Friday, November 22, 2013

Year of the Crocodile

Well I never!
I've had a fantastic surprise in my inbox ... the Society of Illustrators has selected four of my images for Illustrators 56. The artwork (from Crocodile Shoes, my unpublished book) will be on show at the Museum of American illustration in New York City starting in early January. I hope to be able to see it in person when I go visit (my first trip back to NY in over a decade—talk about timing!). There will also be a lavishly printed annual, coming out later in the year. More on that soon.

Thank you to the Society of Illustrators, for giving me such a good reason to celebrate on this damp grey weekday (Champagne, and lots of it. You are welcome to join me!!). And congratulations to the other artists selected for this show... a very inspiring lineup indeed.

OK, it's time to get back to work now. Nose to grindstone, shoulder to wheel, eyes front! But you, lovely reader, may want to look at these:

Charlotte Zolotow (children's author and editor who died a few days ago): remembered here and here
•Masako Kubo making a print (1:35 video
•Parov Stelar dancin' up a storm. More happy energy: this is what I'm doing today, between sketching and sipping bubbly!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

And now for something completely different

I drew a robot!

I participated in Tom Franck's sketchbook project which has the theme Evil Giant Robots. "Cute" and "friendly" is more my line of country, so the end result is rather like an enormous mechanical clown toy, with just a soupçon of King Kong for good measure.  Scary!

This sketchbook is traveling the world, with contributions by a mix of illustrators, children's book creators, and comic book artists.  There's an enormous variety of participants (drawings by winners of the Caldecott, the Anderson prize and even the Oscar!!)—I saw robots by Jon Klassen, Eliza WheelerDan YaccarinoChris Rashka, Mary AzarianGary BasemanRodolfo Montalvo, and Emily Arnold McCully!  And so many others, including...

In other news, I am Illustrator of the Day on CIF (Children's Illustrators on Fire), a new-to-me blog. 
(De-activeate your smoke alarms, then go check it out!)
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PS.  Home-made robot lamps, from Gille Monte Ruici

Saturday, August 24, 2013

3x3 Picture Book Show

I seem to be on a roll lately.  First the SCBWI Grand Prize, and now this:

3x3 magazine has decided to include my work in their upcoming Picture Book Annual.  Again!!  A set of five illustrations from my book "Crocodile Shoes" received a Merit award (in the category of Children's Book, unpublished) --above is a little vignette from it. If you'd like to see a few more images from it, click here.

I am thrilled to be included among such wonderful illustrators from all over the world— some very familiar artists, as well as new discoveries whose work I am eager to see.  The annual should be available in a few months time...I am really looking forward to it.

Thanks very much to the judges and to Charles Hively.  And now... I've got to go do some dancin' in the streets!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hello I must be going

My blog and I are still in summer mode, but I want to poke my head in to say hello....

...and to make a happy announcement: my portfolio won the Grand Prize at the SCBWI* Conference (held in Los Angeles every August). WOW, talk about an unexpected turn of events!!

It is of course a massive honour — and the prize is an all-expense paid trip to New York City, as well as an "Open Sesame" to publishing houses for children's books.  I can't wait!! More on all of this later, of course.
Here is that winning portfolio (btw, it wasn't easy to find a "landscape" oriented portfolio of just the right dimensions—thanks to Juana** for all the great advice!).  It contained 17 images, many of which can be seen on my website, while others have yet to be uploaded... stay tuned!  I also showed a full-colour dummy of Crocodile Shoes (which I both illustrated and wrote). Some images are here and here.
The Portfolio Showcase was held in a huge pavilion/ballroom at the Hyatt in Century City, with hundreds and hundreds of portfolios (and book dummies) all laid out on rows of tables.  A lot of people came to look, as you can see...
A lot of talent under one roof!
Here I am, beaming.
More soon.  Thank you again, SCBWI —I am so delighted!!!

PS.  For my readers in Europe and elsewhere: *SCBWI = "Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators".  This organization has chapters all over the world, hosts many interesting events and is regularly present at the Bologna Book Fair. Just sayin'.

