Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Fair @ The Brooklyn Museum

Looking for something to do this Saturday? I'll be taking part in this book fair at the Brooklyn Museum from 12-4pm. Start your holiday shopping early!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SQ + IQ Collaborations

My four year old son Isaiah and I collaborate on projects from time to time. For awhile, he was really interested in princess we created our own. Here's the cover and a few pages. My wife Selina, helped out as well. In addition to being the co-illustrator, Isaiah is the author.

Despite my attempts to control the process, Isaiah does whatever he wants with the art.

Often times, I am happily surprised by his choices. Selina drew the giant.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Jules at 7 Imp has done a feature for my new book WHO WILL I BE, LORD? Check it out here. Also, art from the book was included in the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators. The show will be up through Nov. 25th.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ghouls and Gourds 2009 - Brooklyn Botanic Gardens - Sunday Oct. 25th

If you're looking for something to do on a warm, sunny (fingers crossed) Sunday afternoon in Bklyn, I will be signing books along with 20 other authors and illustrators including Selina Alko, Gregory Christie, Paul Dubois Jacobs, Jennifer Swender, Peter Brown, David Ezra Stein, Javaka Steptoe, Deborah Gregory, Johan Olander, Shana Corey, Nina Crews, Zetta Elliott and others. In addition, there will live music, storytelling, and an awesome parade. Should be fun! Stop by and say hello.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dime Bag - Please Vote!!!

I've been asked to participate in Dime Bag 3, a group show of 200 artists. The idea is that each artist gets a 3"x 3" zip lock dime bag to fill with art. The art will be hung side by side in a grid-like fashion. The show will be on display at Giant Robot NYC. Anyway, I have two pieces but will only put one in the exhibit and want to solicit your opinion as to which one I should use. Here they are. You can let me know in the comments area which you prefer. Just for clarity, the top one is #1 and the bottom is #2. Thanks in advance!

Here's a pic of a Dime Bag show from 2002.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Interview

Jules of 7Imp has just posted a new interview with me. Its a good place to catch a glimpse of my studio, sketches, and some new work for upcoming projects.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Opening this Sunday at Hootenanny Art House.

Will have my first show alongside the lovely and talented Selina Alko. We'll both have prints and originals on the walls for sale along with our books. Hootenanny Art House
is a space that has music, art and dance classes for kids so bring your youngster and have a drink or two. Details on the image above!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good News from the Coretta Scott King Award Committee!

Okay, I admit, it's been a while since my last update, Oct. '08 in fact, but rest assured my pencils and paintbrushes have not been resting on their laurels! I recently finished a project for Random House, Who Will I Be, Lord?, set for an Oct. '09 pub date. It's a little different than most of my previous books, but more about it later. I'm also busy working on a couple other projects that will appear on bookshelves in 2010. But the real "giant" (hint, hint) news that I'm happy to report, is that I received the Coretta Scott King Award Honor for Before John Was A Giant! The call came early Monday morning Jan. 26th and I'm a little embarrassed to say that I was still in bed when a very enthusiastic Coretta Scott King Award committee announced the news over the phone.

Oh no, maybe I'm still sleeping and this is all a dream...The Coretta Scott King Award was given to Floyd Cooper for The Blacker The Berry. Kadir Nelson: We Are the Ship and Jerry Pinkney: The Moon Over Star were also given honors and Shadra Strickland won the John Steptoe New Talent Award for Bird. I'm so honored to be included with such talented people! The video for the announcements can be seen here - awards video. And if you're interested, here's a video of the ALA Committees calling the various award winners. View award calls here. - pretty cool.
In addition, Before John Was a Jazz Giant was also named an ALA Notable book for 2009.

Nobody's Family Is Going To Change

Barbara Grzeslo the designer of The Baby On The Way, my first picture book, recently asked me to illustrate the cover of Louise Fitzhugh's Nobody's Family Is Going To Change, a book that was written in the early 70's that the publisher wanted to give a fresh look to.Fitzhugh is most well known as the author of Harriet the Spy. If you're a fan of This American Life like I am, there's a really good episode based on the idea behind the book. Here's what they have to say about it. "On the surface, it sounds like a rather menacing title for a kids' book. But in fact, the story is about how kids can finally find peace if they stop hoping that their parents will ever be any different. The question is, though: is it true? Does anyone's family ever change?"
These are a few different versions of the sketch that was chosen for the cover as well as an early version of the final art.My sketches start with really rough thumbnails like the one above.

Once elements are established in the drawing I photocopy the sketch and make refinements to the photocopy with pencil and paint.

I usually make more than one copy so I can try different things and compare.

The publisher was worried that the art would be too blue so they asked me to give dimension to the buildings in the background as a way of getting rid of some of the blue.

And the final.