Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thanks to you 2010!

Well, I guess it has come down to tonight and tomorrow for the last hurrah for 2010. I have to say that I have been very blessed this year with wonderful work both in the illustration field and also the street painting. I know I have kind of slipped on the blogging lately, but am hoping to make a new fresh start of it in the new year! So with that, I hope everyone has a magnificent start to 2011 and look forward to what the new year has to offer!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sarasota International Chalk Festival

Art For After Hours Final Street Painting "Skullduggary"
by Artists Shawn McCann, Anthony Cappetto, and Michael Macaulay

Its hard to believe that it has been a week since I was enjoying the beautiful weather and friendly atmosphere of the Sarasota International Chalk Festival. Having been my first time to a major chalk festival, it was a bit overwhelming to have so many street painters all in one location. I wish I had had more time to visit and watch so many talented people work, but we had our own street painting to create and so was kept quite busy with our huge 20' x 45' street painting. With the help of fellow Art for After Hours street painters Anthony Cappetto and Michael Macaulay, we worked over the course of 4 days to create a halloween themed "skullduggery" that was both intense and delightful to the visitors. Along with our piece, there were a total of 2 other exhibition pieces (large group paintings) and over 250 individual pieces. The following images are just a taste of what so many talended and amazing artists brought to the streets of Sarasota, Florida! Also there is special thanks that must be given to Denise Kowal for all of her hard work and dedication to make this years chalk festival such a huge success!

Tracy Lee Stum hard at work!

Edgar Muller working on his piece

Anthony, Michael, Shawn, and Rod from Art for After Hours

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"The Sick Bug Goes to School" and Sarasota Chalk Festival

It's hard to believe that fall is in full swing already, but that is good news for a lot of fun things going on in the studio and beyond. The first bit of news that I am happy to share is the soon to be release of my newest children's book titled "The Sick Bug Goes to School". The second book in the series, "The Sick Bug Goes to School" deals with the things kids face when going to school and illness. As this little snippet shares, I think you will quite enjoy the second book from Susie and I.

The Sick Bug returns in this outrageously silly sequel to the award winning children's tale "The Sick Bug". In the charming follow-up, the Sick Bug has his sights set on an elementary school classroom where he and his bug friends take advantage of some ideal germ-spreading opportunities! It will take one observant student and his clever teacher to help the other children foil the Sick Bug's plans to spread! Combining engaging dialogue and eye-popping illustrations with everyday classroom-appropriate hygiene lessons, "The Sick Bug Goes To School" is destined to be another hit in schools and at home!

The book itself is to be out by next week (first of November) and we are looking forward to the release party which is happening on Wednesday November 17th at Mama's Happy in Mound. Here is the full info

"The Sick Bug Goes to School" release party
Wednesday November 17, 2010
Mama's Happy
2217 Commerce Blvd
Mound, MN 55364

Secondly, if you happen to be in the Sarasota area in Florida over the next week, be sure to come by the first international street painting event in the US! The Sarasota Chalk Festival is going to be a blast and I am so excited to be one of the featured artist working together with Anthony and Michael to create a huge 20' x 40' street painting! Pictures will definitely be posted as the work is being done! For more information go to Sarasota Chalk Festival website

Thanks and hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Transportation"

Sometimes we run a little late for our transportation to school! As for this illustration, it is from my forthcoming childrens' book titled "Gregory's Paper Airplane"

Friday, October 1, 2010

Illustration Friday "Beneath"

This is an illustration from my book titled "Staarabu was Wise, Anana was Gentle". This image is of Staarabu down beneath the ground with his brothers and sisters!

********Profits from the sale of "Staarabu was Wise, Anana was Gentle" will be dedicated to a homeless shelter in Minneapolis, Minnesota called Simpson Housing Services.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Minnesota SCBWI Conference

Image by Sharon Wagner

For those of you who have not signed up yet for this falls Minnesota Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustators, the time is running low as the event is in a mere two weeks time! I know it is a little bit of money to attend, but it is totally worth the investment to be around such like minded and career valuable information. If you are interested in attending, the information on the conference is below. Also you can click here to get the information and registration form from the MNSCBWI website.

Conference Fees
Register postmarked by September 17:
$125 SCBWI members, $125 nonmembers
Register postmarked after September 17:
$150 SCBWI members, $175 nonmembers
Students (I.D. required at check-in): $50

Keynote Speakers
Jay Asher has lived most of his entire life either in Los Angeles county or on California’s central coast. He’s worked at an independent bookstore, a chain bookstore, an outlet bookstore, and two public libraries. But before that he worked at a shoe store, a trophy shop, and an airline. His very first writing award earned him a free fruit smoothie every day for an entire year. Mmmmm.... He is the author of Thirteen Reasons Why, a New York Times best-selling young-adult novel.

