30 May 2009

Musical Interlude

Just wanted to share some songs I've been obsessed with lately... just because I can.

Swanky Bookmarks

Wow! Check these guys out! Houghton Mifflin really did a super job on these promotional bookmarks. It's making me all the more excited for Nate's big release in September.

Here's the backside info:

Flight of the Phoenix
Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist

by R.L. LaFevers
with illustrations by Kelly Murphy

With his parents lost at sea, Nathaniel Fludd lands on the doorstep of a distant cousin- the world's last remaining beastologist. Soon Nate is whisked off on his first expedition, to Arabia, where the world's only phoenix prepares to lay its new egg.

Too bad Nate's not the sort of boy who enjoys adventure... yet.

Oooo! So keep your eye out in stores and conventions for these little doggies... and maybe even an advanced copy!!!


17 May 2009

Dragons: Part Deux

Here's a sneak peek of the next book from Boni Ashburn and Abrams Books for Young Readers! Over At The Castle is nearing completion, and now that I have purchased a new scanner... I am ready to share! My last scanner finally died after 10 years of operation. Not bad, right? This one is MUCH better, solidifying the fact that technology does improve over time. Lets see if the mechanics prove to operate just as long as the last one.

Back to painting! Can you believe it's almost June?

12 May 2009

Taming the Beast

Book publishing is a different beast sometimes. For months and months, you slave away on projects, never getting rid of them. As soon as you pass the artwork in, it's like you never hear from them again. They never call, they never write! But about six months later, something magical happen. They come back to you, different, but BETTER! You see them all put together with the text. Very exciting. And any discourse you had with the images while making them, seems to be past.

I wanted to show the evolution of a chapter book called Flight of the Phoenix, Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist. Written by R.L. LaFevers, this books promises to be the first of an amazing many. I had so much fun working on it. In fact, I am rounding out book number two's artwork. Even more action packed than the first!

I gave a taste of the cover a month or two ago, so now I want to show the evolution of the whole cover. Nothing crazy exciting, but seeing the sketch process is fun sometimes (?).

We wanted to get an aged look, without it being too... "this is meant to look like an old book" kind of thing.

I tried to remember all kinds of way to fasten pages together.

And all sorts of intricate closures.

Then I remembered old movies, and seeing kids run with their books belted together. Just the kind of thing a young explorer would need while flying, camel riding, and escaping Bedouin assailants!

Then came the painting.

Which was fine and good, but I agreed with master art director, Scott Magoon, that it was a bit too subdued with colors. It needed an extra pop. So he tweaked it a bit to become this:
PHEW! That's exhausting! So... it comes out this September, and I cannot wait to see the first official proofs. SO EXCITED!

08 May 2009

It's Not Just Me!

*LANGUAGE WARNING for all yall tikes out there*
This is a genius series.
Annnd my scanner died. I am about to upload BOATLOADS of new work. Got, like, 5 projects going on!