My debut picture book Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus is set to be published by Milwaukee’s own KWiL Publishing in Spring 2018! KWiL has a cool business model as a small, startup publisher, and I’m excited to partner with them not only on the book, but also on promotions, community events and more! KWiL’s founder Abby Janowiec and I celebrated the contract signing by hanging out with the book’s main characters Steve and Daryl. We are pretty darn sneaky… 🙂
So what’s Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus about? I think KWiL puts it nicely:
“After a long and successful run of the Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus show, Steve and Daryl are retired, relaxed and ready to eat pizza, lots and lots of pizza, until…a kid—the reader—shows up expecting a round of hide-and-go-seek. Reluctant as they may be, this dinomite duo never disappoints; and as soon as they pop the pizza in the oven and go over the rules, the countdown is on.
Alternately talking directly to the reader and arguing with each other over whom the reader found first, Steve and Daryl are a delight, and even more delightful to find, which is what readers are invited to do on three full spreads. Combine dinosaurs, pizza, hilarious countdowns and actual games of hide-and-go- seek, and young readers will be asking to read—or better yet—play with—this book over and over again.”
The story was inspired by several random things, including this drawing I posted in February, which then evolved into these guys:
The look of Steve and Daryl continued to evolve when I sketched out the entire story, so the Steve and Daryl you see in the final book will be a tad different than the drawing above. But I’m in the process of finalizing tweaks to the sketches and manuscript, and then I’m diving into final art. Stay tuned for teasers as it all comes together!
Happy Wednesday to you! I’m working on sketching out new pages for my graphic novel work-in-progress Cognito Sanchez: Dive Another Day. Here are some rough sketches of upcoming pages. More pages plus ink and color coming soon!
You can find finished art samples for Cognito Sanchez and other projects on my illustration page. Thanks for taking a look!
On the this Thanksgiving eve, I’m thankful for the usual things: family, friends, four days off work, etc. But I’m also thankful for being able to work on art and writing on a regular basis. It helps me make sense of the world. Here’s my latest piece. The prompt was “autobiography”… so here’s a glimpse into my childhood head.
Well… I fell off the Inktober bandwagon. Inking every day wasn’t the problem; it was the idea of sharing it every day. Sometimes the things I draw are best left inside a closed sketchbook! Once I realized that the thought of having to post something every day was not appealing to me, I remembered working on something every day was (like NaNoWriMo!). So I kept working on my main projects instead, which didn’t always involve inking or sharing.
Here’s one thing I finished up. It’s a sample page from Tom & Gibson: a quirky story about a pet and master power struggle. Meet Tom the walrus person and Gibson the purple cat.
It turns out a graphic designer’s perspective can be a huge asset when illustrating. Often a few key tweaks can take an illustration to the next level. I try my darndest to think like a designer, but whenever I need outside feedback on my illustrations, I ask my designer friend for her thoughts and BAM! improvements abound.
Here’s my newest example. I created a title page for my in-progress graphic novel using the concept of a TV show opener. You know, the part where the show’s setting and characters are introduced during the theme song. Here’s what I initially came up with:
I was pretty happy with it. It felt balanced. I liked the flow and layout. But when I placed it within the context of the cover and the chapter 1 sketches, it felt a little out of place. Now, this is an area where graphic designers shine: creating a cohesive look and feel across multiple materials. Upon asking for feedback, my designer friend suggested flooding the background with a color to better coordinate with the cover. And that’s when it hit me: expand the skyline image and extend the water behind the panels below. I also added bubbles, just for good measure. Here’s the result:
So much better! I’m much happier with it, and it coordinates far better with the cover now:
It’s exciting when small changes make such a big difference. For more in-depth look at how graphic designer superpowers can boost illustration work, check out my SCBWI blog post. Or befriend a graphic designer today!
Reintroducing…. Impostor Squirrel! You may recall Impostor Squirrel from his black & white debuts here and here.
In other news, I’ve learned that both impostor and imposter are acceptable spellings. However, the consensus (based solely on a quick Google search) seems to be that impostor is more widely used and thus more preferable. Words with two accepted spellings make me feel weird… like I’m not 100% correct either way. Feel free to voice your preferred spelling in the comments below. 🙂
The SCBWI Draw This! June art prompt is Bounce. This one little word inspired me to depict the joys and perils of being a tambourine-loving ninja.
This week’s Wacky Wednesday word and illustration combo is a snippet from one of my picture book manuscripts. Please enjoy… Alien Hunt!