Howl's Moving Castle - Calcifer

For Inktober, I'm doing some illustrations from Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle. Here's the third one, a portrait of Calcifer, Howl's heart in flame form.
Again, I sketched it lightly in pencil, used the brush marker to fill in large areas, and used my .3 micron for the rest. Here's what it looks like in my drawing pad.
For all you Howl's fans, the image is available for sale in MY ETSY SHOP!

Follow me through Inktober on my Instagram Page: DulembaDraws or on Twitter at @dulemba!

Friday Links List - 19 October 2018

From The Guardian: Growing up in a house full of books is major boost to literacy and numeracy, study finds

And more from The Guardian: Novel news: world's biggest bookworms revealed in study

From MLive: 10,000 glowing books to 'pave' Liberty Street during art installation

From PW: An Ever-Growing Demand for Middle Grade Graphic Novels

From SLJ: SLJ Reviews of the Finalists for the 2018 National Book Awards (including The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge!)

From The Guardian: Tamora Pierce: 'Everybody thinks fantasy is so safe. Are you kidding?'

From The Picture Book Den: Your Procrastination Shield - What is it actually protecting you from, and how do you lay it down so you can get on with your writing? by Juliet Clare Bell

From NPR: 'Hey, Kiddo' Aims To Help Kids With Addicted Parents Feel Less Alone

From The New York Times: ONE YEAR OF #METOO: "HE SAID, SHE SAID" IS A LITERARY PROBLEM, TOO

Caldecott-winner Matthew Cordell's KING ALICE

I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to have Caldecott-winning illustrator Matthew Cordell here today to talk about his new book, KING ALICE. Let's just get right to it, shall we?

e: Hi Matthew! First, I have to know. How has winning the Caldecott for WOLF IN THE SNOW changed your career/life? (AND CONGRATULATIONS!!!)
Matthew:
Thanks so much! It’s been one of the most amazing times of my life, that’s for sure. The Caldecott has changed a lot for me professionally. Right away, there were many foreign editions and offers, lots of requests for school visits and festivals and conferences, and book deals have been secured for years to come. It’s both a very fortunate and peculiar mindspace to be in. There are mind-blowing moments where I remember that I’m one of only 71 Caldecott Medalists since 1938--chosen from the countless number of books that have been published in that time. Then there are times (most of the time, honestly), where I’m really just going about my everyday work and life. Whether it’s drawing and painting or washing dishes and taking out trash. Or picking up groceries, wiping bottoms and getting the kids from school.
e: I'm excited about your newest book, KING ALICE! What was your creative process/medium? Can you walk us through it (i.e. what pen do you use)?
Matthew:
For most of my books, I use a combination of pen and ink and watercolor to make my illustrations. I like to use a variety of dip pens and nibs, choosing the right pen or nib for each book. Sometimes I use a bamboo pen to draw with, but in recent years, I’ve been drawing a lot with a J-type nib. It has a slightly blunt tip that doesn’t catch in the tooth of the cold press watercolor paper I use. For King Alice, however, I added some different stuff into the mix. In this book, there is a book within in a book. It’s about a Dad and his precocious daughter and the day they spend together writing a drawing a book of their own. So in addition to my usual formula of pen and ink and watercolor, I used art supplies that most families would have lying around their house. Markers, crayons, and colored pencils…. All of which were lying around my house!

More images of Matthew's studio can be found at Andrea Skyberg's Blog.
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?
Matthew:
Ah, I think I know what you mean! And I think this sort of response can be triggered by different things for different people. For me, it’s often about how well an illustration works with the text it’s supporting. Often times, it’s at a critical or emotional point in the story. It doesn’t need to be a full-spread, infinitely detailed or colorful picture for me. It can even be a spot illustration. But if the art perfectly captures that moment, it can literally give me the chills.
e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of King Alice?
Matthew:
King Alice is very much based on my own creative, headstrong daughter, Romy. And it’s very much based on a day we spent making a book together. Romy was about 5 years old at the time, and she knew I made books for a living. And she loves to make things too, so she asked if we could make a book together. At that time, Romy was really into the Wizard of Oz, so it ended up being a really unstructured retelling (if you could even call it that!) of that story. Drawing those characters and using some of the lines/text from the movie. We drew and wrote it together, using all of her art supplies. As soon as we finished, I knew I had to somehow use this experience in a book of my own!
e: I love that! What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
Matthew:
I love making a new thing that I’m proud of. Putting something new and fresh and fun and different (or, at least, different for me) into the world. It’s a very satisfying thing to make a drawing and look at it, knowing it’s something you made with your own skills, from your own experiences. It doesn’t always work out so well, and that’s the tough or intimidating part of it all. But when it does, it’s magic. And it’s addictive! I’ve got to do it again and again.
e: I know what you mean, I'm addicted too! Is there something in particular about this story you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
Matthew:
I hope people will see that sometimes magical and special things can come from simple circumstances. The book, at its core, is very simple. A family is stuck in their house on a snowy day. They don’t have much to do. They never even leave their pajamas. It really is a comfortable/uncomfortable day-in-the-life of this family. But it’s the unique and funny dynamic between the Dad and the daughter and how they interpret an otherwise quiet or boring day, that makes this a special experience. The act of collaborating and making things and letting children take the lead and going along with their sometimes outlandish wishes. Simple, daily family dynamics are often times overlooked for just how fantastic they really are.
e: As a creator, what was your big take-away after winning the Caldecott?
Matthew:
The Caldecott Medal is awarded just once a year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. That’s the official definition. But to win, the stars really have to align in so many ways. Believe me, I realize the amount of luck and universe blessings that need to come together for this to ultimately happen. Above all, I just feel extremely grateful to the committee (and to the universe) that this time it was me and my book.
e: I'm so glad you did! CONGRATULATIONS again!

