Has it been a very busy start to May for you too? Last week was so busy with books and art that I didn’t even get a chance to blog about what I was doing! Thankfully, I’m working at a much more sane pace this week and I can share with you what I’ve been creating.
I’m in my full painting mode to create lots of new artwork for the TWO ROCHESTER SUMMER ART FESTIVALS. I’ll be in one in early August and one in early September. I’ll be sharing more information on these upcoming events next month once I know booth locations and schedules.
August and September may seem a long ways away, but I’m a one woman show, so it takes lots of energy and organization to prepare and create for two weekend art festivals. Currently, I’m in the most fun part of my preparation—the creation of new paintings and new playful paper goods!
After the fantastic response I got from the Star Gazing illustration of a mother and daughter rabbit looking up into the night sky. I thought I’d create a sweet scene where a father and son can have their own night sky moment. Ta-da!
I’m very happy the final painting. I especially adore the little astronaut teddy bear the little boy rabbit is holding. Say it with me, “Awwwww…”
This painting will be available in my Etsy Shoppe soon as a high-quality digital watercolor print. The image size is 6″x 6″ centered on an 8″ x 8″ sheet of watercolor paper. If you can’t wait, you can pre-order the Make A Wish print by sending me an email. Otherwise, I will let you all know when new prints are in my Shoppe.
Did you ever star gaze with a parent or grandparent?
In between book design and introducing myself to new publishers across the country I was able to find time to sit down and draw this week. It was an afternoon of explosive creativity! I was able to compose 3 new ideas for 3 new watercolor illustrations. I think that’s the most I’ve ever done in one sitting. I love that now my drawing table is actually covered in new drawings. Yay!
My head is already bubbling with new ideas for even more paintings. I seem to hibernate a little in winter, but I’m so excited to be feeling the flow all this creative energy again. I’m pushing myself to have several new painting and prints for Rochester’s summer art festivals.
My friend and I have started a new tradition. We are now meeting up about once a month or so and sharing our favorite illustrated books! A lot of the time they are illustrated picture books. It’s delightful to oooo and ahhh WITH someone in person over a great book. Not many of us have book clubs where we read children’s books, but I encourage you to throw in a YA or picture book book now and again. It’s fun!
I just had to share with all of you a couple of great finds. So in no particular order here are 2 AMAZING recently published picture books:
Carin’s collages have a poetic folk art feel. Plainly stated: they are magical. The simple text allows your eyes to slowly take in all the details in her collage compositions and the paper collage material too. Anyone who likes to paper collage should pick up this book.
These copies were borrowed from my local library, but I love both books so very much that I plan on adding them to my personal collection. OH and speaking of my personal collection. I forgot to tell you what my all time favorite picture is book on Tuesday. Drum roll please….my FAVORITE picture books is: Brave Irene by William Steig. It’s a classic. It’s even better when you’re Mom reads it out loud and really animates the wind’s voice. (Thanks Mom!)
So, while you are looking up these 2 new pictures you should look up Brave Irene too!
Have you heard yet? Children’s Book Week is May 13-19th this year. CBW is a wonderful annual tradition where schools, libraries, and even families take time to recognize books for young people and the joy of reading. Sounds good to me!
CBW is actually the longest continual running national literacy initiative in the country. It was started back in 1913 by a savvy librarian named, Franklin K. Matthiews. He was the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America and began touring the country to promote higher standards in children’s books. He proposed creating a Children’s Book Week to focus the energies and attention on quality books for children from the key players in children’s publishing: the publishers, booksellers, and librarians. There’s more to this story here.
Today you can expect schools and libraries to offer fun events all across the country. The venues of participating bookstores and libraries are listed on the CBW website.
Best yet—you can even order your own FREE copy of the 2013 CBW Poster created by Caldecott Winner Illustrator: Brian Selznick. He is the creator of he Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck (I just finished reading Wonderstuck and it truly is fabulous as he tells 2 stories in 1 book. The first story is told with words and the second is told only with illustrations. Grab your own copy to see how he blends the two together!)
Finally the winners of the 2013 Children’s Choice Book Awards are announced live during Children’s Book Week at the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala (think Academy awards of children’s literature). Voting opens in 2 weeks on March 19th and goes to May 9th. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to remind you once the voting is available.
What’s the first book that comes to mind, when you are asked: “what’s your favorite children’s book?” I’ll tell you mine on Tuesday!
