Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Presidential Hamster

I teach illustration courses at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and recently the Continuing Ed department asked me to create an image for their catalog cover. I tried to warn them that my illustrations (and sense of humor) are both a little weird and juvenile...

... but they didn't listen. So this is the new cover for the upcoming catalog! I'm SO glad the kind folks in the CE department went along with it, because it makes me so happy. Why? I DON'T KNOW. I do know I'll be buying a fancy gold frame and we'll hang this portrait in our house.

And of course, check out the great Continuing Ed classes offered at PNCA! The next course I'll be teaching (the current semester is already underway) is an intensive class this summer. One week. Four visiting illustrators. ONE PICTURE BOOK DUMMY BY THE END OF THE WEEK! It is always a fun and inspiring four days for me. You can learn more about the class here!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Read new books

... but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold! Anyone else remember that song about friends? Anyone? Anyone? I always wondered which one was silver and which one was gold, and what that meant for ranking purposes.

Anyway. Here's a new book I highly recommend:

POISON, by Bridget Zinn! The story follows Kyra, a highly skilled potions master on the run from the law for (gasp!) attempting to poison the princess. It's funny and sweet and full of adventurous romps. And romance.

I'm lucky enough to have gotten my hands on a special signed edition from a lovely event held at A Children's Place bookstore in Bridget's memory.

 And when I say I'm lucky enough to have gotten my hands on it, I mean, literally. I took the very last signed copy out of the hands of author/illustrator Johanna Wright's husband. It's the kind of fight you don't usually see at a children's bookstore, but like I said, I WANTED THAT BOOK.

Now for the old. Do you have books from your childhood that have haunted you, even if you don't remember the title or the exact story? Well, I was milling around the library the other day, and seeing the cover of this book stopped me in my tracks.

I believe this book was required reading in elementary school, which was shocking to me as I re-read it.  Basically everyone in the world over the age of 12 is killed by a virus, and kids have to rebuild society. Now, wasn't there a big hubbub about the amount of violence in Lauren Myracle's book SHINE? (a book I loved, btw). Well, I read this book in elementary school, and there were kids making Molotov cocktails, and the main character (age 10) gets shot, and another kid performs (vividly described) surgery on a kitchen table. What the what?! I brought this up with my brothers to see if they remembered the book. They didn't (repression), but my younger brother brought up the laugh riot that was HOMECOMING and DICEY'S SONG, by Cynthia Voigt- required reading in our household. Why the big to-do about the violence in THE HUNGER GAMES when the 70s dealt such harsh psychological blows?!