Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two different kids: both kinds of awesome.

Running around Park Slope one will see many different types of children, none of whom are expected to adhere to any type of conformity. Most seem to be allowed to dress themselves, much to my delight. Yesterday when returning from Prospect Park in a rather grueling heat index, I saw a little boy riding on top of a stroller canopy wearing a girl's one piece swim suit, Thomas the Train rain boots, and sporting a wicked sweat band. I'd assume the swimsuit belonged to his sister—a hand me down perhaps. I wasn't stupid enough to ask.

Anyway, this kid clearly ruled. If I was two I'd totally want to be his friend. Oddly, his parents did not look as awesome as he did. I had no desire to be their friends, Park Slope parents aren't really my bag. But that kid? That kid had it going on!

It's a good thing I do what I do, I like little kids a lot—they crack me up! I love that little non-gender conforming kid! I think he's great. He was probably the best thing I saw yesterday. Just the thought of that outfit can get me giggling for a few minutes. What an innovator.


I'm also fortunate that my job allows me to help some underprivileged kids out. Most of the time I can just send extra books to charities I know need them. But each Christmas season Harper gives its employees a ridiculous discount on all cataloged books and there's no limit to how many one can buy.

A few years ago my Aunt Laure put me in touch with one of her church's after school programs. I know this school has got a lot of awesome things going on, but the one I'm so proud to be apart of is their Spring Book Fair. With donations, and stretching the school's budget with my uber ridiculous discount, hundreds of quality books come together for this book fair. Each kid gets a free book, blanket or jammies for their very own to keep. They pick the book, they take it home—and while they are encouraged to share—it's difficult. Most of the time this is the only new thing they've got. For books to be so prized both makes my heart melt and break. I know what it means to love a story. I know what it means to be a kid and what a book can do for that kid who might not have much else. There isn't much I love more then reading... well besides sharing it with little wierd-o kids.

I got the pictures from the book fair today. Oh how I wish I could share them! If it weren't so creepy and uncool I'd post them all just so we could all look at those little excited faces! But instead I'll put up a selection of thank you cards that were also sent. A collection of my favorites:

One eye and an open mouth. Sweet side pony
I love you too, dot letters!

This one is hard to read but it cracked me up: Thank you very much for the book your nice very nice your the nicest lady I ever know.

Yea ya'll she called me lady, fancy that. Best thing I've seen today.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oh hey there!

Erm, yea I'm still around...and now new and improved!

Last December I started working in the Art Department, it's been a heck of a switch. Sometimes I feel like I'm going a bit backwards, removing myself from all things digital and returning to print media seems weird. But I've enjoyed learning (re-learning) what it takes to make a tangible object—but boy does it take a long time to produce a book! Even though I've been working since January I've only had one book come out in stores so far. As you can imagine it was a rather happy occasion:

Humid day, lay off the hair jokes.

That's me at the Barnes and Nobel in Mid-town with my first cover, Secret Circle: The Divide. I got thrown into this photo shoot the first week of work, and quickly got used to the craft services table. Not to mention the best (and nicest) photographer around. Plus models, make up artists, wardrobe fittings...print rules!

Since that photo shoot I've continued to work with amazing photographers, illustrators, handletterers (that's a term, right?) digital retouchers, art directors, creative directors, models—did I mention the authors?! Don't believe it, check out the pen names on the following (still unavailable, but ya'll should grab 'em this fall!) sweet projects:

Oh you read that correctly friend, NEIL GAIMAN.

Iacapo Bruno and Lauren Oliver?! I mean give me a break...beautiful illustration, amazing story.

I can't get over this series, I'm so jealous I'm not a 12 year old boy.

And of course the series all of you already pre-ordered on your favorite indie book seller internets:

So that's what I've been up to for the past few months. It's been a challenge, naturally. But there's something about the control and say I have in these projects I really enjoy. It's a bit overwhelming—I'm still on a learning curve. I'm not 100% sure this is the total fit, but I just got next season's list and it's just too good to be true:

Ramona Quimby reprints—Beverly Cleary.

If you would have told me this when I was 8 years old reading Ribsy in the back of my mom's powdered blue Chevy Nova without A/C in the parking lot of Michigan's Goff's grocery store (I truly remember this moment) I would have called you liar and pushed up my glasses in contempt. The first book I remember truly loving was The Giving Tree but people read me that book. I could read Ralph S. Mouse and Henry Huggins on my own and it was glorious...

I mean really.

If you want to check out more covers I'm on Behanced.


Friday, January 13, 2012


OMGosh I love this book trailer. I know it's super tacky to pump my own business here but it's just so cute! I got to work with an extremely awesome Senior Marketing Associate on this and I have to admit, when you work with someone who is like our friend Alana, good things happen.

I assembled the vector graphics in Illustrator (some are stock image, shh!) and then animated them in Flash. Finally our titles and transitions come in through good old iMovie. Soundtrack provided by the fine people at shockwave sounds and BAM! you got yourself a lovely book trailer.
For some silly reason I can't embed the video here, rats! It's worth the extra click thru, trust me!

I'll miss my time with Harper's Integrated Marketing Department. I got to do some really cool things there (see above). I also know that I wouldn't have learned all that I did in any other publishing house. Is this my little swan song to the last four years? More like the last showcase of a job I really, really, really enjoyed.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Where have you been?

Well let me tell you! I wanted to end my Marketing Design posts with an uber cool video I did for a book called LoveTorn. I thought to myself, how awesome would this be? I could show my last hoorah of digital design and then plow right into what I think is super rad: my new job as a Art Department cover designer. Ah how young and naive we were back in November.

I'm such an awesome worker I finished that book trailer way before the book will pub, which should be coming out later this month. So I can't put the video up—all three of you readers would just ruin it for everyone by reposting to your own blogs and social media sites. So let's do a good old fashioned teaser shall we? What better way to say goodbye to marketing?

Whenever I start a new project (digital or print) I always like to pick out a theme of colors that will be great for the project and anything that might surround it in the future. How will these colors look on a screen that has moving images? How will they look printed? And what are the HEX/RGB equivalents— Will I burn someone's eyes out, and if so, would that be a bad thing?

In LoveTorn our heroine is from India and moves to LA for some reason or another that I'm a bit unsure of. But how fun is India? What a great potential color palette to explore:

Click me to enlarge.

Since this project will be moving images (fancy that, a moving picture show!) we get to story board. It'll be hard to believe I'm not a professional illustrator when you see this ever so logical and professional looking story board. 

Click me to enlarge.

This story board combined with our script, provided by one of the very apt and fun Marketing teams, becomes a book trailer. But just how that magic happens is for another post later. Have I hooked you? Didn't think so. But you have to trust me it's cool.