Monday, January 9, 2012

WORTHWHILE DISTRACTONS

I have a very well worn copy of Alice in Wonderland. It was mine when I was a kid and it was my mom's when she was a kid. I love that book. In addition, I used to have a vinyl recording of Alice in Wonderland. I think I wore the grooves away listening to it so much. I wish I still had it. I can almost hear the masterful narrator and the voices of the characters. (It seems masterful in my head anyway.) The images of the story have swirled around in my brain for as long as I can remember. I've wanted to illustrate it for a while, but it wasn't a priority until last week when I finally began working on my Middle Grade Alice in Wonderland series. I started with a scene of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Then one morning the phone rang. It was one of those phone calls that turns the world upside down. Now I feel like I'm in the rabbit hole suspended in time while the world spins out of control. I'm working as much as I can to keep myself busy while things are in limbo and I found some other worthwhile distractions to keep my mind occupied. Here are some of them...just in case you need a distraction too:

The winner for the Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award was announced. Click this text to see the winner and runners up. The entries for the Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award are fantastic. You can see some of them at Diandra Mae's Unofficial Gallery. The last time I counted there were 140, but more appear every day. Over 300 illustrators entered and hopefully all of them will end up in the gallery. Click the acorn to go.

This month I've joined the 2012 Comment Challenge and have discovered some great people and blogs. (This has been a phenomenally great distraction. Thanks everyone!) This is a 21 day challenge to build community in the kidlit blogosphere by commenting on other kidlit blogs.

January is also the start of the Picture Book Dummy Challenge - a 25 week picture book challenge with online support from a fantastic community of children's illustrators and writers. I've joined up to create and illustrate the story that intrigued Marla Frazee in my portfolio critique this summer. She saw an illustration I did from an idea I had a couple years ago and challenged me to write the story and submit it. Here I go!

February is PubSubPackMo (Publisher Submission Packet Month). I'm continuing the tradition to increase my submission list for my illustration postcards and future picture book dummies. This is the month that I research publishers to find the ones that are a good fit for me. My goal is to add one new publisher to my list every day, but I like to add an even 30...just because. Join me if you like! I'll be posting along the way.

In March I'm scheduled to do a workshop on children's publishing at Bona Fide Books - our local publisher. Details to come.

And finally, because I love seeing other illustrators in action, I've put together some links of other illustrators doing their thing in a little blog tour. Enjoy these links:


If you have any illustration process links to add, please feel free to put them in a comment.

I'm off to find another worthwhile distraction in Wonderland...

19 comments:

  1. These are definitely going to distract me! I shall have to get a fresh cup of tea first :-) Thanks for the round up of interesting links.

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  2. What middle grade Alice in Wonderland series? I know you were talking about AW, but did you write a middle grade adaptation? Or are you talking about redoing the illustrations so they are for the middle grade market? Good luck!

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  3. Thanks for the mention, Kristen! That's so nice of you. Good luck with all the challenges you've taken so far. I'm having fun with the Comment Challenge myself. I didn't know you worked with Yuyi. I'd love to talk!

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  4. @Playing by the book - You will definitely want a nice cup of tea!

    @Angelia - I know right? Where did that come from? :) I won't be writing for this one. I'll be doing some black and white interiors as well as some color book plate type illustrations with the middle grade market in mind.

    @Juana - You are so welcome. It's great to share what others are doing in our community. I loved working with Yuyi. She is fantastic. Absolutely - I'd love to talk sometime. :)

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  5. Well, I came here from the comment challenge and I'm so glad I did!

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  6. Hi Stacy! Nice to see you here. It's neat to recognize people from around the kidlit blogosphere.

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  7. I'm on board for PubSubPackMo! My list is old & outdated...great idea!

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  8. Awesome, Tina! I would love some company. :)

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  9. It's such a small world. I also had Marla Frazee for my portfolio review at the LA Conference. She was great.

    Good luck on Alice in Wonderland.

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  10. @Julia - That's great that you got a critique with her. She is so good at what she does. Off to Wonderland. Thanks for the luck and for stopping by!

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  11. Oh, the Comment Challenge is taking us to such interesting blogs! I tend to hunker down and write book recommendations all alone in my own little world of debut young adult authors and small publishers. It's marvelous to see these lovely illustrations and visual interpretations of the written word!

    Best of luck on the challenges you've set for yourself in early 2012 - ya gotta have concrete goals, yes? I'll be checking back by to see more of your work.

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    1. Thank you Katy! Yes the comment challenge is getting us out into the bigger world. I'm really enjoying it. Thank you for stopping by!

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  12. Hi, your life sounds like mine these days. I have several creative projects in the works, but I'm getting nicely distracted by the comment challenge, Illustration Friday, the 12x12x12 picture book challenge, and updating my blog. Thanks for the blog links; I'll check them out.

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    1. It's nice to have a balance between projects and distractions. The distractions can be so inspiring for new projects on my list. Enjoy the links!

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  13. Sounds like you've found excellent ways to keep busy. The picture book dummy with Marla sounds especially intriguing.

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    1. There are times where distractions are a good thing and this was one of those times. Hopefully I will have lots to post along the way with my new story.

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  14. Wow, sounds like you will have (Well, having) a wonderful Jan. Best of luck, have fun!

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    1. Well, hi Missy! Thanks. I was just thinking about you last week. I'll have to pop by your blog and see what you're up to.

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  15. I have experience of 5 years in children book illustration. I will make very beautiful kids friendly illustrations.
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