Monday, June 30, 2008

Flock and Roll!

Devoted readers of this blog (Dad) might recall a post from back in January, in which I painted a rose-colored view of my future, with many happy months before me painting the scenes for Bea Rocks the Flock (my forthcoming picture book with Bloomsbury), with final art due June 1. Devoted readers of calendars might realize that this date has come and gone. However! I am very happy to report that Bea will still Rock the Flock, and still with a Summer 09 pub date, to boot! The new due date will be mid-September, meaning that I will be spending my summer months exactly as I would like to: in the sweltering confines of my non-airconditioned 4th-floor painting studio. I kid! Sweaty or no, this is exactly how I'd like to spend my summer.

Above is the jacket sketch I recently sent in. The interior paintings are rolling out fast and furious, and I will keep a running commentary on this blog. Without, of course, betraying the Harry Potter-like secrecy that is surrounding this book.

Back to the sweaty drawing board!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

SCBWI Poughkeepsie!

I spoke at an SCBWI conference in Poughkeepsie, NY 2 weeks ago, and as always, I came away inspired and excited to get back to work! So many talented, and friendly, people. Per my usual M.O., I brought my camera but did not take any pictures (which is fine, because they probably would have all ended up looking like this:)

Luckily, I do have some non-blurry pictures that I used in my powerpoint presentation, starting with this powerhouse of an opening slide:

Eh? Eh? Intrigued, right?!? I followed up with these titillating images of the secret inner sanctums of... THE ART DEPARTMENT.

"Glamorous" is the word I think you're looking for. The point of my talk was to give the "inside scoop" on the art department (since I have a foot in both the world of the illustrator and of the publisher). I talked about postcards and mailers,

what happens to them,

and which ones I find successful, and which ones might end up in the recycling bin. I also talked about the process of choosing an illlustrator for a project (LOTS of printouts from the internet, and LOTS of discussions involving the art director, associate art director, publisher, and 3 editors). I also talked about who one should send samples to, and how to get in (and stay in!) the art director's good graces.

The Q&A session had a lot of "Qs" about dummy book submissions, so this is something I might try to incorporate more into future talks. Anything else? Any other secrets from the inside that you illustrators are dying to know?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lastest piece

It's been a while since my last post, but I've been doing things besides sitting around and not posting! Here's a sample I finished last night-- still not sure if I'm entirely happy with it.

Another thing I've been doing is preparing my talk I'm giving this weekend at the Mid-Hudson Valley SCBWI conference this weekend! More on that TK. If anyone can tell me why "TK" stands for "To Come", I'll give you a candy bar. (All of our deals and bets as kids were sealed with a candy bar. I also remember having candy bar eating contests in the back seat of the car with my brothers, to see who could finish off their 3 Musketeers bar first. I wonder how that would fly in this post-Cookie Monster era.)