Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bea Rocks the Flock, Sponsored by Brooks Brothers

Imagine my surprise in passing a Brooks Brothers store this weekend and realizing that this is their logo:

My friend Carina is aptly acting out my disbelief at its striking similarity to this:

!!! If any of you have read Roger Sutton's blog post about branding and are worried about my artistic integrity, fear not: No money has passed between Brooks Brothers and myself. Bea is NOT FOR SALE, do you hear me?

But seriously, Brooks Brothers-- if you're interested, let's talk.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Down and Derby

I've mentioned before my love of Roller Derby, my desire to one day be a Rollergirl, and my interest in finding myself a kickin' roller derby name in the meantime. And not just ANY kickin' roller derby name—one that has to do with children's literature, and yet is still tough as nails. Well, my fascination was renewed at a Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout on Saturday night, where not one, but TWO members of the Bronx Gridlock had kidlit-inspired names. I can't believe I never thought of these:

Beatrix Slaughter


Lemony Kickit

And referee, Professor Rumbledore.

Pretty awesome. There was also Dainty Inferno, for plain ol' literature appeal.

So to sum up, here are the names I've come up with so far:

#1: J.K. Brawling (the most popular choice, according to my research, but I'm still not 100% sold)

#2: Mo Pain Willems

#3: Margaret Wiseacre Brown

#4: Sally St. Payne

#5: Violet Rockingham (these last 2 were actually suggested by illustrator Christina Rodriguez, and I'm still not exactly sure who they reference! I gots to do some kidlit research).

If you have any suggestions, please let me know!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Spot the differences!

Below are two versions of the same spread in Bea Rocks the Flock. The first one I did- oh! Maybe 3 years ago, when I was just putting together the first dummy. Check out those googly eyes! Too bad I'm late arriving to this competition. Until I compared them side-by-side, I had no idea my style had changed so much!

Added bonus to "spot the difference" game: Where's Waldo? (ok, my niece and brother). I have 4 (almost) wordless & very highly populated spreads, & it's been fun to pop in people I know. Maybe I can add a Where's Waldo component to the book, with the added challenge of readers having to guess what my friends and family members look like in order to find them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Two Marathons

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am currently involved in the marathon called "finishing all of the artwork for my picture book by September". But did you know that I am also currently involved in the other kind of marathon, the 26.2 mile kind?! The NYC marathon is happening on November 2, and barring any injuries, I'll be in it. (and hopefully improving upon my 2003 Sydney marathonn performance- above. You can't really see in the picture, but I am finishing just ahead of a walking guy, and behind him is a really really old lady). At first, I thought it might be a little crazy to attempt to do both at once, but you know what? There will always be "something" preventing me from taking on new challenges, if I let them. And I only have to look to all of the authors and illustrators out there with full time jobs AND with families to take care of for inspiration. I'm sure they could teach me a thing or two about "fatigue" and "heavy workload".

So, last night was my first training group run, and I am happy that I wasn't totally left in the dust during the 5 mile run! Even though I am just home from a week's vacation in Montreal, where I did nothing but eat poutine and sugar pie (not noted in my Runner's World magazine for their health benefits).

If you've never had poutine before, I recommend booking your ticket to Montreal right now. Or, there's actually a restaurant in Brooklyn that serves a passable poutine. Bonus: Restaurant shares the name of my favorite animal!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Surprisingly Literary Weekend

Who'd a thunk that by trying to escape NYC with a weekend jaunt to Quakertown, Pennsylvania, I would stumble upon a piece of literary history? Well, evidently our hosts Nicole and Keith had thunk it, because they had told me (and I forgot) that the farm we were going to visit was once the home of Eric Knight, author of Lassie Come Home. Not only was it his home, it was actually the location where he wrote this book! AND, the real-life inspiration for Lassie (Toots) is buried here.

Otto was appropriately respectful at this shrine of doghood.

The farm was beautiful (Keith used to work here, so don't worry- we're not trespassing on private property without permission), and unbelievably quiet and peaceful.

Well, mostly peaceful...

... and it got me wishing most heartlily to be a matronly old children's book author, writing picture stories in my attic studio, tending my chickens and eating farm-fresh eggs all the live-long day.

Maybe someday...