Month: October 2011

A Halloween coven of illustrators

Normally, Marsha Riti, who illustrated the new children’s picture book The Picky Little Witch penned by Elizabeth Brokamp (Pelican Press) does not sport pink platinum hair. Marsha surrounded by her colleagues from the Austin SCBWI Girllustrators at the signing of “The Picky Little Witch” by Elizabeth Brokamp at BookPeople But it was a costume bash/book launch and the celebrated independent Austin bookseller BookPeople is always up for a party and a crowd on its second floor. Author-illustrator Shelley Ann Jackson and a hula girl friend. Illustrators Amy Farrier and Emma Virjan with Marsha. * * * * * All of us at last week’s group critique session for the “Marks and Splashes” course learned some lessons about professional mindset from illustrator Karien Naude. She co-moderated the critique with me from her home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Read our interview with Karien and see some examples of her marvelously fresh work in this week’s How to Be a Children’s Book Illustrator blog. Check her Alice in Wonderland — drawn in ink with nylon tip pen on paper, then colored on the computer with Corel Painter...

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Embrace the change

The logo designed for the event by Austin illustrator Dallion MacGregor said it neatly — the dawn of a new era for a device known for centuries as the book. Social media consultant Nick Alter (left), illustrator-author Clint Young (center) and graphic designer, comics art and web consultant Erik Kuntz (right) prepare for their presentations this past weekend. On the monitor is Clint’s illustration of Mole for The Wind in the Willows: Redux by Newbery Honor  author Jacqueline Kelly. Organized by the Austin, Texas SCBWI chapter and sponsored by St. Edward’s University, it delivered on what it had promised: Authors, illustrators and other venturesome book people sharing what they’d learned in the field about unleashing stories for e-books and digital interactive book apps and iPhone game apps and animations using TED-style chalk talks — using crazy blends of traditional and digital tools. Creating and maintaining your web persona presented by Erik Kuntz “You can’t expect your agent or publisher to do it for you anymore: your main publicist is you. Not matter what stage you are at in your publishing career, creating a compelling and accessible online presence is a necessity. Your brand is no longer just your work: the audience now wants to feel a connection with you,” Erik explained before taking his listeners through the not-actually-that-scary world of blogs, search engines, social media, book trailers and other tools for effectively promoting yourself promoting yourself.  Standing...

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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 from the start — because Karien is — well — that sort of person.  Even my mother wants to adopt her.  (Unofficially she has, with Karien’s bemused consent — though I should say Karien has loving parents and family in South Africa.) Still, she’s h a citizen of the world, with a network of artist friends that extends to the Austin, Texas SCBWI illustrators’ community,  New York,  the UK and New Zealand. A lot has happened since 2009. She’s gone full time as a free-lancer. She’s learned — taught herself, tons about the craft and business of illustration.  So it really is time for another visit. She’s a huge Tolkien and Terry Pratchett fan.  She’s been on safaris. She loves to cook and loves music so much so that you’ll rarely catch her drawing or painting without her earphones on. Remember as you read her responses to my interrogation that English is not her first language. Her native language is the Afrikaans of her ancestors, Dutch Protestants who settled in southwestern South Africa in the...

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Richard Robinson Painting Instruction

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