Retirement Party for David Brown

The Illustration Professor I am replacing at Winthrop University is David 'Doc' Brown. The students call him 'Doc' because of his background as a medical illustrator, and boy does he know his stuff. He is a meticulous, detail-oriented creator and put an amazing program in place for me to step into. It's been so nice to overlap with him for a semester to help me segue into my new role.
 Ironically, Doc and I met years ago when I spoke at an SCBWI Carolinas conference, so we had lots to talk about when I interviewed. He and his wife, Sally, have been so welcoming since Stan and I moved to town, it seemed only fitting that I should put together a small retirement party for him. The students were completely on board and no-one peeped about the surprise. And we did indeed surprise him when he walked in to teach his very last class.
Sally let me know his favorite cake is a carrot cake, so that's what we got him.
I meant to get a better photo of the cake before everyone dove into it, but be assured, it was very pretty (thank you, Publix).
I made a card for him (with a retiring owl tearing off its graduation robes) that everyone signed, students and faculty. It was full of warm wishes.
I also got him a book on human anatomy that a fellow University of Edinburgh graduate just released. She is also a medical illustrator (and an amazing tattoo artist), so that was a no brainer!
Fellow faculty dropped by to help celebrate. Here are Tom, Jason, and Doc.
For his last class, Doc talked about contracts, and he also talked about finding balance in life to be happy. It was a lovely tribute talk to his own happy career. Although, I know he is sincerely looking forward to his next chapter in life.
What's been very clear teaching alongside Doc all this time is how beloved he is. He is leaving very big shoes for me to fill! So, Happy Retirement, Doc, from those who love you...
May your next chapter be as special as this one has been!

Friday Links List and Illustrators' Treehouse News - 29 November 2019

From Brightly: Books That Introduce Children to Different Holiday Cultures and Traditions

From Brightly: Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge Celebrates Pure Imagination an interesting writing contest for 9-12-year-olds!

From SLJ (and PW and... well, everybody is talking about it!): HarperCollins To Launch Native-Focused Imprint - with Cynthia Leitich Smith!

From The Guardian: Author hits back after library removes LGBT picture book from shelves ‘Gay adults grew up reading straight romances,’ says writer Daniel Haack after US library withdraws Prince & Knight from shelves I emailed the library. Will you?

From Entertainment Weekly: A timeline of 2019’s 5 biggest YA controversies

From BOOKish: Badass YA Heroines You’d Want at Your Side When Entering a Haunted Forest

From BuzzFeed: 15 YA Book Adaptions Coming To Screens In 2020

From Time: The Best Kids and YA Books of 2019

From The Conversation: Humour, justice, belonging, danger, and wonder: 5 story senses and the art of writing for children

From SCBWI British Isles: Writers' Minds: Sarah McIntyre

This week's illustrator interview was with Koren Shadmi for THE TWIGHLIGHT MAN

From Twitter: Me cooking the food I bought with all the 'Exposure' I got from working for free

From SCBWI British Isles: ILLUSTRATION KNOWHOW Interrogating the Text

From The Art Room Plant: The Art of Violeta Dabija (I interviewed Violeta HERE.) Also: The Art of Ali Boozari

From The Good News Network: With Only 4% of Their Works by Women Artists, Museum Resolves to Only Buy Female-Made Art for One Year and How Meditation Can Help You Make Fewer Mistakes

From Dr. Canning: Feeling Like an Imposter: The Effect of Perceived Classroom Competition on the Daily Psychological Experiences of First-Generation College Students

From Muddy Colors: HOW TO PROFESSIONALLY PHOTOGRAPH YOUR ARTWORK FOR LESS THAN $300 and Make it for the Portfolio, Not the Client and Fischers 10 Favorite 80s Metal Album Covers Also, Mental Models: The Soft Zones

From Muddy Colors: Artist of the Month: Charles Dana Gibson (Creator of 'The Gibson Girls')

From LifeHacker: How to Prioritize When Everything Is Important

From LifeHacker: Build Your Own Productivity Style by Remixing the Best

From NPR: Forgiving Student Debt Would Boost Economy

From EW: The Best Comics of the Decade

From The New Yorker: Kadir Nelson’s “Art Connoisseurs”

From PW: A Master Class in Intention (and Misdirection) with Jon Klassen

From CommArts: Write For Us - Communication Arts is actively seeking...

