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:
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