Hanging Off Jefferson's Nose - NOOK GIVEAWAY!!!

HANGING OFF JEFFERSON'S NOSE is the little known story of how Mount Rushmore came to be and the integral part one young boy played in its creation. It's written by Tina Nichols Coury and illustrated by the illustrious Sally Wern Comport. I have the great honor of asking her some questions about this latest creations...

Q. Sally - I've been a great admirer of your work for some time and am so glad to have you visit! Were you excited to take on this monumental project to illustrate Mount Rushmore?
A. Throughout my career as an artist, I have always responded to other artist’s work and have been drawn to express in my own works, the working- moving figure. In particular the artists from the 1930’s and 40’s who were social realists and muralists. This book was exactly that expression that was called for, so I was very excited to participate.

Q. Were there any elements of this story that were particularly challenging? (Like the monumental proportions!)
A. I have also been involved in many large scale projects in producing public art displays. When I was working on the illustrations, I was completing a 3-year project that involved installations of artwork- some at 3 or 4 stories high on building exteriors. Exaggerated scale and proportion has always been my fascination as an artist so I am comfortable portraying it. In fact, I started an art business 10 years ago called Art at Large Inc.

Q. I love the light you portray in your illustrations - how do you approach that?
A. It is a very good question, and a compliment that you point it out. Light plays a great function in defining the shape of something in space. What better thing to be defining than a monumental sculpture that is all one color. A picture can also be made much more dramatic in the way it uses shadow and light to compose it to draw the viewer’s attention.

Q. Am I seeing some collage in HANGING OFF JEFFERSON'S NOSE? How do you usually work and what was different in this project?
A. This project is a bit more heavily painted in acrylic for the final stage. My work always begins with black and white drawings made on layers and layers of drawing tissue done without the aid of reference pictures. That way I can build the gestures and compositions without the influence of someone else’s vision. Then, the first final drawing is done in charcoal from very researched pictures. The drawing then becomes a hybrid of working back and forth from traditional mediums to print mediums to digital mediums to add most of the texture and circle around again to traditional painting to do the final scans for print.

Q. You don't only illustrate children's books. Can you share some of your other venues and passions?
A. I have been making pictures commercially since I was 16 for advertisements in the newspaper. I continued to make drawings called “storyboards” for TV commercials that were like animation frames throughout my early career which kept my drawing skills sharp. I have always thought drawing is what keeps us thinking from our core strength as individual artists.
     I have also mentioned large scale projects and these continue to fuel my imagination as new advances in materials in digital printing technology, and LED light make possible the ability to put pictures outside, inside on all types of surfaces and for all types of purposes including exhibit design and public art. (All the more that Mt. Rushmore was a fitting story for me to help tell.) I have done many projects recently that are not solely my artwork but the work of many different artists. I have worked with inmates at a correctional institute, home displaced folks, developmentally delayed adults, and underserved youth as well as youth with English as a second language that speak the universal language of pictures. Digital capture and printing allow for storytelling in a big world of possibilities for artists of all methods and capabilities.

Q. I have several budding illustrators that follow dulemba.com. Can you give them a brief summary of how you became and illustrator and perhaps share some advice on making a living at it?
A. I have always been an artist and fortunately knew it from an early age. My father started an advertising agency in the 60’s as a commercial artist and I grew up around his drawing board always planted squarely in the middle of our living room.
     But Art and commerce have always had a tough time getting along. I have found that it’s necessary to be as creative ABOUT your career as you are creative IN your art. Find some tangential paths that lead you to projects as close to your core strengths and interests as you can. Primarily, Art is Work and it’s never finished.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I wish you much continued drawing happiness!

GIVEAWAY!!!! (It's a BIGGIE this time!)

     Tina Nichols Coury is generously giving away lots of good stuff in celebration of her new book. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog. Be sure to include your email addy (written out is fine) - if I can't get in touch with you, you won't win! You must live in the continental US to win. A random drawing will be done on May 15th with the winner announced on the 16th.
     And there's not just a Nook! Tina will be giving away cool stuff all week! You can only leave one comment per blog stop, but look at what you might win...