Yesterday around noon EST the 2013 Caldecott Medals were announced at the midwinter American Library Association in Seattle. Drum roll pleeeeeaaase….
CALDECOTT MEDAL The Caldecott Medal goes to This Is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. This book is the follow up to I Want My Hat Back published in 2011. In This Is Not My Hat, a small fish steals the hat from a bigger fish while he’s sleeping. The little fish has a plan to get away with it, but his subtle peaks backward might tell another ending. Check out this great book trailer:
Jon Klassen also received a Caldecott Honor for illustrating the picture book Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett.
2013 is the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott awards. NPR gives a great description of the history of this award that includes comments from 2-time Caldecott winning author/illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg. You can listen to this story here.
For various reasons, this task of creating a postcard mailer has always been pushed down to the end of the to-do list. BUT. NOT. THIS. YEAR. This year I’m putting my artwork at the top of the list of things to focus on and to market. My lovely postcard is the first step at putting this goal into action.
Over the next several months, I’ll be sending out my postcards to art directors, editors, and companies that use children’s illustrators in hopes that a new business relationship might begin. I’ll be combining this mailer with other self-promotion marketing efforts, too. With a little luck (and perhaps a happy happenstance) my name will align with an illustration opportunity!
Happy Holidays! How are you feeling? Stressed yet? Already finished your shopping? I’m in the middle of mine and so far I’m doing well. Not too much of a stress bunny. I’m a list girl, so as long as I have a list and can cross off items I’m a holiday shopping machine!
In case any of you are stuck on what to gift I thought I’d suggest a few art items available at the AbbyDora Design Etsy Shoppe. Ready to make your own list? Ok!
This Fall I self published my very first book, Old MacDonald Had a Farm. AND right now Lulu.com is having a 20% off SALE. It’s the perfect time to buy! All you need to do is enter the code: FELICITAS at check out.
Better yet, pair the book with a couple of FARM ANIMAL PRINTS ON WOOD PANELS.
You can pick and choose the animals to create your own set. I can even add the child’s name to the animal print.
This year gift a personalized name print! Each print can feature a butterfly, ladybug, bee, or firefly and the child’s name. This could be a wonderful gift to a new mom and dad. AND these prints are ON SALE this month too. Each custom print is only $15!
I hope sharing these gift ideas were helpful. There’s nothing like giving the gift of handmade artwork!
It’s that time of year again when the “Best of 2012″ lists start happening and you better believe that children’s books has its own lists!
This year marks the 60th anniversary of The New York Times Book Review “Best Illustrated Awards”. Each year a panel of judges is asked to choose the 10 best books from thousands of picture books published that year. The judges this year were: Chris Raschka, (illustrator whose book, A Ball for Daisy won the 2012 Caldecott Medal), Bruce Handy (Editor at Vanity Fair), and Cathryn Mercier (director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College). The print list was published in yesterday’s special children’s book review. House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser and Illustrated by Jon Klassen was one of the chosen books. Here are the rest of them.
My cousin, Bethany, who is the Clothing Manager at Willey’s Store suggested the idea to pair my picture book with sections of their children’s clothing. Brilliant! One stop shopping for busy moms, especially with the approaching holidays. Oh and you must know that Bethany has her own creative business too: Malamoose Beadery. Be sure to take a peak at her at her shop for fabulous watches and bracelets.
Don’t worry if you aren’t near Greensboro, because you can also purchase your own copy of Old MacDonald Had A Farm right here.
On Tuesday, I announced that I published my first picture book and the response and support for my Old MacDonald Had A Farm paperback book has been so wonderful! Thank you to everyone for your kind words and for purchasing my book.
AND what’s even more great is that LULU even seems to be supporting me too. TODAY ONLY Lulu is cutting it’s GROUND SHIPPING COSTS BY 75%! No coupon necessary. The savings automatically kick in as you check out. Add that HUGE savings to my special book price of $12 and you are one savvy shopper! I wouldn’t pass this moment up, a deal like this doesn’t happen too often. Start your holiday shopping!
And speaking of Holidays, I also want to announce that for those of you in the Rochester area, AbbyDora Design will be at the RIT Winter Craft Fair on Friday December 14th from 10am-4pm. I’ll have additional copies of Old MacDonald for sale and will be signing books too. If you decide to buy your book today (AND SAVE BIG!) feel free to bring it to the fair to be signed.