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kidlitart

Curious!

Curious!

Last weekend, the Super Satya love reached all the way to Cambridge, MA...all the way to The World's Only Curious George Store. Seriously, have you guys been there? Nostalgia overload. And for you young people, cuteness for DAYS!!!!

When you meet one of your heroes

So, there’s an old theory that you should never meet your heroes…you’ll just be let down. I’m here to tell you that this is not always the case. 

Several weeks ago (I’ve been neglecting this blog terribly), I got to meet the man that drew some of the books that excited me about drawing!

The Worcester Art Museum (in Worcester, MA) opened the “KAHBAHBLOOOM: The Art and Storytelling of Ed Emberley” exhibit. ‘What?! That’s awesome!!!! The Mary Blair exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum and THIS just a few months apart?! Whoo hoo!’ 

I marked my calendar made a mental note to REALLY TRY to get over there after work. There was gonna be a meet-and-greet with the man himself since it was opening day.  The day came and I thought, “Ya know what? The way work's been going, I’ll never get out of here at a reasonable time!” So I took a personal day. I carved out an afternoon for myself at the WAM. I’d never been there. Charming, beautiful place. I loved it from the moment I opened the front door. 

The meet-and-greet was to be at about 5:00, so I wandered around the museum…AFTER I made a beeline for the KAHBAHBLOOOM Room (as I'll call it from now on. If you know me, you know I love a good rhyme.)

I gotta say, it was insane to walk through the room and see the actual handwork of the learn-to-draw books that charmed me as a kid…and as an adult. I was flooded with inspiration and nostalgia…especially since I’m drawing learn-to-draw books myself right now! I left and revisited the room three times before 5:00 arrived. 

A quick trip to the gift shop for my Emberley swag (including an amazing coffee table book by Todd Oldham and Caleb Neelon), I returned just in time for an impromptu book signing with Ed. Signing, apparently, wasn’t planned. But this man is such a gentleman. He gladly endured us, spent time with everyone, and signed our books! And...BONUS…I have an original Emberley doodle in fresh orange ink on the title page of mine! Such a great moment!

See my face? I can't even play it cool. He's just such a swell guy and inspiration!

I’d been hitting a wall with work lately. This Fall was PRETTY challenging. It’s been a wonderfully busy time, but also a time with plenty of frustration and LOOOONG days. This was exactly the motivation and battery recharge I needed. I know, I’m gushing. But an artist (I’m ok calling myself this now. I’ve been called a lot worse!) gets inspiration from very specific places. And revisiting this insanely charming world of art, I found my happy place. 

If you can get yourself there, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only did I get to see the books I grew up with, I was able to stand nose-to-nose with some incredible picture book art I’d never seen before. Go. Do it. It’ll be your happy place, too!

Pssst, check out my pics below from the exhibit. Photos were allowed...PROMISE!!!

Wait! WHAT?! NBC News?

Another press thrill has happened! NBC News just celebrated Let's Celebrate Diwali published by Bharat Babies, written by Anjali Joshi and written by...me! Check out the article here.

It's a really exciting time for my pals at Bharat Babies. And it's so great that their stories are reaching such a huge audience. With the mission to design and produce developmentally appropriate books that tell children's stories about India's Heritage, BB is doing work that is so desperately needed these days. Now is a time to get to know each other globally. And any group of impassioned content creators doing just that through books for infants and elementary school-aged children, well, that's just awesome. In the case of this book, Bharat Babies Founder Sailaja Joshi,  saw the need to bring the magic and history of Diwali to very young ready that might not otherwise learn about it. 

We really wanted to focus on the fact that there is more than one religion that celebrates the holiday ... If you Google Diwali, you’ll see a Hindu holiday ... but it’s also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists.
— Sailaja Joshi

Sailaja N. Joshi, founder of Bharat Babies, reads "Padmini is Powerful" written by Amy Maryville and illustrated by Tim Palin from the publishing company's collection.

So...no lie, while I'm putting this blog post together, and wondering what the next exciting bit of news might be fore this book...I got word that our book popped up on the Reading Rainbow Facebook page! Hooray!!!

Now, here's a peep at Let's Celebrate Diwali published by Bharat Babies!

Exciting News! Thanks ELLE!

Exciting News! Thanks ELLE!

It's been about 10 years since I walked (sometimes sprinted) the halls of ELLE Magazine as Promotions Art Director for ELLEgirl. It was some of the most fun work I've ever done. And it was there that I was reminded of the potency of girl power! That magazine was a really important moment for empowerment girls and young women. And I loved it.

Well, another reminder happened a few days ago, and I'm over the moon about it! I could not be more proud to announce that ELLE just published the article "How to Build a Feminist Library For Your Baby". The article was a short list of recommended books that contributor Raakhee Mirchandani thinks make the perfect library of "powerful titles about powerful ladies that pack a big punch"!

