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How To Be A Children's Book Illustrator

Mark Mitchell's blog on children's book illustration and illustrators

‘Pictures worth a thousand words’

Then let us all with one accord…

Stepping away from the news and business this evening, I poked around on YouTube for a nice Christmas video to share with you. For some reason I started wondering if Sitka, Alaska, where I’d spent 2-3 of my childhood years still celebrates Christmas. I remember how Christmases there would light up the dark Alaskan winter.… Read More

World touring sketchbooks

Wilie Lisa

Have you drawn in your sketchbook today? It’s a question that humbles every aspiring children’s book illustrator. But in our “high touch era” where the handcrafts site Etsy numbers near the top of online marketplaces and scrapbooking became so cool that it inspired the social media phenomenon known as Pinterest, sketchbooks and the art of filling them… Read More

How to build a robot in Quark

Children’s book author-illustrator Annette Simon works hard to make her picture books playful. Or, maybe more accurately, she plays hard to make her picture books work.   Her Robot Zombie Frankenstein! (Candlewick Press) delivers an exhilarating,  escalating battle of wits, creativity, costumery and dessert in 72 words. The bright pictures suggest Colorforms — the plastic stick-ons found in kindergarten toy boxes — but they’re… Read More

Making it up as we go along…

Children’s book author-illustrator Jeff Crosby (Wiener Wolf, Disney-Hyperion) was talking with young students of the Austin Independent School District the other day — and he let them tell him a story, while he illustrated their scenes. A bit of a high wire act, yes but he pulled it off with his usual calm and cleverness. You can see the story… Read More

P.J. Lynch: Story illustration A-Z

The childhood thrill of make believe looms large for Dublin-based artist P.J. Lynch, 2X winner of England’s Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration. He may not come out and say this. But you can’t not feel it in his children’s book illustrations and murals, YouTube videos and lectures about art and painting in Ireland and the U.S. He puts… Read More

A party in February

Erik Kuntz, Amy Rose Capetta and Nick Alter made this video of the Austin Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators 2012 Regional Conference, Something for Everybody.  I get a kick out of how the thumbnail on YouTube shows me in the crowd, getting a hug from illustrator Marsha Riti. So of course I had to include it here. Erik,… Read More

The miracle month

Glenn and Alex

You might have noticed that the blog has been left with the lights still on, but untended lately.  Not a lot of discussion about illustration, drawing or painting has been going on here.  I’ve been distracted by worry — not an uncommon ailment in families.  Yes, I’m going off the topic of children’s book art — just for today.… Read More

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see… Read More

Conjuring a young witch’s world in watercolor

University of Texas BFA grad Marsha Riti worked at her first creative love, ceramics before she saw an opportunity to make some extra money with her studio art craft — illustrating books for children. She did some additional study (including taking my class at the AMOA Art School), joined the Austin chapter of the Society of Children’s… Read More

Karien’s Creative Cache

We first interviewed children’s illustrator Karien Naude of South Africa back in May 2009. Back then she was just starting, completely self-taught as an artist and working as a paralegal at a law firm in downtown Johannesburg. She was among the first students to sign up for Make Your Splashes Make Your Marks. Somehow we were friends… Read More