Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"The Author in You" tv show

During a visit to Rock Springs Elementary School in Lawrenceville, Georgia last spring, GCPS-TV filmed this segment with me for their show, The Author In You. There are some interview questions from students, some snippets of my presentations, and footage of me throwing out the first pitch at a AAA Gwinnett Braves game (I thought I threw a strike, but in the video it looks a little high). Enjoy!

And check out their web site to see other episodes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New York City

I'm back in Maine after a great weekend in New York City. On Thursday night I attended The Original Art show at the Society of Illustrators, and had a great time seeing lots of friends and checking out some amazing artwork. It's always so interesting to see the art in person and see the different ways people work. Some of the originals are gigantic, some are the size of the book (I always work at the same size of the book). I noticed that more and more artists are using elements of traditional media combined with digital, which I guess isn't a big surprise. The best part of the exhibit was being able to hang out with so many illustrator friends I don't see very often. Writing and illustrating books is a very solitary job much of the time, and I get such a creative boost from being able to spend time with other people who are doing the same kind of work that I'm doing. I always forget to take pictures, but I did get a few:
my friend Dan Santat accepting his Silver Medal

The amazing Eric Carle accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award

My Art Director at Candlewick, Kristen Nobles, and me standing in front of my cover illustration from Henry Aaron's Dream
me and my Henry Aaron's Dream illustration

...and one more.

The best time to actually see the artwork was after most of the crowd had left. The show is up until November 24, so if you get a chance, go see it!

Then on Saturday I had my first signing for Jack's Path of Courage: The Life of John F. Kennedy, at Books of Wonder. As always, they put together a great event, with the creators of five new picture book biographies, including Sean Qualls, Bryan Collier, and Javaka Steptoe, all on hand to talk about their work and sign books. It was great talking with all the authors and illustrators, and I got a copy of Dave the Potter signed by Bryan Collier- an amazing story, and a beautifully made book. Here are some pictures from the Books of Wonder event:
a display of all the books

my daughters were excited to find some of my other books there too

my camera died toward the beginning of the Books of Wonder event, but here are a few from the panel discussion.

Now, back to work!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Children's Book Illustrators exhibit, recap

On Saturday I attended the opening reception of the Children's Book Illustrators exhibit at the Brush Gallery in Lowell, MA. Will Winslow, the curator of the exhibit, did a marvelous job organizing the event. It was a great day.

First there was a panel discussion with a nice big enthusiastic audience, where Will moderated and David Macaulay, Kelly Murphy, and I talked about our work, our creative process, the book business, and whatever else came up.

Then we signed books until there were no more books left to sign, then a reception in the gallery. Christopher Bing missed the panel discussion because he was busy signing copies of his spectacular new version of Little Red Riding Hood down at NEIBA in Providence. But he made it to Lowell in time to sign a bunch of books during the reception. After the reception Will took all the artists and our spouses (or in my case, my entire family) out for a wonderful dinner.

One of the many highlights of the day for me was a surprise guest- my elementary school art teacher, Barbara Gagel. She lives in Santa Fe now, so I was not expecting her to walk into the gallery! Turns out she's friends with the curator and when she heard about the exhibit, she decided to surprise me and come to the opening. She was an amazing teacher who did so much that wasn't necessarily part of her job (like taking me on several trips to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston), and it was really a thrill to have her there. It was also great to have my parents there, and some friends from Candlewick, and other friends and fellow illustrators. What a day!

The exhibit is up until October 24, so if you're anywhere near Lowell, MA, you should check it out.

There wasn't much opportunity for picture-taking (I wish I got some pictures of David Wiesner's artwork from Sector 7 and Christopher Bing's amazing illustrations...), but I did get a few:

some of David Macaulay's originals
more David Macaulay

Kelly Murphy's original artwork

I had four pictures in the exhibit- one from Jack's Path of Courage, two from Lady Liberty, and one from Henry Aaron's Dream.
same illustrations from a different angle

me and David Macaulay

Kelly Murphy, David Macaulay, Matt Tavares, Christopher Bing