Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

It was pretty exciting here in Carroll Gardens!  

Above, Snooki makes her way down Court Street ;)

Thought the Candy Exchange "Leave a Yucky, Take a Yummy" was a great idea!!

                                          This dog was dressed as a crab :)  
                         Below is Ewing, a super sweet dog with a very large head!!

                                                                      Well, Hello there :)

 Joanna and Virginia of  If I Were A Toy gave out candy and posed for cameras in front of their shop.

Odille celebrated her 5th birthday today at The Painted Pot on Smith Street. Kids can choose from a selection of ceramic animals, piggy banks & dishware paint. Pieces are then taken to the kiln and parents are contacted when it's time to pick them up :) It's a great place for a party!

Freddie celebrated his 6th birthday on Saturday! Above, disguised as The Unknown, think I see some giggling beneath his mask ;)

                                             The Unknown with his dad, Mike :D

Scotto Funeral Home... yikes! Below, Court Street Grocers has opened up one side and it's looking good so far :) See photos and read updates on their facebook page          

Lena stayed home... Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...
 Thanks for stopping by! Check back next week for my profile of Palo Cortado, Court Street's fab new Tapas Bar :D

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cover Stories: Creative Girl by Katharine Sise

My good friend, illustrator and Blipadee contributor, Kristine Lombardi received a lovely write up today about her latest book cover in Barnes & Noble's Book Club. Click here-- Cover Stories: Creative Girl by Katharine Sise to read how it came about, plus see her other sketches, too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mini Celebration

It's party time for these little animals!

The fall issue of Stationery Trends Magazine is out! I wrote a column for their "Wandering the Blogosphere" section and I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

This is the best magazine and resource for anyone in the paper product business, whether you're a designer, card company or retailer. Unfortunately, there is not a link to my piece, but you should be able to view it easily by clicking on the image. For you lucky few who live nearby, I have some extras ;D

Below, a selection of favorites from the National Stationery Show 2010; photos designers, booths & details--

Thanks again to Sarah Schwartz, the terrific editor of Stationery Trends, for giving me the opportunity to write for them!

*To read my original blog posts on the National Stationery Show-- here are the links:
National Stationery Show Part 1
Loving Letterpress NSS Part 2
Inventive! NSS Part 3
Party Time*My NSS Finale!

Maraca Mouse has become the cheerleader on my latest promotional pieces.
Below is a another version of Maraca M, quite similar, but thought he deserved some attention, too :)

Below is my October door for If I Were A Toy store. The Halloween theme was an obvious choice!

*Thank You to Katia Kelly for posting about my show on her wonderful and informative blog*

Thanks for stopping by!
xo, A

Friday, October 1, 2010

Little Wonders

You are invited! My show, "Little Wonders" is up at Papel New York for the fall season :) Small works are up front and two medium size paintings from my Blip Blop dimensional series hang in the back.

Here is Papel in the heart of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn at 225 Court St. between Baltic and Warren on the F/G lines to Bergen Street.

I packed up my cards and prints on paper this week and delivered them to the shop. Crossing my fingers that I'll sell 'em all!

Lena spends time watching her bird friends and pondering the complexities of existence ;)

My friend, Melissa emailed me about the latest exhibit at the Brooklyn Public Library. Drawn in Brooklyn is a terrific show of children's book illustrations by, you guessed it, illustrators who reside in Brooklyn. It was curated by John Bemelmans Marciano, talented artist and grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans, the much beloved author/illustrator of the Madeline books and a big favorite of mine!

It was a treat to see work in it's original form and to learn about illustrators I had not seen before. Above is from The Eraserheads by Boris Kulikov.
Artwork is displayed in the grand lobby secured in glass cases that appear to be kid-safe! There is also running video in back with brief artist interviews in their studios.

I was not surprised to see the work of illustrator extraordinaire, Brian Floca in the show. I had the privilege of taking a class with him at SVA many years ago. He's a terrific teacher who instilled confidence and took our ideas seriously, directing each of us to follow our own unique vision through to the end. This still made for some lousy stories, but his patience and humor were much appreciated ;)

This is an absolutely beautiful book about the flight of Apollo 11. It's clear just how much care goes into his work.

Soooooo sweet, from Poppy's Return.

Below are some of my favorite images by various illustrators...

John Nickle

Mark Newgarden

Peter Brown

Anonyponymous, above, is John Bemelmans Marciano's popular word book.
I brought my copy of Madeline and the Cats of Rome in hopes of having it signed :)
Last Sunday he lead a panel discussion called My Inspiration in the Dweck Center. Three fantastic artists gave presentations and Bloomsbury editorial director for children's books, Melanie Cecka spoke about her work and inspiration. I was so glad I attended. Thank you Melissa for sending me the link!

Sophie Blackall gave a funny and completely compelling presentation that included images of her flea market finds, Victorian trade cards, anthropological drawings, doll parts, some lovely work created in a workshop she taught in Spain, plus curiously sad saggy meringue cookies from an Italian bakery :) I am definitely a fan!! Her work is detailed, fun and super charming. It's easy to see how her interests influence her work.

Her 1st children's book was Ruby's Wish and she had to compete with two other illustrators to get it. John Rocco noted it's one of the best book covers ever! She said "if you can just get that one, more will come."

