About Me

My photo
A little about my artwork: I interpret the words written on a page by telling the story behind the story working with pen and ink, watercolor and Photoshop, I fuse old techniques with modern ones to create a world that every drawing can speak to a child or grownups.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thank You Stories for Children!



Katie's Creepy Christmas



by Mark Seline



December issue 2007



I would like to take a moment to say Thank You to Stories for Children Magazine and VS Grenier for giving me a chance when others didn't.




Back in 2007 I submitted samples of my artwork to VS Grenier the response was (not a direct quote) "Do you draw anything else besides dragons? Most of the stories we publish are about children." I sent what I had with kids not many maybe three and one of them I did back in the 80's.




I figured like other responses to my submission that was it, I will not hear from them again. But I was dead wrong I spent a year creating illustration after illustration for them (not one dragon) I became more confident in my self; The work I did for Stories for Children lead me to illustrating picture books for 4RV Publishing (still no dragons). Also one of the stories I illustrated for them "A Grand Dilemma" Won! the 2008 Best Artwork by Preditor & Editors Readers Poll.




It came to me as quite a shock when I received an email just before my holidays stated letting me know that "Right Know, the magazine division is closed to submissions and will only publishing issues out to March 2010." I was ensured that the magazine is only on HOLD for now and will return. Also that Stories for Children Publishing, LLC is still operating and will continue to do so.




So Thank You again Stories for Children for believing in me and allowing me to be part of a great family of Writers, Illustrators, Editors, and Art Directors. I look forward when you reopen your doors to new submissions.




Stephen


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays!






With the Holidays just around the corner I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and Happy
Hanukkah, Christmas,
& New Year,
and so on ....
A special note from my publisher:
Christmas Special
( from November 30 - December 20)

15% discount for 4RV Books

Sale price in effect when order submitted

Children's Books
Middle-Grade/ Young Adult
Novels
Collections

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good News

I am happy to bring some good news.
"Would A Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?"
has found a home for the holidays.
That's right, it is sitting on a shelf at
Loacated at:
12 W 27th St. 9th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Part 3 "Would A Kangaraffe Make You laffe?"

(original concept art)
(final artwork)


Nothing new to say from what I have written in "part 2" just showing the difference between what was my early take on the subject of this book and what was decided to make this picture book work




Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


(Classic Retro Stephen's artwork)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Part 2 "Would A Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?"


(Original concept art for "Would A Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?")




(Page 5 finished art "Would A Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?")

"Back in the days, long ago, when everything was together – mixed together, animals had a front from one kind and back from another. This book brings laughs and a bit of silliness together, as well as animals."

As I have said in the past I'm giving only a few lines of the text to create sample art for a story the top illustration is the original idea I had, The bottom one is what you will see in the book the changes were made after I was asked to soften up the characters make them cuter & also to cut them in half. Top of one animal bottom of another not blend them together. I liked the way they came out in the end.
I have one more to post next week that will show sample art & the finished version.

Monday, November 9, 2009

part 1 "Would a Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?"

(page 1 of "Would a Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?")
"The little bird said.
"When the animals get together.
They talk about the days when everything was all mixed up.
they were together.
Like a Kangaroo and Giraffee--
A Kangaraffe"
This is the first page of the three illustrations I will be posting from "Would a Kangraffe Make You Laffe?"
The story is built around a grandmother telling a story to her grandchildren, the story is told to her by a little bird. (could Happen)
So through out the book were I felt necessary I added the the little yellow bird to help keep the story consistent. The characters in this book were a lot of fun to illustrate and I had a hard time picking only three illustrations to talk about.
Written by Rich Aaron
Published by 4RV Publishing
Illustrated by Stephen Macquignon me! ;)
Avalable at

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Cousin "Diana Ferrante"



I received this from my cousin Diana who is one of the dancers/performers in this choreograph
performance

I hope you enjoy it!
PS its a little grotesque
(Click to watch)

Friday, October 30, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

(The eyes have not been doctored)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Colors,Colors part 3


This image is one of my all time favorites, I can go back and look at it 100 times over and still enjoy it.

