Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Kind of amazing when I look at these all put together. I got a nice delivery from OwlKids last night - two more translations of ‘Why?’ This brings the total to eleven translations - including Russian, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, Finnish, Turkish, Slovenian, French, Polish and Chinese. Plus OwlKids put out a 10 year anniversary edition and a recently issued paperback. So I want to say thank you and congratulations to the author Catherine Ripley, OwlKids and Sheba Meland for pulling the whole thing together. 
It's pretty cool to know the book is being enjoyed in so many countries around the world. There were a few surprises along the way. In the Arabic version somebody changed the art. I totally understand cultural and religious sensibilities but I was surprised to open the book to see the addition of long sleeves and skirts on female appendages, and the complete removal of pigs in the farm. Next time I’d be happy to do it myself! The Chinese edition is divided into 3 books, for some reason using another artist on the cover! On the Russian version they chose different cover art as well, with a dinosaur drinking a glass of water. For the eagle eyed, I've included a translation of another book I illustrated called ‘How?’, a follow up to ‘Why?’ Let’s hope it continues the tradition and has as many translations. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Leaves on cobblestone

    It's almost halfway through October and I'm winding down my time in Berlin. This city is so beautiful in the fall - massive trees with leaves scattering on the cobblestone (real cobblestone!) Kindergarten kids being ferried to and fro in little kiddie karts. It seems very German because the teachers peddle groups of 5 or 6 kids through the streets. Back in Canada there would be rules about helmets or capacity and the kids would have to be piled into a city bus. 
    As many times as I've been to Berlin I still love this city. I'm going to be sorry to come home. But don't feel too bad for me, I love Vancouver so I'll get over it pretty quick. 
    I've had the good fortune to be able to do some work on my book that takes place here (in Tiergarten, the Stanley Park of Berlin.) There's something pretty special about being able to work on a project in the location it takes place. 
    And of course being somewhere new can stimulate the creative juices. I've got seeds for a few book ideas but the only way to see if they will really turn into anything (or at least the way I work) is to put them aside for a bit. I wonder how other freelancers work. My technique is a rotation of delving into new possibilities, followed by storing those away while I work on current projects. And the cycle goes on. The trick is to always have 3 burners going: one on the boil, one simmering and one you're out at the market gathering ingredients to see what you can make - which is clearly not a burner. I seem to have mixed my metaphors again. 
    I've been having fun working on a couple of Apps too - something very new for me. These are math apps for young kids. I guess you could say I did a bit of animation but it's very simple. So let's just say, inching my way into the world of Apps.

This is from the Tiergarten book,  out next year with Groundwood. 

This is from 'Eggstravagant!' the new App written by the lovely Lori Sherritt-Fleming for the TV entertainment company, GAPC.

And this is another cartoon for the orange menace below. I do have to give credit to Mr. Trump - he has given cartoonists and illustrators no end of new ideas just by being himself. If only he weren't a real danger it would be amusing. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Squirrels in Paris in August

I'm sitting here drawing squirrels in Paris and realized this is the kind of thing I should probably write about. Doing what I do, and being able to travel is pretty amazing and I have to remind myself how lucky I am.
On top of drawing squirrels in Paris I'm staying in an amazing building built in 1901, complete with a separate entrance up the back stairs for the servants and 8' windows in every room. It's  kind of hard to leave and see the sights. But I'm a trooper and I managed to get out and take some pics. 
I had planned to take an actual holiday here - which is something freelancers know very little about. But when it came right down to it I wasn't able to and brought my work gear with me. But to be honest, drawing squirrels in Paris, and getting paid for it is as good as any holiday I can think of. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring 2017

As always it's been too long since I wrote so here goes. 
   I've got two new books coming out. First, 'Federica', a story inspired by the daughter of a wonderful friend. I was lucky enough to work with Groundwood Books, winner of Best Children's Publisher of the Year, North America 2016.
   Also coming in September is 'See What We Eat' the fourth book in the 'Five Friends' series by Kids Can Press (who just won Best Children's Publisher of the Year, North America 2017.) Guess I'm in pretty good company. 
   I'm happily back home for awhile but already scouting around for a place in Berlin. Hoping I can be there for Berlin Art Week in September. It's an amazing 'all over the city' exhibition of brilliant (and sometimes not so brilliant) modern art.