Pictures worth a thousand words

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 […]

“Little toddler feet and hands all over my wall…”

Children’s book illustrator Patrice Barton begins a picture book with a spiral ruled notebook that she soon fills with ideas, tactics and to-do checklists related to the project. It’s almost as if the words come first. The drawings, which for her are a series of tireless explorations only a tiny fraction of which make it to […]

When kids’ book illustrators go wild…

Children’s book author-illustrator Jeff Crosby says he came up with the idea for his funny new picture book, Wiener Wolf  (Hyperion) while he was in the shower one day. For a long while after that he asked his wife author-illustrator Shelley Ann Jackson if she would write the story for him so he could paint it. […]

How to win a logo illustration-design contest

Debbie Gonzales, the regional advisor for the Austin Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators wanted a logo. Ideally,  the logo would have to say a lot on its own about the premise of our upcoming symposium Storytelling in the Digital Age: Embrace the Change. We (Debbie,  Austin SCBWI assistant regional advisor […]

“It’s like a magic trick…” Perusing Bruce Foster’s pop-up pages

The demands are the same as for writing or illustrating a book:  Something must come to life every time a reader turns a page.  Except with a pop-up book,  it really has to come to life.  By definition. Things move, swing and unfold — hopefully with some grace and more than a few surprises.  Like […]

Art aloft: The ‘Golden Kite’ children’s book illustrations

It’s hard to explain the thrill of being inches away from an original watercolor by Uri Shulevitz, or Jerry Pinkney or the late Trina Schart Hyman. “The Huntsman” from “Little Red Riding Hood” by Trina Schart Hyman, 1984 Golden Kite Medal winner You just have to be there.  The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature […]

The title is everything!

Award-winning New York City  illustrator Lisa Falkenstern is working on illustrations for her new children’s picture book.  But she and her editor are having trouble deciding on the perfect title. So Lisa has put out an S.O.S. She’s asking all readers of How To Be A Children’s Book Illustrator to help her out! Help her […]

Author-illustrator, children’s book artists’ den mother

What publishing genre relies on art and pictures more than any other? Children’s book publishing, of course.   But for a long time the professional organization of children’s book writers and illustrators did not have an illustrators’ spirit guide. The change began when picture book artist Tomie de Paola nudged his fellow board members of the […]

Conference debrief

More than 200 children’s book writers and illustrators (aspiring and professional) converged on a little Unitarian church just north of Austin for the 2010 Destination Publication SCBWI conference January 30. Guests and speakers arrived from Texas and everywhere for a day of inspiring presentations and professional critiques of manuscripts and portfolios. “The most expensive people […]

ALA honors for Austin authors; SCBWI conferences and illustration classes for you

It’s been a landmark week for Austin children’s writers.  Three of our gang scored top honors — a Caldecott Honor, a Sibert Honor and a Newbery Honor — from the American Library Association. Our Austin, Texas  chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers (SCBWI) is a little dazed after last weekend’s 2010 award announcements.  […]