* I recently had a birthday *
This gem was given to me by my friend, Melissa Zexter.
She's responsible for other fabulous finds like,
Pastel Bears on Scooter
Shocked & Appalled Lamb
and Cart-Pulling Poodle
That's right and now Meeee-OW!
What more could I ask for?
I unwrapped this classic from my friend, Kristine Lombardi, Cannonball Simp!
If you've never read this, you should, if only to appreciate just how
politically incorrect it is.
I love John Burningham's illustrations. The story is funny and
Simp is endearing. It's one of my favorites in Kristine's
extensive vintage children's book collection and now I own it :D
Tossed, literally, into a trash dump, this fat small dog with only a stump
for a tail is left to fend for herself.
Like so many survivors, she finds her way to the circus
and you guessed it, becomes a star!
I received many lovely gifts this year and one is a bottle of red
I'm about to open right now!
I met friends at The Jake Walk on Smith Street
in Brooklyn and enjoyed a really fun night with some of my favorite people!
The cocktails were tasty and our waitress couldn't have
been more accommodating whenever we needed an
extra table or chair. I'll definitely go back.
Fortunately, the start to the year was a positive one because
my 1st job of the year was in a cold dark dank
stage that wreaked of sewage and mold.
Our Union safety rep had some air purifiers added and, as usual,
we got the job done. I value that can-do attitude in the
film/commercial business, but at times you have to wonder ...
Oh well, it feels good to sell more soda ;)
Sunday, I attended my 1st CBIG (children's book illustrators group) meeting.
We met in member, Ruth Karpes' lovely apartment on the upper east side.
Martha Rago, Creative Director
at Harper Collins Children's Books, talked to us about
the essentials, what makes
a book stand out, what she looks
for when acquiring a story and the artwork for it.
She gave examples with strong Narrative like
Where the Wild Things Are, the Gold Standard.
Maurice Sendak's text and art are in total harmony. She also shared
soon to be classics like Peter McCarty's Henry in Love,
Distinctive Character driven series like, Fancy Nancy
and Pete the Cat, which was initially self published by
Eric Litwin and James Dean.
Emphasis on Composition & Design books like,
I just stumbled across this sweet animated short
of Bob Shea's Race You to Bed
and Melissa Sweet's Balloons Over Broadway
She spoke about Voice and Skill, stressing that your
Technique should be impeccable! gulp
Martha also talked about Universality,
what is it about a character that touches you?
and Concept, like Herve Tullet's
Press Here, a why didn't I think of that book!
and Suzy Lee's Wave, among others, which uses the gutter to full effect.
She also talked about humor and favorites like,
Of course, there are practical concerns we need
to consider as we scratch & claw our way into the publishing world.
The number of new writer/illustrators Harper Collins
takes on each year, drum roll please............
about 2 to 3.
Martha was generous with her time and gave an informative enlightening talk.
It was a treat! and there were treats :)
I was hoping to have my portfolio critiqued by her, but alas
my name was not chosen in the lucky lottery held afterwards.
It was fun to see other people's work and I'm motivated
to make mine stronger before the SCBWI Conference in February.
I've considered adding the category of 'Sketches' to my site,
so I was happy to hear that Martha enjoys looking at an illustrator's
studies. It's a fun way to gain insight into someone's thought process,
see how characters are developed, etc.
So today, I added some of mine. Click Here to view :)
I'm sure I've shared most of the decent ones here on Blipadee,
but I like having a bunch on one simple page.
Btw, if you love children's books and haven't seen the
Twenty two of her private "Picture Letters" to children are on display,
as well as, original art, books, toys & games.
It's a well done, incredibly charming show.
It closes January 27th.
photo courtesy Kristine Lombardi
Oh, and make sure to ask our friend, Monique
about the secret stairway in the Library!
Thanks for stopping by :)