Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Renewed Resolution

I know that I am not the best person to speak of sticking to resolutions when the New Year rings in, but I have to say that I am so happy to be apart of the MNSCBWI's Mentorship program this year. Last night was a perfect reason why it is so great to hook up with aspiring artists, and to work together towards goals that will help not only the mentoree but also the mentor. For me, that person happens to be Betsy LePlatt. She is an artist that has wonderful sense of composition, use of color, and great character development. What seemed to be a simple hour long meeting, was actually one that lasted a little over two hours. It is amazing how energized one can get when you are with like minded friends. Not only am I looking forward to the progress that Betsy will be making over the course of the next year, but I am anxious to see how much of that enthusiasm rubs off on me as well. To have goals laid out and an idea of where one wants to go, it is never to late or early to think of those resolutions that we must have. Why must we wait till the first of the year? Isn't is bound to fail if we already know that it's "just" a New Years Resolution. Why not have a years worth of resolutions that are actually doable. For me, I know that I am going to work on solidifying my presence so that when I contact publishers, they will have a better idea of what I am about, what I can do, and how I can work to make their projects great. Another area that I need to keep working on is the organizational aspect of my studio. How easy is it to just lay things over there instead of putting them away. I know it is a studio, but when I spend half an hour looking for "that roll of tape" or the tube of paint I set down somewhere then it is time to reorganize it. If only all my studio items could be called to find them! So I hope that even though we are two months away from the new year, why not take that extra hour we are giving this weekend and come up with some new and energizing goals that will help us reach where we are going!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coloring Page Tuesday and my trip to Green Bay

Yes it is true, coloring page Tuesday is here again. This one is from an oldie, but still fun nonetheless. It is a coloring page from "Why the Owl has Big Ears." I hope you enjoy.

So you might be asking what has Shawn been up to the last week since the last post. Well, I was on a great trip over to Green Bay, Wisconsin (and I did get some shots of Lambeau as I was driving bye). I was teaching a workshop over at the Richeson School of Art in Kimberly which is a suburb of Green Bay. The workshop focused on illustration as an art form and what were the different areas in which one could work as an Illustrator. As usual, the students were wonderful and had a great time experimenting with everything from collage work to the more traditional mediums. The time just flew by as we only had three full days to work together, but we made the most of it and am anxious to keep in touch with the students on their after class journey. While over there, I was also happy to head over to Conkey's Bookstore in Appleton and did a book signing of "The Sick Bug" with Susie. We had a great time, but were a little disappointed that it rained most of the evening so traffic was a bit deterred by that. And of course while I was there I managed to find a couple of really cool items. It just so happened to be that the previous weeks author that came in was none other than Jon Scieszka. Before he had left he autographed a couple of books and I managed to snatch them up. They were "The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales" and "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs". I know I am going to treasure them forever. I just wish I could have met him, but that will be another time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Coloring Page Tuesday and Postcards galore!

Hard to believe, but Tuesday is upon us again and its time for another coloring page to download and enjoy! Ok, I have two of them here for you to enjoy.

In other news, I was excited to see my postcards show up today that I will be using as my fall marketing blitz. I know I don't send out my postcards as often as I should, but with the additional postcards that the Children's Book Illustrators Guild (CBIG) sends out, it makes for about 4-5 postcards a year. As for printing companies that I use, it usually is between VistaPrint and Overnight Printing. I have found that both offer great prices on postcards and the reproduction quality is great as well. These postcards that you see were done from Overnight Printing and have a nice glossy color front and a satin back. I tried the glossy on both sides last time and found it to be diffucult to not smear the ink on the glossy back, so I am back to the trusty satin look. Overall the cost of these were really reasonable. The expensive part is going to be getting all of the postage for them. So, when I get back from my trip to Green Bay on Thursday, I will be working on addressing and mailing all of these bad boys. Good thing the stamps are self adhesive and not the licking style!!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008/2009 Illustration Mentorship Winner

And the winner is................................. Betsy LePlatt!

I would like to congratulate Betsy LePlatt as she was the winner that I chose for the 2008/2009 MNSCBWI Illustration Mentoree. I am really excited to have met her yesterday and will look forward to working with her over the course of the next year. Over the next year we will be working on her children's illustration work and her portfolio to help her have a better presence online and in her pursuit of illustrating children's books. Again congrats to you Besty, your work is amazing and it will be a blast.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Crazy busy Saturday

Illustration by 2007 Illustration Mentorship winner Nina Crittenden

Well just a short post tonight as I am preparing for another crazy weekend. This time though it is just on Saturday so I will have a little recovery day on Sunday to work on my book project and get caught up with that. As for tomorrow, it starts off with the Twin Cities Book Festival in downtown Minneapolis. The festivities will be beginning at 10 am and running until 5 pm. I definitely would recommend anyone who loves books to stop on by as Susie and I will be signing copies of "The SIck Bug" and many other authors and illustrators will be doing the same for their books. So, before that ends and where the chaos begins, I have to cut out early to head over to St. Paul to the MNSCBWI Fall Conference and announce who I have chosen to win the Illustration Mentorship for the year 2008/2009. It should be a lot of fun and am anxious to meet the winner. Hopefully I will make it on time and not rush into the middle of the awards ceremony! So that's a little of my weekend, hope yours is less chaotic and more relaxing! Have a great start to your weekends and check back to hear all about the winning illustrator.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Classes starting tomorrow

Hard to believe that October is here already. It seems like just yesterday we were in August, but I guess the fall colors are on there way and I will have to enjoy that before the color is all gone. The good thing though about the cooler weather is there isn't as much of an urge to go outside and waste the beautiful evenings. So, in the long run, I will get more done as the weather slowly goes Kaput outside and the night gets darker earlier and earlier. WIth that, I am excited that tomorrow I will be starting a class that I am teaching at the Elk River Arts Alliance. The great thing is it is only about two miles from where I live, compared to all of the other activities that are more in the downtown Minneapolis area. I just won't know what to do with such a short commute! The class itself was supposed to start on the 23rd of Sept., but we needed to postpone it a couple of weeks and am anxious to get going. The class is going to be on the art of creating children's books, so it should be a lot of fun and a productive 10 weeks. We only meet every other tues. but am hopeful that the students will use the time wisely in between classes and come out excited and energized to continue the pursuit of creating for the children's market.

PS, The book at the top is one that I recently added to my collection on Friday from the MEMO conference in Minneapolis. It is called Storm Codes and was illustrated by my good friend Christina Rodriquez. I would definitely recommend the book as it is such a wonderful read and the illustrations are amazing! Congrats to both Christina and Tracy for such a great book

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Interview on

Happy Thursday everyone. If you are looking for a fix on street painting, you should check out my interview on Hope you like!

As for other news, am excited that Susie and I will be at the Minnesota Educational Media Organization's fall conference with our new book The Sick Bug tomorrow. It should be a fun event and am looking forward to seeing fellow blogger Christina Rodriguez there as well.