From The National Parks Foundation: Artist's Residency in Chaco Canyon

From MarketWatch: Political Cartoons That Got People Fired


One of the first friends I made here in Rock Hill was Wanda Ebright. She is the Associate Dean; Director of Graduate Studies; and Associate Professor of Dance. She interviewed me for my new position. Well, it didn't really feel like an interview - it was more like two friends catching up after a long time apart. So, I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to help her celebrate the release of her very first academic tome, DANCE ON THE HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE CAMPUS: THE FAMILIAR AND THE FOREIGN. I asked her some questions about it.
e: Congratulations on your first academic publishing credit! What inspired you to write DANCE ON THE HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE CAMPUS?
This book is a continuation of my doctoral research at Texas Woman’s University. Just as I began my course work, I was hired to create a dance program at an historically black university, but all my training and education had been in predominantly white institutions. I looked for literature to see how other HBCUs had begun their dance programs and found there was no literature at all. I researched and wrote to fill both my immediate need to know how best to serve my new campus and also a need to diversify the literature in my field and make it inclusive of people of color and specialized institutions.

e: Fantastic! You mentioned a dearth of publishing within the world of dance academia. Why do you think that is?
Because educational opportunities were segregated for so long in our nation’s history, people typically wrote about what they learned and experienced. I don’t think it ever occurred to anyone in predominantly white institutions that there were other institutions with histories and traditions that are of equal importance. As a result, nobody went to these institutions to search their archives and add their knowledge to the greater conversation about dance in academia. The same is true for other specialized institutions, such as tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, Asian & Pacific Islander institutions, and men’s and women’s colleges.

e: What does your book address and how does it fill the void?
This book begins to address what historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are, why they were created, and how five subject schools have approached fulfilling their historical and current missions through the subject of dance, both inside and outside the curriculum.

e: What was the writing process for you? (i.e. how long did it take, your experience with research vs. the actual writing, struggles/challenges, etc.)
This was a long process for me, particularly getting through the doctoral process. It was a low-residency Ph.D. program to begin with, and we were urged not to make any major life changes during the process. I took this new job; was immediately promoted to Department Chair; moved my family to a new home in a new city; and was tasked with creating a new interdisciplinary arts degree program with concentrations in dance, theatre, film, graphic art, and studio art. I was advised to continue my doctoral program, but realize that it would be a long process, due to the inherent distractions of my job. Finishing the degree took nine years and a divorce. From there, it took less than a year to get a book contract and a year to finish and publish the book.

e: Wow, Wanda. That is commendable! You’re now a published author, how does it feel!?
It’s validating, because I can see and touch the result of years of hard work. It’s encouraging, because I know I can conduct research and write far longer than my body will continue to dance in a studio. It’s fun, because I love reading, research and writing. It’s exciting, because my field needs this research and there are so many more schools whose histories should be excavated and shared with the world! Finally, it’s a relief to know I can help diversity and decolonize dance curricula by reminding my field that our history is a shared one. So, too, should our texts be.

e: I had the wonderful pleasure of being there when Wanda's box of author copies arrived - her very first time to receive a box of books that she wrote! Her face says it all...
Now that you have one book under your belt, do you think you’ll write more? What are some topics you’d like to touch on?
This is only the beginning! Because no literature on this topic existed prior to this first book, a career trajectory is set for me to excavate and share histories and traditions. Then I’ll work on becoming an editor of dance education texts, so that I can ensure all the diverse histories are produced in inclusive texts, rather than relegated to the special interest shelves marked “Black Interest.” I am also interested in the histories of the other visual and performing arts disciplines in these institutions, and in the dance and other arts histories in other specialized institutions in higher education. They are all relevant, because we are all here in this country at the same time, influencing each other daily.

