Saint Louis, MO
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This is a spread from a new book I illustrated for Concordia Publishing House. The book is about Samson and Delilah. This is the moment when Delilah gets Samson to reveal the source of his strength. Since the book is for children, I got to exercise freedom with furniture, hair and clothing styles, without compromising the story. I had considerable fun with this one. I’ve illustrated several of these books for CPH and they are always a fun collaboration.
Pleased to say that Happy Birthday, St. Louis!, the children’s book celebrating the 250th birthday of our city, is no. 9 on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Publisher’s weekly Best Seller list for Children/Young Adult books. Author Carolyn Mueller and I thank you all very much and hope our book brings much joy. It is an honor to present our fine city to children in this colorful and fun book.
This year is the 250th birthday of St. Louis! Our city was founded in 1764 by Auguste Choteau and Pierre Laclede as a French fur trading post on the west bank of the mighty Mississippi River. St. Louis grew dramatically during the steamboat era and by 1900 we were the fourth largest city in the United States. In 1904 we hosted The Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, better known as the 1904 World’s Fair and by then St. Louis was leading the nation in brewing, shoemaking, automobile manufacturing, and aviation. We St. Louisans are proud of our heritage and so I was thrilled when Reedy Press contacted me to illustrate their new book Happy Birthday, St. Louis! This delightful children’s book is written by Carolyn E. Mueller, the author of Lily, A True Story of Courage and the Joplin Tornado and Bubbles, The Dwarf Zebu.
Creating the illustrations for Happy Birthday, St. Louis! was great fun. The publisher and author allowed me considerable artistic freedom and the book is the result of a healthy and respectful collaboration. For those who are interested in the process, I began each drawing with a rough thumbnail and evolved into a detailed pencil sketch. I draw all my preliminary sketches with Prismacolor pencils on transparent paper. Once the sketches were approved or modified, I scanned them into the computer and opened them in Adobe Illustrator. Placing the pencil sketch on a template layer, I drew the scenes on successive layers. Once the Illustrator art was finished, I took it into Photoshop and did the shading and highlights, using my Wacom digital pen and tablet. We hope you enjoy Happy Birthday, St. Louis! and welcome you to our fine city. By the way, Huff Post just did an article about us, raving about what a gem of a city it is and highlighting 26 wonderful things that make St. Louis a great place to visit. Here is the cover of the book and I hope you enjoy.
From time to time I post a sketch from my “Movie Still Sketchbook”.Here is Gregory Peck as Ahab in Moby Dick. This one was drawn on my MacBook Pro using my little Bamboo tablet and Sketchbook Pro. My studio work is on the professional Wacom Intuos tablet using Corel Painter or the Adobe Suite. But for recreational sketching, the Bamboo is a great little tablet. Even though my contracted work is almost always for children’s books, curriculum, kid’s product and such, these more serious sketches do inform the way I draw, think, and create even the whackiest of my juvenile art. It’s all about observing, making decisions, and loosening up. I’ll post more from the Movie Still Sketchbook from time to time. Enjoy.
My work for Christian publishing involves everything from full color children’s book illustrations, curriculum, to kid’s activity books. These activity books are fun, colorful, appropriately complex for specific ages. I may be assigned puzzles, games, mazes, crosswords, hidden pictures and rebuses. In fact, I get to do quite a large number of rebuses as they remain popular. I remember doing them when I was a kid, so I’m glad they have stood the test of time. The one I’ve shown here is just a sample of the dozens I’ve done in recent years. Have you figured it out yet? As always, helping you do what you do.
Tags: activity books, art, children's art, children's books, christian publishing, curriculum, fun art, games, illustrate, illustration, illustrator, mazes, puzzles, rebuses
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As a freelance illustrator I enjoy a variety of assignments. While the vast majority of my art is geared toward children’s books and products, one of my favorite things to do in particular are spot illustrations for magazines. Something about a colorful piece tucked into a page of type excites me. I enjoy making a contribution to the overall design of a magazine. Sometimes type is wrapped around my work, other times it is a stand-alone on a page opposite the text, or a top of the page banner illustration. However it is used, it is always fun for me to work so purposefully with a designer. Just one more way that I help you do what you do. This particular piece is for the Spanish magazine Iguana, published by Carus Publications.
I recently illustrated an activity book for Group Publishing, Kid’s Travel Guide to the Beatitudes. This a sample of the kind of vector work (Adobe Illustrator) I do for this kind of project. While most of my work is in color, these activity spots are almost always grayscale. These spots are used to quickly show materials needed for an activity, or instructions for a craft. I also illustrate mazes, rebuses, crosswords, and like activities for these books. I enjoy drawing these spots, and they help clarify the lesson or activity for the kids and teachers. One more way that I help you do what you do.
Hi again. I’m just about to page 600, which will leave a bit less than 300 to go. I’m reading slowly as I’ve got a bad habit of reading several books at a time. I’m trying to correct that nonsense and limit myself to two. Here’s where things are. Van Gogh has moved to Arles in Provence and has taken up residence in The Yellow House. Now he is writing to Gauguin, asking him to join him. Van Gogh always had these big ideas of success, and prosperous studios with other artists. As you probably know, nothing panned out. At this time, 1888, Monet is the reigning success of the Impressionists, just to give the contemporary scene. By now Vincent is coming into his own and for the next two years he will furiously paint most of the pictures you are probably familiar with. The bright, sunny landscapes, Irises, flowers, more self-portraits. And then some more self-portraits, the Postmaster Roulin and Dr. Gachet and of course Starry Night. But those iconic works are still in the future, book-wise, so I shouldn’t say much about them at this point. Right now he’s been drawing and painting that draw bridge a lot. I’ll keep you posted.