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How To Be A Children's Book Illustrator

Mark Mitchell's blog on children's book illustration and more art

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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

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

Mary’s magic

Children’s book illustrator Mary Sullivan will add “author” to her extensive illustration credits when her new picture book Ball comes out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt this Spring. Based on the ball chasing dog Mary never had, Ball uses only one word, repeatedly to tell of a dog who dreams of chasing a certain red ball. The Junior Library Guild, a library… 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

Curious business

Children’s book illustrators and anyone absorbed in the curious business of children’s book illustration, Do you find it interesting, as I do that the big commercial for Google’s Nexus 7 features a little girl and her mom reading a Curious George story on the device? Google, in its elegant way used a simple illustrated page from… Read More

What the heck is an e-book, anyway?

Children’s book illustrators, artistrators, writers take note: These guys kind of say it all. The trailer is by animator, web designer, online comics creator Erik Kuntz  (who also happens to be our SCBWI chapter’s webmaster.) Briefly, the Second Annual Austin SCBWI Digital Symposium is October 6 at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. But for the… 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

Kevin Henkes’ gentle brush

Children’s book author-illustrator Kevin Henkes received the Caldecott Medal in 2005 for his picture book Kitten’s First Full Moon (Greenwillow, HarperCollins.) But that was just a step on the journey that began more than 25 years before when, as a junior in high school, he decided to make a career of illustrating children’s books.The summer after his freshman year at the University… Read More

How this nonfiction PB “Jes’ Happened”

Children’s book illustrator Don Tate never thought of himself as a writer, despite his many children’s author, publishing and librarian friends — a small army’s worth — and being surrounded by journalists all day in his work as a graphics reporter for the Austin American Statesman.  He’s illustrated more than 40 educational books and 11 children’s… 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

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