PPS. **Juana Martinez Neal is a fantastic illustrator from Arizona by way of Peru.  She was awarded the SCBWI Grand Prize for her portfolio in 2012... and just recently, she did a wonderful cover for the SCBWI Bulletin.  Check her out!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hurray for May!

It's about time, too...
Of course, once all the flowers start blooming, it's very difficult  not to be inspired!
And then there's...
Raccoon yoga

Have a wonderful weekend!

*Historiae Naturalis —Oriane Dufour's cut paper exploration of the natural world
*Bear with me — collaborative book project from Britain
*Hus mit hus — A.M. Victoria's painted wood project

PS.  This blog will most likely be very quiet over the summer, as I work on a few projects and recharge my batteries.  I'll be back in September.... see you then!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Just a little announcement to let you know that I have a new website — it is still being worked on and added to, but you can have a look at it here:
There is a new (-ish) tumblr too — but I will continue blogging here at my Secret Blog ™ as the content will  be a bit different, I expect. Check on both, if you are so inclined.

Also, I've just been informed that this blog was a Featured Blog on the Jacket Flap Publishing blog reader! If you don't already know,  Jacket Flap  is megablog focussed on the universe of children's books, uniting illustrators, writers, editors, publishers, agents and so on.  So much to look at, it's easy to get lost for hours—I am pleased to be in the spotlight there! The content's the same, but here's the link.

Have a great weekend...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

3x3 Directory

I've been meaning to mention...I finally got my copy of ILLO 13 (the 3x3 International Illustration Directory)! I am very pleased to tell you that I have a couple of images in it. My crocodile illustration can be found in the "Animal" section.  

This image is the basis of the endpapers of my children's book project, mentioned previously. (click image for bigness)

And in the "Children" section of the directory is this mouse, forever contemplating the camembert. Some of you might remember seeing her before, here.

You can look at the website: there are a lot of good illustrations to peruse. Then there's a free app, which you can get from iTunes— and that is available to everybody. And, of course, it exists in book form as well. In fact, if you are an art director, editor, graphic designer or art buyer, you can request a free copy.

Here's what it looks like— the cover art is by the Dutch illustrator, Aad Goudappel....

In conclusion, YAY!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nami Island International Illustration Concours

Good news — my illustrated book project has been selected for the Nambook Festival (aka Nami Island International Illustration Concours) !!  It has to stay under wraps at present, but I can still show you a few glimpses from my selected project.  You'll get a flavour of what I've been up to lately, even though it's out of context.
The Nambook Festival is a yearly children's book event in South Korea, about 70 km south of Seoul on an beautiful tranquil island with groves of giant redwood trees.  Nambook is affiliated with IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young people), as well as being an official sponsor of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards.... presented to the winners each year at the Bologna Book Fair.
The list of winners is pretty impressive—an array of international talent that includes many illustrators who have also been selected for Bologna, Bratislava, 3x3, Ilustrarte, Sàrmede and other places where children's book illustrations are recognized and celebrated.  The grand prix went to the wonderful Korean illustrator Sung-Hee Kim.  A few of the other names that jumped out are:  David Pintor, Eva Montanari, Sonja Danowska, Rashin Kheiriyeh and Irma Gruenholz. And so many others... I'm looking forward to discovering their work!
The illustration exhibit at Nami Island takes place from 25 April to 31 May.  There will be a catalogue/annual of the art show as well.  And if any of you are going to Bologna for the book fair (from 25 to 28 March, in two short weeks from now!), the Nambook Festival has a stand (A36 / H29). Stop by and say hi!
UPDATE:  For those of you going to the Bologna Book Fair, the Nami Illustration Concours will give a brief presentation at the Author's Café on Wednesday 27 March at 16:30 — jury members and illustrators will be on hand for a show-and-tell session. Wish I could be there, too...

Friday, January 4, 2013


I want to wish you very happy new year — better late than never, eh? I've been a bit AWOL in recent times but I hope to be more present in the year to come.  Until I return to regular posting, here's an offshoot from something I've been working on, to wish you bonne année, and auguri per tutto— buona vita, buon lavoro, buon futuro...

Can't say better than that!!