May 14, 2009

Pretty Princess

Galison makes wonderfully designed paper products that you'd want to display in your home, pieces of art, if you will. So when I got a call from Galison's art director for an illustration assignment, I was thrilled!

I was told the product was for their Mudpuppy block puzzle line, specifically made for 2-3 year olds, so I quickly hopped onto their site, clicked on the product, and noticed that great illustrators and classic characters like Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, and Curious George, respectively were represented.
Then, when the art director told me I was to illustrate princesses of different times and places, I was doubly excited to take on the job! It took me back to the time I was three, drawing princesses with skirts.

I'm pleased to show you one of the pieces here (there are 6 total), a classic 1950's princess, her lovely skirt, appropriately large and poofy. It won't be on the market until June 1, 2010, but I couldn't wait that long to share even a taste, plus the art director was kind enough to let me!

May 6, 2009

GAGA Arts Festival 2009

I finally found some time to write about my first open studio this past weekend at the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center. It was a big success thanks to the local community and despite the scattered showers and cooler milder temperatures.

Since I've yet to build up a collection of large paintings, I decided to show the original art from my published work, some of which have not seen the light of day in years. I finally had an excuse to pull them out and hang them, rather casually on clips and string, for all to appreciate, including myself. It was cool to see them all up in one space.

I had a table set with crayons and pencils, prepared an activity book called "The Best Day," where the kids could write about their best day and illustrate it. I also brought my button maker for kids and "big kids" to make buttons. It was a hit! I also created a display on "How a Book is Published: an artist's perspective."

I sold a few books, and while most of the art was also for sale, with the sluggish economy, the pieces were admired from afar.

I most enjoyed talking to the attendees and all the kids. I met many bright children, some who wanted to be illustrators, others who were fascinated by the process and still others who just liked taking the time to create a story. I met a young girl who suffered from Hodgkins Lymphoma and was nearing the end of her treament with a good prognosis. As a survivor of childhood leukemia, we bonded over our "war stories," and before she left she showed me the story of her "Best Day," which she dedicated to me...excuse me...having a moment.

For many it was a big learning process, an eye-opener for local teachers and the regular art appreciator. So indeed it was a success even if I sold not a one painting.