Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hello Again by Jason Kirschner

I've been away.  I'm pretty sure none of you out there noticed because my partners have been turning out some seriously good posts.   I haven't been contributing to the blog in quite some time. I really haven't been contributing anything kid-lit-ish for a bunch of months now.  I've got a day job -- I imagine there's a good portion of you out there that do-- and lately my day job has been a bit overwhelming. So I took a step back. It was a bunch of steps, actually-- probably a few too many.

I had so little time to write or draw.  I put a good amount of pressure on myself to use the little time I had wisely, which to me, meant a new book manuscript/ dummy. The problem with this was that I was too tired and the work wasn't good. Which made me frustrated. Which made the work even worse. You can see where this is going right? It's a vicious circle. Mix in a huge dollop of exhaustion, a dash of cynicism, and a few teaspoons of doubt and you get one hell of a creative blockage. And, no, more fiber doesn't help.

So there I was. Winter was coming ( literally and figuratively. Sorry George R.R.) and I had absolutely no new work to show. No portfolio pieces. No manuscripts. No book dummies. I was so frustrated. When I don't draw regularly, I get angry -- kinda like a smaller artsy Hulk. And then I found the one thing that saved me. Want to know what turned it around for me? Get ready for the big secret.

I started to.....doodle. 

Well, that's not quite right.  I doodled....With Intent. 
(This unintentionally sounds like an SVU crime.)
Instead of drawing the same characters over and over again like I did in junior high ("Look it's Wolverine. Again.")  I started setting myself little drawing challenges whenever I had a few free minutes.  These had nothing to do with my flailing book dummy or any other required work. I'd challenge myself to draw a cowboy lizard, or a raccoon in armor, or space. There was no pressure because I drew on cheap lined pads lying around the office. It didn't matter if I screwed up. I wasn't going to post them online or show them to my agent so there was no fear of what others would say. It was just for me. And it was fun. It was so good to be drawing again and taking a break from the characters in my book dummy was refreshing.
I even made a pocket on the back of my pad!

After a few weeks, er...months of this I was able to get back to my book dummy and complete it. And some of the doodles sparked other ideas. Some didn't. That's ok too. And so now I'm talking more forward steps than backwards ones. And here I am. Blogging again. I mean I'm pretty sure you all knew about doodling already but it's my first post in a while.  I'm building to the good stuff. 


By day, Jason is a set designer for television, with credits that include The Meredith Vieira Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Late Show with David Letterman. By night,
Jason is an author and illustrator of children's books. You can find his debut picture book, Mr. Particular: The World's Choosiest Champion on shelves in bookstores everywhere. See more of Jason's work at Follow him on twitter @jason_kirschner .

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year, by Mike Ciccotello

Just some simple words to share with you for this wonderful New Year. Don't sit around waiting for a rainbow to knock on your door. Believe in yourself, get out there, brave the storm. When you finally find it, follow it all the way to the end. Always believe in yourself and enjoy every day, in every way.

I hope you have an inspirational New Year.

Twitter: @ciccotello 
Instagram: @ciccotello 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Studio Visit - Patricia Keeler

We will soon start a new year, so I thought I'd try something new. Here is my first YouTube video created for D2PB.

I filmed a visit to my studio, and an introduction to SCOOP THE ICE CREAM TRUCK, that I will be finishing over the winter months. (I can't believe how many times I said 'um'.) 

I hope you enjoy the video, and that you have a wonderful and creative 2017!

Facebook:  PatriciaKeelerBooks
Twitter: @patriciakeeler
Instagram: @patriciakeeler

represented by Liza Royce Agency

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Babies and Bookmaking

One of the strangest sensations is to feel your impending deadline. I don't mean that figuratively. As I sit at my drafting table, working on final art for my second picture book, I am getting kicked constantly from the inside. I'm 25 weeks pregnant with a little girl. I am thrilled to welcome her into the world mid-March or early April. (Due date is April 1st–April Fool's Day, of course!) But as I rush to complete my work, I am aware of the joyous upheaval awaiting me soon.
I'm already mom to a wonderful and funny 14 year-old son. He has been so much fun to raise–and gave me the idea for my first picture book, RENATO AND THE LION (Viking, June 2018). But I clearly remember the sleeplessness of the first six months of his life. Because of this, I am starting to panic a little. I want to give my agent a few more book dummies in decent shape before my daughter is born, before I lose track of day and night. As I write this, I'm feeling my daughter's tiny feet kicking with surprising strength. 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. And in the general due date timeframe, it is likely she will be born an Aries. I'm in for one strong little girl-if you take stock in that sort of thing. Thank goodness, of course. But... there's still so much more to be written and drawn before she arrives. 
On twitter yesterday, I came across an illustration by  (below, center) that I loved. She drew a baby asleep in a carrier as she continued to sketch. It struck me that there are probably a lot of artists and writers out there trying to continue there work while providing childcare to young 'uns. It gave me hope that although my son was a firecracker and needed to be on the move constantly, there are babies that might just sleep and allow for an hour or two of work. *crossing fingers!
So I'm opening this blog post up to the parents who juggle care with their careers. Any tips, tricks or advice to share? I have parenting experience, but not with books to make and promote at the same time. So creative community, what's your secret to nurturing both?
Illustrations by Renée Kurilla

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Happy Holidays! - Deborah Cuneo

Holiday Card / Mixed Media

WOW...December 2016 already? I just love this time of year! The colors, the sounds, the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators...

What an awesome show! Every single one of those illustrations hanging in that show, is a winner. Congratulations to all the artists and everyone involved in the production of those beautiful picture books!!  If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend  taking a couple of hours and popping down there to check it out. It's only on till Dec 23rd and you don't want to miss it! Here's the link:

 Every time I see that show, it not only inspires me to raise my own illustrative bar, but it reminds me of how grateful I feel to be able to participate, even the smallest amount, in such an amazing industry!

 Wishing you and yours a very Merry, Happy and Healthy. May you all find inspiration, comfort and joy, in the hope that this season brings!

Creatively yours,

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Seasons Greetings - Diana Ting Delosh

Wishing Everyone a
Happy, Healthy, Creative and Joyful Holiday Season!
Squirrel in scarf
© Diana Ting Delosh
Quick Ink Watercolor
I'm very tempted to jump in and join the #illo_advent challenge on twitter, 25 Fresh Christmassy illustrations for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. BUT as I'm already 6 days behind perhaps not this year. Don't know what you're all up to but I'll be busy wrapping up all my loose ends for 2016. For my last post on this blog for 2016, here's a quick fresh Christmassy Illustration for the fun of it and some seasonal hand lettering. Looking forward to 2017.
© Diana Ting Delosh
Hand Lettering - hand inked with assorted pens and digitally colored

Twitter: dtdelosh

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The BIG ThumbNailer