Meet Rose Casson

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm repackaging a series with Simon and Schuster by Hilary McKay, and I'm in love. It's a brilliant jewel of a series about a quirky British family with children named after colors (Permanent Rose, Indigo, Caddy–for Cadmium–etc.) In a list of adjectives because I am at a loss for words, McKay's writing is sweet, complex, witty, poignant, and hilarious. I feel as though I've always lived in that chaotic Casson house, and I am especially blue (moved to tears!) that I've reached the end of the last book. I'm comforted to have the series of covers ahead to continue living among the Cassons for a bit.

The first cover I finished was for Forever Rose (below). The lovely title type work was done by Michael McCartney at Simon and Schuster. Michael's been one of those art director/designer combos an illustrator hopes for: stellar typographer, carefully committed to accuracy (he's definitely read his Casson!), in tune with mood of the series, and inspirational in fashioning the characters and cover compositions in a fresh way, while leaving me a lot of room to dream them up. Forever Rose's painting soundtrack was Let Your Love Grow Tall by Passion Pit. Next up: Indigo's Star!

Wild (and Permanent) Rose Casson wormed her way right into my heart. She is the youngest of the Casson children: fierce and vulnerable, passionate and real (sort of reminds me of the rose in the Little Prince, if the rose were a little girl, of course!) She has her own blog. She is also a blossoming artist, creating murals on the kitchen walls, tagging along to her artist mother's "young offenders" art class for misguided youths (where she steals her infamous "Crime Pays" tee) She holds grudges, will not wear her glasses since she prefers to see the world slightly blurred, eats paint to taste color. Rose Casson is fab. Here's a sketch I did of her on my own time (click to enlarge):

And, as if she needed to do more to win me over, she exhibits flawless taste in picture books on page 277 in "Forever Rose" (it's Lauren Child's I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato) . Here Rose describes drawing with charcoal in such a lovely way:

"My charcoal is made of willow sticks. It is a dark and silvery gray color. The sticks are so light that you cannot feel the weight of them in your hand, but they are solid too...The sound of it drawing on paper is like a rustle. Like an echo of leaves. If you look carefully at a stick of charcoal you can see where the leaves once hung; they have patterns like grains of sand, as if a minute bubble burst there and left its shell behind. It is lovely stuff to draw with. You can layer it into darkness or brush it away like a dream. You feel like you are drawing with shadows."

I urge you, reader of any age, to PLEASE go and meet the Casson family straight away! You will fall in love too.

Fall Is Here

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yes! It is officially FALL! Here is a painting on wrinkly computer paper because I had to capture the feeling without any good paper of those absolutely cozied-out moments, I think McPartland's cover of "A Ship Without a Sail" was on, smell of possibility was in the air, bright colors floated in my mind, left over back to school jitters shivered. I tried to capture it via a lime-yellow park, school bus, Mary Janes and composition notebook. Ohhhh there is nothing like Fall in the city!

Happy new season to you. Enjoy it where you are

Put on your jacket and take a walk.
The first day of fall is here...
You can hide in a pile of leaves.
But not for long.
Someone is sure to find you!
-The Provensens

Thank You!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just a quick note to say thank you for all who bid and participated in the Eyewitness Reports auctions for 826LA. Over $5,500 was raised for the kiddies! It will be put to good use on expanding writing skills and creativity...I love this 826 Time Travel Mart video. Many thanks again!


Monday, September 13, 2010

The (mostly British) word "twee" has been following me around. I think I could use it in place of "cute"– yes? no? Hm. I scanned these little shoes in for the book I'm working on. I daresay things are getting rather twee over here.

Breakfast at the 7-Imp Diner

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The magical Jules Danielson interviewed me at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Click here if you want to read. I am so honored to be sharing the breakfast table with her! A million thanks, Jules. Surprise treat: also joining us are lovely authors, Cecil Castellucci and Erica Perl!

P.S. Breakfast regret: I have since acquired a grown-up coffee addiction so I'm bummed I ordered mint tea and didn't get to drink out of that imaginary little coffee cup (above) she always puts on each interview. Darn. I bet she makes a good brew too!

P.P.S. ULTRA SECRET: Jules revealed to me her own breakfast of choice, which I'd always wondered about. It's a "toad-in-the-hole"!