I recently became familiar with Kristi Valiant’s work and how valuable she is to Kidlit. So I thought I’d post her interview and some of her bio on TIJ website. Of course I will try to get her to talk with me for an article in the next issue of TIJ Ezine.
The whimsy and color of her illustrations and the movement of her characters are so appealing and fun you can sense the delight she gets when she goes about her work. I’m so happy to see another user of a computer to do her work. Forward thinking and steep in tradition here’s Kristi’s own bio.
In fourth grade, I got in trouble for drawing too much during class.
After graduating magna cum laude from Columbus College of Art and Design as an Illustration major, I worked in the graphics department at an educational publisher. Now I write and illustrate children’s books.
I wrote and illustrated PENGUIN CHA-CHA (Random House, 2013).
I’ve illustrated the following:
PRETTY MINNIE IN HOLLYWOOD (written by Danielle Steel, Doubleday)
PRETTY MINNIE IN PARIS (written by Danielle Steel, Doubleday)
THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN (Albert Whitman)
CORA COOKS PANCIT (Shen’s Books)
THE LITTLE WINGS Chapter Book Series (Random House)
DO YOU LOVE ME MORE? (Standard)
OLIVER’S FIRST CHRISTMAS (Accord)
DANCING DREAMS (Accord)
Some of my favorite things in life are my husband and daughters, dark chocolate, hot fudge pudding cake, collecting picture books, reading, swing dancing, musicals (especially Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers), monkeys, penguins, and my faith in Jesus.
I grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Ohio, moved to Texas, taught English for a summer in China, and now live in Indiana with my husband, daughters, and a room full of hippos and monkeys. I tend to draw a mouse, hippo, monkey, and penguin somewhere in each of my recent picture books.
I create my art in Photoshop using a Cintiq display and pressure-sensitive pen. I find that working digitally allows me to be creative and edit easily, without the hazard of spilling dirty painting water or drinking it by mistake.
This is what I worked on this week. It’s an illustration from my upcoming book about imagination.It’s not done but it’s close enough to show. It started as a sketch of three kids modeled after my daughter’s kids and blossomed into what it is now.
I ask the question of you like I ask the question of myself. What have I done this week, this day, etc Most of the time we are on auto-pilot and don’t think too much about what we’re doing. We have house chores, bills to pay, assignments to complete, kids to take care of etc. The thought of having another goal or task is overwhelming, especially a personal goal. So those goals like I’m gonna write a children’s book or create a painting seems like it can wait.However taking it in small does you can accomplish a lot. That’s how I approached this art and all the other projects I set for myself.
Keep up the good work, watch for the Spring Edition of the Journal and much more to come!
Rosalind is a terrific illustrator and storyteller as her book The Frog Princess can attest to.
The creator of The Frog Princess, a delightful fractured fairy tale, Rosalind Allchin describes herself thus: “I think I’m an illustrator who writes stories. I start off with some kind of visual image, probably of a character. Although I’ve never had any formal art training, I’ve always been interested in the visual arts. When I was in my teens, we used to go family camping in Europe, and visiting the art galleries in Italy was a wonderful introduction. However it’s only relatively recently that I’ve taken up a brush myself.”
Although presently a resident of Ottawa, Ontario, Rosalind was born in West Sussex on the south coast of England on March 26, 1949, the second of four children and the only girl. “We all went to the local primary (elementary) school, and those years I remember as a lovely period in my life, full of painting and reading stories.
In talking about her approach to illustrating, Rosalind says, “I tend to complete each picture before moving to the next one. Sometimes there are perspectives that I can’t work out. For example, the picture on page 14 in which the Frog Princess is jumping down from the royal balcony took me ages. I actually made little sculpture clay heads of the prince, his bodyguard and the queen. Faces look so different from different angles. I’ve learned of the magic of mirrors. Sometimes a drawing just doesn’t look quite right, but it ‘s difficult to see quite where the error lies. But viewing the drawing differently, through a mirror, magically jolts the perceptions and the problem is revealed.”
Picture books, even fractured fairy tales, require research. “Out of interest, I borrowed a lot of library books on costume. Over five hundred years of medieval life, styles changed dramatically, not to mention differences between classes and between countries. I’ve actually mixed periods.”
“I work a lot, but I guess I’m really slow. I go up to my desk every day except one day a week when I pot, a wonderful therapy. I rent space in a studio which is nice because I meet other people. I have a wheel and am hoping in the near future to buy my own kiln. It’s good to have something constructive to do when I’m having problems writing or drawing. I have a lovely attic space where I work. I’m gradually acquiring all sorts of amazing things, like a scanner which will make sending off manuscripts easier. I used to photograph the art or get color copies made which is very expensive.”
