Sunday, January 24, 2010

promotional chickens

I’m designing my postcards for the SCBWI winter conference next weekend. I had it all planned out when I realized that I wanted a different image on one side. I’ve already done several finishes for the chicken PB, but they were all similar emotion-wise. So I did a new finish from a different page in the dummy. On one side of the postcard will be the new image:

sruble postcard image 1

sruble postcard image 1

On the other side is one of the chickens I finished last week:

sruble postcard image 2

sruble postcard image 2

I also have new business cards with this image on one side (and a crop of the new image on the other side):

sruble's new business card

sruble's new business card

It’s always takes longer to design postcards and business cards than I think it will (not to mention that printing and cutting usually takes twice as long as I think it will). That’s why I started early this time, but it’s worth it if they turn out.

Update: all 105 postcards and business cards are printed and cut, and ready for the conference! This is the earliest I’ve ever been done with promo materials before a conference. Now all I have to do is finish all the art and stuff for my portfolio! Whew!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

blog chickens, IF chickens & portfolio chickens!

It’s chicken week here at, which means new chicken art!  They’re all pictures of Daria (the chicken in my picture book), except for the IF sketch, which features lots of chickens.

Did you notice the first picture of Daria the chicken? It’s on my shiny new blog header above. It’s based on an image from the PB dummy and is in my portfolio too.

There are also two new pictures of Daria. You might have already seen them on my CBIG portfolio, but they look a little bit different now. I changed a few of things to make them better. What do you think of the new images?

Daria the snowboarding chicken

Daria the snowboarding chicken

Daria the skydiving chicken

Daria the skydiving chicken

And finally, the prompt this week for Illustration Friday is, “wilderness.” The first thing that popped into my head was this sentence: It’s a little known fact that the wilderness is full of chickens. I started sketching right away! (Yes, I do know I’m a strange; people tell me that all the time.) Since I don’t have time to paint this week, the sketch will have to do for now, :( but I am going to paint it later because the idea totally cracks me up. :P Doesn’t the idea of chickens in the wilderness make you laugh too?

chickens in the wilderness

chickens in the wilderness

It’s been a chicken sort-of week around here. What kind of week are you having?

Monday, January 18, 2010

And the winners are …

The ALA awards were announced today! Updated: I think they’re all here now, but I didn’t miss many (which is surprising, since I don’t type very fast). I left all the exclamations from the live blogging, but fixed the typos:

Newbery Award: “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead

4 Newbery Honors: “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” by Phillip Hoose, “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” by Jacqueline Kelly, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin, “The Mostly True Story of Homer P. Figg” by Rodman Philbrick

Caldecott Award: “The Lion and the Mouse” written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney!

2 Caldecott Honors: “All the World” illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, “Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman

2011 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture: Lois Lowry

Theodore Seuss Geisel Award: “Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!” written and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes

4 Geisel Honors: “I Spy Fly Guy!” written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, “Little Mouse Gets Ready” written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, “Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends” written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee, “Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day” written by Kate McMullan, illustrated by R.W. Alley

Carnegie Medal: “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” produced by Paul R. Gagne, Weston Woods Studios, and Mo Willems

Sibert Award: “Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream” written by Tanya Lee Stone

3 Sibert Honors: “The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors” written by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tony Persiani, “Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11″ written and illustrated by Brian Floca, “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” written by Phillip Hoose,

Batchelder Award: “A Faraway Island” written by Annika Thor, translated by Linda Schenck

3 Batchelder Honors: “Big Wolf and Little Wolf” written by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illustrated by Olivier Tallee, translated by Claudia Bedrick, “Eidi” written by Bodil Bredsdorff, translated by Kathryn Mahaffy, “Moritito II: Guardian of the Darkness” Written by Nahoko Uehashi, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, translated by Cathy Hirano

Pura Belpre Author Award: “Return to Sender” by Julie Alvarez

2 Pura Belpre Author Honors: “Diego: Bigger Than Life” written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz, “Federico Garcia Lorca” written by Georgina Lazaro, illustrated by Enrique S. Moreiro