This is also the last of the images I will be posting for "COLORS" The fish is a two page spread.

The line goes: "and Orange is...." you'll have to buy the book to find out the rest :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Colors Colors part 2

(Illustration from "Colors")

Not much to say,
this is one of the two main characters that flow through the picture book.
In this illustration it is going over the rules:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Colors, Colors





("Colors" inside copyright page)







When I receive the text for a story, on the very top of the page there is usually some type of editors notes: physical size of the book, how many pages, and so on. When I received "Colors" by Dana Warren on the top of the page in parenthesise was written "(We were thinking about crayons)" not an exact quote but close enough. So my first thought was to figure out how to make crayons work for the story. As I have said in the past I read and reread a story many many times, no different with this one. In truth because this story is so well written it is one of the only stories I now by heart.

So here I am repeating the lines thinking of crayons, then they start to melt from melting crayons to paint splatter, then I'm thinking who is going to clean up that mess? So I'm thinking of the Disney adaptation of "The Sword in the Stone" where Arthur is washing all the dirty dishes & Merlin does a bit of magic. that starts me thinking of buckets, from buckets to buckets of paint running around, from buckets of paint running around to paint brushes. Then I think to myself who would want to see a brush full of paint? Then I think of another Disney film "Fantasia" with Mickey and the animated mops & buckets of water. All this in twenty minutes "Whew!"
Anyway, I propose the idea of paint brushes & buckets to my editor and she thinks its a good idea and to run with it. So in two months I have a finished 32 page picture book full of brushes and buckets and also a few other characters creating a wonderful way for children to learn about color.

"Colors" is the first picture book of two picture books I have illustrated with the same author, the second one is called "If Fish Could Drive" (not sure of the release date at this time but will let you know when that happens).

Like always this book can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and 4RV Publishing book store.








Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Desk


Not too long ago I was asked "How do I come up with the images for the books I illustrate?"



Good question, but I'm never sure how to answer it.



Of course, it all starts with the text.


I read through the story that I'm assigned many times before I start sketching it out. I'm not really trying to get into the authors head and figure out what they want (that could give me a headache), but I do need to get a feel for the story. As I read, I start to see images and from there I start sketching them out, trying to get the characters to come to life by developing what I see in my brain. I think this is my favorite part of the process. As I pile paper on top of paper, working and reworking, it is definitely a love hate relationship between my brain, hands, and eyes. Sooner or later, they come to a compromise and wait for the smile on my face to say, "this is it". Sometimes the process is short and other times I'll have to try and try and try again until I get what I want. That was the way it was with The Marshmallow Man by Rena Jones, I had to re due the drawings over and over until I got it. You don't realize how hard it is to make a marshmallow man until you have to try"What could be so hard about illustrating a Marshmallow Man?" Grrrr!

The photo above is the end result, what you are looking at is almost the entire book laid out (almost ! never give it all away). "The Marshmallow Man" should be out by December 2009 published by 4RV Publishing.
But until then You can find all the other titles I have worked on. "Angeline Jellybean" by Crystalee Calderwood, "Colors" by Dana Warren, "Would a Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?" by Rich Aaron, and "The Art of Science" by Ransom Noble. You can also find "A New Job for Dilly" by Rena Jones & illustrated by Lisa Oakman Plus many more wonderful titles.
I have been given permission to post up to three images from the each books I have illustrated and will start next week with "Colors" (I think)
Also Barnes & Noble & Amazon carry all the above titles as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday with Lisa








On Sunday the September 20Th I found my self at the Queens Museum of Art spending the afternoon with Lisa Zilker a Fine artist and a friend of mine. Lisa was part of a group of artist who was showing there artwork at the 2ND Annual Multicultural Art & Crafts Festival.

