WU Graduation Ceremony

We actually had an in-person graduation ceremony at Winthrop this year! Granted, it was in an enormous space with social distancing and masks...
But it still had the pomp and circumstance, and students walked the stage to accept their diplomas (one of the benefits of being a smaller university).
Faculty sat way up behind the stage so that we could see the ceremony, but still save room for all the students' family members. Here I am with Karen O. and Myles C.
It was the first time I got to wear my own regalia officially - check out the fuschia! This is the PhD robe for my discipline at the University of Glasgow! (Sadly, our summer ceremony has already been cancelled, so this is sort of my celebration too.)
We all wore our proper regalia; although the rule for Glasgow is that our robes should be worn "carelessly" - HA! Here I am with Wanda E. and Karen O. again.
Did you notice my pink nails? I am so not a pink person, but I am embracing it with my new robes!
     After the ceremony, it is so fun to walk through the crowd of students and parents. People are crying and hugging and smiling, and the energy is just SO GOOD!!!
That might be my favorite part. Or is it when families cheer? Or when some of the kids stomp while receiving their diploma? I don't know - it's all simply WONDERFUL!!! And so much better IN PERSON!!!

Reconnecting post-Covid

It's been so fun seeing people reconnecting on facebook who have been forced apart for so long. But it was even better doing some reconnecting myself! I went to my first in-person party last weekend - full of fellow faculty, staff, and friends from Winthrop U. Everyone had been vaccinated and we were outside. We couldn't resist this one, wonderful group shot. What a JOY it was to be with people/friends again!!!

An unexpected award - OMG!!!

I am in tears! I just learned this wonderful news from my university:
Dr. Elizabeth Dulemba, Associate Professor of Design, has been selected by students to be awarded the 20-21 Excellence in Academic Advising Award.
This award is for a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary advising skills. This is a special award in that the nominations come directly from the students.

Some quotes from students describing Professor Dulemba:
• Always there to help inside and outside of class.
• Checks up on students and goes above and beyond to help when they are struggling.
• Extremely knowledgeable about degree requirements.
• Readily available to advise or talk and listens carefully to make sure students are heard.
• Helped reduce the stress added from this past year and has provided opportunities to connect with others inside and outside the Dept.
• Has been a Godsend this entire year.
This has been such a tough year for students. I cannot relay how much this means to me. What an honor to know that I'm doing a little bit of good in this world during this difficult time!

VIDEO: Sunday Surprise

How's this for a surprise? This home-owner filmed not one, but FOUR cougars wandering about on their back porch and drinking from a fountain! Click the image to watch on youtube.

Coloring Page Tuesday - Easter 2021

     I decided to go super-frilly for Easter this year. I hope you like this Easter Bunny!
CLICK HERE for more EASTER-themed coloring pages.
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance, my board book Merbaby's Lullaby!
If my news and images add value to your life, won't you please
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     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

2021 Margaret Wise Brown Prize Winner

Hollins University has honored Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author Meg Medina as the winner of the sixth annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.
     Medina will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away, a story of friendship and change illustrated by Sonia Sánchez and published by Candlewick Press.
     CLICK HERE to read more about this year's prize.

VIDEO: The Life of Rosemarie

Wow - what a beautiful animation and what a beautiful story! Click the image to watch at CommArts.

Friday Links List - 26 March 2021

From Hollins University: HOLLINS ANNOUNCES WINNER OF THE 2021 MARGARET WISE BROWN PRIZE IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

From Cynsations: Interview with Linda Sue Park & kiBooka Authors & Illustrators

From The Guardian: 'I am not who I was': Michael Rosen on surviving Covid – extract

From Scary Mommy: I Wasn’t Ready For My Kids To Outgrow Their Picture Books

From SLJ: Chronicling COVID: Children’s Authors Tackle Pandemic Topics for Kids

From The Miami Herald: With or without me, Florida will always be wonderfully, unrelentingly weird Carl Hiaasen's last article

From the New York Times: How Children Read Differently From Books vs. Screens

From Daily Mail: Why every celeb wants to be in the good books! As Idris Elba becomes the latest to pen a children's story, experts reveal how stars can earn MORE from a bestseller than showbiz - and capture a new generation of fans early



ILLUSTRATORS' TREEHOUSE NEWS
SIGN UP! From AIGA: Community and Collaboration Black, Brown + Latinx Design Spaces Thursday, April 15th

From Amplifier.com: Vaccination Art and the Call for Art

From SLJ's 100 Scope Notes: 2021 Books from Coretta Scott King Award Winners

From Muddy Colors:
     Author Interviews: Ruth Sanderson !!! My friend!!!
     ADVICE ON REFERENCING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VISUAL IDEA
     The Symbolic Mark
     PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS: CREATING REFERENCE FOR A GLOWING LIGHT SOURCE
     Easter Bunnies (!!!)
     Artists Spotlight: Attack Peter Amazing wood-block prints!
     THE ART OF THE SELF-DIRECTED PROJECT

From The European Illustrators' Forum (EIF):
      New White Book of Illustration in Spain
     Introducing the AOI Mentorship scheme 2021

From The Verge: NFTs, explained I have questions about this emerging... um... art form? Platform?

