The busy-ness of this past summer has blended right into Fall for me. The only break was seeing my daughter off to college again and waving good-bye to my son as he boarded the bus to his sophomore year in high school. It is all good busy and it will be helpful to make a list here on our Potato blog:
I am in the final stages of my next book, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAY TODAY, written by the author, Mem Fox. Above is the first spread at the start of the story. It has been a very challenging book to illustrate, which is precisely why I said yes to the manuscript in the first place. Mem wrote a brilliant bedtime story that rings true about a child asking his stuffed animals about their day. It is challenging because it is left to the illustrator to tell the story of the day in pictures and somehow have them all relate. After many months of visual storytelling, I think I am finally there. Left to do are a few edits and the cover. What a journey it has been.
Good-bye Grimm, Hello Wild West! Every summer Circus Juventas presents its most advanced performers in a show with a different theme each year. Last summer's show was based on six fairytales by the Grimm Brothers. This year's theme is going to be the rompin' stompin', cowboy lassoin' Wild West. As the script writer for Circus Juventas's Summer show, I have already been in many meetings with the Artistic Director and her assistant, as well as the Director of next year's show and the clowning coach in order to create a coherent storyline that will run throughout the circus acts. The roles are cast, the outline is almost there, the plot thickens, and I was up at 3:30 AM last night rolling about while ideas for the perfect ending floated in the dark. I love writing the script for these talented young performers. Next, we will be meeting for the set design! I work with another designer to plan and create the set that will illustrate the story. Set design and scenic painting become book illustration larger than life for me!
I have just returned from a visit to Southern California where I was the featured Author at the A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands. The entire day was a celebration of reading! Activities inspired by my books were offered for all the families who attended and I spoke about my process, folded origami with everyone, and signed books! To read more about my experience of the Smiley Library go here. I have already presented quite a bit this fall and right now I am trying to take advantage of a few weeks of quiet for writing and beginning my next picture book: DEER DANCER, written by the author Mary Lyn Ray. I have illustrated two of her books before, MUD and RED RUBBER BOOT DAY. I am looking forward to beginning new sketches. I always love beginnings and endings~ it's the middle where things get sticky!