Sunday, February 22, 2009


It was sunny here in Seattle yesterday. Today we're back to that nice drizzle. To mark the suns exit; stage left, here's an illustration from 'The Wonder Book'.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


As I work on developing the illustration style and feel for my new book, it seems that much of my energy is being spent on eliminating. During the first assault you throw everything at it, just to see the possibilities. Reminds me of trying on hats in a store. This is nuttin' but fun.

The more difficult endeavor is taking most of that cool stuff away. Winnowing it down to a meaningful, purposeful, deliberate design. The look should support, and hopefully enhance the story, not compete with it. Why use all colors when 3 would work better? Or perhaps one?

Decisions, decisions. Every inch of space a decision. Like mowing the lawn with tweezers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I am not a machine, this is not a factory

Some thoughts rattling around my head as I make the initial art sortie on my new book:

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." Coco Chanel

"The moment you know how to do something, you should stop doing them." Wolf Kahn

I have to remind myself to go towards the fear, the fear is telling me when I'm on to something new.

Wish me luck.

Monday, February 2, 2009

the folly of thinking

I am going through the process of minor rewrites on my story "Hugs from Pearl".

The story itself was put down all in a rush, as if it were a natural birth from my mind. (Or perhaps a belch from the brain.)

Unfortunately, rewriting requires judgement and intellect, probably the dullest combo around. The story can loose its soul pretty quickly if one is not vigilant.

I'm reminded of a zen-like poem:

A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg comes after which?"
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch
Considering how to run.
-- Anonymous

Curiously enough, I was hard-up against a change-resistant paragraph when I took a break to get some groceries. I hadn't walked two blocks before the solution slid into my consciousness.

This wasn't the first time that has happened to me. It seems walking turns OFF the brain. Or at least that part of the mind that sweats and struggles and over thinks and focuses on trivialities.

The analyzing mind. The editing mind. That impediment to the creative state.

The same is true I've found, while painting or drawing. By-passing the mind and opening up that conduit that flows from the senses to the hand. That is when honesty is achieved.

That's when it gets fun, too.