Archive for May, 2009


Thursday night I spoke at the Willamette Writers meeting in Salem. It was a good time and I had an opportunity to meet lots of new Oregon writers and artists and discuss graphic novels.

I attended the Oregon SCBWI conference on Friday and Saturday and spoke for a bit about Graphic Novels again. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. And what do illustrators do when they get together? They sketch. I did a lot of frogs for some reason. I think I sat too close to Carolyn Conahan. She draws some great frogs (and fishes and horses, which I still don’t draw well!) and it just took over. David Billings was there, another excellent Oregon based illustrator/animator whom I hadn’t met before. If all the Oregon animators, artists and writers ever showed up at one event at one time, I think we’d fill the Rose Garden. There’s a lot of productive, talented people up here but distance and business (and giant trees and rain and Sasquatch and the threat of volcanic eruptions) keeps us from bumping onto one another too often. Less fisticuffs that way I guess.

Good speakers and reviews and critiques of work and a chance to step back and think about the bigger issues of story, plot and structure in your work. Can’t ask for  more than that from a writing and illustrating conference.

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Another page from an abandoned project. But I was happy with the painting and the overall mood. I also liked the line in this drawing. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into keeping a line that looks natural, has a sense of humor to it and is loose.

In the context of the story; the wagon, the stuffed animal, the toy sailboat and the moon all played a part. I’ve been surprised how these small projects, often done quickly from a momentary inspiration, bring  the fun back to what I do and pushes my work forward as much or more then any for pay project. I find when it’s all deadline work, well, it starts to feel like ALL deadline work. Is this really something I enjoy? Why didn’t I go to law school again? But the chance to explore, make mistakes, hike down a road that ends up going nowhere (it dissolves back into the thickets) relaxes me and spawns more ideas. Then it’s back to a deadline project and at least half the pressure for me comes from knowing I have limited time to get something I can live with and something and the client likes.

Now it is time to get back to deadline work!


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Diapers are funny.

Things I am learning from my 2, almost 3 year old.

You can be always hungry and never want to eat anything.

Pink is a good color. Good for “anything”.

Planet of the Apes (1968, Dir. by Franklin Schaffner  ) is actually pretty darn funny. AND, Monkey people probably only live in “the woods”. Nothing to fear, here in the suburbs.

Hello Kitty is just plain cool. No mater what. And deserves to be worn on shirts, pants, diapers, socks, hats and coats. Much to the delight of the Hello Kitty Mother Ship that must be raking in zillions of dollars.

Dora the Explorer WAS cool. She’s so one and a half.

“Look it.” is an appropriate response to use when answering any question you may not want to answer. What exactly one is supposed to Look At, doesn’t matter. But it diffuses any situation – picking toys up, a dirty diaper, spilling water all over the sleeping cat. I think the technical term is a “redirect”

Cheese goes well on anything.

You’re never too busy or too full for a popsicle.

The best answer to “What are you doing?” is “It’s a special present for you!” Ripped up newspaper. Thank you!

Naps can be postponed with the overwhleming need to finger paint.

Play-Doh is still a lot of fun.

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Here’s a newish piece that never mad the cut for a project I had in mind.

I’m like that it doesn’t have a bright blue sky. It feels windy and blustery. Enough to pick the whole wagon up anyway. Spring, summer or autumn? I’m not sure…maybe autumn.


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