Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This is my submission for the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrator's Tomie dePaola award. The submissions are judged by illustrator and children's author Tomie dePaola and the winner goes to New York for the New York SCBWI conference to receive the award, which is $1000 in gift certificates for art supplies.

And a detail:

This is the passage I was to illustrate:

"From the pleasant town of Maienfeld a footpath leads up through shady green pastures to the foot of the high peaks that gaze down solemnly and majestically on the valley below. Anyone who sets out in the path will soon catch the keen fragrance of low mountain herbs and grasses, for the footpath rises straight and steep to the Alps.

One bright, sunny June morning, a tall, sturdy-looking young woman, evidently a native of the mountains, was climbing this narrow path. She led by the hand a little girl, whose cheeks glowed as if there were a ruddy flame under deep-tanned skin. And what wonder? In spite of the hot June sun, the child was bundled up as if she were to confront the sharpest frost. She could not have been five years old, but it was impossible to tell anything about her natural figure, for she wore two or three dresses, one over the other, and a big red cotton scarf around her neck; her feet were lost in heavy hobnailed shoes, and the little girl looked quite shapeless as she made her hot and laborious way up the mountain."

The style is a little different for me, inspired by Scandinavian designs--I know, Switzerland is not a Scandinavian country, and Heidi is Swiss--my old Swiss room mate gave me a hard time when I first met her for getting Switzerland and Sweden mixed up, so it would be pretty lame of me to screw that up again. My geography sucks!

OK, I kind of did forget that Switzerland wasn't a Scandinavian country. But I was already pretty excited about the whole Scandinavian thing and decided to go with it.

Anyway, I looked at a lot of scandinavian designs, and was going for a very flat look. Other inspirations included Mary Blair, One of Disney's best designers, and Gustav Tenngren. What I love about Tenngren is that he can go from very very simple and flat, like the work he did for The Little Golden Books series, to much more rendery and illustrative, but it all somehow ends up looking like Tenngren. So I hope this still looks like me!


  1. It's charming. Good luck!

  2. I love this! The little girl with the giant scarf is adorable. :)

  3. Thanks TIn! The colors are a little more vibrant on my website--for some reason blogger tends to wash out my colors a little. But I'm glad you like it!

  4. Yea I noticed that too. And it also pixelates the images in some cases which is somewhat frustrating.

    I also want to mention that I really enjoy the life drawings in your posts below, especially the one of your dad.

    congrats on all the new work you've been cranking out over the past year. You are really finding that 'deep voice' in your artwork now.

    Keep it up buddy!! :D


  5. Thanks Tin! I like that. "Deep voice". I am so using that! I think you're right. My comfort level with my work is so much better. Just my confidence that what I'm doing is going work out and come to a satisfying result. Also, all around, I'm having more fun!