Thursday, July 31, 2014

NY Comics and Picture-Story Symposium

I’ll be giving a talk this Monday evening, August 4th, 7pm at Dixon Place on the Lower East Side as part of the New York Comics and Picture-Story Symposium. My pal, the fabulous Sophia Wiedeman will also be speaking about her process creating comics. For more information, click here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What’s Up?

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this page with what’s on my drawing board. A lot, it turns out…

First up, I’m finishing the cover art for another non-fiction picture book by David A. Adler, called Teeth, Slides, Seesaws and Other Simple Machines, to be published by Holiday House next Spring. If you ever wondered how a small cat could push a box of bowling balls up a hill, and perhaps a few more relevant things, this book is full of answers.

I’m also having a great time painting the raucous art for The Wrong Side of the Bed, a picture book by Lisa M. Bakos, to be published by the fine folks at G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 2016.

Next up is Little Card by Charise Harper to be published by Candlewick Press in 2016, and is a book I’m super excited about.

And if you’ve every grown zucchini in your garden, you’ll understand how Zora’s Zucchini by Kathy Pryor will sneak in here in abundance, to be published by Readers to Eaters in Fall 2015.

Whew! I need to get back to work, but one last thing—in case you missed it on my tumblr last week, here’s a bit of my work for Kiwi Magazine. In the most recent issue, we learned how to shuck corn, so of course I turned the spots into a striptease. It plays quite well with any soundtrack of your choice, but I’m partial to Atomic by Blondie…

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SVA Summer Residency

While you might have been focussed on the World Cup this month, I had the pleasure of teaching an intensive class in Illustration and Visual Storytelling at the School of Visual Arts Summer Residencies. It was a terrific group from around the world—a global mix to rival any international football competition—with representatives from Uruguay, Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, and Japan to name just a few.

Several months ago, while discussing the nature of my class with the Residency Director Viktor Koen—one of my former and favorite instructors in the SVA MFAI—we decided students should come away with “a series of something.” Since the bulk of my experience is in books and narrative illustration, that seemed a natural fit to me, and would differ significantly from the other classes taught by Viktor, and illustrator/designer Paul Hoppe which were centered on editorial illustration, professional practices, and comics. I had students come to the first class with a text of their choice, and we took it from there. What you see below is a sample of their projects, a collection as diverse and impressive as the individuals themselves. It’s amazing how much great work they produced in just one month.

On a personal note, I’d like to give a big shout out to these fine folks, to thank them for making my first post-graduate teaching experience so rewarding. Bravo!

Adriana Miralles
Anuranjini Singh

Ashleigh Green
Brian Britigan

Esther Aarts
Catherine Liu
Ignacio Serrano
Jo Lee

Karina Dimitriu
Mai Moroe

Pablo Londero
Paola Pagano

Shane Cluskey

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The New York Times Found Poetry Contest

For the 4th year in a row, I had the pleasure of illustrating the announcement for The New York Times Learning Network’s Found Poetry Contest. Students from around the country submit poetry sampled from articles in the paper. Each year, the contest gets more and more popular among students and teachers, and this time, there were over 2000 submissions. Thankfully, editors are in charge of the judging—I get to draw.

As in past years, we’ve chosen to feature the most popular subjects in the illustration. If you’d like to read some of these lovely works, click here. Thanks again to Katherine Schulten at the Times for including me in this fun event.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Things That Float at the White House!

You might have heard of the White House Easter Egg Roll that takes place on the South Lawn each spring. This year, in keeping with the theme of First Lady Michele Obama’s “Let's Move” initiative, the event focused on health and fitness for kids. Imagine my delight to learn that Things That Float and Things That Don’t was one of the science books featured! 

Many thanks to my publisher Holiday House for donating books, and for SB&F Online for tweeting this fantastic photo. In the words of a friend, “these girls know where it’s at!”

And this just in…
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) posted more information and photos from the event here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day and everything…


I hope fans of Ornithoblogical aren’t too disgruntled, but I haven’t had much time for birds lately. However—lucky me—on this Earth Day, I’ll be painting a bucolic setting for an upcoming picture book full of mountains and trees. I might even go out and hug a tree for real later, before the rain starts.

I’ve also been working on a few new pieces for Kiwi Magazine’s regular “Cooking with Kids” feature. Last issue, we learned how to prepare an artichoke for slaughter…

In the next, we learn how to shuck corn, or in my anthropomorphized version, perform a cornhusking striptease. You’ll have to wait a few months to see that full frontal, but if you want a little teaser, I do share details and sketches of what I’m up to over on Instagram.

Speaking of Instagram, here are two sneak peeks at some details from the same book I’m working on today (sorry, Facebook and Twitter friends—old news to you)…

Okay, it’s back to the picture book trenches for me. I hope your Earth Day is full of sunshine and daffodils.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Teaching at SVA’s Illustration Summer Residency

Since graduating from the masters program at the School of Visual Arts in 2009, I haven’t given 
much thought to teaching. Primarily, I’ve focused on my own illustration career in the children’s book market, with a bit of editorial work. So far so good, I’d say, as this year has me working on more books than ever. But when my favorite (and toughest) instructor in the Illustration MFA, Viktor Koen, asked me to join the faculty of SVA’s Summer Residency, I jumped at the chance.

The Summer Residency brings together students from around the world to spend a month studying in the discipline of their choice with professionals working in New York City. Here’s a quote from the website on the illustration program:

“With guidance from award-winning illustrators, participants will complete a body of work comprised of images created for assignments, as well as personal projects, aiming to showcase their individual style and aesthetic direction. The goals are to advance to the next level of artistic practice and to attain an enhanced position in the illustration marketplace.” 

For my class, students will create a series of images to accompany a narrative text, to be encompassed in a book or visual essay. If you’d like to read more about the Summer Residencies and for information about applying, visit the School of Visual Arts website here.

It will be a high-intensity month of June. I look forward to meeting this group of international professionals, guiding, and watching their work evolve. The Residency culminates with an open studio exhibition, a few images from which I hope to share here in a future post.