Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Please excuse the saw dust sneezes–we are under construction. My new studio is on the way...!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Maybe the best part of a holiday is in the preparing for it. Therein lies the COZY factor. I love to imagine floods of people right now getting ready across the country, and all at the same time, bundling up, packing cars, baking pies, burning pies, maybe getting stuck at airports, but all still somehow ending up somewhere, hopefully in a warm little place together, sharing food and stories and laughing about it all.

This how I'm preparing in Quincy, Massachusetts, just towns away from where the first ever Thanksgiving feast occurred at Plimouth in 1621!!!

Click here if you can't read my squirrely recipe card & try them out at your feast. Recipe's foolproof (I've changed it by using whole wheat flour, adding 1/4 tsp of salt to the dough, and herbs like thyme and rosemary-you can get creative) Makes 12-15 terribly tempting little biscuits.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, whatever you are doing and wherever you may be!

Meet the husband!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I am really thrilled to announce the new blog, "AKAperly" by lead character artist, and my husband, Matt Perlot (known to many as Perly). I am not a video game guru, so this is how I describe what Matt does: he invents people. Have you seen this commercial?

This is Harmonix's brand new dance-based music game, "Dance Central." Matt designed and created the characters for this game, from sketch to what you see in-game: visual appearance, names, attitudes, "social hangups" as he puts it, and personal storyline. It is absolutely magical for me to see his invented people all over the place now, inviting people to play! Oblio "commences with the dance":

Matt's always been an amazing artist, with a signature style full of sharp angles and edge. What's really interesting for me as a fellow artist, is to watch him take his characters from concept sketch, to hyper-stylized/urban/iconographically flat art, to a fully rendered 3d person alive on the screen and standing (or dancing) in space, while maintaining the character's vibe and personality. I am continually inspired by his work, and its fun to share our love for character while I work on books and he works on games. We are always helping each other to push our own visual styles further too. Matt's got a good eye and you better believe I get a full crit on my art when I ask him for one or he'll brainstorm page design with me if I'm stumped. He's a good guy to have around :)

He kicks off his new blog here:

Playing Pretend

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I realized today I reference my own childhood playtime constantly in my art...specific games and characters or feelings I'd made up with my sisters (semi-annual mud-day above!) I hold them (both pretend things and real sisters) very dear to me and consult them regularly. Can you remember those hilarious settings and characters you dreamed up? The way certain colors or sounds jumped out at you when you read a picture book, the utterly cozy way it felt to make a world of your own? While we twirled in crazy dress up, "moved out" into our own tiny houses in the corners of the living room, recorded radio shows, and played some serious Barbie games until late in the night, we were not only learning but developing a muscle that many people stop using as they grow up for various reasons.
It's a muscle I guess I'm childishly still using, and have been through adulthood with no intention of stopping. Now I make a living doing it too. It's helped me survive some dark times, encouraged me to stay enchanted, and help me focus on possibilities. I don't think I'd even be able to MAKE ART without still allowing myself to let go and "PLAY PRETEND". Imagining what could be. I'm doing it all day. Picture books are for children, ages 0-200.

There is also something transformative about how we are when we are pretending, isn't there? It levels every heart to that same ageless, joyful, simple and accepting state. Imagine the world, our relationships with more playtime. We really need to keep doing that in one mode or another, as grown ups, so we can remember how to imagine. Imagining lets us realize that we CAN shape our lives in any fashion we'd like; allows us to tackle the impossible, befriend the intangible, tap into a level of old magic that exists in the every day and push us forward. Children do it best only because they practice daily, grown ups can do it too! It's as essential as exercise.

I think there are few things more important for the human spirit at any age, than playing. So, let's! ♥


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hello on this grey little day. So I just wanted to let everyone know about my Facebook page, because I don't think I've ever made a real post about it. I'll be using it a bit more frequently than the blog, for the day-to-day wonders and news, so if you are a Facebooker, you can join me

Life continues at a fast clip. See you very soon with art from the new book coming in 2011, I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn! Do you want to take a quick peek inside the closet of the little girl who lives in the book?...

DOTTY Giveaway!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good morning, it is wonderful, magical Friday already! And wonderful, magical Sarah Jane of Sarah Jane Studios is graciously hosting a Dotty book giveaway today!

Check out the DOTTY giveaway here. There are stickers involved :

While you are there, become inspired by her cheery blog, check out her shop, and especially her darling new line of "travel" art, called Children Around the World (see below for her latest installment). She's also working on a textile line and picture books, so keep your eye on this talented lady. Thank you for having Dotty over to visit, Sarah!