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David Macaulay: Artist at Play by Will Hillenbrand
MacArthur fellow David Macaulay was born in England in 1946; his family moved to New Jersey in 1957. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), spending his fifth year in Rome. He then earned a degree in architecture. The book that inaugurated his brilliant series on architecture and engineering was the 1973 Cathedral(revisited twenty-five years later). Macaulay’s many awards include the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards; the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award; the Christopher Award; and the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award. Will Hillenbrand, himself a renowned illustrator, visited Macaulay in his studio in Vermont.
Richard McLaughlin: Fugu World Tour and Beyond by Kenneth Smith
Richard McLaughlin is a man for all seasons: writer, poet, potter, ceramic sculptor, musician, educator, and artist. “At first glance,” he says, “music, poetry, pottery, sculpture, and painting may not seem interrelated, yet for me they are.” Indeed, his art is informed by all of these disciplines enabling him to express a broad range of content, style, and even whimsy.
Melissa Sweet: Playing With Pieces by Will Hillenbrand
The nearly one hundred fiction and nonfiction books illustrated by Melissa Sweet have won every possible award—the Caldecott Honor, the NCTE Notable, the New York Times Best Illustrated, the Parents’ Choice, etc. Sweet’s collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and Madison Park Greetings; and on Smilebox.com and eeBoo Toys, which were honored with the Oppenheim and Parents’ Choice awards. She has written three books, including Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, which won the 2012 Sibert Medal, the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, and the Cook Prize, in addition to being named an ALA Notable Book. Will Hillenbrand talked to her in her studio in Rockport, Maine.
Mark Crilley: Artist, Author and YouTube "Dad" by Neely McLaughlin
Mark Crilley, known for such hits as Akiko, Mikki Falls, and Brody’s Ghost, is tremendously popular online, with about two million YouTube subscribers and a strong presence in other platforms. “My theory of online stuff is that you have to go where the people are rather than run around trying to lure people to your little ivory-tower website or blog off in some corner of the Internet,” he explains. He has gone where the people are, and the people have gone to him.
Rami Niemi: International Illustrator by Luke McLaughlin
Rami Niemi has illustrated countless articles for a laundry list of internationally recognized publications. He has provided illustrations for Google and the US and UK versions of the technology magazine Wired. His work has been featured in the magazine Men’s Health as well as the New York Times. He has provided his own brand of colorful, nostalgic comic book inspired images with a smooth, modern, computer-produced vector finish for all of these and countless more publications around the world.
Tomie dePaola: The Delightful Responsibility to Enthrall & Entertain by Will Hillenbrand
Among Tomie dePaola’s many awards are the Smithson Medal from the
Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of
Minnesota, and the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association.
The American Library Association has honored him with a Caldecott Honor
Book, a Newbery Honor Book, and the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder award for
“substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”
An old friend of Tomie’s, Will Hillenbrand, the author and illustrator of award-winning books like What a Treasure!, Traveling to Tondo, Spring Is Here, and Louie!,
first met Tomie twenty-seven years ago when Will and his wife, Jane,
attended the opening reception for a show of dePaola’s work in Nashua,
New Hampshire. The next day they took dePaola’s workshop, “So You Want
To Write a Children’s Book.” In November 2012, Will and Tomie chatted in
dePaola’s two-hundred-year-old barn studio in New Hampshire.
Mikey Burton: "Midwesterny" Editorial Illustration by Luke McLaughlin
Mikey Burton started out as a designer. He studied graphic design at
Kent State University in Ohio, learning design to make brochures and
brand guidelines and logos, and ended up being an illustrator. He
approaches illustration from the mind-set of a designer: “I’m always
trying to make the illustration process as simple as possible, to use as
minimal an amount of information as possible, because I am not an
illustrator,” says Burton. Despite his claim of not being an
illustrator, his illustrations with a self-described “Midwesterny
Aesthetic” have found their way into the top ranks of internationally
renowned newspapers and magazines.
John Howe: Fantasy Illustrator by Neely McLaughlin
For the past five years, illustrator John Howe has been based in New
Zealand, where he has been immersed in creating the fantasy world of
J.R.R. Tolkein, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, for director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit
films. “I’m sort of concerned about that because it’s been five years
where I haven’t actually worked,” he says. While he may not have had
much time for what he characterizes as his own work, he has certainly
been busy. The complexity and time pressures of film production have
kept him fully occupied, though he does have breaks, about six weeks a
year, in which to return home to Switzerland. “We rushed from winter to
winter for five years,” he says ruefully. “I figure I’ve got five
summers on credit that I need to collect, but I’m not entirely sure
Protecting Yourself When Consigning Artwork: A Q&A With Tad Crawford by John A. Parks
I recently received a frantic telephone call from a representative
of a gallery that I’ve been working with for more than 30 years. An
ugly legal dispute had broken out among the family who owns the gallery,
and a legal executor for the deceased former owner was threatening to
remove all works unless it could be proven that they were on
consignment. I suddenly had to provide written proof of consignment
agreements or lose the artworks.
For many years
we had done business on a handshake; paperwork was rare or non-existent.
I couldn’t believe that people with whom I had done business for so
long and whom I regarded as friends could be putting me through this.
Fortunately, in this case, I had somehow had enough sense to write up a
consignment list for the paintings in question and asked the
receptionist to sign it when I delivered the work. This turned out to be
enough to recover my paintings, but I was lucky. As artists, we often
give an art dealer possession of artworks and must then rely on him or
her for their safekeeping, their sale at an appropriate price, and the
remittance of payment—and the dealer offers no pledge as security. What
then, can an artist do to protect himself or herself in such
transactions? I recently spoke with Tad Crawford, an expert on the legal
rights of artists, to find out.
Nancy Reyner: The Optimistic Artist by Neely McLaughlin
Artist and teacher Nancy Reyner chooses to be an optimist. For her, this
choice clearly shapes all she does. “To me, optimism is a muscle,” she
explains. Exercising a positive outlook is a way of life for Reyner. She
illustrates the importance of having a positive perspective by talking
about artists and color. “If we have fifty colors in front of us, we
zoom in on the colors we hate, and we say, ‘I’m having a lousy day,’”
she explains. For a painter like Reyner, honing in on unappealing colors
is a powerful illustration. Negative thinking negates the beauty of
color. An important point to Reyner is that, once established, negative
thinking reinforces itself. Nevertheless, the lovely, attractive colors
are still there, and, Reyner insists, we can choose to see them. “It’s
choice. The choices are out there,” she says.
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