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Recovering the Classics

by abby on September 18, 2015 | Comment

{Here’s a sample of some of the redesigned covers}

This news story caught my eye since my Book Illustration course I teach at RIT just finished a project of redesigning YA Covers to give them a fresh modern look. Something must be in the air!

Recovering the Classics is an organization that has revamped the look of 50 classic works of literature. This organization was started because many of the classics in public domain lack well-designed and interesting book covers that reflect the enduring stories they wrap. An idea was born and they opened up this book design challenge to the world of designers and illustrators. The results are GREAT! Plus, all book designs are available for sale as prints, and other products which all support the artists who created them. Win for book lovers and win for artists.

The revamped book covers were first displayed as large poster size covers in the New York City Public library and the interest in them was so immense that Recovering the Classics decided to take the covers on the road as a traveling exhibition. This new campaign and exhibition is called 50×50. They want all 50 book covers to visit all 50 states! If you are interested in hosting the covers, you can find out more information here.

Happy Weekend!

Merit Award Winner

by abby on September 15, 2015 | Comment

AbbyDora Design award winning art
{I’m all smiles!}

Phew! What a festival weekend! It was rainy both days, but as you can see I’m all smiles after it was announced that I won the MERIT AWARD at this year’s Clothesline Festival. This award is only given to 10 jury selected artists out of 400+ artists. The award honors not 1 piece in particular, but the quality and style of my artwork overall. I feel so honored to be a recipient!

Thank you to everyone who braved the cold damp weather and visited the AbbyDora Design booth. I enjoyed meeting you and sharing stories.

I will be showing at 1 more holiday festival in Rochester this Fall and I will have more information in the next month.


It’s THIS Weekend

by abby on September 8, 2015 | Comment

colorful art festival booth of children's art from Abby Dening

It’s this weekend! It’s this weekend!
Will you stop into the AbbyDora Desgin booth? I hope so!

It’s time for the CLOTHESLINE FESTIVAL on the lovely grounds of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery.

Here are the details:

2015 Clothesline Festival

SATURDAY Sept 12th 10am-6pm

SUNDAY Sept 13th 10am-5pm.

Our booth is located in ZONE B (on the pavement near Goodman Street)

We’re located in BOOTH SPOT 305.

children's art prints and note cards {Look for our brightly colored banner!}

I always love talking with folks who come into our booth. I’m excited to again have a booth packed with:

colorful children’s artwork

high-quality digital watercolor prints

greeting cards & card sets

illustrated children’s books by me

inspirational small prints


photo of blank page notebooks created by Abby Dening
{Our newest product}


These notebooks are just the right size for capturing thoughts on the go, journaling, sketching, and anything else you might want to put down on paper without a cumbersome large notepad.

There’s something for every age in our booth! (big smile).

I look forward to seeing you this weekend.

B is for Becoming Maria

by abby on September 2, 2015 | Comment

memoir by Sonia Manzano

Sesame Street has been in the news lately. Maybe you have heard that Sesame Street is moving to HBO or that Maria has retired! There’s change in the air on that street!
Sonia Manzano
{Sonia Manzano with Elmo}

Like many from my generation watching Sesame Street was part of my childhood. It was because of this connection that I was very touched last winter to asked to be a part of the design team to create Sonia Manzano’s coming of age memoir titled: Becoming Maria (geared towards an older audience of grades 7-9). I felt like I was giving back a little bit!

YA book design by AbbyDora Design, LLC
{Chapter 1 of BECOMING MARIA}

I contributed to the interior design of this book. And what a book it is! Sonia’s childhood wasn’t the easiest—living with her noisy large Latino family in the Bronx in the 1950’s. Television was a way for her to escape the daily grind and an alcoholic father. Her goal of becoming an actress kept her going during these turbulent times. What kind of turbulent times? Well you’ll have to read the story to find out!

I heard Sonia recall when she first saw Sesame Street on TV as a college student on NPR last week. She said she immediately responded to Sesame Street, which showed a new kind of neighborhood that she recognized and related too. It was an urban neighborhood with stoops and tenement buildings and neighborhood stores with a mix of different races interacting together. Sonia wanted to be a part of this show and she was for the last 44 years. What a story and what a legacy.

Do you have a Sesame Street story?