e: Indeed! What challenges do you expect to face with this book?
First, advocates for HBCU dance programs will want all of the histories to be told at the same time, but the research process is slow and the data has to be manageable. That means there will always be some people who feel I’ve slighted their school. Second, it may prove difficult to convince predominantly white institutions that these other schools’ histories are relevant to their student body. It is similar to when non-black people challenge why they have to learn about black history month. There is one American history, but we only tell part of it. If institutions want a significant share of the ever-browning student bodies in America, all institutions will have to figure out how to treat all histories as interwoven. Because HBCUs have always done this, teaching students to survive not only black society, but also integrated society, they provide a model for inclusion that could work across all institutional boundaries.

e: Important words, Wanda. And congrats again!!
I hope you'll check out DANCE ON THE HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE CAMPUS: THE FAMILIAR AND THE FOREIGN. Wanda is brilliant as is her new book!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Turkey Veg

     It's the time of year that our feathered fowl urge us to think vegetarian! (Although, I'm a glutton, must admit.) CLICK HERE for more THANKSGIVING-THEMED coloring pages.
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance, I'm celebrating the new illustrated (by me) edition of A BIRD ON WATER STREET! My debut novel won me "Georgia Author of the Year!"
Booklist said it's "A book deserving of a wide readership, recommended for all libraries."
If my news and images add value to your life, won't you please
Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

     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.

SCBWI Carolinas: I'm giving a Webinar

From SCBWI Carolinas: The November Newsletter has the announcement of my WEBINAR "Getting Your Pictures Onto the Page" in January! This is for writers and illustrators - don't miss out!

Saturday, January 11, 2020
10:00AM - 12:00PM EDT

"Getting Your Pictures on the Page"

With award-winning picture book author-illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba

Join us for a 2-hour online webinar:
How does your picture book manuscript translate into the finished item that will be fully illustrated, enthralling readers whether they're opening your book for the first time or the fifty-first? Perfect for picture book authors as well as illustrators. looking for professional feedback on draft or finished sketches for a specific picture book project.
Elizabeth Dulemba offers an expert workshop including hands-on work with storyboards, four-panel and full-length "dummy" picture book prototypes – to help you bring your existing picture book text or well-developed picture book idea onto the page.

This webinar will help you get to the heart of the structure of your story, and think visually.

$20.00 SCBWI Member
$30.00 Non-member

Event Registration Opens
Monday, December 2, 2019 @ 9 AM

Participation is capped on our hosting platform.

Happy Book Birthday A BIRD ON WATER STREET!

The new, illustrated edition of A BIRD ON WATER STREET (written and illustrated by Yours Truly) is now officially in the world - WOOHOO!
I received my author copies yesterday! Sourcebooks sent the books to my office and Stacy took a picture of me with my new books - they smell so good!
I set up a display of the books outside my office with the ceramic bird Vicky gave me when the first edition came out.
Sourcebooks sent me some lovely promo items to use, like this postcard image.
Here is the lovely announcement, along with a few other recent Sourcebook titles on Instagram. So, now A BIRD ON WATER STREET is available in Chinese, Vietnamese, and it's new, illustrated edition! WOOHOO!
I'm not doing any traveling for this release, so I'll be counting on you guys to help get the word out. And here's a treat - you can read an excerpt online at Barnes & Noble: CLICK HERE! and enjoy!

VIDEO: Pictoplasma

This is a charming promotional video for the Pictoplasma Festival of Contemporary Character Design and Art, which you can learn more about at They are holding an animation contest - deadline is February 15th. Try to beat this one! Click the image to watch on Vimeo - and be ready to smile!