Pura Belpre Illustrator Award: “Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros” illustrated by Rafael Lopez, written by Pat Mora

3 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honors: “Diego: Bigger Than Life” illustrated by David Diaz, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, “My Abuelita” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Tony Johnston, “Gracia Thanks” illustrated by John Parra, written Pat Mora

Odyssey Award (Audio Books): “Louise, Adventures of a Chicken”

3 Odyssey Honor Books: “In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber,” “Peace, Locomotion,”  “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball”

Printz Award: “Going Bovine” by Libba Bray!!! OMG! Hooray!!! (This was the one I wanted to win! So happy for Libba!!!)

4 Printz Honors: “Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith” by Deborah Heiligman, “The Monstrumologist” by Rick Yancey, “Punkzilla” by Adam Rapp, “Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973” by John Barnes

YALSA Non-fiction Award: “Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith” by Deborah Heiligman

William C. Morris Award: “Flash Burnout” by L.K. Madigan!!! Congratulations L.K.!!!

Margaret A. Edwards Award: Jim Murphy

Coretta Scott King Author Award: “Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal,” by Vaunda Micheau Nelson (A Carolrhoda book!)

Coretta Scott King Author Honor: “Mare’s War” by Tanita S Davis

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award: “My People” illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr., written by Langston Hughes

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor: “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” illustrated by E.B. Lewis, written by Langston Hughes

Coretta Scott King / John Steptoe New Talent Award: “The Rock and The River” by Kekla Magoon – Congratulations Kekla!!

Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award: Walter Dean Meyers!

Schneider Family Book Awards for Teens: “Marcello in the Real World” by Francsico X. Stork

Schneider Family Book Awards for Middle Grades: “Anything But Typical” by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Schneider Family Book Awards for Young Children: “Django” written and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen

10 Alex Awards: “Stictches: A Memoir” by David Small, “Tunneling to the Center of the Earth” by Kevin Wilson, “Souless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel,” by Gail Carriger, “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock, “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman, “The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir” by Diana Welch and Liz Welch with Amanda Welch and Dan Welch, “The Good Soldiers” by David Finkel, “Everything Matters!” by Ron Currie Jr., “The Bride’s Farewell” by Meg Rosoff, “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

* Want to know more about the awards and what they are for? Check out this great post by Elizabeth Bluemie.

* The official press release with all the awards can be found here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Time to make the donuts … and make the artwork! And write the story! And read the books!

I was traveling for about a month, but I’m back home now, creating artwork, writing, and reading books.
Artwork: It’s only January 14th, and I’ve already had my first portfolio review of the year! It was very helpful and showed me I’m going in the right direction, at least for now. It also showed me an area where I might be able to grow and create a new style. Lots of art deadlines in the next month, and 2 chicken images I need to have done by the end of the week. I’ll post them soon! One of them is for a postcard to send out to art directors and editors (also from my PB dummy).

Writing: I’m starting a YA writing class next week, so I’m busy building my zombie world and characters for the novel I’m going to write (same world as Sheila, but different MC for this book, which will be prose, not a graphic novel).

Reading books, books, and more books: I’ve been tweeting about what I’m reading. It’s a fun challenge to sum up a book in 140 characters. Here are my reviews of what I’ve read so far this year (I’ve added the author’s name here and deleted the tag #bookreview):

Going Bovine by Libba Bray: One of the best books I’ve read in a while. Funny & heartbreaking. Road trip, mad cow disease, & a garden gnome.

Candor by Pam Bachorz: A nice place to read about, but I wouldn’t want to live there (shudder). George Orwell would love this book; I did too.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier: Who needs the truth, when the MC tells an amazing, can’t put the book down story? Read for the truth about Micah, maybe.

How to Be Popular by Meg Cabot: Fun book I got sucked into & couldn’t put down til I was done. Loved the advice from the old book she reads.

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers: Can mean girl Regina survive after friends turn on her? Amazing story that shows brutal reality of girl bullies.

I’ll continue tweeting book reviews in the future. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Happy 2010 everyone! What are you reading, writing, and/or drawing?