“I have four or five stories more or less written up. I find the writing quite hard in terms of creating language that is clear and simple and yet interesting. It’s so easy for it to fall flat. My initial writing tends to be much too long winded, and I am getting better at ruthless cutting. As soon as I’ve got the story idea worked out, I play around dividing it into pages and thinking about the pictures and how I can have a different action or setting on each page. Right from the start really, I’m working the two things together.”
Source: Profile by Dave Jenkinson/Canadian Review of Materials
If I only had the money…Matisse is one of the truly original artists ever and one of the pillars in my art pantheon. Just to gaze at his work and study the movement of his lines and how sure and spontaneous they are is an inspiration.
An important ink and brush drawing by Henri Matisse will be offered in the forthcoming Œuvres sur Papier sale on 23 March in Paris. Considered to be one of the finest examples of the artist’s last works on paper, Visage will appear at auction for the first time, having been in a private collection since its acquisition from the family of the artist in 1976. Drawing was always central to the artist’s oeuvre, and whether working in oil paint, ink or collage, his exploration and representation of form needed very few marks to convey a powerful image. Characterised by calligraphic brushstrokes, the image bears the hallmarks of Matisse’s assured brevity of line. As his daughter Marguerite Duthuit mentions in the certificate of authenticity, this work “…belongs to the group of the very last drawings by Henri Matisse.”
HENRI MATISSE, VISAGE, 1952. ESTIMATE: €800,000—1,200,000. © 2017 SUCCESSION H. MATISSE.
In fact, by the latter half on the 1940s, the artist had largely abandoned painting because of the physical toll it begun to take. During this period, he has taken up residence at the Hôtel Régina in Nice, where he spent long periods bedridden, yet still compelled to make work. He turned his attentions to working with paper using different mediums, and most famously his colourful cut-outs. Many of these pieces were produced with the help of his studio assistants Lydia Delectorskaya and Jacqueline Duhême, who alongside offering practical support, sometimes posed for Matisse – becoming the subject of some of his most iconic portraits.
VISAGE HANGING IN THE DINING ROOM OF MATISSE’S ROOM IN THE HÔTEL RÉGINA, NICE, 1952. © 2017 SUCCESSION H. MATISSE.
Visage hung on the walls of the hotel room Matisse called home for several years. This elegant large-scale drawing – thickly brushed in India ink – demonstrates his innate ability to capture the nuances of facial expression with a few strokes. The viewer’s eye is drawn immediately to the centre of the paper, locked into a confident gaze, accompanied by a wry smile. Visage is a testament to his long-standing fascination with the very act of drawing – stripped back to its purest form. As the art historian Pierre Schneider points out, the brush drawings of this period are in fact interchangeable with the paintings of the same name: “which only goes to prove they have the same identity. These large dazzling black and white sheets of paper are Matisse’s last paintings” (Pierre Schneider, Matisse, New York, 1984, pp. 652-654).
HENRI MATISSE, GRAND VISAGE (MASQUE), 1952. © 2017 SUCCESSION H. MATISSE.
A photograph by Lydia Delectorskaya taken in the rooms of the Hôtel Régina in 1952 shows Visage hung high in the top corner of Matisse’s living room, above a frieze of paper cut-outs. On the subject of the 1950s ink and brush portraits, Matisse himself wrote: “These drawings spring up in one piece, made of elements without any apparent link with the analytic thought which preceded them. The multiplicity of feelings expressed in each of them seems impossible to capture so much the speed. ith which they join together is great. I am absolutely convinced that they represent the goal of my curiosity.”
MAIN IMAGE: HENRI MATISSE, VISAGE, 1952. ESTIMATE: €800,000—1,200,000.
The power and the drama in Gevinson’s work is readily apparent. It draws you into the period and delivers a darkened approach to the stark reality of war. That being said the artistic quality of his work elevates the imagery to the quality of timeless. If you know nothing about the first world war or the state of the world during those times the art he created takes you there and delivers the goods.
First shown at the ground-breaking 1916 show at London’s Leicester Galleries, Returning to the Trenches is one of C.R.W. Nevinson’s most recognised prints, and one of the most iconic images of life on the Western Front in the First World War. It leads a fascinating group of prints by the artist featured within the Made In Britain auction in London on 5 April; a sale that focuses on British creativity across the past century.
NEVINSON IN HIS UNIFORM, LATE 1914.
Like his close contemporary Paul Nash, subject of a major retrospective currently on at Tate Britain, Nevinson witnessed life on the Western Front at first hand, enlisting in the Friends Ambulance Unit in late 1914. Sent home in 1915, Nevinson began to record his impressions of the conflict via the medium of paint, pencil, pen and ink and prints – works which today are considered some of the most important depictions of the conflict.
C.R.W. NEVINSON, RETURNING TO THE TRENCHES, 1916, ESTIMATE £50,000–70,000.
