Sunday, February 22, 2009

Taking a crazy leap

Hard to believe that the weekend has slipped away already, but that is the outcome when I get a chance to work in the studio pretty much uninterrupted. It is a luxury that I wish would happen more often, and relish in the next opportunity to dig into a creative mode. As I have been blessed lately with the workings of many books, I have come to find myself even more interested in the nuances of children's books. With that, I have decided to take a crazy leap into the writing side of children's books. I know that you think I may be crazy, but rest assured that I would also be doing the illustrations for these books. I have really come to find that I want my voice to be heard, even though it might be a little rough on the writing side. I am curious as to what other illustrators have to say on this subject. Is the notion of writing and illustrating your own books a calling as well? If so, what was the deciding factor in moving forward with sharing your words as well as your art? Any thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Illustration Friday: "Instinct"

Good thing Owls remember how to fly!
Cause I'd get scared and fall out the sky!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"The Big Draw" and working on finals

Happy Wednesday to everyone. Hard to believe we are more than half way through the week, but I guess that means the weekend is getting closer and closer. Things here in the studio have been going really well lately. Most recently, I have started working on the final illustrations to a new children's book that I haven't talked about too much. The author is Michele Deville and am anxious to show you more as I am able to.

So since I don't have any visuals for that, I will talk about a fun event I am going to be apart of tomorrow at the "The MInneapolis Institute of Arts". It is called "The Big Draw" and will be apart of the Third Thursday event at the museum. What I am going to be doing is teaching a drop in drawing session in the classrooms. The drawing session is going to be for any age and any art level. The best thing is that it is FREE! All you need to do is be willing to throw some lead on the paper and you are set to go. The event runs from 6-9 pm tomorrow at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and would love to see you guys there!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Illustration Friday: "Celebrate"

Even though it had been the longest drought in history, the three little birds still had time to celebrate.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentines Day cards

Thanks to a post from fellow blogger "Nina Crittenden" to create illustrations from her sketches of animals, I have come up with my version. Since we are so close to the big Valentines Day, I have taken her outlines and created Valentines Day Cards. As you can see we have a penguin and a seal version. Thanks Nina for the inspiration. If you would like to print these and give them to your friends, just click on the images below with the multi image versions and print. Happy V-Day everyone!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A great weekend of fun!

Hard to believe that the weekend is into Sunday already, but with all the events that went on yesterday, it will be good to get a few things done here in the studio. Yesterdays "Hooked on Books" event in Chaska was a raving success. With all of the activities for kids to do and the space to do it in at the Chaska High School, I bet there were close to 1000 people that attended the festival. Having been there two years ago, I was blown away with how large the event has become and am already looking forward to next years event. I would definitely recommend this fun day of activities for anyone with a family and for you authors and illustrators out there that have published books. One of the highlights though was when a couple of kids were so excited to see me drawing "bugs" on the easel that they were overcome and had to show me what they would have done had they been given the chance. As you can see, I have some stiff competition! They really went all out and the average age of the kids was around 4 or 5. So, now I have a fun piece to hang in the studio to remind me of the fun interaction we had.

Also taking place yesterday was the final celebration party for MCAD's beloved retiring professor Kinki Akagawa. The picture above was taken on Friday night at the opening celebration with Kinji sitting on one of his signature benches. It really was great to see the huge turnout for both Friday and Saturday nights. The Saturday night event was by far the gala though as it was held in the beautiful Mill City Museum and culminated with the auction of many alumni's work in honor of Kinji for a scholarship fund. It was really great seeing all of his former students and colleagues come together to honor such a wonderful person. And I have to say I was a little awestruck at all of the well known artists, some which were pretty famous, and of course the opportunity to meet our former Vice President of the United States Walter Mondale. There's just a certain swagger that some of these people tend to carry when they walk into a room! So with that, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend and look forward to getting some things done!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Illustration Friday: "Time"

Is there any better time than "Dream Time"?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hooked on Books and Paradigm Shift

Happy Thursday everyone. Hope you have had a productive week so far. I know I have been busy working on a number of Illustrations and am really looking forward to the action packed weekend. The main event that I will be enjoying will be the MCAD Paradigm Shift honoring Kinji Akagawa at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design this Friday through Sunday. There will be many wonderful events that will be going on in celebration of Kinji's retirement. As a member of MCAD's Board of Directors, it has been a real treat in helping prepare and organize this event around one of MCAD's most remarkable professors. His dedication and love of the arts has linked him to many of the last quarter of a century of alumni that were fortunate enough to have had him as a professor. To view all of the events surrounding this weekend, check out the "Honoring Kinji Akagawa".

Also on Saturday morning and early afternoon, I will also be appearing at a great family event in Chaska called "Hooked on Books". Susie and I will be part of the celebration from 11:15 to 1pm at the Chaska High School. The main celebration goes on from 9-1 and is sure to be a fun family outing. If you know of anyone with kids that are looking for a great time, send them over to Hooked on Books!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"The Sick Bug" 2009 Mom's Choice Awards® Gold Medal winner

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to all of you football fans out there. I know I briefly mentioned this earlier, but "The Sick Bug" was named a 2009 Mom's Choice Awards® Gold Winner. The "Mom's Choice Awards®"(MCA) is known for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. So with that, when I finally saw a copy of my book with the awards sticker on it I had to post an image! Thanks for everyones support of the book so far and here's hoping for a great 2009 with the book.