Blog Tour schedule:
Monday, May 7th - Book Trailers Debut on Darcy Patterson's Blog.
Comment raffle prize: The creation of one free book trailer from Tina's Trailers.
Tuesday, May 8th - Interview with Tina Nichols Coury at Barbara Bietz's blog.
Comment raffle prize: A Kindle!
Wednesday, May 9th -Interview with Tina's agent Mark McVeigh at Greg Pincus blog.
Comment raffle prize: a 15 minute phone critique on 10 pages of a manuscript with Mark!
Thursday, May 10th - Illustrator Sally Wern Comport Interview at Elizabeth Dulemba's Blog
Comment raffle prize: a Nook and original art from the book!!!
Friday, May 11th - Interview with Dutton Editor Steve Meltzer and Tina at Cnythia Leitich Smith's blog
Comment raffle prize: First pages critiques by Steve (5 of them.)
Dang, I wish I could enter!

And check out the awesome book trailer Tina created for HANGING OFF JEFFERSON'S NOSE:


Alison K Hertz said...

That looks like an interesting read. Love the trailer! Thanks for posting, Elizabeth!

Sandra Page said...

Since I'm a writer & not an illustrator, I found fascinating Sally's explanation of the process she used in creating the marvelous illustrations. Great job Tina and Sally!

Sandra Page (Flatau)

Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

Y'all be sure to include your email addresses!!!! If I can't get in touch with you - you won't win!!!! (You can write them out - that'll work.)

Shanda McCloskey said...

This book looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing advice for us budding illustrators :)
Theshanda at yahoo dot com

Wanda Snow Porter said...

Great interview.

Cheryl said...

The book looks wonderful, Tina.

My Dad was stationed in SD while in the Air Force. He always talked about the area and its sites.

Tina Nichols Coury said...

Where I live near Santa Barbara very few people have seen the monument. Though the Sculptor, Gutzon Borglum and his wife Mary are buried in Los Angeles. I'm always excited to hear stories of the visits to Mount Rushmore. I wonder how many of you have been there?

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the illustrator perspective on this wonderful picture book. This blog tour is inspiring on so many levels. Can't wait to read the book!
jhunsickerwrites at yahoo dot com

Mary Thornburg said...

Interesting interview! The illustrations surely do help to make this fascinating story live.

Tina, I visited Mt. Rushmore in 1974. Went there only because we were in the area and I thought it was sort of something I "should" do. Although I'd seen photographs - and the film "North by Northwest" - I was surprised (understatement!) at the monument's tremendous impact. This book and its illustrations will bring that impact to a whole new generation!

Mary Thornburg (boxcar (at) imt (dot) net.

Meridth McKean Gimbel said...

Super super inspiring. Thanks for the post!

rothy.squidling at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Not every artist is also verbally adroit, by a long shot. Sally Wren Comport's ART AT LARGE is a sparklingly clever title.
Martha Bennett Stiles

Pat Freeman said...

Love the art in the book. Congrats Tina and Sally it looks wonderful.
I was at the mountain in the 50's with my family and I never forgot how great it is. patfree500@gmail.com

Maggie said...

The book looks spectacular- appropriate for Mt. Rushmore!
maggie@maggieswanson dot com

Susan Miller said...

Very good interview with interesting questions, I will have to check out the book next time I am at the book store.


Anonymous said...

Fabulous illustrations!


Angela Russell said...

This is such an exciting project! Here's to huge sales!

patrice barton said...

Just Wow! Can't wait too see this book! Thanks for posting, Elizabeth!
patrice at patricebarton dot com

Judy Presnall said...

I love the view from under Jefferson's nose. I think kids will, too.

Ellen B said...

Sally W. C. is an inspiring illustrator - thanks for doing this interview. This looks like a wonderful book. I visited Mt Rushmore in my teens (the 70s)- it makes an impression one never forgets.
ellenbeier at yahoo dot com

Barbara Jean Hicks said...

Can really relate to Sally's comments about the intersection of art and commerce... Thanks, for the interview, Elizabeth!

Alicia said...

I can't wait to read this to my kids. It looks wonderful! mommywood314 at gmail dot com


Love the art in the book. Congrats Tina and Sally it looks wonderful.Love the trailer! Thanks for posting it.
Becky Minor

Ramey Channell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jan farnworth said...

what a fab book.


Ramey Channell said...

Thanks so much for this informative and instructive post! I was especially "wowed" to learn tht her work always begins with black and white drawings made on layers and layers of drawing tissue. This is a marvelous idea that I'm going to try.


BJ Schneider said...

I'm a doodler, but I'm passing this along to my artist friends. thanks for the info.

BJ Schneider said...

forgot to include my email with I'm a doodler, but I'm passing this along to my artist friends. thanks for the info.

schneiderbarbara at att dot net

Luanne said...

The cover is beautiful! I visited Mt Rushmore as a child but also took our own children...it is truly awesome and the history of it is fascinating. I loved going through the tunnel and bam! there are the four faces on the mountainside!