I loved the way the shadows played off her art work it just made them even more special. Lisa calls them "Tombstones or Monuments" they are part of a series that she has done. The ones in the picture stand about twelve inches tall , but I have seen some of them at her studio the stands about five feet or so. Also they show up in her paintings as well . They are very special and have a real depth to them that needs to be experienced by touching them and speaking to this very talented artist.
Thank you for the invite I look forward to your next show

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Body Belongs to Me


Launch of Essential Children’s Book“My Body Belongs to Me”Turns an Awkward Subject Into a Natural DiscussionGroundbreaking Title Teaches Very Young ChildrenTheir Bodies Are Their Own


NEW YORK, NY--(September 1, 2009) - Safety Star Media announced today thenationwide release of


My Body Belongs to Me, a story about a child who is inappropriately touched by an uncle’s friend.


Using her decade of experience asa New York City prosecutor of child abuse and sex crimes, Author Jill Starishevskytriumphantly fills a void to help parents and teachers educate children about asensitive subject in a perfectly natural way. With a rhyming verse and beautifulillustrations by Sara Muller, My Body Belongs to Me offers a compelling anduplifting message without shame. A mother of two young children, Ms. Starishevsky crafted a bookthat speaks to children from ages three to eight, making them aware there areboundaries when it comes to their own bodies. My Body Belongs to Me encourages themto tell a parent or teacher if someone touches their “private parts.”Starishevsky was inspired to write the book after working on a case involving ayoung victim who endured years of abuse and then bravely sought help after watchingan episode of Oprah about sexual abuse.The clear message of My Body Belongs to Me is that if someoneinappropriately touches you, tell. Studies show that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boyswill be molested. Without educating children as to the importance of disclosing, theabuse can continue and escalate. “Just as we carefully teach youngsters what to doin case of fire, we must teach them what to do if someone touches them,” urgedStarishevsky. “Through my work as a prosecutor, I realized there was a great needfor a way for parents and teachers to facilitate this dialogue in a straightforwardyet sensitive manner. Unfortunately, out of fear of embarrassing their children,parents often avoid this conversation until it is too late. By saying nothing to ourchildren, we are sending them out there defenseless.” Parents and educators need to start taking measures to protectchildren before something happens, and this book helps make that task so mucheasier. Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After, a safety program forparents and kids, noted, “I have been teaching child safety classes for nearly tenyears, and this is the first children’s book I’ve seen that really addresses theissues in a way that kids can understand and that doesn’t seem scary orheavy-handed.”As licensed family and child therapist Kimberley Clayton Blainenoted, “Prevention is key when it comes to children’s personal safety. Kudos toMs. Starishevsky for taking on this project.”Jill Starishevsky has dedicated her career to seeking justice forvictims of child abuse and sex crimes. Outside the courtroom, her fondness forwriting led her to create www.thepoemlady.com, where she pens customized poems forspecial celebrations. She is also the founder of HowsMyNanny.com, a service thatenables parents to purchase a license plate for their child’s stroller so thepublic can report positive or negative nanny observations. Starishevsky has appearedon Good Morning America, CNN International, Today in New York, Donny Deutsch’s TheBig Idea and Fox News National among other news programs. By utilizing the sameplatform and by visiting schools, Ms. Starishevsky hopes to globally spreadawareness about child sexual abuse prevention to ultimately stop the silence.My Body Belongs to Me is available for online purchase throughwww.MyBodyBelongstoMe.com (Hardcover 32 pages, $14.95 U.S., ISBN 9780982121603).Note to Editors: If you would like a free review copy of My Body Belongs to Me,please contact Jill Starishevsky, Safety Star Media, info@MyBodyBelongstoMe.com withyour complete shipping details. High-resolution cover artwork and author headshotcan be found at http://mybodybelongstome.com/news/

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Just sharing my latest illustration done for

"Stories for Children Magazine"

(Click on title to see & read full story)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Three out of Four


I’m Very Happy to say I have three out of the four illustrations that was selected for


Anthology volume 2 are confirmed.
The following three titles are:

and


The Author of


did not sign the contract so it will not be in the book

(Click on titles to see full story)

When more details come to light I'll share them with you

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"IF Fish Could Drive"


I am not sure when the release date will be for this picture book.
But!
I do get the joy of showing off the front & back cover. I had some fun with this one by wrapping the neck around the book

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Would A Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?


