My dad is an elementary art teacher and was recently reading from a book to his students with advice from Maurice Sendak to young artists. He sent me some of the quotes, and I couldn’t help but share them here:
An illustration is an enlargement, an interpretation of the text, so that the reader will comprehend the words better. As an artist, you are always serving the words. You must never illustrate exactly what is written. You must find a space in the text so that the pictures can do the work. Then you must let the words take over where words do it best. It’s a funny kind of juggling act.
As an aspiring artist, you should strive for originality of vision. Have something to say and a fresh way of saying it. No story is worth the writing, no picture worth the making, if it is not a work of the imagination. ~Maurice Sendak
Here’s to a week filled with imagination.
The Girl Scouts of America have invited me to be their featured artist on The Studio for this week, August 12, 2013. The Studio is a website where girls can learn about the craft of storytelling from their favorite authors and illustrators.
How cool is that?
Check it out >> http://forgirls.girlscouts.org/studio-feature-eliza-wheeler
Friends shared three links with me this week that were inspiring:
16 Quotes About Writing for Children (Article on Mental Floss)
One that especially resonates right now is from Margaret Wise Brown:
“In this modern world where activity is stressed almost to the point of mania, quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked. Yet a child’s need for quietness is the same today as it has always been—it may even be greater—for quietness is an essential part of all awareness. In quiet times and sleepy times a child can dwell in thoughts of his own, and in songs and stories of his own.”
The Pixel Painter, by Josh Bogdan and Ryan Lasko (Video on Vimeo)
A sweet 8-minute documentary on Hal Lasko (Grandpa), a 97-year-old who spends all his time creating paintings on the computer.
Adrift, by Simon Christen (Video on Vimeo)
Breathtaking footage of fog rolling over San Francisco. Video meditation at it’s best.
Exciting news! I’ll be illustrating a new picture-book
by Pat Zietlow Miller called “Wherever You Go”, with Little Brown Books!
When I saw this announcement in Publishers Weekly Rights Report yesterday, it was extra exciting to scroll down to see illustrator friend and fellow mentee Brian Won’s picture sitting right there next to my own. Awesome, Brian!
I’ve just learned that Pat Zietlow Miller is from Madison, Wisconsin; it’s so cool to be working on a fellow Wisconsinite’s story. She has a new book coming out in a couple weeks, SOPHIE’S SQUASH with Schwartz & Wade (Aug 6, ’13), illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf.
Over a year ago, in January 2012, I went to New York on the SCBWI prize trip to meet with publishers. There, I met editor Connie Hsu and art director Patti Ann Harris at Little Brown Books. After our meeting I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to work with these amazing women, and I’m really thankful to them for choosing me to work on this sweet book.
Outside the Little Brown offices in January 2012
I’m not sure there’s anything more exciting to an illustrator than the moment you get to see your artwork in the final printed book. Better yet, a stack of printed books! I’m so grateful that Simon and Schuster chose me to illustrate Holly Black’s fabulous new middle-grade novel.
You can’t see it in these photos, but the cover has this silky matte finish, with the title and doll in gloss. It’s a great effect!
In the acknowledgements, Holly writes:
“Thanks to Eliza Wheeler for her creepifyingly beautiful illustrations.”
And when we were at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, I had to document DOLL BONES sharing the shelf with illustrator friend Andrea Offermann’s work on GHOST NIGHT, by Cornelia Funke.
I’ll be excited to read the book again since I know the revision process was still underway after I had finished the artwork. My mom said she had to read it during the daytime, because it’s a little too scary at night. But my 9-year old niece says, “It’s not so much scary as it is creepy.”
To learn more about Holly Black, visit her website.
To buy Doll Bones, click here:
Shop Indie Bookstores
I have some amazing Kidlit artist friends, and at the top of that list sits Debbie Ohi. Debbie is an artist, writer, musician, gamer, and social media fiend. She generously shares great industry info with everyone around her. We have both been on similar career paths since we met in 2010 during the SCBWI summer conference mentorship meeting, and it’s been so fun to share the experience with her.
Debbie interviews me on one of her blogs, Inkygirl.com, a guide for those who write and draw for young people.
We talk about Miss Maple’s Seeds, tips for aspiring illustrators, the book launch party, and illustrations for Doll Bones by Holly Black.
Please check it out here!
Debbie is the illustrator of I’M BORED, by actor/comedian Micheal Ian Black, and is also currently illustrating his next picture book, NAKED. To learn more about Debbie, visit her site: http://debbieohi.com/
BookPage featured me in their April edition of “Meet The Illustrator”, with this super fun illustrated interview.
Find a print copy of BookPage at your local library or bookstore, or online at bookpage.com.
BookPage is a monthly book review publication distributed to more than 450,000 avid readers through subscribing bookstores and public libraries. Founded in 1988 and located in Nashville, TN, BookPage serves as a broad-based selection guide to the best new books published every month. The tone is upbeat and literate, focusing on bestsellers as well as new discoveries. All of the content from the print edition is posted on BookPage.com each month.
All those in the Pasadena area, please stop by to see me at the Pasadena LitFest this Saturday, 5/11/13! I’ll be reading Miss Maple’s Seeds for the kids at 10:30, then signing at the Once Upon A Time bookstore booth. Here are the details:
10:30-11:00am: Readings & Activities with Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators!
Authors and illustrators of gorgeous new children’s picture books will share their work with the little ones!
Bethany Barton reading This Monster Cannot Wait!
Eliza Wheeler reading Miss Maple’s Seeds
Paul Rogers, illustrator of Wynton Marsalis’s Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! hosting a children’s art activity!
(Octavia Butler Stage)
Signing hosted afterwards at the Once Upon A Time bookstore booth:
11:15AM Signing at the Once Upon a Time Books Booth
Bethany Barton (This Monster Cannot Wait!)
Paul Rogers (Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!)
Eliza Wheeler (Miss Maple’s Seeds)
Hope to see you there!
Please join me this Saturday and Sunday at two wonderful bookstores in the Los Angeles area for story-time! I will read Miss Maple’s Seeds to the kids and have fun coloring sheets to give away. If you know anyone in the area who might be interested, please spread the word!
Saturday, April 27, 2013:
Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop, 11:00 AM
1030 Bonita Avenue, La Verne, CA 91750, (909) 599-4558
Sunday, April 28, 2013:
Pages Bookstore, 2:00 PM
904 Manhattan Ave. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 near 9th Street (right across from Mucho’s), 310-318-0900