Back a couple of years ago, I got the strangest manuscript. It was called Blobfish!, written by Julie Segal-Walters, and I didn’t have a clue what it was about. It was kind of a book about animals, it was kind of a meta-book thing where the illustrator and author get into a spat about how the book is supposed to go, and it was pretty funny. I signed on, and went about worrying about it for months. Usually, when I decide to illustrate a book, I have some idea what the book will look like. It’s usually clear why someone asked me to work on it, and I can see pretty quickly what I want to do with it. This one was an exception. Even my agent, in his email to me about the script, said it was weird.
Time went by, and I worked on other commitments, occasionally sketching from this story, and occasionally talking to the editor about what we might be doing with it. Julie made some revisions to the script, I stared the process of laying out the page-breaks and finding the story’s rhythms, and things started to fall into place.
Well, today is the book-birthday for the resulting picture book. Now it’s called (This is Not a Normal) Animal Book, and Paula Wiseman Books / Simon & Schuster has it available today for you to order up and read aloud to your kids, you partner, or yourself.
I’m pretty happy that we even got to have the “fake” cover as the case-cover here. The idea, of course, being that the illustrator sabotaged the jacket cover.
Matthew Winner, he who makes the All the Wonders podcast interviewed Julie and me a few weeks ago, and today that conversation went live. You can listen to us here.
This is a very different book than anything i’ve ever made. There are drawings in it, of course, but there are also pages and pages of cut paper, and crayons, and scissors, and sketches. My art studio became a photography studio for a week last year while I was photographing these objects. I even had jars of jelly (you’ll see why).
So, go get it. I think it’s hilarious.
A friend of mine asked me to contribute a sign for her son’s school in Brooklyn. They have a spring carnival every year in which they have these hand made signs and then they auction them to benefit the school. I’ve been looking for an excuse to do some collage work again, as it’s been a long while since I made those race cars and the work is the most satisfying kind of creative process I know.
So of course I said heck yeah.
This is 18 inches square and is made with collage and acrylic paint.
Spent this morning working on this little collage. It’s about ten inches tall, made of acrylic and various paper goods. Graph paper shirt and the hair is from an old Archie comic book, for instance.
Sometimes I need to spend a few hours that are about something other than cars and trucks, or at least not the typical way I make illustrations. It had been a while since I cut and pasted and painted. I’m gonna try to do this every week.
Here are all six race cars. These will be for sale at the Main Line Art Center’s children’s book fair this Sunday, Feb 8. I’ll be there with several other authors and illustrators. At 1:30 I’ll be giving a 15-minute presentation talking about my illustrations and inspiration. Hope you can make it.
Whatever of these race cars that doesn’t sell there will be going on my Etsy page on Monday. I plan to do a lot more of these, as well as some monsters, robots, aliens, trucks, etc.
I have a set on Flickr that shows these cars in the works.
I’ve completed the six collage race cars I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. These are all for The Main Line Art Center’s Children’s Book Fair this Sunday, February 8. I’ll post a picture of all six in the next day or two, or you can see them all here.
These are collage/paintings, made with magazines, the yellow pages, various papers, and acrylic paint on 10 x 10 inch plywood. They’ll be for sale at the show, but I’ve yet to settle on a price.
I’ve written this before, but I haven’t enjoyed making stuff this much in a long time. I hope to make more of these, and I hope to find ways of incorporating this technique in my books and illustrations.
SHe may be cute, but don’t let that fool you. She will gladly blow your doors off and put you into the wall.
Sacha suggested that one of the race cars needs to be driven by a lady driver. Here she is. Materials used: acrylic and part of a GapKids ad on yellow pages.
Finished two more of the race cars. Each one is closer to what I had in my old head when I conceived of these things. I’m spending a bit more time planning them, and being a little tighter with the craft part of it.
I’ve two more to do for the show on Feb 8, and then I’ll see where to go next.
You can see how these are made on my Flickr page here.
Two down, four to go.
I added some logos and stickers that I made with a laser printer on this one. The driver is from the Yellow Pages. Stay tuned.
Here’s the first of what will soon be six, and eventually more, race car collages. This is 10 x 10 inches, is done with magazine and other pages, acrylic paint, and it’s on birch plywood. The first six of these will be for sale at the Main Line Art Center’s Children’s Book Fair on February 8. As I get the other five completed I’ll post them here as well.
race car collage no.1