Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's a brand New Year! With brand new BUNNIES!

So, yeah, a resolution to post more on the Marginalia blog! Wish me luck...

With art of my own still in process (languishing?) on the drawing table, there's nothing better than to announce a wonderful new book by somebody else! And what could be better -- it's BUNNIES!!!

Written and illustrated by the uber-talented and way funny cool guy Kevan Atteberry, this terrific book features not only his adorable bunnies but also one of his groovy and cheerful monsters (my fave.) (And any picturebook that has three exclamation points in its title has to be pretty darn exciting!!!)

Bunnies!!! comes out on January 27 (my birthday -- how did they know? I already preordered two copies, so happy bunny birthday to me.) To get YOUR copy, try any independent bookstore first  -- the Flying Pig Bookstore and the Big Blue Marble are two of my faves. But then of course it's here on Amazon and here via Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Nice blog post reviewing "The Shelf Elf"

Thought I'd share this nice review of "The Shelf Elf" written by first grade teacher Barb Leyne.


So nice to know that teachers and librarians are still using and enjoying this book -- Skoob would be very pleased, I'm sure. I'm amazed to say that this book been out for 10 years now! Yikes...

Monday, August 19, 2013

New book series: Rufus and Ryan

I just finished art for the third book in a series called "Rufus and Ryan." It's about a little boy (Ryan -- who is four) and his stuffed animal monkey (Rufus). Here they are. (I love to paint red-haired kids...)


The series is for a religious publisher, so Rufus and Ryan do things like going to church and saying their prayers together. The third book was about Easter, and I had fun doing the scene where Ryan is coloring eggs. The text says "Rufus was no help at all." I thought that was hilarious. Here's the picture:

The publisher thinks there will be more books in the series -- woohoo!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Kick in to Kickstarter

So, do you guys all know about Kickstarter?


It's an amazing and inventive 'crowdfunding' program through which artists of all kinds (dancers, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, and on and on) can create projects and raise the money to make them a reality. Regular ordinary folks just like us are the ones who kick in the bucks and make these artistic dreams a reality.

The way it works is that the artist creates the project (the more concrete and/or tangible, the better) with a target funding figure. Then the project creator sets up pledge amounts for potential funders -- and generally each pledge comes with fun thank you gifts (or premiums, just like PBS or your local public radio station) from the creator, usually stuff that's related to the project. Like you might get a signed print for donating $100 to an artist creating a book. Or a copy of the DVD a documentary filmmaker's creating (the husband's pledge for a documentary about VW campers got his name in the credits of the film -- boy, was he pumped!) The pledge amounts often start at pretty low figures -- sometimes as low as $1 or $5 -- but of course, the more $ you give, the cooler the stuff you get in return. The Kickstarter project is usually set to run for 30 days -- sometimes longer -- and at the end of that 30-day period, if the total amount pledged is equal to or greater than the project goal, the project is funded -- the artist gets the money! If the amount pledged falls short of the goal, then the creator gets nothing, and the backers don't have to pay anything. This is, of course, a sad outcome, but it means that you as a backer are supporting only successful projects that are really going to happen.

And there are some AMAZING success stories out there. One young woman who is a comic strip artist set a goal of $9,000 to complete a cartoon story she'd been working on for a while. She ended up raising $126,507! That is, yes, like 1400 percent of her funding goal! Gloriosky. I mean, can you imagine how psyched and inspired she is? That girl's gonna get her dreams going in a very big way.

I get very excited about the visionary projects I see popping up on Kickstarter, so I've funded a bunch of them -- about ten or eleven, I think. I'm happy to say that every single one I've kicked in for has been successful! Which means I'm getting a lot of books, prints, and other groovy things in the next couple of months.


I wanted to write about two projects going on right now that I'm really into -- and encourage you, exhort you, embeggen you to go check them out and then pledge, pledge, pledge. The first is Animal Gas, a really really REALLY funny book for kids (and silly grownups), created by my INCREDIBLY talented and funny buddy Bryan Ballinger. It's a scratch and sniff book about, well, animal gas! And it's hilarious! (And it's gonna smell GREAT.) But listen, here's the deal. It has only eight (that's 8!) more days to go, and there's still a ways to go to reach the funding goal. This book needs to happen, it really really needs to happen, so I want y'all to watch the video, read about the project and see just how groovy Bryan is -- and then get on over to his Kickstarter page and MAKE A PLEDGE! You'll come up smelling like roses once you're an Animal Gas backer, b'leeve me.

Another project I just backed yesterday is the Pose Drawing Sparkbook, a really cool sketchbook with drawing prompts and teaching tips from master illustrator Cedric Hohnstadt. This guy has designed toys for big animation studios like Disney and Dreamworks, and has lots of concept design experience -- his drawing is amazing, and he really knows his stuff. Now he's sharing it with the rest of us drawing fools who want to draw more expressive characters and just draw, well, less foolishly. Get this: you get a great pdf of 100 drawing prompts -- FOR FREE! Just visit his Kickstarter page and download it -- Cedric wants you to download the pdf, look at it, and think, "Cool -- I should check out this project." (And it IS cool -- I gotta tell you. I downloaded it and it got my head spinning with ideas of stuff to draw.) And if you kick in a mere twenty bucks, the actual Pose Drawing Sparkbook as a sketchbook AND as an ebook (for drawing digitally, yuh see).  Cedric's campaign is doing really well -- just launched a few days ago, it's already 60% funded. But that is no reason for YOU not to be one of the happy backers who get to have one of Cedric's nifty and inspiring "Sparkbooks." If you kick in, you'll feel all sparkly and inspired. And your drawing will get better! What could be cooler?

Okay, end of my Kickstarter rant! But please do go on over and look at these projects. Favor to me, okay? (And then -- you know what? Get ready, 'cause I've got a Kickstarter plan of my own brewing in my own crazy little head. Stay tuned for some news in, oh, mid-September.)

Thanks, pals.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Elf Mascot for a Girl Scout Camp

I just finished the line art of a little woodland elf girl for a girl scout camp in Tennessee. One of the camp leaders sent me a Facebook message and asked if I might be willing to create a picture of their new camp mascot -- a woodland elf! What fun -- of course elves and fairies are my favorite things to draw! And this was for such a good cause -- first, who can say no to a girl scout (I was one myself, though rather lackluster in my badge work...) and second, the camp leader wanted to use this little girl elf mascot as a friend for homesick campers and for campers who weren't getting any mail from home.

So along with her own little bug friend, our little elf friend will be handing out extra letters to little girl scout campers in need of some good cheer. Love it!

I'll be doing a full-color painting of her, too -- red hair (of course) and a leafy green skirt. Of course the ladybug will be, well, ladybug-colored. But she'd be fun for the campers to color, too!

Here she is, with letters in her mail pouch and with her mail pouch closed. A treat to do! (Maybe they'll send me some cookies as thanks -- Thin Mints, please!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jennifer Pulver Goldfinger's new blog!

Check out the shiny new and wonderful blog just created by my uber-talented friend Jennifer Pulver Goldfinger! http://jennifergoldfinger.blogspot.com/

Some of her extremely cool, fantastically illustrated books are "The King's Chorus,"  "A Fish Named Spot,"and "My Dog Lyle." (And Jen is also the AUTHOR of the fish book and the dog book.) What a talented person indeed.

Please do visit her blog (you'll love seeing examples of her fine art, as well as her children's illustrations, both finished and in process.) And then GO AND BUY HER BOOKS!