Simmer Pots and Chain Reactions

Poet and writer Laura Purdie Salas just sent out her newsletter with an interesting analogy - "Careers Are Built on Chain Reactions": How a writing career is like playing jewels. It's worth reading HERE.
     Interestingly, I've been experiencing a similar phenomenon in my career of late, even while working on my PhD. Books that I wrote or illustrated years ago have been chugging along. A Bird on Water Street not only came out in Vietnamese, it also recently won a 2018 Parent's Pick award!
Add to that, I received an out of the blue email from a packaging company I did a book for eons ago (seriously, this was about four years ago) that the book was now being published!
It's a sweet little early reader called The Sleepover. I thought it had . . . gone to sleep (HA!) and there it is! SURPRISE! It's funny to see how much my illustration style has changed since then.
     Not as momentous, but perhaps equally as important are the dozens of stories that I continue to tweak and work on when I have a free moment. I say they're in my simmer pot. They constantly juggle for attention as I come up with new solutions, or new approaches. My 'to do' list always has at least six or more stories on it that have bumped their way to the top, vying for my time.
     My point is, Laura is exactly right. At some point, all your hard work picks up momentum on its own and rolls along without you having to lift a finger. It's lovely when this crazy career does that, although, it's no excuse to slack off!
     What do you think? Has your career had 'jewel' moments when all the links of the chain seem to come together at the same time? I'd love to read about it in my comments!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Boil, Boil, Toil and Trouble

      Boil, boil, toil, and trouble. Three wee witches stir a diabolical spell. What do you think the spell is for?
CLICK HERE for more Halloween-themed coloring pages.
If you use my coloring pages often, please...

Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week.

     I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance...
my latest picture book, Crow Not Crow - written by New York Times Best-selling author Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple.
     Kirkus calls it "a solid choice for introducing the hobby [birdwatching] to younger readers."
      Also, A Bird on Water Street is now available in Chinese!
      
     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.

Chapbooks: Goody Two Shoes

Have you ever been called a "Goody Two Shoes?" The phrase goes back to one of the first stories available to children. Goody was a term short for 'Goodwoman' - like saying Miss or Mrs. today. And the two shoes came from one of her first stories. She and her brother were poor orphans, so poor that Goody only had one shoe. When a rich philanthropist bought her a proper pair, she was so excited, she showed them off to everyone. Hence, her nickname, 'Good Two Shoes.'
     Her real name was Margery Meanwell and lots of people wrote about her. (Attribution and copyrights were not yet a big deal when these works were published.) The tales were wildly popular, although quite didactic as was the trend of the day. They were also written through the prejudices of colonial thinking, so anyone considered 'other' is typically shown in an unflattering or diminutive way. These books are sometimes a reminder of how far we've come, although we still have lots farther to go.
The story begins:
ALL the world must have heard of Goody Two-Shoes: so renowned did this little girl become, that her life has been written by more than one author, and her story has been told differently by different writers.
     The father of Goody Two-Shoes was born in England; and every body knows, that, in this happy country, the poor are to the full as much protected by our excellent laws, as are the highest and the richest nobles in the land; and the humblest cottager enjoys an equal share of the blessings of English liberty with the sons of the King themselves.
     The stories are also a peek into the social structures of the time, although, perhaps it doesn't seem all that different from today, really.
     The pages still hold the impressions of the type, and the illustrations are mini masterpieces in engraving—truly lovely.
     Not only are these stories an interesting window into the common life and moral beliefs of the time (Goody marries well in the end), I don't think I'll ever cease to be amazed that over a century later, 'Goody Two Shoes' is still a part of our common terminology. That little girl and her two shoes really stuck with us!

To read more about Glasgow's collection of Chapbooks, visit https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/specialcollections/collectionsa-z/chapbooks/. Read more about the Toy Books in particular at http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/may2008.html.

Howl the Monster

For Inktober, I'm doing some illustrations from Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle. Here's the second one, where Howl has perhaps gone too far...
For this one, I sketched it lightly in pencil, used the brush marker to fill in large areas, and the .3 micron for the rest. Here's what it looks like in my drawing pad.
For all you Howl's fans, the image is available for sale in MY ETSY SHOP!

Follow me through Inktober on my Instagram Page: DulembaDraws or on Twitter at @dulemba!