The Little Bird Said.

"When the animals get together they talk abut the days when everything was mixed up.

They were together like a Kangaroo and a Giraffe --- A Kangaraffe."

I have had the pleasure of illustrating the first picture book of a four part series called "AniMIXals" written by Rich Aaron

These books are written in rhyme to help kids who have Dyslexia to improve their reading skills(something I wish I had growing up)

"Would A Kangaraffe Make You Laffe" may be ordered at 4RV Publishing

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Michael Sporn Studio 1987



It is the summer of 1987, sitting on train heading to NYC with my portfolio.
I'm going on an job interview The position: runner or intern with Michael Sporn Animation Inc I am suppose to meet Robert Marianetti assistant director (I believe was his title) I walk into a room lined with tables with disk cut into them and light shining threw a framed clear glass plate, on the walls are drawings upon drawings of a cute little white bear no personal items really around I found that a bit odd. My first thought was is this how animation studio look like? not what I expected. But I liked Robert right away. Later he said why he hired me was(not a direct quote)becouse He found it interesting that I look like a biker but draw faeries. what I found out during the interview was this office space was just an annex the real studio was down the street. There were two projects going on Santabear's High Flying Adventure and Lyle,Lyle Crocodile not enough room at the studio to work on both films.

My job took me into many different places in Manhattan the routine was simple I would start by taking the Finished drawings from the studio (annex) to a company called Chelsea Animation to be inked & paint, then take the finished painted cells and bring it to F-Stop Studios to be shot, Grab the finished shot artwork back to the studio(annex). I would also go to the lab were the film would be developed and bring it to the Real Micheal Sporn Studio; Now the first time I walked into that studio I went Wow! This is an ANIMATION STUDIO!
Art work on the walls not just the project being worked on, but cells from different past projects, people working on the left or right side of the room an attractive women working on backgrounds on one side of the studio, and sitting at a large black animation desk was Michael him self. it is always a little scary meeting your boss for the first time I think it took awhile for us to warm up to each other I'm the quite type even now I don't say very much. I can remember when I felt the ice was broken The office manager said something odd to me when I was dropping of the dailies, I gave Micheal a "what?" type of look turned to her and said "hm mm yeah" Michael broke out laughing.
SantaBear was cumming to a end Lyle as well I was not sure if I would have a job after the projects was over, Robert one day pulled me aside I thought this would be it the axe! But no I was told that Michael wanted me to work on the next project Abel's Island of course I said yes. Over the years I can't say I know how many project we worked on together my title changed depending on the project we were working on. I was constantly learning, School of Visual Arts was a good foundation Micheal Sporn Studio Was my finishing school. I learned allot. One of the things people say about me now is how fast I work well that was part of my on the job training Meeting deadlines with an artistic flare
Michael and I still talk from time to time I enjoy visiting the studio and I still look at the cells on the wall and say wow except now some of the cell on the wall are the same projects that I worked on.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Featured Illustrator



Over the weekend I received a Banner to says thank you for all the hard work I have done for 4RV publishing "Featured Illustrator of the Month" and also I received the in production cover art for the next book picture that will be coming out latter on this year "If Fish Could Drive".
So I thought I would share both with you







Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sorry it has taken me awhile to post anything new. I have been working on finishing my newest project called "The Marshmallow Man" I have about six more pages to finish illustrating then off to my editor (I never get tired of saying that) so text can be added & formatted before it is sent to the printers. You would be surprised how long it could take for the final product, the last picture book I completed called "Would a Kangaraffe make you Laffe?" was finished about six months ago and only a few weeks back I seen the finals layouts it should be at the printers now and be available soon.
The logo I did was for a film festival called the "Sea Breeze Film Festival". The festival was a good idea but for some reasons it never took off the ground, but the artwork is fun so I thought why not post it!Add Image

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Google Book Search Settlement information

Updated Summary Notice: New Opt-Out/Objection Deadline is September 4, 2009

If You Are a Book Author, Book Publisher or Other Person Who Owns a Copyright in a Book or Other Writing Your rights may be affected by a class action settlement regarding Google's scanning and use of Books and other writings.

