Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! (Eat Pizza!)

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving filled with good food, people you love, and things to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

In two weeks, Ewe And Aye will fly into bookstores!

Two weeks from today is the book launch party for EWE AND AYE! I can't believe it's only two weeks away, after years of working on the art and waiting for the book to come out. It's the first picture book I've illustrated, so maybe that's why it seemed to take forever to get here. Firsts always seem to take so loooooooong to arrive: the first day of school, the first book that you could read all by yourself, the first time you could drive by yourself without anyone else in the car, well you get the idea.

First things are always very exciting, and a little terrifying too. The scenarios you imagine for something new are always on the extreme ends of what could happen (or maybe that's just me). Not only is this my first book, it's also my first book launch. (Makes sense, right?) I'm a little worried that nobody will come, or that EVERYONE will come and they won't fit in the store ... or they will fit in the store, but they will be expecting ME to entertain them. I hope the three people (or three hundred?) who show up won't be disappointed in the book launch. At least my launch party has three really great things going for it:

There will be cake!
(Everyone loves cake, or at least most people do, right?)

There will be prizes!
(Good prizes - you would like them - you should totally come to the launch party and try to win prizes.)

There will be books!
(Who doesn't like books? Seriously. Who doesn't like books? I bet they would like this book. It has lots of pictures (drawn by me)!

When and where will my book launch be? I'm glad you asked! (Okay, YOU didn't really ask, but if you've read this far, you probably wanted to know, right?)

What: Book Launch Party for EWE AND AYE written by Candace Ryan and illustrated by Stephanie Ruble (Published by Disney*Hyperion - ISBN: 978-142317591-9)

Where: Red Balloon Bookshop 891 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

When: Sunday December 7, 2014 at 3pm

Personalized Books: Order online or by phone at 651-224-8320 / 888-651-8320 (The book officially releases on Dec. 9, so if you're going to the party and want to make sure you get a book, or if you can"t come to the party and want me to sign a book for you, pre-order by Tues, Nov. 25).

No Purchase Necessary: You don't have to buy a book to come to the party, but if you do buy a book, I'd be happy to sign it for you.

I bet you're wondering what the book looks like, aren't you? Here's the cover:

 Wondering what people are saying about the book? It's been reviewed by three places so far:

Kirkus: "Ryan’s punning is nicely expanded in Ruble’s zippy illustrations. ... Lots of fun." 

Publisher's Weekly: "But the real attraction is debut illustrator Ruble—she brings an exuberant energy to each scene ..."

School Library Journal: "The goggle-wearing animals in their heart-soled sneakers are expressive and charming. ... The wordplay is clever, and the art is sweet ..."

So, if you happen to be in the Twin Cities area and want to go to a book launch party on Dec. 7 at Red Balloon Bookshop, it would be great to see you!

* Disclaimer: This post was written on about three hours of sleep, so if it's too silly or weird, that's why! If, on the other hand, you think this post is brilliant, it's because I'm creative. No seriously, I am! Did you see that I illustrated a book? No? Huh, you must have just scrolled down to the bottom of the post. Well, let me tell you about it. The book is called, EWE AND AYE. It was written by Candace Ryan and illustrated by Stephanie Ruble (that's me)!

Come to my book launch party!

It will be fun!

There will be prizes! And Cake! And books! You like books, don't you?

Oops, I said I was going to stop, didn't I? I'll stop now.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Diverse Books Theater

Update 11/25: There will be a print of the Diverse Books Theater piece in the ABFFE holiday auction Dec. 1-8. ABFFE stands for American Booksellers For Free Expression. They work to, promote and protect the free exchange of ideas, particularly those contained in books." For more information, visit ABFFE's site.

The prompt this week for  Illustration Friday is, "theatre", and the line that kept going through my head was, "All the world's a stage ... " It may originally be from Shakespeare, but it was the Rush song, Limelight, that looped over and over this week.

I was also thinking about the We Need Diverse Books Campaign* this week.

Those two ideas came together and became the Diverse Books Theater:

The original is quite large, so it's not easy to see everyone on stage (close-ups below). There are pairs of readers. Each one is holding a book that's the same as another person's book (kid on the floor goes with kid walking off stage - the book is tucked into the backpack). I tried to represent as diverse a cast of characters as possible to show that you never know who is going to like the same books you do. Books should represent all types of readers, reflecting our diverse world and diverse people who read those books.

* If you work with children's books (author, illustrator, publisher, agent, bookseller, librarian, teacher, etc.) you've probably heard of We Need Diverse Books. If you haven't heard of it, here's more info:

We Need Diverse Books is a nonprofit that aims to bring more diversity into books and publishing so that readers can see themselves in books, and will also have books that reflect our wonderfully diverse world. It's easier to have empathy and understanding of people who are different if we meet them in a book and see the world through their eyes. Children especially need to see themselves reflected in books, and meet other types children as well.

We Need Diverse Books is currently having an indigogo campaign (through Dec. 10) to help them with their mission of supporting current diverse books and getting them into the hands of kids, current and future diverse authors and illustrators, and diversity in publishing too. The campaign has all sorts of great perks to go with your pledge, or you can choose to forgo the perk and have your complete donation go to the campaign.

We Need Diverse Books has partnered with many children's book organizations to help support diversity in children's books, including: 

Please consider donating if you are able to!
We Need Diverse Books Indidgogo Campaign: link to donate here.  

Want to know more about We Need Diverse Books? Here are some links:

We Need Diverse Books website
(includes mission statement and recommended reading lists)

We Need Diverse Books on tumblr 
(inspiring and thoughtful posts as well as updates and reading lists)

We Need Diverse Books on Twitter

It's hard to see details on the whole picture above, so I thought I'd post three crops to better show the characters:

I can't decide if these two are shocked because of what they're reading, or if they are listening to something shocking (they're sharing headphones, so they're tuned in to the same thing). They like to read while they're waiting to play ... not sure what sport. I'm thinking basketball or volleyball. I've seen a few articles lately about artificial hands made from 3D printers. That's where the inspiration for the girl's colorful hand came from.

I imagine these two girls haven't seen each other in a while, so are happy to meet again, and surprised that they're reading the same book at the same time. The other character matches up to the one leaving the stage above.

I think these two characters just met and are discovering they have the same taste in books. I'm sensing there's a book club in their future. BTW, I've been seeing lots of people with hair like this guy lately ... also, it reminded me of drawing a chicken (I draw lots of chickens).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

paper for illustration friday - newspaper

Couldn't resist drawing a newspaper for the Illustration Friday prompt this week, which is paper. Had to create a fun headline and lead story, as well as another story below it.

Alligators always get such a bad rap for sharp teeth and eating small animals, so I wondered what would happen if people ran into an alligator who likes to tell jokes. Alice the alligator is hilarious!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

girl flying with ghosts

Technically Halloween is over, but I couldn't resist posting this pencil drawing I did this summer* of a girl with her ghost friends:

I didn't have a set plan when I started this drawing. I just knew I wanted to have a bunch of ghosts flying around. Then this girl showed up and decided she wanted to fly with the ghosts, which I thought was a great idea.

Did you ever want to fly? (Flying seems like it would be a fun thing to do.)

Would you fly with ghosts if you had the chance? (I would, if they were friendly ghosts! Then again, even if they weren't friendly and they wanted me to fly with them, I probably would - probably wouldn't have a choice).

I like lots of holidays, but Halloween is my favorite. (There are so many fun things to draw, plus there's candy, plus my birthday is two days later, so it's practically a Halloween birthday!)

What's your favorite holiday? Why do you like it?

*It's Halloween all year round for me (or at least it is for story and art ideas)!