CROW NOT CROW Talk and Gallery Show!

I'm happy to announce that I will be giving a talk about the making of my new picture book CROW NOT CROW on 2 November. It will be the launch of a three-week-long gallery show of my original work in the University of Glasgow St Andrews Building, 5th floor. All are welcome, although you do need to register on Eventbrite. Hope to see you there!

Anna Levine and Chiara Pasqualotto's ALL EYES ON ALEXANDRA

Anna Levine visited my blog quite a while back with her novel Freefall. Well, she has a new picture book out, ALL EYES ON ALEXANDRA about a migrating crane for Kar-Ben Publishing, and this time I get to talk to her illustrator Chiara Pasqualotto. (You'll want to check out her super-interesting blog!) I'm sure you'll love her gorgeous watercolors as much as I do!
e: I love your abstract approach to creating atmosphere, sky, and land - it’s so ethereal and yet it really works! How did this method come to you and how do you go about creating it?
Chiara:
Well, when I start working on a new book I usually look for real pictures in internet or copy scenes from real life -animals, people and landscapes- I make a folder in my PC and then I start sketching.
Then I start to work on the storyboard and actually only at that point I really choose how to draw the images and their composition. So, maybe you are right when you say that it is a process of abstraction: I start from 'our' reality to create the book reality :)
I learnt this way of bilding up a book starting from real life from one of my teachers, the Spanish illustrator Arcadio Lobato, who was at first a biologist and has a realistic approach to illustration. I was in a couple of Summer intensive courses with him in the North-West of Italy many years ago: with the class we went around rice fields with our sketchbooks for drawing the landscape and farm animals from real life. It was such a great experience... even if we were devoured by mosquitoes!
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?
Chiara:
I think you should 'feel' what you are illustrating. Sometimes when you have commissions it is not always easy to, as you have deadlines and not so much time to 'enter' in the book. And sometimes you may not like the subject too much. So you have to find a way to love what you are illustrating anyway. More books you make, more fluid becomes the process. And when I draw animals -like in this book- it comes really easy to me!
e: How do you advertise yourself?
Chiara:
I have a blog (chiarapasqualotto.blogspot.com) and each time a new book comes out I create a page for it in my Facebook. I like to promote my books with interviews (blogs and radios, but not TV!) if it happens, and also with presentations in bookshops and libraries. When I present the book the librarians or bookshop vendors sometimes organize workshops for children where I teach them how to draw animals. I love book-signing and children questions!
Besides this, every year I go to Bologna Children Book Fair in order to find new contacts or to meet publishers that I already know.
Up to February I also had been collaborating with an American Agent for three years, and now I am looking for a new one.
e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
Chiara:
I love the fact that in making illustrations you create a new reality, where a bear can plant his flowers in his garden and a raccoon can sadly find that her fridge is empty. And after that you have drawn it, it becomes real.
e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
Chiara:
I am going to start a very nice project with a French publisher, but it is really at the beginning and I cannot say much yet (I just have the text and some sketches done).
 &nsp;  &bnsp; In the future I would really love to make a book with etchings; I have been attending a two-year intaglio school and I really love the whole process, so I'd love to find a publisher who appreciates the quality of hand-made work and doesn't make me rush, but this is very rare: some sometimes are even complaining that I do everything by hand!

Inktober: Howl's Moving Castle

There's an interesting competition over at the House of Illustration to win a chance to illustrate Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle. So, I thought I'd do an ink drawing of the castle for #Inktober! (This image is available for sale in MY ETSY SHOP.)

Follow along on my Instagram Page: DulembaDraws or on Twitter at @dulemba!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Junior Witch

      Here's a wee little witchie-in-training for Halloween!
CLICK HERE for more Halloween-themed coloring pages.
If you use my coloring pages often, please...

Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week.

     I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance...
my latest picture book, Crow Not Crow - written by New York Times Best-selling author Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple.
     Kirkus calls it "a solid choice for introducing the hobby [birdwatching] to younger readers."
      Also, A Bird on Water Street is now available in Chinese!
      
     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.

Chapbooks: Baron Munchausen

One of the groovy discoveries I made when researching Chapbooks at the University of Glasgow's Special Collections archives was this little treasure - a chapbook of The Suprising Adventures, Miraculous Escapes, and Wonderful Travels of the Renowned Baron Munchausen, who was carried on the back of an Eagle over France to Gibraltar, etc, etc. What a title!
Remember the movie made from this story back in 1988? (Well, I do anyhow.)
      Authors of Chapbooks were often a mystery, but according to Wikipedia, the Baron is "a fictional German nobleman created by the German writer Rudolf Erich Raspe in his 1785 book Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. The character is loosely based on a real baron, Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr von Münchhausen (German: 1720–1797)."
     I don't know that you'll be able to read it, but I thought I'd share at any rate. Click each image below to open a larger version in a new window to read.



To read more about Glasgow's collection of Chapbooks, visit https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/specialcollections/collectionsa-z/chapbooks/. Read more about the Toy Books in particular at http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/may2008.html.