Sophie also illustrates missed connection notes from Craigslist for her blog, aptly named, Missed Connections. Such a clever idea and they look great. Visit Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog to read a nice interview from 2008 and see the "Sneak Peek" Design Sponge did with her in '09.

John Rocco was equally interesting with a great sense of humor. His presentation included childhood pics like a fishing boat he worked on at age11, had his own by age 16, and photos of his dad's Classics Illustrated comic books. He spoke of Rankin and Bass' animated version of the Hobbit in 1979 which inspired him to paint characters like Gollum on his window shades :) His roommate in college was getting paid to illustrate and he decided to try the same. Practicing composition by freezing frames on his VCR and copying the style of Bill Nelson helped him put together a portfolio that got him into RISD.

I know that practice is essential, but it's obvious that John had natural gifts. Wolf Wolf! and Moonpowder are simply beautiful. He has also illustrated numerous book jackets including the very popular series by Rick Riordan. His 1st children's book was Alice written by Whoopi Goldberg. He was a bartender in the city at Charley O's and they were hosting a Tony Awards party. He decided to show her his portfolio, conveniently located behind the bar :D It just goes to show, seize an opportune moment when it happens!

R. Gregory Christie was obsessed with making art as a young child and treasured books like Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. He practiced drawing from magazines and learned graffiti art from a neighbor. The most interesting thing to me was how quickly he figured out how to create a life as an illustrator that is not the typical solitary one. He began doing live drawings and sharing slides in clubs which lead to a sponsorship to travel to places like Malaysia, Sweden and Holland, to name a few, and create "night-life" paintings!

He works in a few different styles, each being bold and inspired. You can view an array of images on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (no, I don't know this blogger, but I do love reading interviews)

Greg also works with kids, but he got his 1st break illustrating an album cover which lead to exposure and his 1st kids' book, The Palm of My Heart. He's illustrated numerous pieces for The New Yorker and said they may call you at 4pm in the afternoon to see a play that night and send sketches in by 10pm. Kinda crazy, but "you don't say no to The New Yorker, it's like the mafia" ;D

Melanie Cecka is the editor for Bloomsbury's children's division and she "lives to work with creative people!" Melanie started out working as an editor for adult books and worked with celebrities like Naomi Judd, Diana Ross and Glenn Campbell, who was apparently a big diva!
She enjoys the collaborative process and worked with John Marciano on Harold's Tail which involved 100 illustrations. She compares acting as editor to that of a referee, adding "you have to give the author and illustrator the chance to showcase their strengths." It was great to hear her talk about leaving text open to an artist's interpretation. She thinks that almost every illustrator is capable of writing a story if that's something they'd like to pursue, whereas they prefer submissions of manuscripts without illustrations attached :)

I left the talk feeling quite happy and inspired and I was pleased that John Bemelmans Marciano signed my book. I told him what an inspiration his grandfather was to me, which I'm sure he hears a lot, and what a beautiful job he did with Bemelmans, the Life and Art of Madeline's Creator that he wrote about him. This is a marvelous book and presents Ludwig Bemelmans biography in a unique creative way that seems perfect for his life. He was fascinating and multi-talented, writing for both children and adults, creating illustrations and fine art until the day he died. This is well written and filled with old photographs, sketches and work I'd never seen before.
It was a great pleasure to meet John and learn that he lives over here in Red Hook with his wife, daughter & two cats :)

Meanwhile, this month has been full of kids-related events and work. My most recent scenic jobs were fun-filled and neither involved sanding or dragging 10' ladders around!
Below are tiles for a commercial that 4 of us painted to appear as if young children had made them. Of course, there was no time to actually paint and fire up a kiln, so we used a urethane binder with pigments from Guerra Art Supply to get that painted tile look. In the end, we made about 300.

Below, Bryon and Melissa share their own personal favorites...

We worked in Danny's shop, Artificial Reality, and here he shows off one of the many fish he caught over the weekend on Long Island where he lives. Feeling generous, Danny gave Bryon a couple to take home to gut and filet for his wife. It was their anniversary and nothing spells romance like fish guts and a nice bottle of wine, of course ;)

Last week we painted cool graphics and hung vinyl letters for Nickelodeon's World Wide Day of Play...

It was a hot day but a great location on 72nd along the Hudson. I rarely make it above 23rd Street, so it's fortunate that some jobs take me out of my comfort areas ;)

Above, scenics prepare to get started, slowly, but surely...
Several had trouble finding the entrance under the highway and my train decided to run express from 59th St to125th.

We finished pretty late, but the worst part of the entire day had been a sound check that went on next to our set. It must have been the longest in history and possibly the worst pop song ever performed by a minor (that's saying a lot I know).

However, it all paid off when a production assistant drove us up the hill and across Riverside Drive to our car on the back of a golf cart. This wasn't your average golf cart, more like a mini-flatbed truck and really really slow!

Above is September's If I Were A Toy door. I went for a "Back to School" theme, forgot to share it until now and it's about to go scary for Halloween!!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out Papel NY and visit the Brooklyn Public Library. Illustrators will be reading from their books and discussing illustrations through November. Click here to see a schedule.
xo, A


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