Fall at WU and Acts of Kindness

It's so nice to be back in a place where I can really see fall! (I didn't touch up this photo a bit!)
The leaves changed colors in Scotland too, of course; but we were in the city and had to walk to the Princes Street Garden to see the leaves turn. In South Carolina, it is all around me - an so pretty! I brought my figure drawing class outside to enjoy the loveliness and do some reportage drawing.
Because, truly, is there anything more breathtaking than a Sugar Maple in full color? I don't think so!
     Happily, I'm also finding a carryover from Scotland. Remember my 'Lost Gloves Project'? Well, it happens here too, albeit a little more creatively...
And my friend Lynne sent me an awesome link about a generous donor who is leaving hand-made scarves all around downtown Asheville, North Carolina, for those who need it. How lovely! Read the story HERE.
     I hope you're having a LOVELY fall!

Friday Links List & Illustrators' Treehouse News - 22 November 2019

Welcome to an especially thorough version for the holiday weekend - cheers!

From Winthrop University: Winthrop is looking for an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts (Studio Arts)

The CILIP Carnegie Awards Announced

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library supplies 5,000 children with free books

And from Biography: Why Dolly Parton Has Devoted Her Life to Helping Children Read

From The Fantasy Hive: Interview with Ellen Kushner (Swordspoint)

From The Bookseller: Philip Pullman receives J M Barrie Award

From Nathan Bransford: Example of a good nonfiction query letter

From Nerds in Space! Robert Leeson's Reading and Righting: Culture and representation in children's literature, 34 years on

From SLJ: What Are the Chances You'll Win Another Caldecott?

From SLJ: “The People Who Helped Me the Most Were the Librarians” — Rep. Elijah Cummings

From Brightly: The Most Exciting Young Adult Books of 2019 and 13 Fractured Fairy Tales for Teens

From KBJA: Kansas City Public Library Executive Director Nominated to Direct Federal Agency

From PW: The PW Publishing Industry Salary Survey, 2019

From SLJ: Native Stories: Books for tweens and teens by and about Indigenous peoples

From EW: Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed author on rebooting Diana's origin story through a real-world lens

From PW: The Benefits of the Board Book Boom

From SLJ: Inside Heavy Medal About/Contact Music, Race, and the American Dream: Female voices will not be silenced. and “1619 Project” Poised to Reframe Teaching of Slavery. Here's How Educators Are Using the Information, Curriculum

From The Daily Herald: Read author's letter to Wheaton Warrenville District 200 after her school visit was canceled

From Autostraddle: Is the Resurgence of Feminist Bookstores in the South a Moment or a Movement?

From Romper: 8 Thanksgiving Children's Books That Aren't Problematic For A Change

From Literary Hub: How to Resist Late-Stage Capitalism—and Other Lessons From Charlotte’s Web

From HuffPost: NaNoWriMo Has The Writers To Solve The Book Industry’s Diversity Problem

From PW: We Need Diverse Editors

From SLJ: For Freedoms | Empowering Teens in Election Season


From Muddy Colors: It's a Wash (Allen Williams graphite wash technique)

From SCBWI Carolinas: November Newsletter with the announcement of my WEBINAR "Getting Your Pictures Onto the Page" in January!

From CommArts: The Epidemic - a new ad confronting online bullying

From The Directory of Illustration: Browse the Book (Great way to see what other working illustrators are doing)

From The New York Times: The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books

From Winthrop University: Undergraduate Research Abstract Books and Compilations - Submission Policy

From Austin Kleon: Start Before You Think You Are Ready

From The New Yorker: How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism

From The Atlantic: My Friend Mr. Rogers

From CommArts: Post Typography Branding

From CommArts: Squarespace Make It Read Spots

From The House of Illustration: Here's What's New and their Book Illustration Competition

From The New York Times: How a Harry Potter Illustrator Brings the Magical to Life The artist Jim Kay, whose latest book is “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” surrounds himself with nature when he draws unnatural creatures like dragons, goblins and trolls.

