I was on vacation in lovely Fenwick Island, Delaware last week, but that doesn’t mean that everything grinder to a halt or anything. Quite the contrary. First, there was a really nice interview with me in the Washington DC CityPaper in anticipation of the National Book Festival. My friend Mike Rhode did the interview and i just answered the questions.
Check that out here.
And then there was the day itself at the National Book Festival. I did a presentation on drawing robots and then signed books. My signing corral was right between New York Times Best Sellers Andrea Beaty of Rosie Revere fame, and Eric Litwin who writes Pete the Cat. So it was kind of like being between two rock stars. But the folks who came down my aisle were awesome and enthusiastic.
The view from the National Book Festival 2014
Maybe the best drawing I’ve ever drawn. Maybe.
Wait, did I just say I was stuck between two New York Times bestsellers? Well that’s interesting because the biggest news of all for the week was finding out that Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor is joining that club. Yeehaw! This is a first-time for me and it likely goes without saying that I was pretty excited on Wednesday when I got that phone call from Charlie and Nicole at Abrams. Currently the book is at #10, but I’ll take it! Cross fingers that it does nothing but climb…
Thanks to everyone who has bought and read the book. Now I gotta get busy on finishing book 2!
I’ve been away from the studio and running around Northwest Oregon with my family for the last week. We’ve been standing on windy beaches and hiking up volcanoes as Philadelphia experiences an earthquake and now braces for an oncoming hurricane. Go figure!
Something I’ve noticed about vacations for me over the last few years is that I’ve not much interest in drawing while I’m on them. In the past I’d take watercolors and brushes and inks on trips, and make time to sit and stare at cathedrals and mountains and boats while I record these sights into a sketchbook. Lately, however, I’m loathe to break out the journal or anything more than making packing lists or travel notes; and I’m much happier to play around on the ukulele or read or merely look out a window than draw.
I figure this could be due to the fact that for the last five years I do nothing but draw while I’m at work, while in the past I also taught and did graphic design among other tasks. Furthermore I’m working on these very dense, heavily detailed Everything Goes books right now which, as fun as they are, is real work and taking a break from working means taking a break from drawing. It could also be that now I’m traveling with kids. That doesn’t hold up, however, since even when Sacha and travel together sans little-Biggses I still don’t want to draw pictures.
In any case, I do love taking pictures of the places we go and the things that we do. So rather than sketches of my journeys, I’ll share a few photos.
Wilson and Elliot getting their feet wet in the Pacific for the first time at Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
A seagull on Cannon Beach.
Hiking to Smugglers Cove, just north of Manzanita, Oregon.
Huge driftwood trunks on the beach just north of Manzanita, Oregon.
The beach at Smugglers Cove.
Surfers on the beach at Smugglers Cove.
My daughter Elliot paddle-boarding at Hood River, Oregon.
Looking up at Mt. Hood.
Taking the Magic Mile up high on Mt Hood from Timberline Lodge.
More to come. Enjoy the hurricane.
I just returned from a two-week hiatus from the studio. It was hard work, but I had to go to Hawaii for eleven days. Sacha and I spent six days in Oahu and five in Kauai. I’ve traveled a lot, with museums and culture and learning and whatnot, but I think this is the first real vacation I’ve taken as an adult. I drew maybe one sketch in my notebook, so it was a true vacation from work as well. Instead, I spent my time driving around the islands with Sacha, cooking seafood on the bbq grill, practicing my new ukuleles, and taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Here are some. You can find more on my Flickr page.
Now I’m back in the studio, in Philadelphia, and facing a daunting schedule that includes several children’s books and a number of other illustration projects. Stay tuned here for all that. Aloha.