Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chris VanAllsburg at the Wegmans in Northborough

Wow, it's true Wegmans is truly a grocery store that has everything. They even have Caldecott winner Chris VanAllsburg, at least for one day anyway. Chris VanAllsburg will be doing a book signing at the Wegmans in Northborough Mass on December 10th from 1:00-3:00. Details can be found at www.wegmans.com

Still Learning Flash

I'm still on an Adobe Flash kick and for the past couple of weeks I've been knee deep in ActionScript. Well, maybe more like neck deep. But after lots of Lynda training and lots more reading on top of that, I feel like I'm FINALLY getting the gist of it. My animation skills are still pretty rough, but I've been having lots of fun programming the ActionScript. Here are two games that a I created so far...

Here's the first one I did. It's a cookie game (of course Alfie the Alligator would need a cookie game)

And here's a train multiplication game I created for my train obsessed son to help him learn his multiplication tables.

If you try either game and find a bug, of if you have any comments or suggestions, I'd really appreciate it if you let me know.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bob Doodle

I needed an image to use as a demo when I talk about creating under paintings at the NESCBWI Illustrator Day this Saturday. So I started doodling and came up with this character. Can you tell I didn't bother looking up any reference for the clothes? Even so, he kind of reminds me of Bob Cratchit.

Here's what the under painting looks like...

Amazon Rankings

I confess, I'm guilty of watching my Amazon sales rankings. Okay lately I've been sneaking a peak every morning because for some reason "May I Please Have a Cookie?" has been doing crazy well (under 1,000). Sales rankings are one of those things I never paid attention to before I had a book in print. But I think everyone who is published has been mildly obsessed with checking sales rankings at one time or another. And of course I also check and see if there there are any new customer reviews. If you write a customer review on Amazon, I don't know if anyone other customers will read it, but I bet you the author of the book will.

I found a funny post by Bex Huff where he checks everyday to see what books are more and less popular than his. It sort of puts ones work in perspective.

So I thought it would be fun to see how my book fit into the the scheme of things. Since my book is written for preschoolers, I thought it would only be fair to compare it to other picture books. So today, Noverber 15, 2001, "May I Please Have a Cookie?" is less popular than "If you give a Dog a Donut" But more popular than "Rah Rah Radishes." Which just goes to show, everything is better deep fried.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

NESCBWI Illustrator Day, Nov 19th

I hope you will join us on November 19th in Manchester, New Hampshire for Illustrator Day. This is a program sponsored by the New England chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) The very talented Carlyn Beccia and myself will be doing an encore presentation of our Digital Painting Duels program that was first given at the 2011 annual conference. Here's a class description.

Digital Painting Duels

Are you new to digital painting and wondering what program to use? Or maybe you are an experienced user and would like to learn more than one program? Welcome to the Digital Painting Duels where artists Jennifer Morris and Carlyn Beccia spare off to demo Adobe Photoshop vs. Corel Painter in the bloodiest. knock-out, digital brawl of the century. See some of the hottest digital painting tricks including; secret brush techniques to mimic traditional media, creating rich textures and patterns, and ways to fix compositional problems. Learn which program to use in your art and place your bets on who will be left standing.

It's much more amiable than the description implies. Let's face it, we all know Photoshop is the most amazing product on the face of the Earth (wink). But we did cover lots of nifty tricks and tips that will help you with your digital artwork. If you missed our presentation in the spring, I hope you'll be able to join us on the 19th in Manchester.