Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Artist Talks in Brooklyn

Well, three to be exact...
Upon entering 440 Gallery for last Sunday's round of
artist talks, I saw that kids were already in there drawing away!

This weekend, July 21st & 22nd, is your last chance to see 
"From Mice to Monsters: Illustrations for Children"
at 440 Gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I attended last Sunday's artist talks and it was as interesting to me as it appeared 
to be for kids that showed up, listened and had a chance to create themselves.

First up was Sara Woolley and her mother, Leila Gomez Woolley.
They co-wrote Los Pirineos, the mostly true memoirs 
of Esperancita Gomez. Sara created all of the wonderful illustrations 
for this three volume graphic novel.

Above, Leila reads from the 2nd chapter.
The separate worlds of children versus adults is
beautifully illustrated throughout the story.
The setting is Colombia, a character, itself, in this rich tale.

Sara did a marvelous job describing her process,
sharing slides, sketches, technique and her book dummy with us.

I always enjoy seeing reference material artists use
to aid their creations. Sara shared numerous photographs from their trip back 
to Colombia, as well as older pictures of actual family members.

She and her mom were able to research on location with the help of a grant

Here, she shares one of her "model sheets"
which she makes for each character.

Sara dyes her papers 1st with fabric dye (powder based) 
to create a surface with depth and interest. 
Below is a perfect example, where she's created the illusion 
of an old painted concrete wall.

Here, she demonstrates how she uses the dye by wetting the paper,
masking areas and carefully sprinkling powder on before blending. 
*Important note- fabric dye is toxic, so best to buy a non toxic version, 
if your child is interested in trying it out.
Sara dyed all of her paper outside in her backyard and said 
she's sure her neighbors were curious about what she was up to.
Some of them came to her talk, so now they know ;)

Page from her book dummy

Sara draws in pencil then inks in everything
before laying in color and textures.

I love the way these look simply as ink drawings!

 I also enjoyed looking at the vintage fabric samples Sara chose from to
clothe her characters. Above, Esperancita in a yellow flower pattern 
before choosing a cute orange for her overalls :)

Please visit Sara's website to see much clearer photographs of her work
and to read more about this ambitious project. As far as I know,
several publishers are interested, but this book has not yet
found a definite publisher.
Could you be the one?

Contact Sara with any inquiries
You can also follow her on Facebook *

Next was Kievan Havens

                           He builds some terrific 3D models before he begins an illustration. 
                                               Below is his Mr Sandman model.

You may be able to guess that one of Kievan's 
influences is artist, Maxfield Parrish

Here, he explains his process of working in black & white 
and then adding color in layered glazes.

In this particular piece above called Harvest Moon,
some at the opening were curious about how he
achieved a relief pattern with his leaves (sorry, can't see in photo).
It turns out, he'd used frisket to mask off that area, while reworking 
the background and when he removed the frisket,
the leaves took on an engraved appearance.
In other words, a Happy Accident my favorite kind ;)

Kievan works in quite a range 
and not specifically in the children's sphere.
Take a look at his site to see more. 
And finally, Buket Erdogan, the curator of this wonderfully eclectic exhibition...

Buket is originally from Turkey and studied textile design.
While in NYC, designing kids clothing, she began painting and sending illustration
samples to publishing houses on the side. It didn't take long before she heard
from an editor at Scholastic interested in hiring her to illustrate one of their projects.
Unfortunately, the next step went nowhere and her dream seemed to end in a flash.

Cut to a year later and that same editor had moved to Simon & Schuster 
and called again! They published Mouse's 1st Christmas which made the 
New York Times Best Sellers List. 
She was well on her way to a career illustrating books for kids!

Community Bookstore set up books to be sold out of the gallery.

cute lil duckie

Above, the talented Yagmur Erdogan. By the looks of it, 
she could give her mom a run for her money ;)

It was fun to use pastels again and to see everyone jumping in
to create cute characters!

this friendly bird is by Leila Gomez

Ciao for now!
*Remember, the next round of artist talks is this Sunday July 22nd*
This Sunday's presenters are:

Melissa Guion :: Baby Penguins Everywhere
Bill Zeman :: Tiny Art Director
Mariko Suzuki-Bertocci :: Tumpsy's Time Travel

Took a slightly better photo of Subway Animals by 
your friend & mine, me!
440 Gallery is located at 440 6th Ave btwn 9th & 10th St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Subway: F & G to 7th Ave / R to 4th Ave

Hours: Th & Fri 4-7 pm, Sat & Sun 11a - 7 pm *Closes July 22nd

Have a great wekend!
xo, A

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