December 31, 2019
September Kidlit Calendar + an Interview with Author/Illustrator Kristin Wauson
September 7, 2019
FREE August Kidlit Calendar + Interview with Illustrator Lynnor Bontigao
August 3, 2019
Free JUNE Kidlit Calendar + Illustrator Interview
May 31, 2019
FREE Downloadable May Kidlit Calendar
April 29, 2019
April FREE Kidlit Calendar + Interview with Fresh Princess Illustrator, Gladys Jose!
March 31, 2019
March Free Kidlit Calendar Page + Interview with Tarsila Krüse!
February 28, 2019
FREE - FEBRUARY Kitlit Calendar
January 31, 2019
FREE! - Kidlit Calendar
January 8, 2019
Words with Katie Carberry: Where the Magic Happens
May 10, 2017
How to Thank a Book
May 4, 2017
October 28, 2016
August 30, 2016
My twins just read the Harry Potter series - seven books and one play.
My whole rabble of wildebeests is now running through the house with pointy sticks, saying, "Wingardium Leviosa!" and "Expelliarmus."
Aside from the bad parenting of letting children run with pointy objects,
I myself would not mind a wand for a few things in life.
1. The dishes. (A den full of four hungry wildebeests and their keepers can be very full of dishes)
2. The laundry. (Again with the den analogy.)
3. The writing and the art.
Wouldn't it be fun to flick a pointy stick and magic oneself into a brilliant writer and/or illustrator?
So, really, where is that magic spell?
Wouldn't it make everything easier?
So, I once had the opportunity to hear picture book illustrator Renata Liwska and her husband Mike Kerr speak at a SCBWI conference in Seattle.
Wide eyed and wonderstruck,
I wanted to know the tricks and magic spells
that would turn me into a picture book illustrator exactly like Renata Liwska.
Ever do that?
Well, maybe not. But I did.
So, we all of us watched thirstily as Renata and Mike unpacked for the talk.
They pulled out a motherlode of black sketchbooks and laid them in a mountain in front of us.
Each sketchbook was filled with perfect illustrations.
Perfect! Pristine in skill and finish!
How was there not even one scratched out, loopy mess up in the entire collection? How?
Renata is soft-spoken, humble, and has such a kind smile.
Her husband Mike pointed to the pile of books and told us Renata's magic spell:
Sketch every, every day.
Where's the magic in that?
Two years later, it's beginning to sink in.
It isn't an instant change, but each drop in the bucket is a spell of sorts.
Each drop is a growing of your eyes and ears and hands,
every sketch is an observation, a study of the world,
each page is a honing of your vision -
and therein you find the transformation!
So, my friends, let me share some magic spells for improving your craft in a nutshell:
1. Show up. Every day.
(Writers also call this "butt-in-chair.")
2. Sketch. Sketch. Sketch.
(Or insert your passion here. Bake cakes. Practice soccer. Juggle fruit.)
3. Write. Write. Write.
(Especially important for aspiring authors.)
4. Read. Read. Read.
(Observe and learn from the world relating to your craft. If you want to be a picture book illustrator, by golly, read picture books like a sieve!)
6. Every, every day.