Pete and Repeat, In the City

-Another teaser from DOTTY: the imaginary-friend-mini-Lochnesses (in mobile fish tanks), Pete and Repeat. They belong to Max, the adventurous newspaper-capped explorer in Ida's class. Feverishly finishing two titles, stories that I adore and have enjoyed every minute making pictures for.

I arrived home at 3 this morning (yikes!) from a little book trip to New York where I attended The 2009 Original Art Show reception at the Society of Illustrators. It was great to see the walls decked with beautiful originals from this past year's published books and say hello to illustrator and publishing buddies old and new (special congrats to Scott, Dan, Lauren and to Brian for the silver medal for his exquisite Moonshot!) The show is up until November 25th, and if you're into the art of the picture book, it's always worth a trip.

It was a treat to hear Mr. Chris Van Allsburg speak on accepting his lifetime achievement award too. He mentioned The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, which forever changed the way I looked at picture books, even as a child, and helped me along my career path (to be an "ileastratider"). I appreciated his thoughts on "quietness" in children's books, and about bookmaking with for an ageless audience. I remember shutting his hardcovers, decked out in my best hot-green slouch socks and side ponytail circa 1989, and knowing I had to make books. I was in second grade and I had no idea how I might get there, but I hoped I would.

On my way out of the show last night, I even mumbled a spectacularly awkward sentence his way, thanking him for his inspiration, and received a "good luck" from him in return! It was also special to be there when Dr. Seuss (Ted Geisel) was awarded posthumously and hear a bit about his life and amazing bookmaking career. Big titles and big dreams in a very little gallery and in little books for that matter. I think I will always be in love with picture books.

Now we're back home in our small city, and it's back to work. Hope all is well ♥