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How To Be A Children's Book Illustrator

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

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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… Read More

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… Read More

Should you advertise in an illustration directory?

For some children’s book artists this interview might be a little hard to hear and to bear.  For others it could offer new hope. Jo Ann Miller of Serbin Communications’ Directory of Illustration suggests that illustrators think a little bit outside the book. Jo Ann Miller of Sebin Communications’ Directory of Illustration greets a Transformer… Read More

Wild Things

Before the movie fades from awareness, let’s look at some not so exalted celebrations of Maurice Sendak’s strangely theatrical Caldecott Medal winning-story, Where the Wild Things Are, opera for toddlers. From Wikipedia:  “The original concept for the book featured horses instead of monsters. According to Sendak, his publisher suggested the switch when she discovered that… Read More

Have you drawn an animal today?

Knowing as we do that drawing children, people and  animals is the stock in trade of the children’s book illustrator, let’s draw a difficult animal subject today. We’ve brought in guest instructor Jon Gnagy to help walk us through it. Gnagy was the best drawing teacher (maybe the only drawing teacher?)  on television.  He taught… Read More

Art and Letters

So many colleagues from the Austin children’s and YA writing community spoke on panels and signed their new books at the 2009 Texas Book Festival this past weekend.  I always enjoy this 2.5 day party on the state capitol grounds.  But I could not go this time because I was on an illustration deadline. So… Read More

A 24 Hour Comics Day album

On October 3, illustrators and comic book creators in cities around the world hunkered down  to produce original content. It was Twenty Four Hour Comics Day – an annual happening launched last century by cartoonist and teacher Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics. (You can read the rules at that link.) Bawls, a company that… Read More

One Illustration Reverie; Two Real Deals

What does this short animated clip have to do with John Singer Sargent or children’s book illustration? A quoi ca sert l’amour,  a short animation by Louis Clichy, with thanks to illustrator  and animation/game artist Amanda Williams for finding this.  She called  it “brutal and adorable.” If a child-friendly story had illustrations with these lines… Read More

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