Saturday, November 28, 2009

Favorite pbs and what matters to me as writer/artist of picture books

because what matters matters.

And after being thankful and full of turkey, I want/need to find sustenance in something more than calories.

So I weigh out those meaningless calories... those being words, cliches and stereotypes, and think about great pbs I love...the latest being "The Curious Garden."

I savor this book because:

The mc child affects the plot therefore making a difference. The mc cares about the outcome, and causes and changes it. And it is not about him and his issues. It is about what he believes in. It is about what he cares about. Essentially, he is a hero.

And the illustrations are amazing. The illustrator cares beyond compare. It is his book and it shows.

The mc is a hero and the emphasis is really off of him.

The approach is fresh, not cliched and non-didactic.

There is a real story and growth of character and some conflict. It follows the sole creator's vision and passion and interpretation, and indeed his inspiration. The creator cares about what he writes and illustrates and it shows.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It is not safe anywhere

(or just keep your yap shut)

Yesterday I visited one of my favorite locales, my local art supply store. I always have fun there and usually spend more than I intended... (oh, that pretty piece of handmade paper). I can use that, I know I can. I'll just buy it and put it my grand stack-o-collage papers waiting for a project. We stare at each other a lot, those papers and I. Some people collect stamps. Some people collect rocks. I collect beautiful paper.

But all I really needed on this trip was some Itoya(sos)dummy binders and some illustration board.

Doesn't seem like much to excite the average person but I always get more than I bargained for at my local art store.

As I approaced the cashier I noticed the conversation between the cashier (a young aspiring and cute artist) and an elderly, clueless woman making a purchase.

"What media do you work in young man?"

"Oh, I used to work in oils but now I am going digital?"

"Really, why?"

"Well, they are so expensive and I really want to be an illustrator."

"Oh. Have you done any books?"

(Oh, God I can't help I say)

"You need these Itoyas to make your book dummies (you cute cashier you)."

They both look at me, and my purchases.

"What media do you work in?"

"Primarily collage/mixed media."

"Are you an illustrator?"


"What do you illustrate?"

(God help me now.)

"Children's books."

(God help me.)

"I wrote a children's book. Can you illustrate it for me?"

"I am booked up for the next ten years...sorry."

(I lied.)


And she left without a trace... (of how this business works).

And the cute cashier looked down at the register, and thought about what I said. Maybe I got through.

And this customer walked out, drove home and marched up to her clean, organized studio, and began another piece of art.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

When time is dictated by a machine

I spent four hours today scanning, printing and assembling four copies of one dummy. Four/4 hours at 60 minutes each.

I am not even sure I am going to send all but one. And it probably won't even be accepted.

32 pieces of paper times 4 is 128 pieces of paper. Right?

128 pieces of paper.

Publishers should start accepting edummies or CDs. Faster, more economical, and no or little postage. Really. Instead of thirty-two dollars (a dollar a page) to mail it would cost me 2 or 3 dollars. I figure that when I finally get bought I will have made a net loss.... (JK... better not.)

The system needs an overhaul. And when I get published I am going to lead the cause into action.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This weekend we watched The Exorsister, The Amightyville Horror, The Sick Sense, Poultryghost.

I love children.