Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Intriguing New Graphic Novel about Nicola Tesla

My multi-talented agent, Abigail Samoun, and fellow Red Fox Literary illustrator, Elizabeth Haidle, have an exciting project in the works!Their book, Mind Afire, is about scientist/inventor Nicola Tesla; and should appeal to children's book enthusiasts, graphic novel collectors, science geeks, steampunk fans, librarians, teachers and, of course, kids!  When Abigail and Elizabeth discovered they were both intrigued by the story of this eccentric, turn of the (20th) century genius, they decided his story would be perfect for a graphic novel. I think so too. I love Elizabeth's illustrations and can't wait to read the finished text.

Check out the book's animated trailer, introductory video by the author and illustrator, and sample pages from the book at Kickstarter. Abi and Elizabeth have already reached their initial goal, but are hoping for more pre-sales so they can make it an even more fabulous book!

Mind Afire: The Visions of Nicola Tesla is pre-selling on Kickstarter throughout March!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Inspiration Boards at the Illustrators' Table

I am now a member of Carol Heyer’s fabulous artist-foodie group, which meets once a month. The food and the discussions are always different, always interesting, and always delicious!

On our new group blog, the Illustrator’s Table, I have just posted about my love of artist inspiration boards. I have had boards in the past, covered with whatever took my eye and made me happy. I knew I wanted to be an artist since childhood and started early saving favorite art images from magazines. This was during the heyday of great magazine story illustrators, and my fashion-artist mother, my sisters and I all collected our favorite artists’ work in a large black scrapbook. As a teenager I filled filing cabinets with research ‘scrap’ in my mother’s studio.

Today I still save research material. As I work on a new manuscript I begin collecting items and envisioning the way I will design the dummy. I look for images to inspire setting, clothing and color palette. I fill folders with what I find, each folder marked with the corresponding page in the dummy or with general descriptions such as horses, carts, flowers or jugglers. And the best items go up on the board.

The folders are vital -- but the inspiration boards!  They’re fun and make me happy and excited about my project.  They keep me on target, and are an aid to sustaining the flavor of the story and the emotion I wish to evoke with my illustrations.