Thursday, August 18, 2016

Halloween is Hiding


  A short wandering today led me into my favorite indie bookstore, Mac's Backs... and BOO!-- I was surprised by a solitary copy of Hidden Pictures smack dab among the magazines.  It was spooky fun doing this illustration a few months ago. Look for it at your local bookstore if you know some kids that are fans of puzzles. Tell them not to be afraid as they look for the scary hidden objects:
   A cane, a drumstick, a fan, a comb, a bowling pin, a zipper, an envelope, a wristwatch, and a bone.   Just kidding, there's no bone.

Monday, June 6, 2016

This Candidate is Such a Loser!

What??!! OH NO!!!
      It's true, this story tells of a disastrous campaign. But despite the all-too popular notion, winning isn't everything. (It's NOT?)
   I was pleasantly surprised to get this boxful of books from Penguin Random House a few days ago.
It was just released and available for purchase here.


   I had previously illustrated two others books for this publisher, featuring the same characters, for their Step into Reading imprint. 
This book, How NOT to Run for Class President, is for kids who are old enough to vote in their  school elections, and can read paragraphs and simple sentences.  Sentences like: "Don't forget to promise pizza and a movie every  Thursday, " Steve whispered.
   A brief synopsis: 
  Will is reluctantly running for class president against his more qualified classmate Chelsea.  He is unexpectedly embarrassed by the enthusiastic but unsolicited campaign advice of  Steve, his younger brother, who enlists the grass-roots support of his kindergarten friends.  Hijinks and mayhem ensue, pets invade, and ultimately Chelsea wins. Will learns some lessons in the process yet Steve remains irrepressible.
  Here are some of my favorites from the 29 illustrations.


 "Why don't you run, Will?"

Chelsea is  running on a platform of reading to the kindergarteners.

Will thinks that's a bad idea.

Professional campaign posters, courtesy of Steve.

  Steve promises: " If you vote for Will, you can bring your pets to school!"


Principal Smiley fails at crowd control. Amazingly, nobody gets injured.

  One of Chelsea's most passionate supporters.

Behind the scenes.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hey...That's not FAIR! (said the boy to the bear)

  Artists are blessed and cursed in the extreme sometimes, but I think the important thing about living in that duality is the word AND. The last few months have tested my sanity on a personal level.  I'm usually busy, but  I can't remember ever being really busy and also dealing with a traumatic thing like a molar extraction ( not an easy one).
  But now that two books are finished, one on the heels of another, I can say a few things are becoming clear :  One: The ability to focus on art is a gift; it channels the mind/body into another world and in that sense is a meditation that can transcend pain.  Two: I was very  fortunate to have had cool clients and art directors who worked with me on the scheduling so that I did not have to abandon the work  entirely because of a villainous tooth making an entrance into the story.
   Sketches to come later for  the tooth character, but for now, here's a few of my favorites featuring the unfair bear.  Despite his role as a cheating jerk to the boy, he also became  the hero I needed.   For McGraw Hill, in their pre-K Social- Emotional program. Thanks for being incredibly supportive, Janet!

Monday, March 7, 2016

... and the winner is...The Girl Squirrel!


 Some selections from The Contest.

  I recently had the pleasure of completing illustrations for a 16 page book for Dinardo Design and Heinemann Publishing.  Naturally I was so pleased to have a hand in a book that shows a girl winning. The boys, Chip and Flip, learn in the end that they were outsmarted by a girl whom they had laughed at as not capable, and vow to let Tulip go first the next time they have a contest. I really had fun with the limited palette and expressions in this animal fantasy fiction. I'm hoping to illustrate more girl-centric stories in the future.
  Can you guess how she carried the most nuts?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Arf! Arf! Pupperoni and Muttzarella


Original art created with pastels, prismacolors and photoshop.


   A piece for a riddles page in Ranger Rick magazine for their May issue.  I really got hungry doing this.  I think Pupperoni and Muttzarella are good names for them, actually. The background is loosely based on our Little Italy here in Cleveland.  Lettering by Jim Paillot.  I'm getting hungry again.  Ciao bella!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NO Peeking... well maybe just at the gift tags.



 I just finished these new gift tag designs for a holiday promo.  Everyone ends up regrettably using generic tags, or cutting up old ugly greeting cards after  those run out, so giving a gift of artists' gift tags seems like a pretty good idea.  I won't be able to use the back designs this time after all, because I didn't realize at the time the backs cannot be variable. But maybe they will make good fronts too.
 The kids are from a Ranger Rick assignment , and the moon and owl from The Sunrise Band.
 Small ( they will be printed much smaller than shown here), but as they say... good things come that way.
  I'm wishing Peace, a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Tofurkey Day to all.