From The Good News Network: Stressed to the Max? New Study Shows Deep Sleep Can Reduce Anxiety By 30%

From Muddy Colors: "Princess" the Werewolf Animatic

From Thread, Fashion and Costume: Magnihild Kennedy

See a preview of Goodbye, My Havana: The Life and Times of a Gringa in Revolutionary Cuba (graphic novel)

From Urban Sketchers: Drawing Attention November 2019

From Terri Windling's Myth & Moor: Kissing the lion's nose (thoughtful reflections on literature with some wonderful artwork alongside)

From The Artroom Plant: Santa's Beards (painted leaves)

From Muddy Colors: Pressure (on the pressure that artists deal with)

From Kidlit Artists: Inspiration: Zuzanna Celej

From Muddy Colors: What I DIDN'T Learn in School

From SCBWI British Isles: SCBWI CONFERENCE 2019 Report for Illustrators

From Children's November Newsletter

From Rebus Farm: 3D Artist of the Month Jeffry Quiambao

Koren Shadmi's TWILIGHT MAN

There are some amazing things happening in the world of graphic novels - for examples, this biography of Rod Sterling by Koren Shadmi. Sterling led a life indicative of his times, which would never fly today, but it was a hard life too, and an amazing, creative path. Koren stopped by to share more about it...
e: What was your creative process/medium for The Twilight Man, can you walk us through it?
First I had to do research. I read what books I could find out there about Serling and watched most of the pivotal Teleplays and movies he had written. I drafted a rough outline and then started writing the script. A lot of it involved cutting down the life story to the minimum necessary so it wouldn't end up being a 500 page graphic novel. Next I draw thumbnails for the whole book. I then scan those and digitally draw and ink all pages, then shading and text is added. A lot of work!
e: What was your path to publication?
I packaged the script together with a few sample pages, and my literary agent pitched it around. Weirdly, we got a no from pretty much everyone, but Humanoids loved it, and the book did really well.
e: I'm shocked anyone passed on The Twilight Man! Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of The Twilight Man?
When I was writing the afterword for the book, I was sitting at a coffee shop and working on my laptop. I looked up and saw Serling's face staring at me. The coffee shop had a Jacques Cousteau corner, and Serling's face was printed on the back of a Laser Disc cover, since he narrated Cousteau's movie.
e: HA! I especially loved the scene when Rod has the breakthrough on how to write his stories.

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?
I've never heard the term Heart Art! Illustration is a different format than comics. You might confuse them since they are both drawn, but in most cases illustration has to stand by its own and be self contained; you have to convey a lot more information in one drawing. Meanwhile comics are sequential and deal with time a lot more. If you isolate one frame of a comic, it doesn't always stand on its own.
e: Good insight! How do you advertise yourself?
I send out emailers and sometimes postcards. I post on all the social media platforms, although I sometimes find it exhausting and wish I didn't have to do it! I would rather use my time to just draw.
e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
Having no boss is nice. I also like the feeling of a 'blank canvas' where you are free to do whatever you want as your next project. Of course that's also a challenge, because you have to come out with something out of nothing.
e: Is there something in particular about The Twilight Man you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
I hope readers can get a good glimpse into the life of a very fascinating creator. I also think that it's interesting to see that someone who was as vastly successful as Serling could still struggle with self doubt and insecurities.
e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
I'm finishing up a project for Bold Type Books. It's a collab with author David Kushner and it will be a GN about Anonymous, the hacker collective. Very different book than Twilight Man!
e: Sounds like it! I can't wait to see it!

Coloring Page Tuesday - Building with Gnomes

     I love the idea that Gnomes build little things with little fuzzy helpers! This was my #Inktober submission for "Build." CLICK HERE for more coloring pages.
     Remember, I create my coloring pages to draw your attention to my books! For instance, I'm celebrating the new illustrated (by me) edition of A BIRD ON WATER STREET! My debut novel won me "Georgia Author of the Year!"
Booklist said it's "A book deserving of a wide readership, recommended for all libraries."
If my news and images add value to your life, won't you please
Just love this one image? Consider a one-time donation...

     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.