Saturday, October 31, 2015

Building Character at MICA

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting with the MFA in Illustration Practice students at the Maryland Institute College of Art—a.k.a. MICA. Director Whitney Sherman and her department were kind enough to host me for a few days over which I reviewed this year’s thesis projects, ran a character and world-building workshop, and lectured about my process, focusing on an important personal project I created upon finishing graduate school six years ago. They’re a terrifically talented group, so if you find yourself in Baltimore next spring, be sure to check out their exhibition. I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone at MICA for a great and inspiring stay, and Whitney’s dog Cooper, who listened most intently during my talk.

Photo courtesy of Whitney Sherman
Photo courtesy of Whitney Sherman

Oinktober Halloween Highlights

In case you hadn’t noticed, my Instagram page has been full of pigs of late. I decided to turn the annual, month-long, illustrative celebration known as Inktober into Oinktober to showcase swines of all kinds. I finished off this week with a few spooky fellas—and today being Halloween—thought I’d share them again here. So…BOO!





Thursday, September 10, 2015

Katherine Pryor on PRX’s “Food Sleuth Radio”

Last week, Katherine Pryor was interviewed by Melinda Hemmelgarn for the PRX program “Food Sleuth Radio.” They discussed Zora’s Zucchini, the importance of food literacy for children, and how gardening can help build community. Oh…and they  had some really nice things to say about my illustrations. You can listen to the entire show here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Some Notes on ZORA and Meet Author Katherine Pryor, or At Least Please Eat Some Zucchini...

I’m not sure if I even knew how to spell z-u-c-c-h-i-n-i when I started illustrating Zora’s Zucchini late last year, but I’m really good at it now.  

Zora has been out for a few weeks, and the response has been great. For those of you on the West Coast, author Katherine Pryor has several signings scheduled in the coming weeks:
Aug. 28 — Mockingbird Books, Seattle, WA, 11am
Aug. 29 — Powell’s City of Books, Portland, WA, 11am
Sept. 3 — University Book Store, Bellevue, WA, 11am
Sept. 23 — Village Books, Bellingham, WA, 3:15pm
Sept. 26 — Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, time TBD
Speaking of Powell’s, here’s a photo a friend took of Zora in the window. She seems suitably proud...

It’s always fun to see your work out in the wild. It’s especially fun to see it being shared right in front of you. That’s what happened on a recent trip to Rhode Island, when my sister-in-law gave a copy of Zora to her young, next door neighbor. Completely unprompted, the neighbor brought her own string bean to munch on during story time. Ah, yes...everything is working just as I planned. Heh, heh, heh...

It’s hard to believe that end of summer is upon us. Since Zora’s  release, the zucchini crop has come in, and if you follow  Zora’s page on Facebook, you’ve no doubt been marveling at the recipes Katherine Pryor has been posting each day. Inspired by that, and a few gorgeous specimens from my mom’s garden in Connecticut, I assembled my own zucchini quiche with great results. (Note: this photo shows the unfinished, unbaked version; the cooked version was pretty darned delicious.)

Finally, I’ve been getting a lot of queries about my dedication in Zora, which reads, “For the Committee.” Who is the Committee, you ask? No, not the editorial committee. Not the band of kidlit authors and illustrators I meet with over beers in Brooklyn each month. No, the Committee is this motley crew pictured below, albeit with a few members missing. It all has to do with a legendary summer some thirty years or so ago, when everyone’s zucchini crop came in in abundance, and we all had to deal with it. Just between you, me, and the internets, those recipes on Facebook sure would have come in handy. xo

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Meet “Little Card”

The card’s out of the bag and ready for pre-order! Sure, you’ll have to wait a few more months for his official arrival, but the cover of my second book with Candlewick Press, A Big Surprise for Little Card, written by Charise Mericle Harper was revealed earlier this week. John Schumacher (a.k.a. @MrSchuReads) was kind enough to do the honors. Here’s the link to his site.

This was one of my favorite projects from the past year, and a wonderful collaboration with Charise, Art Director Ann Stott, and Editor Mary Lee Donovan. I can’t wait to share more of it with everyone.

Monday, July 13, 2015

We didn’t sink!

What a wonderful day it was at the Queens Museum Children’s Book Celebration this past Saturday. We bookmakers were set up in the main atrium—a gorgeous open space, filled with natural light—where kids and parents filed through, pausing for conversation, art-making, reading, you name it...and a general good time.

If you’re unfamiliar with this area of Queens, there’s great history behind the space too. The museum is located in the New York City Building, which once housed the New York City Pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair. It’s the building next to the iconic Unisphere, a 12-story globe surrounded by a fountain, or what I like to call the best sprinkler in the world.

I was paired up with the Discovery Team from the Queens Children’s Library who created a great program for kids to test their theories of sinking and floating, using some of the experiments from Things That Float and Things That Don’t.

Not only were some of my pals in the New York City kids’ book community there, but I got to meet several authors and illustrators whose work I’ve been admiring from afar. Fingers crossed for this to become an annual event.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Queens Museum Children’s Book Celebration

Join me and a great group of local award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators this Saturday, July 11th, from 12 to 4 PM for the Queens Museum Children’s Book Celebration! Best of all—it’s free!

illustration by Tim Miller

The day’s events were organized by the incredibly talented Tim Miller in partnership with the Queens Library Summer Reading Program. And wow!—the first 200 attendees get a free poster! (See Tim’s great illustration above.)

As for me, I’ll be pairing up with the Queens Library Discovery Team to present Things That Float and Things That Don’t, the first in a series of books by David A. Adler that I’ve had the pleasure of illustrating. We’ll be testing out all kinds of experiments to see what sinks, what floats, and how salt water effects buoyancy—so bring your future scientists!

When not stooped over a tub of water sinking stuff, I’ll be at my table located on the first floor sharing my book-making process, a few sneak peeks at some future projects, and tips on how to draw rats and other important things.  I mean everyone needs to know how to draw a proper rat, don’t they?

I’ll also be selling copies of my books, prints and other wares with plenty of free stuff to give away.

And if this line-up of children’s book luminaries wasn’t enough, and you’ve never visited The Queens Museum before, did you know that it houses a gigantic panorama of the city of New York? I saw it for the first time a few weeks ago, and it is truly amazing.

For more information, visit the Museum website. I hope to see you there!