Susan Marie Swanson is a poet and picture book author fascinated by the place where her understandings about poetry, children’s own writing, the lives of children, and children’s literature converge. Her awards include fellowships in poetry from the Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board, as well as the McKnight Artist Fellowship in Children’s Literature. Her book, The House in the Night received the 2009 Caldecott Medal.

Scheduled Speakers
• Jay Asher, Author
• Heather Alexander, Editor
• Kristin Ostby, Editor
• Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges, Agent
• Susan Marie Swanson, Author
• Anne Ursu, Author
• Jordan Brown, Editor

Street Painting shots!

I know I haven't been the most keen on keeping up with the blogs lately, but hopefully will keep them up to date a little bit better upcoming. So, if you have been wondering what has been going on lately, here is a sneek peek of some of the past events that I have been fortunate to be apart of! The first image is from the 3D Street painting I did at Deluxe Corporation in late July. It was for their Social Media event and was a blast! The other two images are from the 3D street painting I did at Bismarck's Capital A'Fair in August. The weather was hot, but everyone there made it another wonderful event! Hope you like the shots!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Projects Galore!

Well to say that my posts have been a little sparse lately, would be an understatement. The good news is it is not due to a lack of interest, but rather a lack of time to do so. The month of July has definitely been one that seems to be disappearing faster than I am typing this message. The good news is that many wonderful things are going on and couldn't be happier with the direction everything is going.

So lets start off with the street painting. It has been the best summer by far for my street painting ever since I got hooked up with Art for After Hours out in NY. They have really been able to provide some really exciting street painting opportunities. If you were not able to check out my posts on Facebook and Twitter about the Taste of Minnesota street painting that I worked on over the July 4th weekend, I have posted a few pictures here. Along with this project, I am anxious for a the number of upcoming street paintings that will be here before I know it!

In other studio news, I am continuing to work on a couple of childrens books and am hoping to finish those by the end of next month. Can't wait to show you the results!

And to finish off this post, I have to mention the great time I had at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bike Night last Thursday night. The weather was fantastic and it was so much fun seeing how much everyone enjoyed the 2 huge 8 ft by 9ft bike backdrops that I created just for the night! There are a couple of pics of the finished pieces at the front of the post, but the best images are from the Flickr site that the MIA has for the event. You can check them out here

Thanks and look forward to sharing some more pics with you soon of the upcoming street paintings and childrens books

Friday, July 2, 2010

Taste of Minnesota Street Painting kicks off

Hard to believe that the 4th of July weekend is upon us already. However, with it being here means one thing, the 4 day street painting at the Taste of MN is here as well. Over the course of July 2-5, I will be creating a 3D street painting down by the river at the festival. If you happen to come down, stop by the north end along the river right next to where you get the paddleboat tickets! It is going to be a blast and am hoping for wonderful weather!

For more info on the Taste of MN, check out there site here

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My new children's book is out!!!!

After a long wait, I am happy to share the news that my new children's book I illustrated titled "Staarabu was Wise, Anana was Gentle" is now out on the market!!!! The official release was last Friday the 11th, but didn't get a chance to post about it until now. The book was a blast to work on and am very excited to see the book in person tomorrow to see how the illustrations came thru in the printing. If you are interested in picking up a copy, you can get it here.

Here is a little blurb about the book:

Staarabu Was Wise, Anana Was Gentle is beautifully illustrated and cleverly written in verse. It tells the story of two young animals on the African plain. Their families are facing homelessness due to a life threatening drought and they decide to solve the problem. Although they are inexperienced and afraid, they find the courage and display the creativity necessary to restore water to their homes. In the process, Staarabu and Anana experience an exciting journey; one that leaves them much more confident in themselves.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Free childrens book event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts tomorrow

Needing something to do tomorrow (Sunday?). Come on over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for the free family day "Cover to Cover". This fun day of activities will focus on the art of bookmaking and will be a blast for sure. The museum is open from 11-5 and there will be fun around every corner.

And if that is not reason enough to come over, then swing by the reception hall from 11-4:30 at the MIA to catch my free childrens book class for kids "Art making: book illustration". We will be creating our own little foldable books that you can take home and enjoy! There is no age limit and you can spend as little or as much time as you have to create your own little masterpiece!

Hope to see you there!!!! Details below

Sunday June 13, 2010
11-5 pm

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 3rd Ave South
Minneaplis, MN 55404

Event detail click here

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A great time in South Carolina and a book soon to release!

Sorry for my absence on the posts lately, but things have been very busy lately between the children's books and the street painting. Fortunately, I am back in the studio for a little while so I should be able to catch up on things now, ie, blog posts! So, the first fun little tidbit that I will share with you is the great time I had at Artisphere International Arts Festival in Greenville, South Carolina last weekend. It was such an amazing experience and the people couldn't have been nicer down there. Blog now did a post about it that you can check out as well by clicking here. As you can see by the pictures below, it was such a hard time being in such a beautiful location right down there by the river. Hearing the rushing water and the ducks and geese really made for a difficult working experience :) Now if I could just move my studio down there, things would be great!

