Monday, February 9, 2009

Back at the drawing table and the Making of a Monkey Man

Well this week I'm supposed to be back at work. I've mostly been catching up on reading blogs, reading my daily digests from my Mid-South chapter of SCBWI, and making a to-do list. Two things on this to-do list are: 1) finish redesigning website and 2) work on Baby Sprout's name picture. On the first I had started on a new site design before baby was born, its been on hold except when I could work in bits and pieces between feedings. But now I'm almost done so stay tuned for an announcement of the new site in the next couple of weeks. I'm working on a "Books" page with covers of the books I've done and I've gotta work on some kinks with my hosting folks but then it really REALLY should be up by March. On the second to-do item: when Small Fry was born I had this inspiration to do an illustration of his name, not like illustrated letters but how I thought his name might be interpreted artistically. It helped that Small Fry's middle name was after a dear family friend we lost just before he was born and I was feeling very emotional about that and wanted to memorialize him in some way. His image turned out to be a more literal: with an image of a baby, an animal for what is first name meant and an animal for our lost friend.

So when Sprout was on the way, of course I knew I would have to do an illustration for her. Sprout is not named after anyone, hers is a "concept" name, meaning we just liked the concept of the name - what it means and where it is derived from. This turned out to be a bit harder to illustrate, than Small Fry's more literal interpretation. For the record here are both the Fry's illo and Sprout's sketch. Unfortunately I can't explain what these mean without revealing their true identities but if anyone wants to take a stab at what their real names are be my guest. FYI to those of you who know their real names keep your fingers off the keyboard.

This is Small Fry's:

This is Sprout's:

Both the kids have real Southern themes to their names, see if you can spot the Southern stuff in these. If anyone gets reeeeaaally curious about what they mean, e-mail me and I'll explain.

While I was not working a lot of stuff happened in the kid's book world including the announcement of this years Caldecott winner, The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes. I was impressed that she works in scratchboard. I feel like this is a medium you almost never see. SCBWI held its mid-year conference in NY. Read the official blog here. And finally here's a really funny video shown by Jarrett Krosocka about life in the picture book bidness. I especially love the dream sequence at the beginning:

BOOK BY BOOK: the making of a monkey man from Jarrett Krosoczka on Vimeo.

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