Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coloring Page Tuesday

Joining in on the fun, I have decided to join fellow bloggers Nina Crittenden and Christina Rodriguez for "Coloring Page Tuesday" My submission to the days coloring page is one from my newly released children's book The Sick Bug. This is an image of all the bugs with their name tags on. I have also added a second bonus coloring page with the bugs. Hope you like!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Launch Party Photos

Happy Sunday to everyone. I hope your weekends have been going well. I know mine has been really busy with the big ArtPerchance event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on Friday night and then Yesterday with the "Launch Party" for the sick bug over at The Bookcase in Wayzata. We had such a great crowd over there and the books were flying off the shelf so fast that the bookstore ran out of the books within the first hour. Good thing Susie came prepared with a number of extra cases in the back of her vehicle that we were able to keep the fun rolling. It was nice that a number of friends stopped by as well including Nina from CBIG and also Nicole from the MIA. One of the things that was really cool to see was the bug t-shirts that Susie had made. They really were a big hit with the kids as you can see below. Thanks to all that stopped by and am looking forward to showcasing the book at the Minnesota Educational Media Organizations conference this Friday. PS. that is Dara Moore in the last photo. She is one of the editors over at Beavers Pond Press and was the one that got Susie and I hooked up for this great project!

Friday, September 26, 2008

"The Sick Bug" Launch Party

Well, hard to believe, but the big launch party for "The Sick Bug" has finally arrived. The book itself came out a few weeks ago, but this is the time to have fun celebrate the books release. Along with a lot of fun activities for the kids, there is going to be a signing by both myself and the author Susie Bazil and am really looking forward to a fun time. The launch party is going to be held at The Bookcase in Wayzata from 1-3pm tomorrow. If you are looking for a good time for the kiddies and want to come and help celebrate the book, we would love to see you there!

In other news, another little article was released today in the LakeShore Weekly about Susie and the book. I think it is a fun little read. You can check out the article here.

Well off to the big ArtPerchance event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I have a piece in the fundraiser and am off to go party and network! Have a great start to the weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"The Sick Bug" has hit the airwaves

Just a quick post as I am out of state for my sisters wedding but wanted to post this cool link from the Fox 9 morning show from Yesterday. They had a really great spot about the book with the author Susie. Hope you like "The Sick Bug" ON Fox 9 morning show

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Some GREAT news

Hello everybody. I know that sometimes I can seem to be excited by everything that is going on whether it is something to be excited by or not, but I promise that this is really cool. The news involves the recent release of "The Sick Bug" that was written by Susie Bazil and of course illustrated by myself. The book officially came out last Friday and was one of the books featured at the Boston Book Festival last Sat. It has also been included in a number of articles that were in newspapers around the metro. Well, I just received an email from Susie and she is going to be appearing on the Fox 9 Morning show next Wed. the 17th with the book. How great is that! I am totally psyched and wish I could be in the Twin Cities to check it out, but will have to rely on someone to tape it as I will be out of state for my sister Megan's wedding. This has really been a great experience working with Susie and also Dara over at Beavers Pond and am so happy that the book is finally out on the market and starting to make some waves. Hopefully the momentum is just beginning!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Catch the Wind" has arrived!

Hello everyone. Another exciting day has arrived as I finally received copies of a children's educational book I illustrated titled "Catch the Wind". Mortenson Construction company which is a major player in the construction of renewable energy projects like wind turbines and such was the driving force behind this non profit venture to use the book as an educational resource. They are also the ones working on the new Twins stadium in downtown Minneapolis, so there was a natural bond of course :) With the book they also created an area on their website called Discover Renewables where you can download coloring pages, crossword puzzles and things such as vocabulary words associated with the wind turbines. If you know of any kids that are interested in learning more about how those big wind turbines are made or work, this is definitely a book for them!

One another note, it has been a really good week so far with another children's book project that I have been working on and am getting close to getting the characters all finished with their development. It will be fun to tell you more about this book as soon as I am able to, but until then, know that I am not slacking too much and am still working in the studio. This weekend though will be a different case as I am getting anxious to go to the opening of "A Child's Hope" at the Owatonna Art Center. It is a show that features the work of illustrators from The Children's Book Illustrators Guild (CBIG) of Minnesota and one in which I have two pieces that are displayed. The show itself opened yesterday but will have the reception on Sat the 13th from 1-4pm at the Owatonna Art Center. So if you happen to be in the area or are near the Owatonna Art center between now and Nov. 1st you should stop by and check it out!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Illustration Friday: Clutter

Do I need to look any further than my studio for this one?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Streetpainting.tv and more

My "Mill City" street Mural 2005

Image copyright Jonette Novak

Image copyright Jonette Novak

My finished Street Mural for the International Children's Festival in St. Paul

An element of being an artist that I really enjoy is when I get to create street murals. Over the last 5 years or so I have been able to work on murals for various events ranging from mall openings, children's festivals and for museums. It is always a blast to interact with the audience and show them what can be accomplished with chalk on the sidewalk or street. What really peaked my interest though was when I was fortunate enough to work alongside a number of the top sidewalk chalk artists in the country a couple of years ago at the St. Paul International Children's Festival. From Rod Tyron, Tracy Lee Stum, and Joel Yau, It really opened my eyes to the type and quality of work that can be done on the street. I also had the privilege to meet Wendy Stum and Anthony Cappetto who own Art for After Hours which is a company that brings these talented artists around the world for events and festivals. Their insight was great in looking at what was possible with street painting. Now they have upped the push for the genre of street painting by creating Streetpainting.tv and the blog Blog Now on streetpainting.tv. These are two great resources for anyone interested in street painting. It will be a lot of fun to see the new videos and posts that are to come from some of their great artists. So Best of luck with the sites Wendy and Anthony, you guys definitely have done a great job with creating an inspiration and resource for street painters.

From L to R: Tracy, Wendy, Anthony, myself and Rod

In other fun news, I was surprised late last week when I got an call from Christina Rodriguez who is the Illustration Coordinator for the Minnesota Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. With her call, I was asked to be the 2008-2009 Illustration Mentor for MNSCBWI. I was honored that they thought highly enough of my work to ask me to take on this important task of guiding another illustrator through the process of what it takes to get published, marketing and all of the nuances of being a children's book illustrator. Over the course of the next year, there will be lots to do and am anxious to see who I will be paired up. I know it will be a lot of hard work, but that is the course that as an artist one must get used to. For you will not go anywhere unless you are willing to put in your dues and keep at it. So I will be sure to keep you posted when the winner is announced and will be introducing them in due time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Backing up your files

As I listen to the coverage of Hurricane Gustav, I am reminded that in an instance, things can be changed drastically. When it comes to that instance, you won't have a chance to save those all important files that you have been working on for the last week, month, or a number of months without backing them up. I know it is not something that always crosses your mind when working on digitizing your images, scans, or even photoshop files, but it is something that you must think of in case of that natural disaster. Whether it be a flood, tornado, fire or whatever, you must look at a system that works for you in making sure that you do not lose your life's work and files. For myself, I have found that keeping a backup of all files is not only necessary in my studio, but also by keeping a complete set of the backup files outside of my location, which just happens to be at my parents house. That way if everything were to get damaged here, at last I would be able to access the files from a hard drive that is kept there. I know you may think that seems redundant, but how much are your files worth to you? How about all of those images you took of your paintings that have been sold and have no clue where they are at? A few hours to back up your archive now can make all those headaches non existent in the case that something were to happen.