Sunday, November 28, 2010

Three Little Pigs, dedicated to Gracie & Konnor

Thanksgiving week I received copies of "The Three Little Pigs", illustrated by me. Odyssey Books is the publisher and I'm really happy with the reproduction of the illustrations. You just don't know how it's going to look until it's an actual printed book.

My dedication reads, "To Gracie and Konnor. Love you forever. C.M." Here's my daughter Andrea reading the book to Gracie and Konnor for the first time on Thanksgivng. This is one of the perks of being a children's book illustrator.

If you scroll back through earlier posts you can see the illustrations as I was working on them. Or better yet, go buy the book. Either way, hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Second look at a new charactor (or try try again)

It's back to the drawing board for me. I'm still working on my first endeavor as writer/illustrator and have gotten some very helpful critiques. It's great to sit here in a cabin in Colorado and thanks to the internet and Face Book I'm able to connect with generous agents, editors and publishers who have been extremely helpful and encouraging.

So I'm tweaking the illustrations at this point after several rewrites and edits. Creating a book, much like raising a kid takes a village.

Please let me know if you like this version as opposed to the earlier one posted. Or not.

Friday, October 1, 2010

First look at a new character

I just wanted to post some new images, going back to my whimsical kid look after several realistic book projects.

This is my first project as writer/illustrator so I'm sure the final product will end up being very different. I'll keep you posted as I stumble along in new territory.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not just animals for "Animalogy", people too!

As Animalogy's illustrations are winding down a couple of new projects are gearing up - both totally different from this one.

So I'm in the process of putting final touches on the illustrations before sending to the publisher's ftp site.

For the campfire scene I used my son, Evan, along with Gracie, Konnor and Crowley for reference. It's sort of like my diary - this is what they looked like at the time I was illustrating this book.

So look for "Animalogy" August 2011 and I'll be posting a book trailer promo for it at some point too - hopefully sooner than later.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Animals for Animalogy

It's way past time for a new post, so here's more illustrations for "Animalogy" by Marianne Berkes.

I'm not posting these in order, nor do I draw them in order. I skip around while illustrating, doing a harder illustration, then an easier one, maybe revising another rough before going to the next color spread, all the while trying to keep the momentum going.

All in all this is a fun project to work on. It's the only picture book I've illustrated where I'm not that concerned about continuity because it's a different animal in a different environment for each page not the same characters continuing throughout the story.

It's so nice having Marianne's sparse, simple verse to illustrate - leaves lots of room for creative interpretation.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ghost Over Boulder Creek by Elaine Pease

Here's artwork for a cover wrap for a new middle grade novel by Elaine Pease. The publisher, Filter Press is right here in Colorado and they produce some of the best stories for young readers as well as old readers like me. When I received this manuscript I just couldn't put it down - it's stories like this that turn kids into readers.

Here's an endorsement from Cheyenne Chief Gordon Yellowman about the book... "Elaine Pease has written an excellent novel full of ghostly spirits of the past, filled with mystery and Cheyenne trails."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Animalogy by Marianne Berkes

Here's the cover art and a few spreads for a fun new picture book I'm illustrating for Sylvan Dell Publishing. The type is just for placement. It gives me an idea of how the final art might look.

The author is Marianne Berkes and I'm a huge fan of her writing. This book of analogies is for very young kiddos and the way that it's written is so fun and lively, I think they'll love it.

It's a Fall 2011 release and will keep me busy for awhile. I'll continue to post some interior illustrations as I go along.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The World Goes Raw Cookbook

This is the third book I've illustrated for Square One Publishing. I'm not known for clean, simple illustrations so appreciate them trusting me on this project. Working with Michele D'Altorio, the editor of the cook book made it all go very smoothly.

There are lots of yummy and unique recipes in Lisa Mann's illustrated cook book - from "Chilled Avocado Tomato Soup" to "Banana Dream with Orange Cashew Cream". I'm looking forward to trying these recipes myself.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Illustrating American life in the late 1930s

I'm starting a new project, a historical fiction picture book and trying to decide how best to capture the sights and sounds of growing up in this era.

The late 1930s was an interesting period. Newspaper stories range from the invention of the cheeseburger to the Dust Bowl, including headlines like "Golden Gate Bridge Opened!", and "World War 2 Begins!" Most people were just beginning to recover from the depression only to get involved in a major war.

It's a time when houses were highly stylized and city parks were flourishing. People wanted to create a good life to compensate for all the chaos, not so different from today.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Odyssey Books and TLC's Cake Boss make stories good enough to eat

Congratulations to Odyssey Books! This is their first year to exhibit at Toy Fair at the Javits Center in NYC. They kicked off their new product line and book imprint, StoryTime Cafe by having Carlos Bakery, better known as TLC's "Cake Boss" make a custom-built cake, depicting Christina, Barb's daughter in bed reading a book surrounded by many of the characters featured in their childrens' picture books.

That's Mauro Castano, Buddy Valastro's right hand man personally setting up the cake display and supervising the cutting of the sheet cake served to all the reporters and retailers at the show.

Leave it to Barb Ciletti to do a first rate job introducing their new product line!

Photos by Nancy Stadler

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Endpapers for a Children's Picture Book

You don't see illustrated endpapers much these days, probably due to budget constraints. But I think it adds some fun and whimsy plus has an old fashioned storybook feeling to it. I'm not one hundred percent finished with the artwork yet but thought I'd take a break and give you a sneak peek.

Definition of endpapers: The plain white, decorated, or printed paper that is at the front and end of a book, one half of which is pasted down to the binding. The endpapers are used to give a finished look to the binding.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Martin Luther King Day Top Ten Books

Just found out that Patria Press' historical fiction chapter book about the childhood of Frederick Douglass was chosen by KidCity as one of their top ten picks for MLK Day and Black History Month!

Below are more details from the KidCity website:

African-Americans suffered disproportionately (and still do) by racist attitudes and actions. But the civil rights movement is no more owned by African-Americans than Holocaust resistance was owned by Jews or suffrage was owned by women. Injustice, suffered anywhere, affects all those who touch it, fight it, comply with it, or blatantly promote it.

Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month give parents a chance to break the cycle of history repeating by looking through the window of how African-Americans suffered, fought and eventually broke through barriers.

"Of all the biographies received, the Young Patriot Series was the most engaging and well-told for single digit kids. Through anecdotes and everyday actions, kids can see how Frederick Douglass lived and eventually paved the way for the civil rights movement."

Douglass' childhood is an amazing story, and it was a lot of fun to research and illustrate his life. Here's the poster from our book signing at Book Expo America in NYC.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Good bye to 2009 and hello to 2010.

I've been remiss in posting to my blog so wanted to post a closeup that will be part of the front cover flap for The Three Little Pigs.

Finally I'm finishing a couple of illustrated books, due out soon, Spring 2010 and am excited to start some fun new projects.