23 July 2012

Advanced Illustrators Workshop

August 30 – September 3, 2012

Begins Aug. 30 with dinner at 6 p.m. (optional tour of HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN and Boyds Mills Press offered at 3 p.m.); ends Sept. 3 after lunch.

I'd like to announce a wonderful weekend I and several other talented illustrators will be attending. Are you interested in an illustrative retreat in the Pocono Mountains? Well, look no further. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me or the Highlights Foundation. Here's more about the late summer event:

While your artwork is accomplished alone, it is only with guidance that an illustrator can begin to understand how to make it in today’s picture-book world. Let one of today’s top children’s book illustrators be your guide. Explore the children’s book market with them, learn new techniques, and enjoy the camaraderie of artists who understand your passion.

During this intensive, five-day workshop you’ll immerse yourself in illustration—oil wash on board, printmaking, pen and ink, watercolors, and more. Daily hands-on workshops will challenge you to sharpen your illustration skills, all under the support and guidance of our highly talented mentors.

In addition to illustration techniques, you’ll also explore
* dummy preparation;
* storyboarding;
* continuity;
 * portfolio expectations;
* character development;
* self-promotion; and
* finding a market.

Your work will receive personal attention through one-on-one critiques from your mentors, group critiques with peers and guest art directors, and feedback from special guests at our portfolio showcase.

 Conference Highlights
* The Barn provides space for meeting and meals.
* Support and guidance from carefully selected authors, illustrators, editors, and academics.
* A unique opportunity to network with others in the children’s literature business.
* An intimate and inspiring setting in the Pocono Mountains.
* Charming on-site lodging.
* Farm-style meals prepared by a top-notch chef.

Sign up now! I am sure that spaces will go quickly. Hope to see you there!

Japan = Awesome

Back in June, Antoine, his brother, father, and nephew combined with my brother and sister-in-law took an amazing trip. We were fortunate enough to travel to Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. With Antoine growing up there, I had heard stories of how amazing a place it is. I kid you not, he wasn't lying. All of this is just one girl's opinions, but I'd like to point out some high and lows! GARDENS EVERYWHERE. When I think gardens, I typically think of the kind Louis XIV would have loved. Controlled, bright, geometric. Japan is the complete opposite. Their gardens possess a naturalistic, or picturesque quality, and skirt the fine line of being cultivated and virgin. Super awesome. REALLY FUN SIGNS. Dōtonbori, Osaka has to be one of the craziest shopping streets I will ever be on. Many travel books commented on the ugliness of Osaka, but I found this to be quite opposite, and in many ways I preferred this city to Tokyo. TRAINS. I love trains. Make it a hi-speed one and I am even more excited. SO CLEAN, SO FRIENDLY. I was so impressed how such a densely populated area could remain so clean and organized. Granted, some of the architecture is unaesthetic, being a bit boxes and covered in wiring. Our merry group started taking pictures of the pieces of trash we would see, because it was that infrequent. Impeccable! BEER. I never knew that Japan was that stoked about beer! And even better with the summer temperatures! Vending machines on the street: beer. Vending machines in your hotel: beer. And, all of it was really cheap! On the flip side, when ordering non alcohol drinks in restaurants... the glasses are really small. Europe does this well, and my American thirst is just too great for such small glasses. TEMPLES/SHRINES. These buildings become so numerous, after a while you forget just how striking they are. The lights and space in and around them is so pleasing and well planned, I wish we could have lived inside them. BAMBOO. Ever since I was a child, I saw images of these forests. I've long dreamed of seeing them in person. What I didn't realize was that the color is the most amazing cool shade of green I have never seen before. Scooting along in the train, I would look at the shapes and textures of the forests. Even from a distance, these bamboo forest are amazing, with tall fern-like anatomy. A-mazing. PRESSURE. The worst part of the trip occurred on the second day. As we were headed out to Yadabashi Camera on the train, the horn started to blast in such an alarming manner as we approached a platform and every person inside the car looked forward. NOT A GOOD SIGN. My brother was just able to catch the glimpse of a man jumping in front of the train. As the train tried to stop, our car was the one in which was over the man. Trying to hide this from Antoine's younger nephew was imperative, and luckily, we were successful. While stuck in the train for a few moments, my brother and sister-in-law (each a dr. and nurse) naturally sprung into action, but alas we were locked inside. I was able to glimpse the stretcher carrying him out, and while not a horrific scene, made me sad to think why such a young, well dressed man would make this decision. We were nervous for the rest of the trip when we heard that train whistle blow. Phew well... ok. Sorry to end it on a weird note! BUT! I can honestly say, Antoine was not lying when he said Japan was one of the most amazing places on earth. Sure, it's busy, and urban, and overwhelming at times, but the hospitality, beauty, and friendliness of this ancient nation is amazing. GO THERE! Oh, and there are ridiculously cute things EVERYWHERE. It WINKED at us!

3x3 No. 9 Children's Show!

Hello! My, it's been some time. I've missed the blog. I've mssed the blog so much I am contemplating getting rid of my facebook page to solely concentrate on this better kept chronologic list of happenings. I wanted to check in to share that my recent work on Behind the Bookcase has been accepted into 3x3's No. 9 Children's Book Show. Super excited, especially since I am eager for this book's release in October. Here are the images that will be featured:
In other news, Antoine and I just got through a week of hell in regards to our next move. If any of you are ever thinking about buying a home, feel free to drop a line because we'd love to share what NOT to do... and how to really keep your realtor(s) in order. After this week, my opinion of humanity dropped a notch. Oh well, you live and learn, right? New studio will be set up in a month! Have I ever expressed how much I hate moving? We still like the house, and its early 1900s touches, so it's just a matter of washing the realtor "ick" off us! Hope everyone is having a good summer!