Posted in Book-review, Lessons learned, Motivation

Top 3 Book Reviews for 2019

Ever since I’ve committed to work on the craft of writing and illustrating, I’ve also re-developed a healthy reading habit (on average about 20 picture books a week.) I can see the difference in the way I can recommend mentor texts or an often surprised when my kiddo brings books from the library that I’ve read without him.

So today I was prompted by one of my buddies at Storyteller academy to think about my favorite books published in 2019. My top 3 books published in 2019 are The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by one of my mentors, Vanessa Newton Brantley, Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies by Jorge and Megan Lacera, and Perfect by Max Amato.

King: This is book lyrical, positive without being preachy, and a blast to read and look at all the illustrations. This is one of the books I bought for myself and not my kids. Here’s my original blog review.

Zombies: hysterical concept with a lot heart. The Laceras bring in Latino culture and a ton of food puns. If you haven’t read it, you should. Here’s my original twitter review.

Perfect: Pencil and eraser, a classic friendship story in a nearly wordless book. It is one that I read and wish I had dreamt up. If you need a mentor text anthropomorphic object stories, this is a “perfect” one to start with. Here’s my original blog review.

These stories have inspired me to keep doing the work. Much love to all you authors and illustrators out there.

Here’s to a creative 2020, all.


Posted in Doodles, Work-in-progress (WIP)

WIP: Drawing Super-Duper Capes!

So I’ve been working on a character design for a boy named Ulysses. I haven’t decided on his backstory yet, sometimes he’s a real superhero who hasn’t reached the age of maturity to get his superhero name or sometimes, he’s just a boy who likes to dress up as a superhero.

Either way, I’ve been drawing a lot of capes. And capes can be “super” tricky. So here’s what I’ve been doing to tackle my cape-wearing kryptonite:

  • Studying lots of reference photos.
  • Luckily my kiddos are willing to pose while I make my own reference photos. (Or in the case of my youngest, she just poses for any camera.)
  • I’ve also been draping blankets on chairs and studying that.
  • And after wearing a few blanket-capes myself, l would move around, look in a mirror, and then draw what I see.

So as Chuck Jones says:

When a young artist asked me for advice on drawing the human foot, I told him, ‘The first thing you must learn is how to take your shoe off, and then how to take your sock off, then prop your leg up carefully on your other knee, take a piece of paper, and draw your foot.

So expect more blanket-wearing caper sketches from me.