One of the featured books is Padmini is Powerful by Amy Maranville (and illustrated by...ME)!!!!! Hooray! It was really incredible to see this. It's been such a labor of love making books with my friends at Bharat Babies. And to be recognized this way is so incredibly wonderful! Thanks, ELLE!

Sketchy Little Kids

A little Friday night sketching for a spooky new book project.

Very Special

This summer, I had the pleasure of art directing another Sparkhouse Family publishing project. Rufus and the Very Special Baby is the first Christmas story from the publisher's new imprint, Frolic. Just the first season of books was, this title was a complete joy to art direct and design with the Sparkhouse team and the incredible illustration talent of Natasha Rimmington. We were so happy that Natasha was on board for more adventures with the fantastic characters she created last year. With another complete season ahead, we snuck this book in as a mid-season project.

Check out the Frolic site

...samples arrived!

...samples arrived!

...and it's always fun to see your project in PW!

 

I gotta hand it to ya

When I did this sketch a few weeks ago, I knew it was gonna be one of my favorite color pieces when I got to it. This spread for an upcoming Bharat Babies project is making me so happyI I'm having a ball with this style.

A handful af sanjeevani

Drawing kids drawing

A little work-in-progress for my pals at Cantata Learning. I grew up with learn-to-draw books...now I'm making them! Keep an eye out for lots of updates. Super excited about this series.

Love March

It's a "love march" because I love these little guys and gals. Here's a little work-in-progress for a new Cantata Learning book in the works. 

Uh oh!

Uh oh!

March on.

March on.

Line up like Ants!

Line up like Ants!

Namaste

Today I handed over sketches for a very special Yoga book to my pals at Bharat Babies. What makes this day extra great? It's National Yoga Day! Check out a few sneaky peeks at Harini & Padmini Say 'Namaste'...coming soon!

Working Cover Concept

Working Cover Concept

Sample Interior Art

Sample Interior Art

Interior Art Sketch

Interior Art Sketch

Interior Art Sketch

Interior Art Sketch

Moving Pictures

One of the best parts of sketching my book projects on the iPad...the movies! 

Here's a little video of a spread I sketched for Bharat Babies last week. Meet Miss Janani, your new favorite Yoga instructor!

Shiny Apple Tuesday

Putting some finishing touches on a project for Cantata Learning. Illustrating this book is super-duper fun!

Frolic!

Hey guys! This past year, I've been working with Sparkhouse Family as the Art Director for their newest line of books. Already in production with the second season and some wonderful surprises, Sparkhouse is announcing season one of Frolic board books (4 titles), picture books (4 titles), and a bursting-with-cuteness 40-page board book Bible!

This has been so much fun working with the great folks at Sparkhouse. What a wonderful bunch of people coming together to bring kids and families these very special books! And I couldn't have had more fun working with artists Natasha Rimmington and Mike Garton (and of course their superstar agent Lucie Luddington) from Bright. So happy to be making these books alongside this team.

Check out the Sparkhouse Family Blog post and keep an eye out for more stuff!

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Meeting Notes

I swear, when I'm on the phone with you, I AM listening. It's just that sometimes I listen better with a pencil and paper in front of me. Sketching makes my brain work better! This is a meeting note from last week.

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Gone Apple Pickin' on a Saturday Night

Gone Apple Pickin' on a Saturday Night

It's a wild Saturday night here at TPC. I might be working hard this weekend, but it doesn't really feel like it. As an illustrator that's constantly trying different styles and shapes, the first spread of a new project is always a little bit of a challenge...a test, really. 

Tonight, was a good night for testing art. I love this spread. Is that ok to say? ;-)

It's apple picking season with Cantata Learning!!!!

Cantata Learning. #WIP

Cantata Learning. #WIP

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Hey Monster, loosen up!

I have a tendency to overthink things … to look too closely and be overly critical of my own work. Last night i was reminded of a very valuable lesson. Sometimes, you gotta let the (Cintiq) pen do the thinking. I was on the phone with my parents and doodling in Photoshop. (I can never do just one thing at time … terrible habit, I know.) When I hung up, I realized I’d just polished off a quick illustration … one that I truly love. How did I get there? I turned of my illustration production engines and just let the creativity happen. I stopped worrying about “the right shape” and “does this jive with my other work?” and “would a different brush be better?” I love this little monster. And he came so naturally to me. In fact, he’s inspired a very special project I already have in the works. 

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Whale Love

A few weeks ago, I took myself on a little creative retreat. (Blog post to come about that!) I promised myself some drawing time. No deadline, no planning, no client in mind. 100% a pencil and me (…and an iPad). So many amazing artful moments came out of that weekend. But, the character development of this romantic little guy is chief among them. I love him. Keep an eye out. There’s more of him to come.

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