From Print & Pattern: Store Snaps (We used to do this when I worked in textiles to get an idea of market trends)

From CommArts:
     Five Type Designers, Many Specimens
     Lewa House's new, gorgeous, interactive website We stayed here on our honeymoon - I swam in that pool! :)
     Alabama Civil Rights app

Do you know The Little Friends of Printmaking?

Do you know about Mattepaint.com?

From The Bologna Book Fair:
     2021 FINALIST ILLUSTRATORS
     ILLUSTRATORS WALL - CALL FOR ENTRY

From Tedium:

From Penguin Young Readers: New Graphic Novels!

From The Guardian: Children’s books roundup – the best new picture books and novels

From Tedium: CMYK All the Way How mass-production printing technology, starting with the lithograph, was pushed forward thanks to a growing interest in color.

From The Art Room Plant:
     Sylvia Pankhurst
     Chris Judge

     
Maryam Yektafar




OFF TOPIC BUT INTERESTING
From EAB: Higher ed’s demographic future

From My Friend in Colorado: Horror and Heartbreak in My World This Week

From Winthrop University: Winthrop Once Again Named a Voter Friendly Campus our mural is part of the reason!

E.B. Goodale's THE HOUSE OF GRASS AND SKY

Some books feel like classics straight away. THE HOUSE OF GRASS AND SKY is one of those. It's written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by E.B. Goodale, who stopped by to talk about it!
e: What was your creative process/medium for The House of Grass and Sky, can you walk us through it?
E.B.
I used monoprint and a little gouache to create the illustrations for The House of Grass and Sky. Monoprint is a printmaking technique in which you paint on a plate and press that plate onto paper. Each print is unique, hence the name “mono” print. In my case I did all the backgrounds using inks and then running it through an etching press. This technique produces a lot of textural surprises, which lent themself very well to the pastoral atmosphere in the book. The line work was done by painting on glass, then pressing paper onto the glass to transfer the line. My line work and backgrounds were then layered together digitally.

Sketching thumbnails at the inspiration house.

e: What was your path to publication?
E.B.
A long and winding one! I studied illustration in college but was not sure that children’s books were the direction for me until I started working in a children’s bookstore. It was there that I was able to see a wide range of inspiration, and could begin to envision my work in a book format. After college I also worked as a press operator in a few different letterpress shops, the main one being Smudge Ink. It was there that I was eventually asked to design a line of cards for them, which really helped me hone a more commercial style, and began to blend my printmaking experience with my illustration background. All the while I had been sending samples out to publishers...but it wasn’t until my dear friend, Julia Denos (who I met working at the bookstore), asked me if I would want to illustrate a book she wrote, Windows. Of course I did! We ended up pitching it together to Candlewick and they acquired it. It was only after I had the contract that they showed me all the samples they had saved from me over the years! It is rare for friends to be able to pitch a story together in that way, and I’m so grateful that I got to make my first book with such a close friend, and with a publisher I deeply admire.

My grandmother’s house in the country. I wanted to capture the feeling of her house.

e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of this story?
E.B.
Well, since I only illustrated the book, I will tell you that the reason I was drawn to the story is because it reminded me of my grandmother’s house, which was a 1700s farmhouse way out in the country. I sought out a similar style house to rent when I was working on the book, and ended up staying in a house that had records and photo albums of the family going back generations! That is what gave me the idea to use photographs as a storytelling element in the book. If you notice the border collie at the beginning of the book, that is a nod to the family whose house I rented. They were sheep farmers going back generations and border collies were ever present.


Some of the photos found in the inspiration house

e: What do you think makes an illustration magical, what I call "Heart Art” - the sort that makes a reader want to come back to look again and again?
E.B.
Great question. I think Heart Art happens when what you see on the page matches something intangible inside you. This is what makes it hard to pinpoint! I don’t have a process for making it other than intuitively waiting until something “pings” inside of me when I look at what I’ve done. Then I hope that others will have a “ping” when they see it too.

First sketch of the house

e: How do you advertise yourself (or do you)?
E.B.
The main platform I engage on is Instagram. I wouldn’t say I advertise myself very effectively, but I enjoy sharing what I’m working on and connecting with readers that way.


Some line work from the book, before being added to the backgrounds digitally

e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
E.B.
I worked a lot of tough jobs that faced the public through my younger years, so I’m most grateful for the freedom to be alone and in control of my hours. The most challenging part is persisting through the work on days when I’d like to take a nap...but doesn’t everyone have that problem?!


A couple inked up monoprint plates, prior to being run through the press

e: Is there something in particular about this story you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
E.B.
I’d love for readers to take away the idea of listening to and respecting old places, even the most modest ones, for they hold their own energy. In our age of home renovation flip shows, I think a more modest way of living can be overlooked. I love that this story honors the quiet, intuitive path of restoring an old home, instead of shaping it beyond recognition.

