Friday, January 29, 2010

Author Hotline

Check out this most wonderful online database out of the UK. The Author Hotline is a unique way for authors to connect directly with their readers and a great opportunity to support their work in schools. It is an online bank of author profiles that children can search through. It is being developed by CW4K, or Creative Writing 4 Kids, the company behind a website that enables children to create and publish their own stories online.

It will be launched for World Book Day on March 4th, 2010. Antony Lishak is the creator behind this project and he told me that the website will be accompanied by a resource filled magazine that will be sent to UK schools in September. What a great resource this is and it is absolutely free.

Ok, so the exposure to UK schools might not help us illustrators and authors in the US, you say? Not to worry. Antony noted that there are big plans for Author Hotline in the next few months and going global is one of them.

Here is what your profile page will look like:

You are able to list your book and answer a variety of questions that are geared towards kids. It was quite amusing to complete the profile with questions like: "What were you like at school?" and "What is your favorite word?" There are also other more serious questions that will help kids understand what we do as illustrators.

I found this site through the most wonderful Lynne Chapman's blog who is one of my favorite illustrators working today. When she wrote about Author's Hotline she noted: "The idea (for Author's Hotline) is that, either before or after a school visit, children can look up authors or illustrators and find out more about them. They can show their parents who they met at school and generally add value to the experience of the visit."

What a great tool for any author or illustrator. Check it out and sign up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

David Wiesner's new project

Take a look at David Wieser's latest creation, ART & MAX, due out later this year. His brilliant mind has created gems such as "Flotsam", "The Three Pigs" and "Tuesday" and have earned him three Caldecotts so far. I'm a definitely looking forward to this next treasure. Thank you Elizabeth Dulemba for the post.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Killing Creativity?

Thank you to my good friend Tanya J. for sharing this video with me. It is well worth to watch the full 20 minutes. Ken Robinson raises some very interesting points. Why is art and creativty such a low priotity in our schools today? Educate the whole child, what a concept.

Trina Schart Hyman

I recently decided to go through my collection of illustrated and resource books that I have accumulated over the years. As I’m working on my current picture book project with Raven Tree Press, I wanted to gather inspiration and I have always been able to find it in my old favorites. One of the books, that I purchased when I was going to art school in Australia, was one that Trina Schart Hyman illustrated.

The illustrations in “Tight Times,” written by Barbara Shook Hazen, are black and white and are beautiful. The sensitive line quality and the careful rendering of the characters are inspiring. Every little expression and body pose adds to the telling of the story and the detail in the background is meticulous, yet the entire book has a very loose and sketch like feeling.

Seeing that I so love Trina’s work, you can imagine how excited I was to see a post on Facebook about a current show that features Trina’s portrait work and some of her illustrations. Here is the video that shows a lot of the pieces featured in the show.

If you want to learn more about Trina Schart Hyman I urge you to look at Dylis Evans’ “Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration.” It is a wonderful resource if you are interested in learning more about contemporary illustrators, and what inspires them, their background and how they solve the visual problems they encounter.

If you visit my "must have books" page on my website, I have a selection of very useful illustration books that you might be interested in and I've included the Dilys Evans book there.

Happy Reading.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Some more Online Illustration References

Here are some more online resources that I've found that have made it into my google reader. Lots of great info here.

Asia In The Heart:
This is a great blog that is dedicated to books set in Asia, books with Asian characters, and Asian authors and illustrators. They focus on some incredible talent and it's wonderful to learn more about illustration in other parts of the world.

Escape from Illustration Island:
This is probably one of my favorite blogs I've found yet. Thomas James created "Escape from Illustration Island" and it is devoted to providing useful content, encouraging community participation and help fellow illustrators escape their isolation. A definite must read.

The Tools Artists Use:
A great blog that talks about the tools that artists use. It is a great resource and features many artist interviews.

Dreamworks "How to Train Your Dragon" Trailer

Here is the next installment of Dreamworks Animation. "How to Train You Dragon" is scheduled for release in March of this year. Looks wonderful. I'vs always like the idea of showing the nice side of not so nice creatures, so this on is definitely on my list of movies to see. Here is the movie website if you are interested in fiding out more about it:

Happy Drawing, T.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Alma - An animated short by Rodrigo Blaas

Alma from Rodrigo Blaas on Vimeo.

Director Rodrigo Blaas posted this wonderful Animated short. "Alma" is a beautifully designed piece that give us a taste of great atmosphere, character and story. Unfortunately, it is only available for a dshort time so take a peek while it is still on the web.  This spooky little story is beautiful to watch.

Watch it in full screen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Next Illustrator Meeting - Jan 12th - 7:00 pm

Happy New Year to you all. I hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Holiday Season. What a busy and hectic month it was.

Here's a quick reminder about our first meeting for the year. We are still set for next week. Here is the meeting information:

When: Tuesday, January 12th, 2009 at 7:00 pm
Where: Barnes & Noble at the Tempe Marketplace (It is located in Tempe where the 202 and the 101 meet off Rio Salado.) We’ll be meeting in the cafĂ©. Here is more info about the location as well as directions on how to get there:;jsessionid=18F9DD089372E8294E9BDB99CB3796D6?store=2243

2000 E.Rio Salado Pkwy #1032
Tempe, AZ 85281

It'll be great to catch up again and get inspired for the new year. It's been a while since out last meeting so it will be wonderful to get back into the swing of things again. Please let me know if you are planning on joining us to I can reserve seats.

Here is a quick overview of some of the things we'll chat about:

• The most wonderful Megumi will be talking about the "Illustrators Day" that she attended in California a couple of months ago.
• Let's figure out if Tuesday is a good time to meet for the new year of if you feel that a different meeting day would work better. Majority will win. If at all possible, I'd love to set a calendar for the entire year, so that we will all know about the next meetings ahead of time.
• I'll have so more resources to share that I've stumbled across.
• Whatever else you would like to chat about.

See you next week.

Happy Drawing