Thursday, May 24, 2012

Justine Siegal, Baseball for All

Here is a sketch for a book idea about Justine Siegal, the first woman to pitch batting practice in the Major Leagues. She pitched to the Cleveland Indians, among others, in 2011, and coaches the minor league's Brockton Rox. She has a great and inspiring story, and has created a hugely successful non-profit, Baseball for All, to help others be able to play, in her words, "the greatest game on earth."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Taz: Highlights from Children's Book conference (NESCBWI)

I recently attended the New England Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators conference in Springfield, MA. It was my first time going to the conference, and it was a genuinely great and enriching experience. I went for one of the days and took 3 workshops by accomplished illustrators and writers: Character Design with Kelly Light, Writing for Illustrators with Mary Brigid Barrett, and Essentials of a Picture Book Dummy with Dan Yaccarino.

Each of the talks had a rich amount of experience and enthusiasm behind them, and I soaked up not only the speakers' tips and ideas, but also being in the presence of many other interested, motivated artists.

Highlights from each talk: Kelly Light doing her Tasmanian Devil impression while encouraging us all to physically do and feel all the things we want to draw our character doing. Also, "Draw the idea, not the pose; draw the action, not the anatomy." She also recommended 2 books: Drawn to Life, the Walt Stanchfield lectures, Volumes 1 and 2; 20 years of talks given to Disney animators.

Mary Brigid Barrett's class on writing for illustrators was very visual, engaging, and included this interesting tip about writing: "Don't use adverbs or adjectives, make your verbs VERY specific. Your character shouldn't walk slowly, she should PLOD."

Dan Yaccarino's talk was supposed to be about laying out a picture book dummy, but it was more a look at his work and an analysis of picture book structure. "Keep it simple: the protagonist trying to get what they want, with obstacles along the way, is the story." He gave a list of classics to read including:

Curious George
Harry the Dirty Dog
Amelia Bedelia
Blueberries for Sal
Cat in the Hat
Harold and the Purple Crayon
anything by William Steig

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I'm so glad I got an entry together for this week's Illustration Friday theme!
I've been seeing lots of spring babies around (mostly ducks and goslings)
so I was inspired. :)