Month: June 2011

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. Shelley suggested that he try his own hand at putting just the right words together in just the right order to tell his story. Then he’d be that appealing combination (for some children’s book editors) — an author-illustrator. Jeff’s response was to work up a little pencil sketch dummy that told the story without any words at all. But later his and Shelley’s agent urged him to add at least a few words to his pictures — to appease that segment of the market that believes that picture books are meant to be read. The result is Wiener Wolf  about a dachshund who hears the call of the wild and decides that he’ll leave Granny’s home  to run with the wolves. The release party for the book is Saturday, July 2nd at BookPeople, 11:30 a.m.  (Yes, there is a dog costume contest, but check the store for details.) For anyone in the Central Texas area Jeff will teach a University of Texas informal class on illustrating children’s books starting Tuesday, June 28 at 6 p.m. The above...

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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 Carmen Oliver and I,  as the chapter’s illustrator coordinator)  decided to put a call out for entries. Our talent pool would be the Austin SCBWI illustrators community and students, new and old, past and present of my online children’s book illustration course and classes at the Art School of the Austin Museum of Art. The winning logo would be used to help promote the conference and also appear on the conference program and other materials.  The winning designer would be paid to create the final art for the logo he or she had dreamed up. We asked for rough thumbnail sketches first. Any one of the many little pencil drawings  that came in as a result would have resulted in a fun, solid logo for our event.  In the end, the nod went to Dallion McGregor, one of our chapter members. He spoke to us recently. To help with illustrating this interview post, several other contenders in the contest graciously consented to having their entries included in this post. 1.) What made you decide to enter the contest? Dallion: I...

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A brief visit to an illustrators' studio

Author-illustrators Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson have MFAs from the School of Visual Arts and have illustrated (and written) children’s books together. Their book Harness Horses: Bucking Broncos and Pit Ponies: a History of Horse Breeds (Tundra Press) will be out this October and Jeff’s hilarious picture book, Wiener Wolf (Hyperion) will be released in July. Mark Mitchell, who hosts this blog recently visited with them. In this four minute clip from the interview, Jeff shares a painting tip and a few pages from his sketchbook. In the candid 90 minute interview Jeff and Shelley reveal an incredible amount about the work and processes of a children’s book illustrator.  The 2011 version of Make Your Splashes – Make Your Marks! online course features the full interview and new video visits every month with professional children’s book illustrators. Because sometimes you can learn from a personal conversation with a working professional than you can from a whole semester of lessons. See what else the course offers...

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A Drawing Secret

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Richard Robinson Painting Instruction

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