Monday, March 31, 2008

Arresting Imagery and Child Psychology

When I illustrate I try to think about what it was like being a four or five year old looking at pbs. Granted, the ones available to me at the time.

I remember being fascinated by the tigers turning into butter as they ran around a tree
I remember a little kitten hit by a car, and a little pool of blood on the road (he lived).
I remember a fairy drinking poison to save her friend Peter( she lived).

I remember drawing a picture of a bare bottomed kid pooping, and me being sent to my room (I lived).

What is my point?

My point is that I think many writers of pbs for preschool and early primary are out of touch with the age group they write for. Like rhyme about social studies, or football. Little kids don't like or understand or appreciate this. Their world is simple and immediate and confusing. And about them.

And these images that I cite reflect a basic psychological reaction.

Do you know why writing a pb that hits YOUNG kids is hard? Because it involves knowing child psychology; and knowing what the rules are. Don't write a rhyming book about sports.

Poop done well will sell.

A broken nose done in prose will sell.

And tigers turning to butter....Well, I can't wait to start my next project. But it won't be butter.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Motivation 101 except for me it is more like 2010

I'll be attending my tenth conference in June (and probably last, unless something happens soon).

I will have a critique with an AD, from S and S who has already expressed interest in my art. This time I'll have dummies to show and a smashing portfolio. I have so much to do including a weekend of getting my art to Dave in the proper format (ugh).

But I can't do the newbie crud anymore. I am so tired of it all.

I just want to be working on a great project with great people and after a while this all feels like BS.

I see people getting published everyday who make me wonder what the F am I doing wrong. Besides not submitting.

If I could just spend half of my day in my studio making my art I would be the happiest person I could be. That is what I do best. And all this is BS.

Venting 201.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Favorite Illustrators

Petra Mathers: Playful, colorful, vivacious and has a real child like sensibility and very imaginative and interesting content

Peter Sis: his imagination and style are the most unique (is there such a thing...yes, in this case)

Chris vA: magic

David McKee: extended elephant phase but what he is in his element

Gris Grimly: Line and ink master of monster

David Shannon: Far out and not afraid

Colin Thompson: Fantasy fan to see...see it!

Maurice Sendak: Sensitivity

Alan (Allen) Say: realism that makes you collapse with awe

Steig: Primitive grit

Jenkins: COLLAGE....yes....even though his is realistic (her her)...JK

Judy Schachner: Because she writes as well as she illustrates and in total SYNC with it

David Macaulay: thinker inking

Martin Hanford: Anyone who can illustrate five million people...that is LOVE

Harry Bliss: He can really expand on the text. Seems to jive with the words.

David Wiesner: Although I am not a real fan of wordless pbs...his are works of art. I do prefer his worded ones, though. His work is ethereal and makes the world endless.

David Small: Funny, clever, also expands well on the text

Holly Keller: Sensitivity to her subject matter both text and art

and why do I love them so much (well, much of it is subjective...I could say I love the ones that are very popular...but I don't). Because they are distinctive, artistic, appeal to kids ( and adult kids), prolific and have their own VOICE . They have something strong that sets them apart from functional art.

And I am just spinning my F**king wheels. But if I didn't have these role models, I'd have plenty of nuthin. 

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sunshine on my cathedral makes me happy

David Macaulay, the brilliantly talented author illustrator of Walter Lorraine fame is starting his own imprint. This can only be wonderful news (and there is so much depressing news) as great talent forges forth into management. I love this. I love him. I have so much to do.

My first writing teacher showed me
"Black and White" and hooked me into this insane business. This book made me what I am today. Anxious, excited, neurotic and a thinker. It also made me the brainchild of a gargoyle with sunshine on his cathedral...which was written for this class and has been written a million times. and maybe one day will be on published paper.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

keep talking

Take Me to the Bookstore

I don't know why I love her like I do
All the changes she puts me through
Take my edits, my manuscripts
I've haven't seen the worst of it yet
I wanna know that you'll tell me
I love your way
Take me to the Book Store, drop me in Bestseller
Take me to the Book Store, drop me in Bestseller
Pumping me up, pumping me up

I don't know why you treat me so bad
Think of all the books we could have had
Words are an ocean that I can't forget
My sweet fiftieth I will never regret

I wanna know that you'll tell me
I love your way
Take me to the Book Store, drop me on best seller
Take me to the Book Store, drop me on best seller
Pumping me up, pumping me up

Scrap me, crop me, add me, tease me
Till I can't, till I can't, till I can't take no more
take me to the book store, drop me on best seller
push me to the bookstore, drop me on best seller
Pumping me up, pumping me up

I don't know why you edit like you do
All the troubles you put me through
Sixteen spreads there in the book
I'm not a fool just take a look

I wanna know that you'll tell me
you CAN revise
Take me to the editor and get another revision
one more time with editor then another revision
When will it end...when will it end....