Nevinson’s work struck a chord with both public and critics alike; achieved through the very successful synthesis of realism and modernism, and the body of printed works which he produced from 1916 have, like those of Nash as well as the many poets of the period, become the visual signifier of the conflict for later generations.
C.R.W. NEVINSON, SWOOPING DOWN ON A TAUBE, 1917, ESTIMATE £8,000–12,000.
Nevinson made use of different techniques, mediums and materials, often producing a pastel or pencil drawing, alongside a painting as well as an etching or lithograph of very similar compositions. The choice of medium on each occasion produced a subtle and slight alteration in the emotional impact of the composition, and Nevinson’s etchings possess a particular intimacy, as seen in the group of works featured within the Made In Britain sale.
C.R.W. NEVINSON, BRITAIN’S EFFORTS AND IDEALS: MAKING AIRCRAFT: SWOOPING DOWN ON A TAUBE, 1917, ESTIMATE £7,000–9,000.
To look at these images, over a century after their inception, you are drawn into the brutality and devastating loss of human life that the First World War witnessed. And, as with the work of Nash, Stanley Spencer or Mark Gertler you see the power that artists have always had in capturing these momentous social events; events which have shaped the course of modern life.
NEVISNOSN IN FRONT OF HIS AMBULANCE.
The Made In Britain auction is in London on 5 April
Now that I have your attention I’ll admit that this photo I took has nothing to do with whether Millenials are hooked on Comics or Graphic Novels. However, it is in line with what captures their eyes and appeals to their “hit me with your best shot” sensibility.
The explosion of imagery in our society in the last 25 years via internet and mass media has made it difficult to capture the interest of anyone without assaulting their senses. Colorful, disturbing and fantastical art or photography is king.
Perhaps it’s always been this way and only now with access to seemingly everything from around the world at lightening speed we are seeing things that were only available to those who scoured libraries, museums or newsstands.
This is the world Millenials have grown up in. This is normal. Is it any different for Boomers who grew up hooked on TV, who see the role as if it’s a TV series unfolding before there eyes. Perhaps this is the reason Donald Trump is so appealing. He’s reality star who has cast himself in the biggest reality series now on TV, The Presidential Election!
So, is Millenial fascination with with popular culture pastimes a problem or merely part of the progression of our society? As an artist I think anyone who spends part of their time reading comics, graphic novels or playing X-Box is healthy as long as their time is balanced out between this activity and the rest of life. If they’re sitting in front of a computer screen dressed in pajamas all day and eating Cheetos™ by the handful then perhaps they have a problem.
Below is an article that gives insight into Millenial behavior when it comes to popular culture…
Saul DeGrew (Mother Jones) surveys the various complaints people have about the Millennial generation. Here’s one:
Another part of the Millennial complaint brigade is complaining about how they are still into videogames, comic books, and other activities from their childhood….I admit that I find this aspect of the Millennials staying Kids debate to be a bit troublesome but that is probably my own snobbery and cultural elitism coming in more than anything else. I don’t quite understand how explosion and bang wow movies are still big among a good chunk of the over-30 set.
Forget videogames: that’s a huge industry that spans all generations these days. Their popularity says nothing about arrested adulthood. But I was curious: just how many Millennials are still reading comic books? Not just “interested” in comics or willing to see the latest X-Men movie. DeGrew may not like “bang wow” movies, but they’ve been a pretty standard part of Hollywood’s product mix forever, and the current fad for superhero bang wow movies doesn’t say much of anything about Millennial culture in particular.
So: how many actual readers of comic books are there among Millennials? I don’t know, but here’s a guess:
- Diamond Comic Distributors sold about 84 million comics in 2013. Diamond is damn near a monopoly, but it’s not a total monopoly, and that number is only for the top 300 titles anyway. So let’s round up to 100 million.
- That’s about 8 million per month. Some comic fans buy two or three titles a month, others buy 20 or 30. A horseback guess suggests that the average fan buys 5-10 per month.
- That’s maybe 1.5 million regular fans, give or take. If we figure that two-thirds are Millennials, that’s a million readers.
- The total size of the Millennial generation is 70 million. But let’s be generous and assume that no one cares if teenagers and college kids are still reading comics. Counting only those over 22, the adult Millennial population is about 48 million.
- So that means about 2 percent of adult Millennials are regular comic book readers. (If you just browse through your roomie’s stash sporadically without actually buying comics, you don’t count.)
I dunno. I’d say that 2 percent really isn’t much. Sure, superheroes pervade popular culture in a way they haven’t before, though they’ve always been popular. Adults watched Superman on TV in the 50s, Batman on TV in 60s, and Superman again on the big screen in the 80s. But the rise of superhero movies in the 90s and aughts has as much to do with the evolution of special effects as with superheroes themselves. Older productions couldn’t help but look cheesy. Modern movies actually make superheroes look believable. Science fiction movies have benefited in the same way.
