Allen Say

allen say/Oregonian - is an interesting article about author/illustrator Alan Say.  It's a bit long and the interesting parts are at the end, such as:

"Those adventures have continued for almost 50 years, and they're not over. Say said he "squandered 20 years" working as a commercial photographer in San Francisco and has been trying to "atone for my lapse ever since." He didn't publish his first book until he was 55 and swears that his 39th move, to Portland, won't be his last.

"I believe in periodic deracination to shock my system," he said. "... I prefer to go to a place where you don't know anyone and don't know the language, but I'm getting a little old for that. I've got to worry about medical insurance and all that sort of thing. So here I am.""

 He's giving a reading at a local bookshop this weekend, I may go...


Play Pen - Martin Salisbury

This is that book I was talking to you about yesterday.  One of the gals in my crit group brought it in to share, has lots of great illustrators!  You can add it to your list here.


keri smith (again!!!!)

Did you read this yet?  great stuff!

Secrets of the Self Employed (or How to be an Amazing [insert profession here])
1. Don’t worry about marks while you are in school. No one will ever ask you what school you went to or what your marks were when you leave it. (this pertains to the field of illustration).
2. You are always working for yourself, even when you work for others. Sometimes it feels like you are just the hired hand (and some clients can be really challenging to work with). But there is always some way to turn an illustration job into something exciting for you. Some ideas: experiment with a new technique (or a new color palette), use it as an opportunity to learn about a new topic, rebel against the job in tiny ways (do some roughs just for yourself in which you insert subversive material).
3. There are no actual rules for how to become a successful [insert profession here]. Make your own path.
4. It will help you to create a social network of other self-employed people.
5. Move your body every day. There are many health reasons for this, but it also helps you to work on ideas subconsciously. Ideas and solutions will come in when you least expect them but (almost always after a minimum of one hour of walking). There are new studies that suggest increased oxygen to the brain is a greater source for creativity than “creative brain exercises”. I have found this to be true for myself.
6. Goof off on a regular basis.
7. If you want to work on your art, work on your life. All those personality traits that aren’t working for you will come back to haunt you in your career (i.e. assertiveness, fear of conflict, fear of confrontation.) It’s all connected.
8. What you think becomes your reality. I always had a belief that if I cleaned out my recycling bin in my studio I would get new work. And guess what, it always happened. If you think the industry is screwed and there is no work to be had, guess what you will find out there?
9. Focus on ideas instead of tools (technology). Anyone can learn to use the tools, but it is the thinkers who really impact the culture in important ways. In the end the tools don’t offer anything interesting.
10. Worrying about the competition does very little to help your career. I know it’s hard sometimes to ignore what other people are doing (we all think that others are doing better than us), but every one of us is on a different life path. We are all here to accomplish different things and even though it would seem like one person’s path is similar to yours, it is not.
11. Only work for free if you are passionate about the cause or receive something of value in return. (Be wary of people who offer your name in lights in lieu of money. Many people will tell you something is good promotion for you, often it is not and there are no guarantees when it comes to promotional value). If you are not getting something of a measurable value (i.e. printed pieces, or money) ask for something else, creative freedom. If they refuse then they may not be a good client to work for anyway.
12. Take some small risks on a regular basis. Some ideas: write some places/companies you would really like to work and let them know why you think they are great.
13. Don’t worry about whether or not you are good (good is subjective and most people are not great judges of their own work), just keep making work.
14. Ignore cool. Successful people do not try to be hip, they just do work that excites them.
15. Always come back to work that excites you. Even if you get off track for a while. Do personal work on a regular basis, show it to others. You can reinvent yourself at any time.

from here.


Obama writes a picture book!

Hm.. it looks kind of sweet.  I may just like it.  Will have to go read the full story first, but for a celebrity children's book, I think this one looks alright.


what i ate today

my new blog
please participate!

kate bingaman-burt

do you know this woman? [she lives in portland...]
she made this amazing book:

more coolness here




forest bed

from here.

more best of.

hmm. there's a couple i haven't seen that look pretty good, like one above.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/12/best-picture-books-2010_n_781894.html#s180462


ha ha ha ha

via here.

nina lindgren

i know how you feel about sweden, thought you'd appreciate her: thttp://cargocollective.com/ninalindgren#149683/bio-contact


Books I read today

The Story Blanket - lovely illos by Elena Odriozola - (whom I can't seem to find much about, except is Spanish and has illustrated a lot of books in Spain) which kind of reminded me of your work.  Story is sweet but I'm not sure it would mean much to children.

And Keeper of Soles - with goofy, yet really good illustrations by Yayo.  (Also not finding much on him online.)  But the story is quite interesting - death comes to a cobbler's door to collect him and the cobbler tricks death into letting him live by making him shoes.  You should read it, it's quite good.

nice words to live by

From Caldecott & Co.

...McCay and I serve the same master, our child selves. We both draw not on the literal memory of childhood but on the emotional memory of its stress and urgency. And neither of us forgot our childhood dreams.

A quote from McCay:

"The principle factor in my success has been an absolute desire to draw constantly. I never decided to be an artist. Simply, I couldn't stop myself from drawing. I drew for my own pleasure. I never wanted to know whether or not someone liked my drawings. I have never kept one of my drawings. I drew on walls, the school blackboard, odd bits of paper, the walls of barns. Today I'm still as fond of drawings as when I was a kid - and that was a long time ago - but, surprising as it may seem, I never thought about the money I would receive for my drawings. I simply drew them."

best illustrated books 2010