Persons Outside the United States: This settlement may affect you because it covers U.S. copyright interests in books published outside the United States. If you hold such an interest in a book or other material in a book, this settlement will bind you unless you timely opt out.

Authors and publishers filed a class action lawsuit, claiming Google violated the copyrights of authors, publishers and other copyright holders ("Rightsholders") by scanning in-copyright Books and Inserts, and displaying excerpts, without permission. Google denies the claims. The parties have agreed to a settlement. This summary provides basic information about the settlement. "Books" and "Inserts" are described below.

What Does the Settlement Provide?

The settlement, if Court-approved, will authorize Google to scan in-copyright Books an Inserts in the United States, and maintain an electronic database of Books. For out-of-print Books and, if permitted by Rightsholders of in-print Books, Google will be able to sell access to individual Books and institutional subscriptions to the database, place advertisements on any page dedicated to a Book, and make other commercial uses of Books. At any time, Rightsholders can change instructions to Google regarding any of those uses. Through a Book Rights Registry ("Registry") established by the settlement, Google will pay Rightsholders 63% of all revenues from these uses.

Google also will pay $34.5 million to establish and fund the initial operations of the Registry and for notice and settlement administration costs, and at least $45 million for cash payments to Rightsholders of Books and Inserts that Google scans on or before May 5, 2009.

Who Is Included?

The settlement class includes all persons worldwide who own a U.S. copyright interest i any Book or Insert. The meaning of "U.S. copyright interest" is broad. Wherever you are located, please read the full Notice to determine whether you are included in the settlement.

There are two Sub-Classes:*

The "Author Sub-Class" (authors of Books and other writings, and their heirs, successors and assigns), and
* The "Publisher Sub-Class" (publishers of Books and periodicals, and their successors and assigns).

What Material Is Covered?

"Books" include in-copyright written works, such as novels, textbooks, dissertations, and other writings, that were published or distributed in hard copy format on or before January 5, 2009. U.S. works must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office to be included in the settlement. "Books" do not include periodicals, personal papers, sheet music, and public domain or government works.

"Inserts" include any text and other material, such as forewords, essays, poems, quotations, letters song lyrics, children's Book illustrations, sheet music, charts, and graphs, if independently protected by U.S. copyright, contained in a Book, a government work or a public domain book published on or before January 5, 2009 and, if U.S. works, registered (alone or as part of another work) with the U.S. Copyright Office. Inserts do not include pictorial content (except for children's Book illustrations), or any public domain or government works.

The Notice contains a more detailed description of these terms and other essential information about the settlement.

What Should I do?

Please read the full Notice, which is available at http://www.googlebooksettlement.com. Decide whether you should:
* Remain in the settlement. If you do so, you will be bound by the Court's rulings, including a release of your claims against Google.
* Object to or comment on the settlement. You must object/comment in writing by September 4, 2009.

Opt out of the settlement and keep your right to sue Google individually. You must opt out in writing by September 4, 2009.

* File a claim for a cash payment (if you are eligible to do so). You must file your claim by January 5, 2010.

The Court has appointed Class Counsel to represent the two Sub-Classes. If the settlement is approved, Class Counsel for the Author Sub-Class will request attorneys' fees and expenses that Google has agreed to pay.
You can also hire your own attorney at your own cost.

The Court will determine whether to approve the settlement at a Fairness Hearing on October 7, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.Get Complete Information, Including the Full Notice:
Visit: http://www.googlebooksettlement.com Call: +1.612.359.8600Write: Google Book Search Settlement Administrator, c/o Rust ConsultingP.O. Box 9364, Minneapolis, MN 55440-9364 United States o America

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great News! "A New Job for Dilly"



I just found out that
"A New Job for Dilly"
has just been released!