Art at Large Inc. said...

I want to thank everyone for joining in with your great comments and special thanks to Elizabeth for hosting such an informative spot. I also want to wish Tina great success in promoting her enthusiasm for this amazing landmark and for sparking a young mind to think LARGE.

Jennifer R said...

What a great interview. The book sounds facinating!

jenberger75 at yahoo dot com

Dorothy Patent said...

I'm very impressed with your process--so much prep work, but the results are gorgeous!
Dorothy Patent
doropatent at gmail dot com

Rhonda Miller said...

This sounds like a fabulous story. I'm excited to read it. Thanks for sharing your process.

rmpoohbear75 at gmail dot com

Tosha Sumner said...

The illustrators side of the story is so fascinating. Thanks for the insight into this collaborative effort.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring on many levels. Wonderfull blog and such an interesting interview! Congratulations to the writer and the illustrator.

Narda said...

It has been a long time coming and it was well worth it, it's beautiful.-Narda

Hardygirl said...

Whoa--what a giveaway!! I love this interview. My favorite line is this:

"I have found that it’s necessary to be as creative ABOUT your career as you are creative IN your art."

So true, and art school doesn't teach you much about the "making a living" part of being an artist. You've got to figure it out, and it can be a tough gig.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting interview. I was glad to hear a visual artist say that what she does is hard work. Seems the world thinks artists and writers just loll around a lot.

Kristi Valiant said...

Monumental project for sure! I'll have to make sure my library stocks this one. Congrats on the book, Tina and Sally!
Kristi Valiant
kristi at kristivaliant dot com

Laurisa White Reyes said...

So looking forward to this book and to its launch! Also, my 2nd Nook broke. Wah! I'm crossing my fingers. laurisawhitereyes at yahoo dot com

kat mcd. said...

Really fun way to tell an historic tale. Kids will love the title! KatmcdART@socal.rr.com

Anonymous said...

I just found out about your book through an email from SCBWI. I can't wait to read it! It's a fascinating idea! Please enter me in the NOOK giveaway.
Thanks so much!
C.F. Jones
EMAIL: cricketsjourney@yahoo.com

djones said...

As someone that dabled in art growing up and sculps wood now, I thought this was a great idea.
cant wait to check it out.



This was a fabulous idea! Very educational and interesting for the reader, especially since the main character is a young child. Love it!
I would like to also be included in your NOOK giveaway. Thank you!
Payton Kane,

mary said...

Another great interview. Loving your tour!

Yvonne said...

I love reading books that have anything to do with Thomas Jefferson.

Gail said...

I hope I'm not too late to the party! Wonderful interview, E and Sally. I love getting into the minds of creative people! No, I haven't been to Mt. Rushmore, but I'm now adding it to my list of things to do while still sighted!

Jenny W. said...

Great Interview! I love picture books about historical figures and I thought Thomas Jefferson was a perfect pick.

I dont have a Kindle or Nook and would be very happy to win one. Please enter me in the NOOK giveaway!

Jenny Warr

Stephanie said...

I've always wondered how the face got there. I'm looking forward to picking up your book. Beautiful art.


Kristen Leida said...

I can't wait to read this story and see the illustrations! The kids will love it!

kleida at comcast dot net

ehodge54 said...

Great interview. Love the illustrations! Good luck to all!

Joanne Roberts said...

Thanks for the insightful interview. I appreciate so much Sally's advice to really grow your art like a business. We need more of that kind of talk in art school.
"Find some tangential paths that lead you to projects as close to your core strengths and interests as you can." Brilliant! Thanks.

Payne Holler Cards said...

Wonderful interview..loved the ending statement Art is Work, it's never finished....no wonder I have a hard time knowing when to stop (-:
Love this book, great inspiration.


Katherine Davidson said...

Great interview. Love the information and encouraging advice for future illustrators. thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm much more excited about the book than the nook. Running through the list of kids of my acquaintance to try to figure out which is the right one to use as an excuse to buy this...

Anonymous said...

Loved the scope of this project. Cannot wait to add this book to our library collection, now if only I could get a budget to add it with. :-(

Mberbeza@aol.com said...

Not sure why my comment has a bunch of numbers as an identifier... trying again.

Joanna Cooke said...

I'm excited to read Tina's book. Mt Rushmore has always fascinated me. I love our national parks, and slowly the less "naturey" ones are becoming more interesting to me. Thanks for sharing!

joanna.k.cooke @ gmail . com