Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Proofs have arrived

It is really exciting when you get to see the galley proofs of a book you just illustrated and they look great!

So many times the color can be a bit off, or some spreads don't match perfectly, but this time I am just thrilled that the proofs look great in all respects: color, design, and alignment.  The book, "Flying Poodles, A Christmas Story" by Karen Morss is due out later this fall in time for Christmas.  Her vision and her story are a combination of fantasy and reality and I know children and adults will enjoy her version of a Christmas Eve miracle.

In addition to the book an iPad version is also being finalized and will include audio featuring some of Karen's young neighbors as the voices of the poodles.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My web page just got an entire overhaul. Stop by and visit if you get a second.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Please Welcome Korey Scott to the Picture Bookies

The PICTURE BOOKIES members welcome, KOREY SCOTT to the GROUP.

 Korey Scott is an illustrator who specializes in children's books, educational material, and funny characters.   His work is currently a "featured portfolio" on Hire an Illustrator.

    His illustration style is perfect for capturing the attention of children and adults. Korey is proud to say that his illustrations and children's books not only are fun to look at, but they provide a beneficial resource to a child's education. Children love the playful details and silly characters while adults enjoy how the illustrations encourage children to read, learn, and have fun. His illustrations can help your company by teaching children how to improve reading skills, pronunciation, and even learn English, Spanish, and other languages. 

    His work has won awards such as "Best Children's Book" at the 2007 North Texas Book Festival and the Golden Spur Honor Award from the Texas State Reading Association (TSRA) 2005.  Teachers also enjoy using his material for class projects. 

You can view more of Korey's work on his website and on his blog.

Hello Picture Bookies!

Hi Picture Bookies! I look forward to sharing more of my work with everyone here. It is nice to see a lot of friends on here already. I am an illustrator in the educational, children's book market.

Right now, I am working on a couple children's books for self publishing clients as well as finishing up Kit 4 of the Literacy Speaks program by Northern Speech Services. Also, I am working with an organics company designing characters for plush animals, picture books, and all kinds of merchandise.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Champ's Story" gets 5-Star review on!

I have received such an overwhelming response ever since the release of my new book "Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too!", I can barely keep up. I wanted to share with you this customer review I saw posted at today. It made my day:

This review is from: Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! (Hardcover)
I do wish there were more books of this ilk and this quality available for children.

For adults, "cancer" has become one of the most terrifying words in our language. Most adults have some understanding of this disease, and after the initial shock of the diagnosis, can rely on knowledge, maturity and practiced emotions to deal with it...on some level at least. Children on the other hand know from a very early age that fear is involved but so often do not know why. They not only have fear of something they know is "not good," but they also have a fear of the unknown, which is indeed just as traumatic.

The author, Sherry North has used the story of a young boy and his beloved pet dog to inform the younger set just what it is they are dealing with when cancer; either of a family member, loved one, friend or pet, enters their life.

Cody and his pet Champ are preparing for an agility show and Champ is running through her paces. While petting Champ, Cody discovers a lump on her side. Cody makes a good choice in telling Champ she needs to see a doctor. Cody knows there is something wrong.

The author and illustrator, Kathleen Rietz then take us upon a journey; a journey of a victim of cancer. From the visit to the doctor's office, testing and on to the diagnosis of cancer and the treatment, the reader follows step by step. The child learns what to expect and when to expect it. The young boy shows the typical emotions of a child in this situation; shares his thoughts with his friends, and above all, becomes Champ's caregiver. You can see the care and love radiating out form the illustrations and words.

The author has used straight forward simply language to tell a complex story. Her tone is matter of fact but extremely tender, loving and understanding throughout the entire work. There is nothing scary or heart wrenchingly sad about the story; it just explains in a very understandable way what a child might well face. Information will quite often take away a lot of fear and the author certainly supplies quite a lot of good and valid facts in a relatively short book. Truthfully, I was amazed at just how much information she was able to pack into so few pages.

The last four pages of the book are sort of a "cancer fact primer" for adults to use in teaching children of this subject. Facts are given so that the reader can understand just what cancer is, how it is treated, fact and fiction surrounding this disease, coping with cancer and chemo and a page on what you can do to prevent cancer as you grow up.

The art work in this book by Kathleen Rietz is extremely well executed. Each of the frames, which cover two pages each, are done in mellow and soothing colors. Each illustration fits the text perfectly. The artist has captured the mood of each picture perfectly on the face of the dog without overly anthropomorphizing her subject...I like adds much to the overall message of the book. This is a very skillful writer and skillful artist that have teamed up here!

This is an ideal work to be used in a classroom. Giving children knowledge of this disease before he or she has to actually face it, as many, many will, gives them a bit of a head start in the process of learning to deal with the many issues they will be faced.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coming Soon ... drum roll please.... An Interveiw with Kate *:)

An Interview with Kathleen Rietz will be posted shortly.  Her new book “Champ’s Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too” was released last week.

Comment moderation for our visitors

We get a number of Chinese proverbs with each post, however some of those link back to porn sites.

So we must continue to moderate all comments. Sorry but viewers will still have to wait for us to check the comments. Almost all are great comments from people we love to see here, so just be patient if you don't see your comment right away.... it is coming as soon as we receive the notice.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Project in the Works...

Yes, okay it's a carrot....
But I needed to have an image to go along with my news...

At the end of 2009, I teamed up with an Agent, Anna Johnson of AJ & Associates. And shortly after she started emailing me about a future project that she was trying to get for me (that was November). After a few months and a few design samples I was chosen to embark on this journey. Horribly, I cannot tell you anything about the project specifically, but what I can tell you is that it is for an educational publisher and it is going to take me a few years to complete.

The cool thing about this project so far is, I have been able to be apart of the evolution of the project, which is not something I would have ever expected to get to do.
We have gone through character development already and have gotten the go ahead this week to start design templates for lots of neat extras that will go along with the books that will be produced.

Okay, so why the carrot...?
Well, a large part of this project is going to challenge me. I will be designing layouts, covers, packaging & more. And a big part of the art needs to be Vector... I rarely work in Vector... It just doesn't follow how I normally paint. So, now I am trying to do little illustrations of just random things and then turn them into Vector images... Which is the reason for the carrot...

I am very excited about this opportunity to not only be illustrating books, but to also be doing a large portion of the graphic design work too. I just hope I don't go too long without being able to show you a smidge of what it is I am working on...

Here's to 2010!!!