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.

cover



 "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!"




"Stampede!"



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





  One of Chelsea's most passionate supporters.




Behind the scenes.





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.

detail

   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.


back




back

 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.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Winging It





 It was great to get a sample of this musical for kids.
 The play features four baby birds: Orville, Wilbur, Amelia, and Harriet (all famous aviators). "Winging It" is about taking smart risks and leaving the nest with the support system of family and friends. If you're an educator looking for a musical review for your fledgling songbirds, you couldn't do better than this one.
Seeing my birdies on the CD rom was an extra tweet - I mean treat!  I'll have to get the additional Preview CD too with vocals and dialog for the full effect. Produced by Hal Leonard Corporation.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How Romantic!



  A few weeks ago I was asked to illustrate another Hidden Pictures cover for a special newsstand edition. A few of these are really challenging.  Even some of my big kid friends were stumped trying to find all of the following:  a saltshaker, a ladder, a hairbrush, a spool of thread, a lime, an artist's brush, a cinnamon bun, and a horseshoe.
 The art director suggested the contrast of big and little, and I love that dynamic.  Love.
 Did I say this as a Valentine's issue? Yes, it's the day after Halloween and Christmas is over already.

 I concentrated some on the strolling kitties a bit while sketching.  I thought a question mark hidden in her tail would be fun but it turned out the editors were not too fond of that idea. But they loved the rest of it.



The cover will look something like this.

  Did I say love?
 On the heels of this one I was asked to contribute again to Ranger Rick magazine with a spot  regarding the mating and dating habits of albatrosses.  The color palette turned out to be very similar, which I think shows how one piece can influence the next, even though it happens subconsciously. Or maybe it is because the theme of Love just demands pink.
  I collaged a photo of the Eiffel tower in, initially because the one I drew was looking wobbly and inadequate. After I did I was pleasantly surprised with the juxtaposition of elements and the blend of cartoon and photo. Bon Voyage!