Hey there blog-readers,

I hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful and bright holiday season. Today, we got our first taste of winter... it's snowing in Brooklyn! Weeee! Some of you might clarify it as "wintry mix" or "slush", but I'll take what I can get. Snow!!!!!!

And in honor of the snow, I thought I'd share a new piece from the season.

I'm excited to say that it was recently featured on Kathy Temean's amazing blog! She did a round-up and featured new work from many of her Illustration Saturday interviewees. Definitely take a moment to scroll through; there's some amazing work on the page. Thanks again to Kathy for the feature and for maintaing such an amazing resource for children's writers and illustrators!

A Very Merry

Wishing everyone celebrating a lovely holiday filled with all of the magic of the season!

Last InsideOut of 2012

Hey there blog readers,

The Forward's latest installment of the InsideOut series is up on the site. This was a hard article to illustrate and a harder article to read. In the wake of the Weberman trial and conviction, Judy examines abuse in the Hasidic community. It's worth a read and is, as always, well-written and thought-provoking. Check it out.
Stay tuned for further InsideOut pieces from Judy and illustrations from me in 2013!

Four hours

Hey there blog readers,

So you remember that lovely little children's book organization that I write about every now and then...?  SCBWI, you know, that one. Every fall SCBWI announces a pretty neat contest run by Tomie DePaola. Last year I had a bunch of free time and entered a piece. This year, however, was just a wee bit busy with trips and jobs and all kinds of stuff, so though it was announced months and months ago back in September/October, I didn't have any time to tackle the project.
The assignment: create an illustration in black and white (including half-tones) from a classic. We had to choose a passage, a line, or description from one of three books:

  • "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott,
  • "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, or
  • "The Yearling" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

I felt terrible about missing out on an opportunity not only to create a piece of work in beautiful black and white, but also to put that piece of work in front of Tomie. I tried my best to put it out of my head... but I contemplated it in early October. I half-heartedly considered it later in the month. I spared it a passing thought in November. And in December, I finally decided to pass. I just didn't have any spare time.

Until the day of the deadline...
At 1pm on the 14th, I realized that I couldn't not submit anything. So I made a beeline for the studio, grabbed a pencil, and dashed off a sketch. I use the term "sketch" veeeery loosely... scribble would probably be a better word. I've been dying to try out some old papercut techniques after seeing Andrea Offerman do an amazing demo, so with that in mind, I set to work.

When the contest was first announced, I realized that it had been years since I'd read Little Women, so I picked up a copy for my own pleasure.

One passage that I loved was something that Jo says to her sister, Margaret:

"I'd have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I'd write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as famous as Laurie's music. I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle-something heroic, or wonderful-that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream."

With less than four hours until the deadline, I sat down to work.

And at 5pm, I sent in my entry:


Weee, it's Thursday!

Happy Chanukah!

To all those who celebrated last night and who will be lighting candles for the next seven nights, chag sameach!

Wishing you a warm, bright holiday filled with light, magic, and a heaping plate of latkes! 

Forward: InsideOut

Hey there blog readers,

The latest article in the InsideOut series is live!

It's been a rush-rush, busy week of work. Because of Sandy, this particular illustration ended up being a last minute, work-through-the-weekend sort of job. Despite the rush, I'm pretty happy with how it came out. After I sent in my first sketches, the art director liked the dichotomy of boys' world-girls' world, but he wanted to emphasize this difference even further. I love the idea of a cross-section of a house but was worried that the two pieces wouldn't come together. In order to better unify the piece, I brought some of the blues from the downstairs scene into the living room and some of the lighter living room colors down into the bookshelves of the basement.

Check out the whole article here.

Thanks to Naomi and Kurt for their art direction!

SCBWI Bulletin

When I checked the mail today, there was a pleasant surprise waiting - the latest SCBWI bulletin!

Guess who has a few sketches featured inside!

 Many thanks to Sarah Baker at SCBWI.

Also, be very careful when returning home after checking the mail... you never know when an attack-cat might be lurking.