What does this have to do with me? No I didn't illustrate this one; It was illustrated by Lisa Oakman, written by Rena Jones I'm working on a different picture book also written by Rena called "The Marshmallow Man" to be published by 4RV Publishing. And I'm sure that "A new Job for Dilly" is just as well written What I have seen of the illustrations they are just wonderful.
A New Job for Dilly will provide any child with great entertainment.
You can buy the book today at

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Thanks Rena
For playing you are 100% correct
Maybe I'll do another one one day

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"The Surfing Frog"



You can see my newest illustration done for

Stories for Children Magazine
(click on title to see finished illustration)


By: Neridah McMullin

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hide & Seek

Let me know
What do see?
(answer will come sometime next week)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Have you seen this Artwork



Missing artwork I do not do allot of bouncing around from one blog to another but this caught my eye
If any one as seen the artwork please contact them,
I have lost art in the past so I understand how they feel.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun With Spam

This is the second time I received an email just like this one the first I found on my "jacketflap site". She were claiming to be a writer Kinda funny and sad I love the Internet but this kind of stuff really but a damper on the whole experience
The email: in the Subject line they wrote Hello "HELLOO"
helloMy name is sandera i saw your email during my search for a pen friend on thenet,today and became intrested in you,i willalso like to know you more,and if you can send an email to my email address,iwill give you my pictures here is my email address (sanderaa at yahoo.com)I believe we can move from here!i Am waiting for your mail to my emailaddress above.sandera
I removed the @ from the email address so no one clicks on it by mistake

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bat Dog part 4

As I stated earlier Bat Dog was just an idea. It was not until I was at a family get together when he came to life. My family has always been a great supporter of my art work and they never held back on what they thought of my work. While showing them my newest work my cousin plainly said this would be a great T-Shirt design as the day went on ideas was past back & forth from a simple T-shirt to jewelry, Hoodies, Shorts, and so on. A real grass roots movement something for the surfer shops in his areas, while he created the jewelry and I was working on the designs for the clothing, another cousin was going to write a story.


So on that day Bat Dog was born, Next question who is Bat Dog?










My first thought was he was created by a Wizard to protect the princess
Not a bad idea.







But like some good ideas this one went south we were waiting to see how the original jewelry piece would look like. I started coming up with designs always sketching something out. But it took a year for the piece to come back to us and it looked like poop the momentum had faded. My cousin who was going to write the story started to work on her own projects and they were taken off and the other had his own bills to pay so this sat in my closet for a long time







before it re emerged again when a friend of mine was going into his fathers business toy making and asked me if I had any ideas that could be done as a plush toy, once again I was digging up the art work to show him very excited the new berth of Bat Dog!
The only thing I changed was instead of him protecting the Princess it would protect all kids from monsters under the bed, closets and that scary tapping from the bed room window that keeps most kids up on a windy night. But like the next sketch this to went back to sleep









Who know when it will awaken again?



Friday, April 17, 2009

Bat Dog part 2

OKay, I was asked what is the story behind Bat Dog? Well if you are an artist or have children there is an all to familiar statement that is made from time to time "I do not know what to draw" or it could be in the form of a question "What do I draw know? this is the answer to that question I asked. I was told to draw one of my dogs as if he was a living Gargoyle. What started out as a simple exercise became something bigger but I'll be posting that when I scan some of the sketches I did and finish this short tale.



(Original Bat Dog)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An Interview


I'm pleased to say that I have been interviewed by Stephanie Ruble

You can read them on Blogger: Sruble's World

or Live Journal: (Sruble)

Also

"The Art of Science"

by Ransom Noble

is now available on


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Easter


Hmmm...
Just around the corner is Easter Sunday April 12Th and what better way to show kids how you feel about them is instead of bags of Jellybeans.
Send them "Angeline Jellybean" a picture book available on
by Crystalee Calderwood, illustrated by Stephen Macquignon

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...