Coloring Page Tuesday - We Vote Because We Hope

     I vote because I have hope - hope for our future and faith in people to do the right thing. How about you? Check to see if your state offers early voting!
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.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

So, I'm teaching online this semester. This is my VCOM220 Figure Drawing Class. We were doing a critique, I was going into their discussion boards to pull up and comment on the drawings they're working on. Little did I know, one of my students (Amanda B.) was just waiting for me to notice...
We had a great laugh!!! I love my students. :)

VIDEO: Equal Justice Initiative Animation

CommArts recently featured an important public service announcement by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
"In addition to explaining the dark history behind Confederate-named schools, “The Truth About Confederate-Named Schools” sheds a light on the consequences of racial inequality."
Indeed, this has nothing to do with heritage and everything to do with oppression. Read more about this project at CommArts and click the image below to watch the video on their site as well.

e's art tips: #25 Paint Demo - Friends

In this video, I demonstrate painting an inked image and adding colored pencil touch ups on a hand-made thank you card for a friend. Click the image to watch on my Youtube channel, and please subscribe!

Friday Links List and Illustrators' Treehouse News - 25 September 2020

EVENT: World Kid Lit Month Kicks Off with Virtual Celebration: September 30th

From SLJ:
     Examining the Impact and Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
     Get Smart About Voting | Read Woke

From Library Journal: Dolly's Star Continues To Rise | Music Reviews

From The New Statesman: Judith Butler on the culture wars, JK Rowling and living in “anti-intellectual times” The philosopher and gender theorist discusses tensions in the feminist movement over trans rights. (Judith Butler is the author of Gender Trouble among other scholarly canons.)

From RH Teachers and Librarians: Let’s Talk About It Cheryl and Wade Hudson, editors of The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth, share why we need to have "the talk."

From Shelf Awareness: Obituary: Terry Goodkind

From PW:
     Macmillan Ups Baseline Salary to $42K
     DC to Launch DC Universe Infinite Comics Subscription Service

From the NYTimes:
     Beyond the Pandemic, Libraries Look Toward a New Era
     8 Picture Books About Ordinary Kids’ Everyday Activism

From Brightly: 12 Fantastic Books About Wellness for Kids Ages 3-5

From The Bookseller: Guess How Much I Love You author Sam McBratney dies

This year's Frankfurt Book Fair is ONLINE (October)

EVENT: Adobe Max The Creativity Conference, October 20–22 FREE!

EVENT: The Brooklyn Book Festival, Sept. 25 - Oct. 5

EVENT: Many of the Lightbox sessions are now available for free online HERE


From Procreate: Procreate 5x: What's New

From Muddy Colors:
     Brave New World "Many illustrators are also teachers. During the pandemic most of us have had to convert our previously in-person teaching to an online format. There are many complications to consider when trying to build a virtual experience for the students which cab be as valuable to them as the in-person education they had been expecting until a few months ago."
     A Sketchbook 2020 Preview with Cory Godbey

From 100 Scope Notes: Which Books Should Have Won the 2020 New York Times Best Illustrated Awards

From The Directory of Illustration: Sign up for their newsletter


From Vox: The hell that is remote learning, explained in a comic

From CommArts: Raul Urias This illustrator in Mexico City packs myriad inspirations across art and culture into his modern, kaleidoscopic work.

From Print & Pattern:
     DESIGNER - marcos roman
     NEW WORK - kate merritt

From The Art Room Plant: Nils Gustaf Håkansson (a.k.a. "Steele Grandfather") - what a GREAT story!

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:
     Distracted Minds: Why Your Students Can’t Focus
     The Future of the Academic Work Force

Did you know about TEDx KIDS? Watch TEDxKids@ElCajon


e: Hi Adam Rex, Great to have you back on! Last we talked, you were sharing School’s First Day of School and Moonday. I’m thrilled to have you visit again, this time to talk about The Next President, written by Kate Messner!
Adam: I’m pleased to be back! And talking about a book I’m very proud of.
e: How did this book come to be? Was it a collaboration between you and Kate in any way?
It was a collaboration in the same sense most picture books are, which is to say there wasn’t all that much direct communication between Kate and I. But I do think we all (Kate, our editor, our art director, our book designer, and me) got into back-and-forths and email chains more often than the typical picture book. Talking about how best to manage what was more than the usual amount of information, puzzling over historical accuracy, and whatnot.

e: What was your creative process/medium for The Next President, can you walk us through it?
Well, a lot more research than I usually put into a picture book. I’m a fundamentally lazy person. But I did my best to get things right on this, and that meant tracking down hundreds of photos and doing a fair bit of reading. Trying to make sure that an 1841 spread showed how the US Capitol looked in 1841, which was not how it looked in the 1850s, which in turn was not how it looked in the 1860s. Stuff like that. Learning more about boats than I ever expected to. Obsessing over little things like whether I was putting the buttons on the correct side of a vest (which I say with trepidation, because admitting I obsessed over little details will just make me look dumber when a reader points out I made some huge, glaring error that stretches across two pages—it hasn’t happened yet, but I expect it will).
      And here you can see some of my sketches, which are pretty rough but are nonetheless trying to manage all the text and thread us through a story that is mostly linear but not conventionally narrative.

And I took a lot of bad photos like this one of me being sworn in:

Photo on 1-3-19 at 11.13 AM

     And eventually after every sketch was agreed, I refined them using all my bad photos and historical photos and redrew them in Photoshop using a handful of drawing and inking and watercolor brushes.

e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of this story?
Well, I think it’s funny that the first idea that came to me when I read Kate’s manuscript was to make an illustration of Andrew Jackson covering his heart where he’d been shot in a duel, and juxtapose that with a similar image of him covering his heart while taking the oath of office at his inauguration. I was real excited about this idea. I thought it was clever, and it was the first glimmer I had of understanding how I was going to make this book half mine, and what I could bring to it.
      And then later I realized presidents don’t put their hands over their hearts during their oaths. So.

e: I have to ask you about page 34… Hillary is framed on an adjacent wall to the framed presidents, the frame for #45 isn't shown, and the frame for President #46 is empty. It seems like a bias. Do you want to talk about that?
I don’t think we know who 46 will be yet! But that page was all about firsts, and so I showed only the firsts that Kate named. Others have mentioned this as bias, which I don’t entirely get. I thought it was proper to show Hillary adjacent to but not on the same wall as JFK and Obama, and I didn’t show Trump for the same reason I didn’t show Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush—they weren’t conspicuous firsts, and that spread was really about how our collective notion of who can and can’t be president is evolving.

I did make a small effort to short-circuit my biases in places. There were spreads where I needed to show a random assortment of presidents, and to keep myself from picking favorites, or confining my picks to highly recognizable figures, I counted by tens and elevens. So presidents 11, 22, 33, and 44 appear on one spread, and 10, 20, 30, and 40 appear on another.

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 think there’s a false dichotomy between fine artists—who are assumed to be making art from the heart, entirely divorced from commercial concerns; and illustrators, who are assumed to be following orders. Obviously the latter is far less likely to be true of a picture book illustrator than, say, an illustrator of mutual fund annual reports. But regardless of what corner of the industry they come from, I think illustrators only ever get really great because they are trying to make each and every illustration their gift to the world. Maybe it turns out it’s a gift nobody wants, but they’re trying. Every illustration can have some little something—in the composition, the sensitivity of the drawing, the palette, something—that pushes past the merely good enough and makes your heart rise a little.
e: Great answer! You write picture books and novels (and movie scripts?), and you illustrate too. That’s a lot of muses pulling on you! How do you juggle it all and what is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator of such varying media these days?
I think of it as a gift, rather than a problem. I’m being allowed to do a lot of things, and in a lot of different ways. I think the challenge is keeping my head on the problem at hand, because the project I haven’t started always seems like it’s going to be the best thing I’ve ever done.

e: Is there something in particular about The Next President you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
It’s not a hidden message by any means: when I was making this book I thought a lot about my son—who is not white, and who can’t even be president because he wasn’t born here. But I like that he’s never known a time when the presidential lineup was entirely white. I like that he started noticing politics at a time when a woman got very close to the Oval Office. So I want to believe this means he’ll grow up without preconceptions about what the person in that office is supposed to look like.
      I know that’s not true, though. A while back I asked him who, among all his second-grade classmates, he thought might be president someday. And he asked if it could be a girl—he wanted to pick his friend Villette but wasn’t sure if that was allowed.
      Those kind of preconceptions are going to get rebuilt slowly, brick by brick. And I want our book to be one more brick in some kid’s foundation.
e: The book truly offers such hope to all of the children across the US - they could be the next president! I love that! You are so prolific! What are you working on next or what would be your dream project (or have you already done it!)?
Right now I’m illustrating a fable you’ve never heard before, set 3,000 years ago. So, more historical research—the author and editor didn’t like all the liberties I was taking with ancient Mesopotamia.

I am participating in the BookShop Affiliate Program. This program pays bloggers a small percentage of each purchased book from a post. But the best part is, purchases are fulfilled by bookstores near you, thereby, helping to keep your local bookstores afloat too! It's good for everyone! Click the book cover to purchase this title through Bookshop. e: HA! I can't wait to see it!

How I Manage My Time in Six Lessons

How do you get so much done?
     I get that question a lot. And now that I'm working with new college students, I see a lot of them struggling with time management too. So, I thought I'd address that here, so that I can share it with them in the future, and maybe help some of my readers while I'm at it.
     But first, I need to state a caveat: I don't have children. If you are a mother or father, feel free to ignore my advice completely. Your world is filled with completely different circumstances not in your control. (One can only wake up so early to squeeze in some quiet time.) I'll leave the "How to Manage Your Time When You Have Kids" for one of you to write. That said, these are things that work for me:
1) Figure out how your energy levels fluctuate on average during a day and match your tasks to the levels of energy you have at certain times. For instance, I have always had really good focus just as the work day is coming to an end, between 4 and 6. As such, I save that time for things that need my full attention and sharp mind. The first hour of the day, however, I'm typically groggy, so that's when I read the news and slowly wind into my day, answering emails that don't require a lot of brainage (I save the hard ones that require more thinking for later in the morning). In the evenings, if it hasn't been too strenuous a day, I draw while watching television with my husband.

2) Invest in an iPad. This device has changed my life. Being able to draw in my lap on the couch in the evenings has changed my game. And these aren't just sketches. Because it's in a digital environment, I'm creating finished, deliverable work for my online stores, my blog's coloring pages, even books. It has made me productive even while I play. (Drawing relaxes me.)

3) Use your calendar as a to-do list. I use ical to get my to-do list out of my head. It allows me to block out windows of time visually. Of course, I block out my classes, but I also block out times to work on tasks that I need to to complete. I also literally keep a "To Do" item on my calendar where I list what I need to get done that day. I knock things off it as the day goes along (quick stuff first), and if it's not empty by the end of the day (it rarely is), I move it to the next morning. I would be a mess without my calendar. It keeps me from having to track everything in my head, and keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by letting me live in the moment - "What do I need to do next?"

4) Knock the little items off your list. We all have them, the items that will take 5 to 20 minutes to complete. Get them done as quickly as possible. It keeps the hamsters from having their time with that wheel they run around on inside your head.

5) Allow yourself the time to live. When I was beginning my PhD at the University of Glasgow, I attended a time-management course that provided me with the most amazing revelation—even the most brilliant minds in all of human history had to eat, brush their teeth, walk the dog, etc. All those brilliant discoveries they made happened in between the bits of LIFE that we all live. We can put so much pressure on ourselves, thinking that if we're not working, we're wasting time, but it's not a fair accusation. Life happens - life must happen. Let it, and don't feel bad about it.

6) Finally, save time to play/relax. Playing off this idea that if we're not working we're wasting time, my students often complain about being so anxious that they should be working non-stop. Yes, they have a lot to do, but if they don't take time to refill their coffers, they will eventually run out of the energy/steam to do what needs to be done, or to do it well. We have to rejuvenate. We do ourselves no favors when we run ourselves into the ground. This includes sleep. We can't function without it.

BONUS: when you see a big window of time available in your schedule (i.e. a weekend or afternoon with several hours, or maybe even a week) block it out for the big projects. This is how I've gotten most of my PhD completed, by blocking out vacations and weekends. Knowing that I was going to use winter break (for instance) to knock out the first draft of my thesis (called a dissertation in the US) made my mind prepare for it. (It also relieved me of the stress of trying to squeeze my writing into every available crack of time in my other busy days.) For the weeks prior, I told myself (and everyone around me), "that's when I'm going to do this." I circled into the idea like a dog circling its bed, trying to find the right spot to lie down. It prepared my brain so that when the time came, I was already invested and ready to dive in. It's been in these saved chunks of time that I've written my PhD thesis.
     That's it, that's how I get so much done.
     Now, I'd be remiss to not remark on the elephant in the room. US culture cultivates a mentality that we should be working all the time, available on email or via our phones, etc. It's not healthy and it's not sustainable. Want proof? China and Japan are even more obsessed with non-stop work than the US and their suicide rates are much higher as a result. Having lived in the UK for four years, where holidays are taken very seriously (and not resented by the coworkers who have to pick up the slack for their vacationing colleagues), I've seen first-hand that we do not have to work non-stop to be effective. As such, I have to walk the walk and provide a good example with my own behavior.
     I recently downloaded the mail app, Spark, because it provides a feature to put timers on your emails. (I think google mail does this too.) It has made it possible for me to never send work emails on the weekends. I resent it when they are sent to me (heck, it's illegal in France to send work emails on the weekends), so I don't want to do it to others. (It was a hard rule to follow during the early days of the pandemic when we were all panicking to move online, but I'm now back to enforcing this.) We must compartmentalize our work within reasonable parameters and preserve our down times - if anything, to work on our own creative projects that feed our souls.
     I would argue that in many cases, it's our personal creative work that moves society forward. The rest of our work just keeps us up and running. It's all important, but one type of work can't supersede the other. Our creative work/play is what makes us good at our jobs and gives us the energy to have good ideas. Truly, what could be more important than that?
     So, examine your days. See where you can be more efficient with matching tasks to energy level, and scheduling those tasks so that the hamsters won't take over. It works for me. I hope it's helpful for you too.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Coloring Page Tuesday - Voting Bear

     It's National Voter Registration Day today! If you're not registered, please fix that, and be sure to vote! Every voice matters!
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.

Handmade Cards

I honestly don't know where I found the time to do these, but some sentiments must be shared in the most sincere ways possible, and so I simply made time. I've created four more hand-made cards for friends. They're all out the door and I've already posted one as a coloring page. I also made videos of the making of them, which I'm working on.
     The first was for a very close friend celebrating a very big birthday. As food is love, this seemed right.
The second is for a friend and colleague who was so integral in helping me transition my classes to online learning this fall, I honestly would have been lost without her. She gets a big hug!
The third is for my new boss at Winthrop U, the new Chair of our Design Department, Eva Roberts. When I started working at WU, a colleague brought me a little aloe vera plant (that is thriving). It was such a nice gesture, I will never forget it. So, I'm paying it forward.
The last one is a sympathy card for a relative who lost her husband and a very long and good life. This one is already a video as I used gouache for the first time in a long time. You can click the card to see the video on Youtube.
I also shared these on my Instagram page: @dulembadraws

WU is all about Getting Out the Vote!

I've been working closely with a fellow professor of Political Science, Katarina Moyon to help fire up our students to vote this November. You may recall the mural my students created last spring for the "Narrative and Editorial Illustration" class: LINKS HERE. It was completed right before Covid hit, so we were bummed it wouldn't get seen like we were hoping.
     Well, Katarina is using it as the backdrop for "Big Stuff," our Eagle mascot in our Winthrop U promotions to encourage our students to vote!
Here is Katarina with Big Stuff and face masks that help spread the word (and block the virus):
The pictures are feeding into a slideshow that is all over our teaching platform, Blackboard. The slideshow walks students through where to vote, how to vote, and what their rights are - fabulous!
Meanwhile, I have one of my freshmen drawing classes working on "Vote Zentangles" as one of their projects, and I'm talking it up like crazy. In this voting season where I can't volunteer to drive folks to the polls or actually work the voting stations, I am so glad I can help contribute in this way. Because, EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!! #WUVotes2020
     Are YOU registered to vote and do you know where your polling station is? CLICK HERE to learn more:

Wait to replace RBG!

Oh, this makes me SO HAPPY!! A friend on Facebook is using my "You Work for Us" postcards to write to her Congressmen and Senators, reminding them that in 2016 they would not let an Obama Supreme Court Justice nominee through approvals because it was too close to an election (at 9 months out) and that to let a nominee through now, with only five weeks out from the election, would be hypocritical. I agree! What a wonderful use for my postcards! You can get them in my "Stay Vigilant" store on Zazzle.

Friday Links List & Illustrators' Treehouse News - 18 September 2020

EVENT: World Kid Lit Month Kicks Off with Virtual Celebration: September 30th

From Shelf-Awareness: National Book Foundation Honoring Walter Mosley

From Brightly: Must-Read Picture Books Written by Black Authors

The New Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic launched Wednesday with a keynote from Ellen Kushner and other noted Fantasy experts. You can watch it HERE.

From The Horn Book:
     John Rocco Talks with Roger about HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON
     Children's Books and Contradictions

From EAB: Is your institution prepared for Election Day? EAB’s advice on urgent to dos for institutional leaders

From SLJ:
     2020 National Book Award Longlist Announced!
     Story Books to Help Kids Get Smart About Voting

From Library Journal: Explore the World with Virtual Travel

From Forbes: 9 Children’s Books Recommended By Children’s Bookstores For Fall 2020

From CNN (via PW Children's Bookshelf): Black lives matter in children's books, too. That's why this couple started a nonprofit CNN Special Projects Portraits Amy Chillag

From HuffPost: 17 Children's Books To Help Kids Navigate Life During A Pandemic

From PW:
     Remembering Tomie dePaola
     HBG Releases Diversity and Inclusion Progress Report
     2020 CBC Diversity Award Winners Announced

Watch this adorable book trailer for SKUNK & BADGER written by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen

EVENT: The State of Black Design Friday, September 18, 2020, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT, FREE

EVENT: Lightbox is free this year! - Click here to read more about it and see an interview with Bobby Chiu

EVENT: Adobe Max The Creativity Conference, October 20–22 FREE!


From CommArts: Designing Bilingual Lettering

Do you know about Industrial Designer: Giulio Iacchetti? It's fun to look at his creations!

From HarperCollins: Join HarperCollins Children's Books's crowdcast launch for their new Graphic Novel imprint: Harper Alley

From Print and Pattern: Virtual Blue Print - view samples online (this is one of the industry's big trade shows)

From Muddy Colors:
     The Sketchbook Series
     Morphic Pool world-building painting walk-through

From Mark Manson (via Muddy Colors): Screw Finding Your Passion

From Folklore Magazine: Virtual Special Issue: Dragons

From Make Art That Sells: Meet Vanessa Brantley-Newton in our FREE video series: Introducing Live with Lilla

From The Federation of Children's Book Groups: The Klaus Flugge Prize at Five

From Presto Sketching: Easy ways to show more diversity in your sketches

From Myth and Moor:
     The Faerie Art of Brian and Wendy Froud
     We Are Storytelling Animals

From The Art Room Plant: Anna Subauer

From St. Louis Public Radio: Are Schools That Shield Coronavirus Data Interpreting HIPAA Correctly?

From the BBC: Edinburgh University renames David Hume Tower over 'racist' views

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: Diversity without Dollars


I don't know if you've noticed, but there seems to be a flurry of books about reconnecting with nature during this pandemic. I find them equally relaxing, calming, and charming. Like this one, ONE SUMMER UP NORTH by John Owens. He stopped by to share the process behind making this wonderful hand-held adventure.
e: What inspired ONE SUMMER UP NORTH?
In the short time I’ve been canoeing, trips to the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness), a unique wilderness area in northern Minnesota have inspired me for a variety of reasons. My inspiration comes first from being physically challenged as in paddling across lakes and portaging between them, navigating, camping, and being attuned to the ever-changing weather. Most lakes in the BWCAW are not open to motor activity, and so the experience takes me into a wilder environment, inspiring me to contemplate our planet and improve my own stewardship of it. Finally, exploring new vistas is a major in-spiration. Many of the scenes in the book are based on or inspired by actual areas I’ve been. These all compelled me to share and illustrate a visual story hopefully in an evocative way.

e: What was your creative process/medium, can you walk us through it?
The process starts with sketching scenes I want to show, images I have in my head or referenced from photos I’ve taken.These sketches may start very small as thumbnails in my sketchbook but eventually end up at full scale. As the story progresses these scenes might change dramatically, they might stay the same, or they might be edited out when the story form is seen together as a whole. Some of the images I liked most were edited out for the sake of the storyline.

Working on process also includes lists and studies of what I want included in the story, such as wildlife, flora, mood, color scheme, etc. I take photos for reference, and have a good memory for certain kinds of scenes and even moods I’d like to replicate. One example of mood that comes across well in the book is a scene on a cliff top picking blueberries in the bright afternoon sunlight. A friend and I stopped at a similar spectacular spot, picked berries and relaxed before paddling on to our destination.
The medium I used for this book was colored pencil (Faber-Castell Schwartz Black) to draw in all the scenes and values on Bristol board. For this particular book I wanted the richness of the marks to show and using this particular col-ored pencil provides the very rich dark I was looking for with loads of texture. The limited color palette was added later digitally.
e: What was your path to publication?
I’ve been pursuing illustration since college when I earned a B.A. in graphic design. After working for a few years, I returned to school for my M.F.A. in fine art. I was always one of the designers who liked to draw more than design, but had no specific avenue to get me where I wanted to go. After working with two amazing advisors, Frank Stack, and William Berry, I pursued teaching and free-lance illustration always with the thought of working on a picture book. One early inspiration for me is a book called Writing with Pictures by Uri Schulevitz. I was also for a time a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and did extensive research on getting published, along with attending a couple of conferences. In the summer of 2011, I took a week long course with noted Caldecott winning illustrator, Eric Rohmann. This course was where I gained confidence and learned more about character de-velopment, and emphasising mood.
      I took on this picture book, ONE SUMMER UP NORTH, after visiting the BWCAW for the third time and getting hooked on canoe-camping. When I submitted my material to the publisher, I had very clear and specific thumbnail layout sketch-es of the whole book, most of the pages were sketched out to scale, along with two finished color examples showing final technique and style.

e: Is there a unique or funny story behind the creation of ONE SUMMER UP NORTH?
The look and style of the book could have turned out much different. In the process of creating the imagery I toyed with using other techniques and ap-proaches that ranged from cartoony to a more painterly approach. In the end I wanted to use a drawing medium that reminded me somewhat of lithographic mark-making.
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?
The BWCAW is a special place for me, and to many people not just in Minnesota but around the world. I didn’t grow up in Minnesota and so came to this area late in life. The first year I moved to Minneapolis I took a class at the local REI on how to navigate and visit the BWCA. It took me another 15 years to ac-tually do it! Once I visited I went back, on my third trip I decided to create the book. Most picture books that draw me in personally are evocative of some shared experience, place, or time. Though many people looking at the book may not have been camping or canoeing, (especially in the BWCAW) in some way If I as an illustrator can accomplish providing that evocative experience in my pictures I’ve succeeded in achieving my goals. Hopefully the book will in-spire new generations to actually visit the BWCAW.
e: How do you advertise yourself (or do you)?
Mostly through word of mouth, my web site, and social media. (Here's a self-portrait.)
e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
My favorite and most challenging part of creating a picture book is working on the process. My illustration has always been very heavily drawing based. From sketching little ideas and forms to creating full size illustrations I find the whole process satisfying and challenging. I guess you could say, it’s the journey not the end.
e: Is there something in particular about ONE SUMMER UP NORTH you hope readers will take away with them, perhaps something that isn’t immediately obvious?
That the BWCAW is a unique area to visit, and a wilderness area worth preserving for future generations. Most people looking at the book will fall into two camps, those who have experienced exactly what I’m portraying, and those who haven’t. I hope this sparks an interest in learning more about this spectacular area if they haven’t and bring back good memories to those who have.

e: What are you working on next or what would be your dream project?
What I’m working on next is my dream project, ONE WINTER UP NORTH. This opportunity to show the BWCAW in all four seasons is my ultimate goal and Winter is the next challenge. Stay tuned!

e: Can't wait to see it!

Check out the new Educational Companion to the book! CLICK HERE

I am participating in the BookShop Affiliate Program. This program pays bloggers a small percentage of each purchased book from a post. But the best part is, purchases are fulfilled by bookstores near you, thereby, helping to keep your local bookstores afloat too! It's good for everyone! Click the book cover to purchase this title through Bookshop.