Thursday, February 28, 2013

Journaling and Danny Gregory

Whenever I get in a creative slump, (which happens to be now!) I reread "The Creative License" by Danny Gregory. For some reason his work really "resonates"* with me. He's a guy who has to work for a living (in advertising) and manages to take the carpe diem approach to art. Just do it... a little each day. Observe. Nothing has to be good. Just do it. So, in my birthday month I now will devote a small chunk of my day to get off the media and do art. Simple art with a pen or pencil. Just record. If I manage to write also, that's bonus points.

If anything comes out of this journal that's worth sharing I will do so.
In the meantime, I'll share a quote from Danny Gregory that addresses why people are enthusiastic at the beginning of art journals and lose energy as time goes by:
"Why? Often it's because you are disappointed with your drawings. You may say you don't have the time, forgot your book, grew bored. But it's really because you aren't that impressed with your drawing skill. You haven't made something that looks like art."
The true purpose of doing journals according to Danny is "To celebrate your life. No matter how small or mundane or redundant. each drawing and little essay you write to commemorate an event or an object or a place makes it all the more special."
In other words, it doesn't have to "look like art". As long as we can accept that, the journals keep on going.

In case you haven't heard of Danny Gregory, here are some of his books:

 His most recent is "A Kiss Before You Go" a diary about life after his wife's recent passing. Which is sad, but shows how Danny's journal is such an important part of his life and how he experiences/records his world.


 Check out this interview with Danny Gregory and his website when you get a chance!

*I don't like this word, but I can't think of anything more appriopriate!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Celebrity children's books

Due to my back being thrown out and having illustrator's block, 
I'm hereby reporting on junky internet news:
Here we go again. Another celebrity pens or co-pens a children's book and everyone needs to rush out and buy it. Or maybe only the curious. Or huge fans of said celebrity. Or people who just like to watch cash fly out of their pockets.
Dennis Rodman, basketball fashionista himself has a book out entitled, "Dennis the wild bull" which he co-wrote with Dustin Warburton and illustrated by Dan Monroe. The bull stomps to the beat of his own drummer, so we know it's loosely(!) based on his own persona. Perhaps there's a positive message to be had out of this book.....wear outrageous clothing and piercings's all good (just joking :-)).
Which got me to thinking: has anyone surveyed celebrity kid books and listed the good, bad and ugly? 
Sure enough, in 2010 Library Journal had an article on just that subject which was a follow-up from the blog posting on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

It seems as though Madonna was a top winner amongst the baddies, along with Gloria Estefan, Jeff Foxworthy and Jay Leno. Just goes to show you that even money and fame can't guarantee a solid performance in the kidlit world.