The other image that you can see above is the cover of my forth coming childrens book titled "Staarabu was Wise, Anana was Gentle". I am really looking forward to the release of this book and should start seeing it in stores within the next month I believe! Until next time, hope you all have a great start to your weeks!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Koi Pond street painting at Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Well another Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has come and as you can tell by the pictures attached, I was asked to create another street painting for their Preview party fundraiser. What a gorgeous day it was on Wednesday to create the Koi pond that you find below. Thru the course of 8 hours, the concrete slowly changed from the boring grey that we are all accustomed to to a fun and engaging image. The street painting itself was 10 feet wide by 13 feet long so was definitely a chore to get all prepared for the big night! But it was worth every moment to see the reaction of all that came by. Even MIA employee had a great time scouting for the koi! Special thanks to Charles and Amanda of the MIA's Visual Resources department for a number of these photos!!!!! For more information on how to get your own street painting created, head on over to Art for After Hours website and give em a call!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pics from the LA Times Book festival

After an amazing trip out to LA for the LA Times Festival of Books this past weekend, how can one describe such a wonderful time. Not only was the weather beautiful, but the size and scope of the festival was breathtaking. Over the course of two days there was over 150,000 people on the campus of UCLA for the love of books! From all regions and avenues of books, one could delve into and meet some pretty amazing people. As a children's book illustrator, being invited in the first place was a huge honor and was a little intimidating with other children's book presenters such as Henry Winkler (The Fonz), Carl Reiner, Jarrett Krosoczka, Petter Yarrow, and John Carter Cash. But what an honor it was to be there! As you can see from the pics below, Susie and I had a great time and hope you like the pics. I think they best describe how it went and what the event was like.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let the fun begin

After much waiting, the LA Times Festival of Books has finally arrived. With the last few items being packed at the moment, I am looking forward to my short three day trip to LA for this wonderful event. It is such an honor to be asked to appear at the festival and am anxious to meet many wonderful presenters and the all the people that will be coming out for the two day event. If you happen to be in the LA area, here is the link for the festival and my stage time will be at: For more info click here

Target Childrens Stage
11:15 AM followed by an hour long signing

LA Times Festival of Books
Sat April 24 and Sunday April 25
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90025

In other news, I will be creating a 3D street painting next Wednesday April 28 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for Art in Bloom . If you are near the museum, swing on by and say hi. I will be there all day from 8-5. I will be doing another post for this so no worries if you need more info. You can go here if you can't wait till then! So with that, hope all of your weekends go great and will be back in a few days with some pics of the events!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Linked"

Linked to family. This illustration is from my forthcoming book titled "Staarabu was Wise, Anana was Gentle"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CBIG opening tomorrow night

My new illustration "All Hands Hoay!" for the CBIG exhibit at MCBA

If you happen to be in the downtown Minneapolis area tomorrow night, stop on down to the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and check out the new gallery exhibition from the Minnesota Children's Book Illustrators Guild (CBIG). The show "Exploration and Creativity" opens tomorrow April 8 and runs thru June 20, 2010. There is also a reception tomorrow for the opening from 6-8pm and is free for all to attend. Here is a little info about the show and CBIG

"Exploration and Creativity: An exhibition from the Minnesota Children's Book Illustrators Guild"

When: April 8 - June 20, 2010

Where: Minnesota Center for Book Arts
1011 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Opening Reception: Thursday April 8 6-8pm

Members exhibiting:

Barb Bjornson, Sara Weingartner, Franklin Haws, Alicia Schwab, MaryBeth Hinrichs, Chris Dyrud, Sharon Wagner, James Powell, Shawn McCann,Beth Wilson, Christina Rodriguez, Lorrie Gibson, Nina Crittenden, Vicki Deutsch, Linnell Esler, Tessie Bundick, Eileen Matro, Dawn Schreiber, and Anne Adix Fabie

For more info, click here

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Foley Elementary

Another great school visit in the books! On Friday of last week, Susie Bazil and I were fortunate enough to visit the 2nd graders from Foley Elementary. We were there to share The Sick Bug!!!!!!! We started the sessions with the 2nd graders off with some show and tell, some sketching and then went into full scale sick bug production. Using nothing but newspaper and colored vet wrap, the kids created some amazing 3d Sick bugs! The truly took the project to heart and left quite a mess for the media center afterwords. But all together, it was an amazing visit and look forward to bringing the new book "The Sick Bug Goes to School" back to Foley next year! Check out these amazing sick bugs that the kids created!