Me in my basement print shop

My upstairs studio, where I paint and do everything else!

e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
E.B.
My second author/illustrated book, Also, comes out in February 2022 (HMH) and I’m currently working on illustrations for a book called Goodnight Little Bookstore by Amy Cherrix for Candlewick Press. My dream project most certainly would involve miniature books!
e: I look forward to seeing them! Thanks for stopping by.

Certificate in Children's Book Illustration at Hollins University

CALLING ALL ARTISTS INTERESTED IN BOOK ILLUSTRATION:

Hollins University offers a Certificate in Book lllustration that offers working artists and art teachers a program to develop a personal vision and style for tomorrow’s picture book and chapter book market. Courses explore and improve students’ art skills and knowledge of picture and chapter book fundamentals with studio practice and an in-depth study of both past and contemporary book illustrators. I'll be teaching Picture Book Design and World Building this summer, along with giving the opening and closing keynotes on "Transformations." Join me!

DEADLINE APRIL 1! Follow this link for more information:
https://www.hollins.edu/academics/all-certificate-programs/certificate-in-childrens-book-illustration/

Also, look at our other offerings...
the MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating, the Master of Arts in Children's Literature, or the Children's Literature MFA programs at Hollins University in the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains of Roanoke, Virginia.

Completed my VIVA!!!!

I just finished my viva and am thrilled to share I got exactly the outcome I was hoping for - a “B” with ONE month of “enhancements”!!! (A full “A” with no revisions is almost unheard of in the UK.) So, YAY!!!!! The examination team will formalize the feedback and send me revision notes in about a week, then I’ll have a month to turn them around. Once my “enhancements” are approved, I will receive my doctoral letter. So, I’m about 6 weeks away from being “Dr. E” now!!!! WHOOHOOOO!!!!!!! 😊

MANY thanks to my amazing supervisors, Dr Maureen Farrell, Dr Rob Maslen, and Prof Bob Davis. I SO enjoyed our years of working so closely together - I am a better person for knowing all of you! Thank you also to Kay Livingston, our convenor; to my internal examiner, Prof James Conroy; and to my external examiner, Dr Vicky Macleroy. My PhD was a beast (a 90,000-word thesis with a 90,000-word novel attached as an appendix), so I so appreciate their time, interest, and in-depth questions!

The viva was tough, stressful, but also so much fun! I loved answering those hard questions about this topic that I've studied so deeply for three years now: "Tricksters, Witches, and Warriors: A Feminist Experiment in Rewriting a Patriarchal Narrative in Children's Fantasy Literature." Once the pain of academic childbirth (*ahem*) wears off, I'll be writing more about it all for conferences and journals. So, stay tuned!

VIDEO: Interview with Bobby Chiu, Terryl Whitlatch, and Robert Gould

If you're at all interested in animation, storyboarding, or making movies, this is a very cool, behind the scenes look at the creation of some of our most beloved movies of all time by some of the most 'in' people in the biz. It's long, and worth every minute! Click the image to watch on youtube.

New Redbubble Stuff!

I've created quite a few new Redbubble items for you. Some are from my "Animal Alphabet" that I created during my MFA. Others are just fun things I create when I'm feeling silly. Click the image to visit my store and see the image on something you might like to add to your home or wardrobe!

VIDEO: Bobby Chiu on Being Lucky

I adore Bobby Chiu's work and have been enjoying the videos he's making under his "Schoolism" brand. This latest one has some good advice on networking. This is how I did/do it too. Have a look, enjoy his method, and learn a few things!

Blue Ridge Writers' Conference

I'll be speaking at the upcoming Blue Ridge Writers' Conference! Here's more info about it:

24th ANNUAL BLUE RIDGE WRITERS’ CONFERENCE
VIRTUAL
April 9 & 10, 2021

The Mission of the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference is to educate, inform, and inspire writers. No matter the level of expertise, the Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference provides a venue for professional writers, editors and agents to provide honest and accurate feedback to the aspiring writer in how to craft that first novel, sell a magazine article, market yourself in the literary world, or finding inspiration for your poetry.

This year’s virtual conference begins on Saturday, April 10th with our keynote speech. Our 2021 keynote speaker will be Melissa Fay Greene. The day continues with concurrent virtual workshops and sessions on everything from Fiction and Non-Fiction to marketing a manuscript. Our 2021 speakers include a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry writers, editors, and even a Secretary Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference also offers a four-hour virtual Workshop Intensive on Friday, April 9th. For an additional fee, the Workshop Intensive provides a more concentrated workshop to strengthen and inspire your literary endeavors. The 2021 workshop leader will be fiction writer, Sheila Athens.

More information about our speakers, the Workshop Intensive, and the concurrent sessions can be found in the attached document.
You can register by completing the attached Registration Form and mailing it in, or on our website via PayPal https://www.blueridgewritersconference.com/registration-forms.html

For more information about the Conference, please visit www.BlueRidgeWritersConference.com, or contact us at blueridgearts@gmail.com.