In any case, superheroes may be a cultural phenomenon of the moment—just ask anyone who tries to brave the San Diego Comic-Con these days—but even if you accept the argument that reading comics is ipso facto a marker of delayed adulthood1, the actual number of Millennials who do this is pretty small. So chill out on the comics, Millennial haters.
The route you take in life is yours and yours alone. You are responsible for its outcome. Approaching the new year reflect on the path and decide if you’ve done enough to become the best person you can be. This is a photo of the spot I start my 6 mile run every week. Each time I approach it I know this is not just a path to perform some exercise it is symbolic of my will to continue the journey and try my best to perform at a high level.
Below are powerful paragraphs of thought from Deepak Chopra.
Go on be cynical, scoff at anything that smacks of religious fervor or reaching altered consciousness any other way than getting stoned on some kind of legal or illegal drug. It doesn’t matter it works for those who want it to work and it doesn’t cost you a cent. I’ve done both and the power of your own consciousness is far more awesome than anything artificial you can take. My life has changed by tapping into that strength, visualizing what you want and who you want to be. Then when the opportunity presents itself (and it always does) you are prepared to act even when you don’t realize you are. The trick is managing that. Once the thought and desire has materialized it needs to be managed properly or it will fade faster than stone wash blue jeans. So read on if you dare or click onto another topic. The choice in life is always yours.
eAdapted from Power, Freedom, and Grace by Deepak Chopra (Amber Allen, 2006)
In cosmic consciousness we are still in this world–-waking dreaming, and sleeping— and yet we are connected to our source in waking, dreaming and sleeping. Like a light at the door that shines inside the room and outside the room, we are in both places. When this happens, synchronicity, chance encounters and hidden clues increase. We start to understand the power of intention. We start to watch our internal dialogue, and we say, I know that how I speak to myself actually causes things to change in my physiology, in my world.
In cosmic consciousness, we find that relationship is the most important thing in life; everything in life is a confluence of relationships. We begin to see that everything is a balance between feminine and masculine energies, the yin and yang, and anytime there is more of one than theother, we are out of balance. Right now, we need to reawaken the feminine because the dominance of the masculine has led to belligerence, arrogance, and aggression, the very problems we see in the world right now.
In cosmic consciousness, we are aware that we are not the physical body, nor are we the mind and all the roles we play. We are the silent witness, and a sense of freedom and liberation comes out of this awareness. We are involved in our roles, and yet we are free at the same time. We recognize that after death our spirit will continue to play other roles,and we feel more ease. As we abide in cosmic consciousness and allow it to blossom, the universe plays itself through us, and the whole dance of life becomes effortless.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the -gifts-of-cosmic-consciousness.html#ixzz1MBEvlDnG
I discovered this fantastic little studio while reaching out to other artists on Linkedin.. (A great source of networking BTW)
I traded emails with Angela Navarra who was kind enough to suggest some reps for me to call. The least I can do is publicize her work. so here goes…
They are a tiny design shop based in Northern NJ with a deep love of making clever, delightful products. The hard workers behind
the scene are Angela, Dominic & Lola the Cat. Since all three came
together in 2009 they knew it was the start of something grrrreat
(Tony the Tiger style)!
Meet the staff…
Angela Navarra, art director, doodler, and chief fancy-pants. She is also a freelance illustrator, designer, and hand-letterer under the name Signorina Navarra.
Dominic Tancredi, head developer, doodad maker, and hoodie enthusiast runs a web and mobile development studio with his twin brother Tom, called Dom & Tom.
And of course Lola the Cat, the resident nap aficionado
They’d love to hear from you! Whether you would like to discuss
a project or just tell them how
aren’t as magical as everyone thinks they are – They are all ears!
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2015 9:45 pm | Updated: 11:51 pm, Fri Mar 20, 2015.
Children’s book illustrator Tomie dePaola grew up with “a mother who read to me every night of my life. “She read what was available then,” he said, “which were the folk tales.”
DePaola’s own books have been bringing parents and children together for 50 years, and have been honored with a Caldecott Medal, among many other awards. He will be at the Wenham Museum on Sunday as part of “Draw Me A Story,” an exhibit of illustrations from children’s books that will be on display until April 27. “The exhibit is in the lobby, and there will be a book signing there,” said Cynthia Novotny, merchandise manager at the museum. “In the Burnham Hall area, there will be art activities.” Other illustrators in the exhibit include Jesse Watson, Lisa Cinelli, Katia Wish, Elizabeth Wolff and Cyndy Szekeres Prozzo, several of whom will be present on Sunday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The event is being held for the fourth time, and celebrates the important roles that books play in children’s lives. “We thought if we could show the original work and have parents and children meet the illustrators, it makes a better connection for them” with books, Novotny said. The connections that parents and children can make, over the pages of a book, can last a lifetime.