Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Signing at Costco

I'm heading home to the Midwest this week. I'll be signing copies of TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS IN WISCONSIN this next Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Middleton, WI Costco from 11am-2pm. (outside Madison) Stop by if you're in the area, I'll be the one shivering in the corner. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy November

I could never be a serious blogger. Proof, here's the Halloween promo I sent out, you know, on Halloween. This past weekend I was invited to review portfolios at the Los Angeles SCBWI Illustrator's Day. One of the speakers explained the importance of maintaining ones blog, if not to attract the masses, then to at least give some insight into ones personality. I have mixed feelings on that. Doesn't my work give a few clues about my personality? Maybe not.. ?

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Worthy Walrus -inpsiration

I'm slightly obsessed with the Albert Khan Archives.  I'd heard about it, but was pretty much in the dark until last year when PBS ran  the BBC documentary The Wonderful World of Albert Khan.  You can actually see part of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUR61F1dOms  I imediately purchased the companion book and it's been a source of inspiration ever since. 

For instance, my walrus here started with a conversation with my agent.  For some reason we were talking about walruses... serious, important publishing stuff, ya know... which got me thinking how I'd never actually drawn a walrus before and it would probably be a fun thing to do.  So I started sketching.  At first all the little guys were very realistic and how should I say.. boring.  But as I sketched the character of the animals started to come out.. and then I remembered the Khan images of the Maharajah of Kapurthala, who as it turns out, looked exactly like a walrus.  See scan below:

So I combined the two ideas and now I have a most worthy walrus, and a summer promo.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL 2011 Hâlau Keali'i O Nâlani

My first book, HULA LULLABY (Little, Brown 2005) was inspired by my dear friend, Namaka, and her Hula Hâlau Keali'i O Nâlani.  They modeled for me and Kumu was kind enough to check my text for cultural accuracy.  Friends from the Hâlau even helped promote HULA LULLABY by performing at a few book events.  This past week Namaka returned with the Hâlau to perform at Merrie Monarch.  As always, they were amazing!  Here's the video:

Monday, May 2, 2011

NaPiBoWriWee 2011!

It's that time again: NaPiBoWriWee!!  The 2011 National Picture Book Writing Even!  I'm happy to be this year's first guest blogger.   http://paulayoo.com/napi/?p=55  If you haven't signed up, it's not to late to join in. Try your hand at a picture book MS and day. It's a great chance to connect with other writers, learn about the pb format, and get some of those ideas actually down on the page.  See you there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Zazzle store

Years ago I made a half hearted attempt to get into licensing.  Who wouldn't want to have a stuffed animal made from their drawings right?  But, a few things got in the way.  OK, really it was one little thing and a lot of sleep deprivation.  This past weekend that same little thing and I played around making zazzle stores.  Mine is here:  http://www.zazzle.com/brownotter  I don't think it will get many hits, there's like a billion zazzle stores, but it's fun to see images on actual products, especially keds, I wear keds, I love keds.   

Shop other personalized gifts from Zazzle.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Project for Kids

My five year old needs to bring Valentine's cards to school Monday and since we had a little time (she was home sick this week) we decided to go ahead and make them.  Here's a simple, inexpensive project:

The craft store had all its Valentine's themed chachkies on clearance,Yay!  (we likes a bargain)
colored pencils 6 for $.50
heart stickers $1.50
blank book marks 50 for $2.99

So, for the price of the store bought versions, we had a good hour's entertainment and something a bit more original.

1) hole punch both sides of the book marks

2) tie a ribbon through one side (we used left over
xmas ribbon)

3) decorate

4) slip the pencil through both holes.

Plein Air Painting. Oh so that's how they do it...

I am not a landscape artist. I'm sort of the opposite. Swirly whirly happy trees-good. realistic true to color and light- not so much. But now that I live somewhere truly beautiful it's hard not to imagine how nice it would be to spend sun dappled days outside with easel and brush. So, I'm taking a plein air class. And... well, I kinda stink. My instructor teaches in a very California style, and while I don't see settling too far into it myself I think it's always good to learn new techniques. So... here's the first attempts: