Hurry and visit NOW, before the 23 of November!

The William Cannon Art Gallery is part of the Carlsbad City Library Complex. Its entrance is on the right side of the courtyard, beyond these archways.

That’s me, giving my UCSD students — past and present — a private tour of the Original Art Show at Cannon Art Gallery. I’m pointing out aspects of Carolyn Fisher’s illustration work from Weeds Find A Way by Cindy Jenson-Elliott. photo by Denise Harbison

Why? Because after November 23, 2014 , the traveling exhibit, The Original Art 2013 at the Cannon Art Gallery, in Carlsbad CA will close!

David Diaz checking out the artistry on display at The Original Art

David Diaz checking out the artistry on display at The Original Art
photo by Roxyanne Young

Don’t miss this exhibit! You’ll encounter 40 examples of the best-illustrated books of 2013, from the most talented in the field.

A highlight is the inclusion of published illustrators who happen to live in San Diego and Los Angeles, including Salina Yoon, Debbie Tilley, Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha, David Diaz, Janell Cannon, and Robin Preiss Glasser, to name just a few!

Salina Yoon beside her original work from Penguin and Pinecone and Found!  photo by Roxyanne Young

Salina Yoon beside her original work from Penguin and Pinecone and Found!
photo by Roxyanne Young

There’s a dedicated reading corner where you can sit and peruse the books each piece is culled from. Many of the originals include drawings, paintings, prints, etchings, and collagesa rare opportunity to fully appreciate the diversity of creativity applied to these works. Gallery curator Karen McGuire even adhered post-its to corresponding pages of each book, so that visitors can compare the printed result to its original, up-close!

Book trailers are played on a continual loop above the reading corner of the Gallery. photo by Joy Chu

There’s also a video featuring 19 trailers highlighting selected artists on display, broadcast throughout the duration of the exhibit. Don’t miss it — it’s at the reading corner! Here are just a few of the trailers you’d encounter.






IDEA: It’s not too early to order picture books for holiday gift giving! Give everyone you love a children’s picture book. It’s a bazillion times more enduring than a mere Christmas card! There’s something for everyone.

Like this one (below). Yes, Renata Liwska‘s original work is on display at The Cannon Art Gallery too!

Check out the work of Renata, and her multi-talented illustrator colleagues, at the Cannon Art Gallery, before it becomes yet another happy memory.

1775 Dove Lane
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(760) 602-202
Hours
Tuesday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
CLOSED MONDAYS

Illustration by Renata Lewiska; text by Nina Laden

On the Road to Creating Story!

What Makes Your Characters “Tick”?

Let’s look at the beginning of a picture book story.

The initial step is introducing your main character. Can you tell us what he/she is thinking?

What is their prime directive? What motivates them? What problem are they confronting in your story?

I love sharing this series of spreads created by  graphic design pioneer Bruno Munari — an Italian Paul Rand — who loved children’s picture books.  This is from his book The Elephant’s Wish.

Here’s Elephant, who wishes he could be as carefree as a bird…

munari-elephant

 

Bird wishes he could swim. Can you guess why?

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Snake wishes he could graze majestically like a bull . . .

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Bull wishes he could be like the elephant. Why? Then he could swish away those pesky flies! We come full circle by the end of the book.

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munari-ElephantsWish

 

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Artist Laurent Moreau contemplates himself!

 

 

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By Laurent Moreau. A girl dreams of being by the sea

Here’s the cover, which hints at the animals’ thoughts, while intriguing us with an unusual graphic.

 

 

 

 

Check out how Laurent Moreau lets us in on his characters’ thoughts:

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The cover from “What Are You Thinking?” by Laurent Moreau

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Ah, a play on line textures and far away thoughts by Laurent Moreau…

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This woman is full of jealous thoughts. By Laurent Moreau

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What a little girl in costume imagines, by Laurent Moreau

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Laurent-Moreau

What an absorbing story! Could she be lost into it? By Laurent Moreau

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Subconscious memories from a famous
folk tale, by Laurent Moreau

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What a boy thinks
by Laurent Moreau

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What one young woman
pines for, by Laurent Moreau

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It’s all math to some people!

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What a beautiful mind!

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A nature lover!

This is a fabulous way to explore your own story characters. Express what they are thinking, in collage! Check out these results.

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This one is by Marcia Sorini,
an elementary school teacher (see part 2, below)

 

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Check out what other students have created here!

 

 

Spelling and Counting in ASL…

Here’s Travis and Tian Brown, with their dad, sharing a counting moment…

Here’s a cross-reference guide, from The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language (click on either image to enlarge)

DictionaryFM_2-column_18June2014_Page_11

DictionaryFM_2-column_18June2014_Page_12

Stop the Presses…and START HERE!

This may be the first book cover that actually teaches how to letterspell "A B C"  in American Sign Language!

This may be the first book cover that actually teaches how to letterspell “A B C” in American Sign Language! (click to enlarge)

Let’s start with unveiling the cover itself. It features a lenticular!

And it’s going on press this month! I’m so excited!

Why? Because it all began as a list of words on a spread sheet almost five years ago.

The dictionary began as a Word doc, which grew into an Excel spreadsheet. (right-click to enlarge)

Gallaudet University Press lined up a team of illustrators for their upcoming definitive American Sign Language reference (think Merriam-Webster, but for signing), aimed at the pre-school through grade 3 level. It had to be usable for hearing families as well as the deaf and hearing-impaired.

Page 1 from the Dictionary

Page 1 from the Dictionary (click on any image to enlarge)

 

One of the illustrators already on board was Debbie Tilley. When agent Richard Salzman discovered it was (a) Gallaudet first foray into children’s books and general trade; and (b) they expected Debbie to produce the layouts too, he recommended they contact me to pull it all together for them. It was a dream project for all of us!

Dictionary_p-105_Page_011   Dictionary_p-105_Page_008 Dictionary_p-105_Page_007

 392 pages of full color! It looks like a graphic comic, with over 1,000 word entries, fully illustrated. Plus it includes a DVD featuring a rainbow of children signing. There’s also a special feature on forming sentences.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll guide you on the process. It will be like a diary on the making of a children’s reference classic. . .

Spread from pages 238-239

Spread from pages 238-239 (click to enlarge)

You will witness exclusive behind-the-scenes book making. Stay tuned. That’s why I’ve been away for so long. Been dictionary-ing…

You can pre-order the Dictionary through these links:
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble

 

Asynchronicity!

Asynchronistic_DebbieTilley_SM

I received the following question recently: “I’m interested in your online CB illustrators course at UCSD, but can’t find the link. Can you please post it again? Also, I travel overseas a lot for work. Would that preclude me from taking the online course, i.e., are the classroom times synchronistic or can you work at your own pace? Many thanks!! [from Linda Benson]

Great question! You can take the class at your own pace. It’s a 9-week course, with a new exercise/assignment given at the start of each week. You post completed exercises online, to share with classmates, at the end of each week. And you can post questions at the Class Discussion Board anytime, too. It’s an asynchronous class

For more info, go here.
Register anytime, 24/7, here.

Drawing Warm-ups: I do it with Ed Emberley’s help!

Emberley-FROG

It’s about seeing common shapes differently. Like D.Frog

It's Sasquatch!

It’s Sasquatch!

Every new class I teach is like embarking upon a new adventure mind trip.

It’s good to re-visit familiar terrain from a wholly different angle. Here, I do it upside-down, sideways, anyway-but-regular. I see it as the ultimate brain synapse challenge. Like quickie sit-ups, with a lilt!

For instance, I love drawing from Emberley.  In each of the following, we start with the letter D, step-by-step. . . but holding the book itself upside down.

This is the way to see PURE SHAPE. Forget about the end result entirely.

Fact: Guess who has the hardest time doing the above — from all the people who’ve taken my illustration class — the artists, or the writers? The seasoned artists. Not all of them, but just a few. Why? It’s unfamiliar, not envisioning the end-result. These renegades then discover they are falling back into old patterns of drawing, unwilling to try something new. I remind them that this is the way to venture into new terrain. To discover new possibilities in drawing. How letting go of certain drawing habits will set them free. And when they allow it to happen, they smile. Inevitably.

Try any of the following. Bonus:  If you render these, purely as shape, you can do them in ANY size, from tiny to titanic — no sizing tools needed!


A turtle...

A turtle…

Then notice how these same shapes re-occur in everything around you. . . .

A mouse. . .

A mouse. . .

Or a porcupine

Or a porcupine



These images are progressive drawings from Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals, © 1970 by Edward R. Emberley, animated as .GIFs . This book is the required textbook at my UCSD Extension class, Illustrating Books for Children. I think everyone needs this book in their lives. Follow each step. Watch it change the way you see your world.

http://www.amazon.com/Ed-Emberleys-Drawing-Book-Animals/dp/0316789798/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388183051&sr=1-2&keywords=ed+emberley+drawing+books

Countdown to Highlights!

So excited. I’m taking part in the Ultimate Walden Pond Experience at the Advanced Illustrators Workshop at the Highlights Foundation, August 28-September 2nd.

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Been brainstorming with the amazing Cindy Smith on the illustration exercises (I call them Guerrilla Work-outs) I will lead on-site. I sent my proposal to Cindy, and within minutes, she shoots back “WONDERFUL.” She’s my soul sister.

I’m blessed. Look at the illustrators I’m accompanying: E.B. Lewis and Matt Tavares. . .

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Here’s Matt …

and E.B. in action…

and here I am.

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But before the immersion begins, conferees are treated to an insider peek at the inner workings of Highlights Magazine and Boyds Mills Press. Here’s editor Linda Rose, specifying what gets published in Highlights. She’s looking for full color visual ideas via their picture puzzler feature. Hey you editorial illustrators, here’s an opportunity! Every submission to this feature will be considered. Think visual witticism. Tell Linda you heard it here…

More tomorrow.

Linda_Highlights

From UCSD Extension: An Interview with Joy Chu *

Joy Chu:


*  NOTE: The above is from an interview that was featured in UCSD Extension’s Blog last fall, just before I began teaching the on-line version of my class, “Illustrating Books for Children”/Winter 2013 Quarter. Special thanks to UCSD Extension for allowing me to re-blog this feature. — JC


Illustrating Books for Children / Art 40011 Instructor:  Joy Chu June 26-August 21 Wednesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm extension.ucsd.edu  Register before June 25!

Illustrating Books for Children / Art 40011
/
Instructor:  Joy Chu
/ June 26-August 21
/
Wednesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm
/
extension.ucsd.edu

Register before June 25!

________________________________________

Originally posted on UC San Diego Extension:

“Sure, it’s simple, writing for kids…just as simple as bringing them up.” – Ursula K. LeGuin

We recently had a chat with art director, graphic designer, and UC San Diego Extension instructor Joy Chu about her taste in children’s literature and for some advice on entering the field. Joy teaches children’s book illustration online and onsite for us. Here’s what she has to say about working in the business:

1) What’s your favorite children’s book and why?

Tough one. I keep discovering new favorites. A few have remained timeless:

Because it carries themes on multiple levels that both young ones and adults can relate to. It has pitch perfect text. His “monsters” are friendly, and cuddly, while the main character, Max, is the real monster, and he too is tamed by the end of the book. Totally minimal. But every word, every…

View original 427 more words

On Inspirations and My Upcoming Class…

ASL-hola

Greetings! If you live, work, or are vacationing this summer in the San Diego area, consider creating stories with pictures at my class, on the beautiful campus of UCSD in La Jolla!

Illustrating Books for Children
Instructor:  Joy Chu
June 26-August 21
Wednesday evenings, 6:30pm-9:30pm
extension.ucsd.edu
Register before June 25!
 
A section of UCSD campus at night
_________________________
 

Inspiration is Everywhere!

During last winter’s 2013 class at UCSD Extension, I asked my students to locate the CIP book summary from any picture book, and use it as the inspiration for an eight-panel wordless picture story.

CIP (pronouncedsip”) is book publishing jargon for the Library of Congress Publishing Cataloging-in-Publication Data. This is found within the copyright page text of every book. It features a well-constructed one-phrase synopsis of the book’s theme.

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Here is an example. One student, Aijung Kim, selected the following CIP summary from Chalk by Bill Thompson. While she didn’t read the book, she knew from its cover that it featured a dinosaur. She transported her setting to a beach…

Book Summary:  A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.

Here’s what she came up with:

Aijung Kim’s 8-panel wordless story, created during Joy Chu’s class, Illustrating Books for Children, at UCSD Extension (right-click image to enlarge)

Another student, Fnu Anisi, enchanted by Kevin HenkesKitten’s First Full Moon, wanted to explore an eight page wordless re-telling.

Book summary:  When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet, and hungry trying to reach it.

Here are Anisi’s results:

(Right-click to enlarge)

Fnu Anisi’s 8-page wordless story, created at Joy Chu’s UCSD Extension class (Right-click to enlarge)

At my upcoming summer 2013 UCSD Extension class (June 26-August 21), Illustrating Books for Children (ART 40011) we might look into creating an advent-styled calendar as a possible inspiration for creating a picture story.

Example: Look at the one Zachariah OHora created from his own story. Fun, yes?

Many thanks to Zachariah OHora and Julie Danielson for sharing the above image.

Creating a 3D model for your story setting can also serve as an invaluable reference in plotting out your narrative, as well as a guide in drawing scenes from a variety of perspectives. Note how illustrator Sophie Blackall created a diorama for her work-in-progress. She can view her characters from above!

(photo © PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved)

Author/illustrator Barbara McClintock builds cut-paper replicas of her illustrations, in composing her scenes. The following sequence is from her studies for an upcoming book, Adèle and Simon in China (all 3 photos below © Barbara McClintock)

"What do those little flat boats in photos of Tongli really look like? I have to find out by building one."—Barbara McClintock

“What do those little flat boats in photos of Tongli really look like? I have to find out by building one.”—Barbara McClintock

"...Now I can draw the boats in the picture and feel some sense of confidence in what I'm doing/seeing..."

“…Now I can draw the boats in the picture and feel some sense of confidence in what I’m doing/seeing…”

Tongli, China, circa 1908, as drawn by Barbara McClintock

Tongli, China, circa 1908, as drawn by Barbara McClintock

Here’s Tove Jansson, creating reference models for her fabulous Moomin stories.

MOOMIN_collage


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 ____________________
Illustrating Books for Children / Art 40011
Instructor:  Joy Chu
June 26-August 21
Wednesdays, 6:30pm-9:30pm
extension.ucsd.edu

Register before June 25!

illustration by Debbie Tilley

 

The Next Big Thing

Kathleen Krull is here!

the-next-big-thing-300x234We’re jumping feet first into the summer with a visit from one of the best story-tellers on our planet!

It’s fun to be nosy about Kathy Krull’s latest activities…especially when she responds to Blog Hop questions. Read on. Insert a comment. Better yet, add your 2 cents to the Boston Tea Party discussion at Amazon.com, and Kathy will send you a copy of her latest book on this very subject. And do check out the splendid creators Kathy has blog-tagged at the end. —J.C.]

Photo courtesy of Lili Gonzalez /Yellow Book Road

1.  What is the title of your work-in-progress?

KK:  It’s not in-progress, but piping hot off the press: What Was the Boston Tea Party

2.  Where did the idea come from?
KK:  Without being an expert on the Boston Tea Party, I still had a sense that the current Tea Party movement, which began in 2009, a month after President Barack Obama took office, was not always accurate in its depiction of American history.  So I wanted to know the real story of the event and present it to young readers.

3.  What genre does your book come under?
KK:  Nonfiction chapter book, illustrated with line drawings and 16 pages of photos.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
KK:  150 of Hollywood’s buffest and cutest and youngest–more than a third of the participants that night were under 21.

LMortimer_illo

5. One sentence synopsis for your book?
KK:  What happened on the night of December 16, 1773, placed within a context of what led up to it and what resulted–how it led to the birth of a whole new country.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
KK: 
Published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
KK:  At the same time I was thinking Tea Party thoughts, my editor at Penguin, Jane O’Connor, was starting up this new series WHAT WAS, a spin-off of WHO WAS.  The deadline was tight, a matter of months, during which I was drinking tea from morning till night.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
KK:  
Is it conceited to say I hope I’m trying in my way to follow in the footsteps of Jean Fritz?

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? 
KK:  American history is endlessly fascinating, and I love getting the chance to portray it as accurately and meaningfully as possible, fighting the good fight against cluelessness.

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10.What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
KK:  It’s controversial!  Anyone who enters the fray will get sent a free copy of the book.

And now, I am tagging two upstanding children’s book folks: Helen Foster James , co-author of Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America and several other popular books, and Carlyn Beccia, illustrator for one of my newest, Louisa May’s Battle and other beautiful books.

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