Sunday, April 30, 2006

Wolf in Granny's Bed

Hi everyone, Here are another two sketches from my Little Red story. This is Granny in her bed with the wolf outside knocking at the door (tail in window). She's telling Red to come in because she's too tired to get up and open it herself. And then of course the second piece is the wolf resting comfortable after "lunch"! Let me know your thoughts on any of it. It's always encouraging and very helpful. I meant to pose this question earlier but I'm thinking seriously about attending the SCBWI regional conference in Poughkeepsie,NY about 50 min from me on June 10th. At the NYC conference I heard sometimes these regional ones are geared very heavily towards writers verses illustrators. Have you heard anything in general or have any of you attended? I know Ginger is at one this week I believe and I am looking forward to hearing from her. Anyway enjoy your week and Good luck Ginger if you aren't there already. I'm sure you'll do great and make lots of contacts.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Back from Illustrator's Day conference in NYC

I had a lot of fun I must say. What a great way to get inspired and pumped up to keep going in this incredibly competitive, challenging field! First off I had a very positive experience with my one on one portfolio review. My reviewer was Ronni Herman a very knowledgeable, lovely woman who has an agency now after being an art director for 30 years. I was lucky I guess because she had always worked in the children's book industry and wasn't like someone who had experience only in magazine work. I know this can happen too. She gave me a lot of savy advice with regard to making my book dummy work better. I'm so glad I ended up pulling one together at the last minute and slipping it in the back of my portfolio because she ended up giving me a full critique on it in addition to critiquing each of my portfolio pieces. Gina I think you said that happened to you too right? Anyway, she said the layout had to be really overhauled and text incorporated better into the design of the sketches. I kind of new this already but couldn't really tweak extensively like I would have wanted to because of time restrants. I also thought at one point my printer was going to explode! She really thought about half of the sketches from the book dummy were very strong and suggested I pull them out of the dummy and put them in my portfolio at the end as a black and white section. She said art buyers in general love to see this. To make a long story short after my review I went to the ladies lounge and there proceeded to do as she suggested and started rearranging everything and dismanteling my book dummy creating a whole black and white section in my portfolio before I handed it in for viewing in the large display room where art buyers peruse everyone's work! So yes I spent massive amounts of hours this past week putting that book dummy together and then didn't include it for presentation. Crazy hugh? Maybe I am a little but I trusted this woman's knowledge and took her advice. Luckily my book dummy was an acetate notebook I picked up at Staples that you can slip 8 1/2 x11's into and out of with great ease. I'm very glad I pushed myself to come up with all those sketches . Ronni thought they would look stronger in my portfolio by themselves. Anyway, the rest of the day was very entertaining. They had Ed Young going through his process for the creation of his book "Lon Po Po" which is a Chinese version of the "little Red Ridinghood story. Beautiful stuff. Then they had a wonderfully funny, dry kind of humor panel with a literary agent an art director and an editor all moderated by again a very entertaining Robert Sabuda, "the" Pop- up book illustrator. And finally there was Paulette Bogan who wrote many kids books and was there promoting her latest "Goodnight LuLu". She was the most entertaining of al and I guess that's why the kept her as the last speaker. All in all a very informative day. The mixer at the end was a lot of fun too. Met a lot of the people from the SCBWI discussion boards.It was neat connecting faces to names like that. The only thing that I thought was lacking with the conference was the inadequete skills of whoever was in charge of getting the technicalities of the show running. They had difficulties with each presenter's slideshow or lighting needs, mic you name it. Bad microphones and a really terrible set up where they used just an 18" TV kind of low on the stage to show some of the works. I though that was insane with a crowd so big. There were at least a hundred tweny five people in the room. It should of all been displayed on the slide projector they had set for some of the presentations. Anyway that would be my only gripe. It seemed like easy stuff to coordinate that's why it kind of bugged me. I still be there next year though! Actually I just remembered I have to register for my regional conference in Poughkeepsie NY by May 9. Hope I didn't bore you with my newbie conference attendance experience, I got a lot out of it in general. Well worth the effort. Goodnight for now. I'm cooked.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Another book dummy sketch from Little Red

Hi everyone, I can't believe the weekend is finally over! My printer has been going nonstop since Friday. I managed to get my portfolio in order and my book dummy pulled together to the best of my ability for Monday's SCBWI conference in NYC! I'm very excited about going although extremely tired. Anyway here's another sketche from my Little Red Ridinghood story. This is when right when Red is asking grandma about her big teeth and big ears and big eyes! Then the wolf gobbles her up!Wish me luck. And thanks!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Two New Sketches from my Book Dummy: Red Finds door of Grandma's cottage open No. 2 Huntsman saves them both

Hi everyone,
Here are two more sketches from my book dummy due for next week's conference! Yikes! I know they are going to get sloppier by the day but whatever right? I'm going to try and wing it. Anyway the first is when Red arrives at Grandma's and finds the door open. She senses something horrible has happened to her. The second takes place after the Huntsman has miraculously pulled Grandma and Red out of the belly of the wolf through his mouth and they are uninjured! Imagine that. Any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mom tells Red to take the goodies to Grandma

Good morning to all! Here's a sketch from my Red story. This is back tracking a bit in the sequence of things but it's where Red's mom sends her off to deliver the basket of goodies to Grandma. This is one of fourteen more sketches I have to finish before April 23rd for my NYC conference. I was told by Frieda Gates, the coordinator, over the phone the other day that I should absolutely have a book dummy in hand to present at the conference. In my mind I went Holy Cow! So I'm hoping I can wing it with your help. I might be emailing some of you a sketch here and there for a quick dose of feedback. I won't post all of them here of course so as not to overburden our blog. Hope you all don't mind. If you can't you can't. I'll understand. Not to worry. Anyway here's the first.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Thanks for the comments!

Thanks everyone! I will definitely take you all up on your suggestions about my Wolf and Huintsman piece. I can see where I should clear up the sleeves and the body of the pajamas issue. It does look like one continuous piece of material almost. And yes the value of the doorway and pajamas is too similar. I actually meant to get to that then ran out of time! Also the hand shadow, will do most definitely. It does look a little like it's floating.
Amy, I love oils and have done a few portraits in them of my kids but their drying time is not something I can manage with children's book work. I use gouache paints for my illo's with lots of very thin layers and colored pencil for minute details where a brush just doesn't cut it. I'm going to look into Alkyds oils, which I learned a lot about watching Sarah as she posted her different stages on the Scbwi boards with her book illos. They dry very quickly but not as spontaneously as gouache. I love the feel of painting and find I can progress much faster on a piece if I mostly use paint.
Again thanks for all of your comments and suggestions you gals are great!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Let me know if I'm finished

As always with my work I never quite know when I'm done. I managed to thin the wolf's neck a bit. I wish I could of skimmed a little more off but I was pretty sure I was going to ruin the area. As is I realized after posting it and viewing it from a distance that the green area in front of the wolf kind of shadows his neck's shape. I did that when skimming! I will go back in there and make it look more natural. I'm also not completely sure if the pajamas are beleivable enough? Let me know your honest thoughts. Thanks in advance.