Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Merry Christmas Card

Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays to all!

My agent, Bernadette Szost at Portfolio Solutions, asked all of us illustrators to draw a mouse with a wreath for the agency's holiday promo. Each artist gave the assignment their own unique twist. I considered several ideas (a mouse riding a frog through a burning wreath, a la Evil Knievel, was one) but settled on this concept-- inspired by a childhood craft project (macaroni art) and Stephen Soundheim's musical, Sunday in the Park with George.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My "Illustrious" Past

Oh, dear.

My mom recently found this ancient newspaper clipping. That's the back of my head along with a fine example of my early artistic stylings.

At the time, I was a lowly dairy clerk. I probably volunteered to draw on the chalkboard–and the management was happy to "take advantage" of my talent.

I was just happy to take a break from stocking shelves.

I had mischievous fun with many chalkboards. I recall a spaceship blowing up the store with a death ray. A dinosaur devouring the meat department manager. And Bill Clinton looking for a date on Valentine's Day. That last one received complaints, but my boss took the heat and spared the eraser.

It wasn't the best art gig I've ever had, but it was fun to have an audience. I would often get a crowd watching me draw. And I did develop a following of sorts – heck, the local paper even did a story about me!

And to those vandals who occasionally besmirched my work – HOW COULD YOU?!

I hope you are haunted by remorse.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't Think – Draw.

Signing my books is nerve-wracking. I always want to include a drawing. And I want that drawing to be AWESOME! But it's a bit like walking a highwire without a net. There's no chance to revise. No opportunity to rip the page out, throw it against the wall, scream, and start over.

That's probably why I have a stack of books in my studio, collecting dust, waiting to be signed.

Tonight, I tackled some dinosaur books. I opened "Introducing Dinosaurs: Triceratops" and started scratching tentative, wispy lines. I was planning to draw a straightforward dino but then this whimsical Triceratops came out of nowhere.

Generally, I'm a pretty methodical artist. These sketches are more spontaneous and a reminder that I can (occasionally) trust my instincts.