More talking

And She Wasn't

And she was sitting in the group
And she could hear the ed start reading
And she could see the nearby exit
She's making sure she is not screaming
See the heights of the manuscripts
Now she's starting to rise
Take a minute to concentrate
And she closes up her eyes

The eds were nodding and she was right there with them (and she wasn't)
The eds were nodding and she was floating above them (and she wasn't)

And she was drifting through the office
And she was putting on her coat
And she was moving very slowly
Rising up over New York
Moving over the manuscripts
Drifting this way and that
Not touching the piles at all
cutting through the clouds

And she looked down at the all the eds
Who said"This one will be a novel"
She had a pleasant revelation
This time she'd have real vacation

Kicking piles of massive mannies
Missing just one but she'll feel alright
(and she does).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Talking Eds

Burning Down the House

And you may ask yourself
how did I get here
And you may say to yourself
"This is not my beautiful house
This is not my beautiful book."

Psycho Editor

qu'est ce que c'est
We are brave and we're not blind
I hate writers when they're not polite

Crosseyed and Painless

Lost my brains trying to read the manuscript
Can't stop cuz I have to read this Bull*@#!
am changing my name -it was all a bad accident
They're back - to explain their lack of brilliance

Manuscripts Piling Up

I can see those mannies piling up
stretching from my office to the stairs
I work in this house where I'm employed
When I was throwing up - my hands cuz
I could never keep my spirits up
I remember daze and crazy nights
Are there any writers worth their s#!^
And if they ever polish up - they'll have
a revision by morning.

More to come. Stay "Tuned"

Friday, March 14, 2008

Still in print.

Bill got another royalty check yesterday for a book he wrote over 17 years ago. I've taken it for granted. It is still going strong, and I was wrong.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Poetry as we knowitry

Got this definition off the internet. It is generic yet accurate:

Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response (YAY). Poetry has been known to employ meter and RHYME (shhhhhh), but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention (sometimes YAY) over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic (what does that mean? Huh?) and individual mode of expression (I have to express myself through a picture book....because it takes little time and can be done in quick rhyme) makes it nearly impossible to define (even though this is a definition).

I guess it wasn't as impossible as 'you' thought. HA HA!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

spring forward, fall back, winter between and summer somewhere

I hate winter. I hate cold. I hate snow.

But the birds are telling me that spring is coming very soon. And this depressing cocoon is going to break open and a gorgeous butterfly will break out.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

next subject aka victim.

Getting ahead of myself, as usual with great expectations, as usual.

My portfolio of projects thus far:

Flamingo story (must need a plot or premise change, I am sure) but this could be a real visual dream of a story

Pig story (must need a plot change, I am sure) Another visual story

Gargoyle story (in perpetual progress and the one I am really focussing on, at the moment... has so many possibilities but the ending might need a transformation...doesn't seem too hard at this point). yeah right.

Doll Saver story (satisfied)

Alligator story (in perpetual progress..probably a simple fix that I can't realize)

Composer Biography (in perpetual progress...this one will really work with the pictures) but that is going to have to wait.

Gaudi story (beginnings... after many drafts)

And my next victim (ha ha) is going to be a little boy tiger (i have one too Disneyesque a sample that can be morphed into a another less Disneyesque rendition I have done in basic). What is your story.......shit, I don't know...yet.....

And the pb prince pb is not yet realized nor the three flying mice but perhaps down the cloud....

so Barbara's mind continues to whirl forth into illustration madness...

how could i forget the wallabe story...because i did that one sans art which i never do

and the girl and giraffes which keeps changing...and i'm rambling....good grief...i need to get more sleep

Monday, March 3, 2008

Got your art on my stick

Bill got my new stuff on his stick (the kind for your computer). Progress. Soon this and others will be on my new website.....Dave??

Color, and Black and White...or Grey?

After watching Ms.Persepolisse I've thought much about the interplay between color and black and white. Or ahem... grey for little Mister Gargoyle. And I found it!!

Roses are red, gargoyles are grey, this gargoyle can gargle his troubles away.

And troubles are grey most of the day. Except when I say hey, hey... thank you Marjan, thank you Peter Sis!! I had this idea all along and you just validated it!! But I am doing it my way.....I love you both soooooooooooooo much!!

This is going to be fun to try and get across in a dummy. Heh...heh...heh...............

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Persepolis - Le film impeccable

Holy smokes! What a great movie! So well done and engaging. Great graphics and animation. I feel inspired to go out and write a graphic novel and then work with screenwriters and cinematographers and ...............just kidding.

Read it and then go see it...go see it...go see it!

I feel inspired to make something so magnificent; one brain celluloid at a time.