’re making breadcrumbs, but to find out which of the recipe’s ingredients shows you how, you’ll have to wait a few months. 

Okay...time to get rollin’!

Monday, October 1, 2012

the official Sylvia’s Spinach book trailer!

Here she is, in all her glory! As I mentioned in my previous post, the pub date for Sylvia’s Spinach has been moved up a few weeks. In anticipation, I made a book trailer. 

Written by Katherine Pryor and published by Seattle-based Readers to Eaters, Sylvia tells the story of a picky eater who learns to try something new through the experience of her school garden. 

Despite a steep learning curve with Adobe After Effects, I had a great time making the trailer and hope it captures Sylvia’s spirit. Speaking of which, in my next post, I’ll share a little bit about the evolution of the main character.