the news section

By "news" of course, we mean that which is new. Information, projects, ideas, that sort of thing. Maybe sometimes now and then you might find the "recent" and occasionally something quite "old" might find its way on to these pages. Possibly it could be in the form of an illustration, or perhaps I"m just behind the curve in some way. Enjoy.

Illustrator Day

July 29, 2015 | bookmark | Leave a Comment

The Eastern PA SCBWI chapter asked me to speak and give a presentation talk at their Illustrator Day event on September 12. I'll be talking about how I took an odd little manuscript by Mac Barnett and turned it into a picture book that will be published next year by Macmillan. I'll also be signing books and standing around looking awkward.
If you are an illustrator within driving distance to Yardley, PA, I hope to see you there.

More info on the SCBWI website here.

children's book illustration by Brian Biggs

From "Noisy Night," by Mac Barnett

5-year-old Klank

July 19, 2015 | bookmark | Leave a Comment

Abrams/Chronicle, who distributes the Frank Einstein books in the UK, just turned five years old. They asked a few of their illustrators to draw birthday cards to that effect. Here's mine.

5 years KLANK

Greek to me

June 1, 2015 | bookmark | Leave a Comment

It's fun getting the foreign editions of a book in the mail.

150302_greek frank_001

150302_greek frank_003

Ape, not monkey.

May 11, 2015 | bookmark | Leave a Comment

Angry Monkey
I drew a fun promo for Frank Einstein a couple of weeks ago for The Guardian, a newspaper in the UK. I always enjoyed those books by Ed Emberley when I was a kid, and this draws some inspiration from that.

How to Draw an Angry Monkey.

Enjoy!

fan mail

December 9, 2014 | bookmark | 2 Comments

not_battery

I got this message this morning on the Facebook:

Hey Brian Biggs! We haven't met, but my friend Amy Ignatow recommended your books for my daughter and she LOVES them. adores. Devours. Our car battery finally died today, and when my husband and I were talking about needing a new one, she just said "it's not the battery." (She always takes the not battery side of the debate!). I think it's the battery. Anyway, thanks for the outstanding books.

And that's just awesome.

Feliz Díos de los Muertos

October 29, 2014 | bookmark | Leave a Comment

Muertos

(Click the images to see them bigger. In some cases, much bigger.)
I was recently asked by Steven Malk, my literary agent at Writers House, to create a promotional card for the upcoming holiday. No, not Halloween. Rather, the Day of the Dead, or Díos de los Muertos. I actually volunteered for this — he is putting together a series of these promotional images for the lesser-known holidays. Arbor Day, Grandparent's Day, and so on. When I saw Muertos on the list I jumped at the chance. I've long admired the work of J.G. Posada, whose wood-cut skeletons and other imagery I associate with the holiday.

8097112_orig

cyclists---Posada

diadetrans

Originally I thought I might even play with some printmaking techniques to pay a little homage to Posada as I make this image, but I quickly realized that with the looming deadline for the second Frank Einstein book, this would not be possible. I had to do what I do the way I know how to do it, and go from there.

I pretty much knew what I wanted to do from the start. The festive atmosphere of a Day of the Dead celebration is one that everyone should at some point experience. I don't love the goofy goth-horror side that Americans have sort of adapted over the years, and I wanted the story told here to be less about the costumes and more about the idea of this old guy moving from this life to the next. I went through a few phases with the sketches but it came together pretty quickly.
Below I post various steps in the process, in order that I made them, and some details from the final art.

The first sketch -- just two guys.

The first sketch — just two guys.

I thought a background would be involved at first.

I thought a background would be involved at first.

Working out color stuff.

Working out color stuff.

The big tight sketch that becomes the basis for the inked art.

The big tight sketch that becomes the basis for the inked art.

Inked and scanned, ready for color in Photoshop.

Inked and scanned, ready for color in Photoshop.

trio_detail1

trio_detail3

trio_detail2

The printed card.

The printed card.

The reverse side with the necessary information.

The reverse side with the necessary information.

The printed card is only 4.25" x 6", so I'm sad that a lot of the detail of the line-work is difficult to make out. I'd love to print this thing bigger at some point. Maybe when I get the mythical screen-printing gear in my closet here set up and running…

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