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11 Translations!

Kind of amazing when I look at these all put together. I got a nice delivery from OwlKids last night - two more translations of ‘Why?’ This brings the total to eleven translations - including Russian, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, Finnish, Turkish, Slovenian, French, Polish and Chinese. Plus OwlKids put out a 10 year anniversary edition and a recently issued paperback. So I want to say thank you and congratulations to the author Catherine Ripley, OwlKids and Sheba Meland for pulling the whole thing together. 
It's pretty cool to know the book is being enjoyed in so many countries around the world. There were a few surprises along the way. In the Arabic version somebody changed the art. I totally understand cultural and religious sensibilities but I was surprised to open the book to see the addition of long sleeves and skirts on female appendages, and the complete removal of pigs in the farm. Next time I’d be happy to do it myself!  To be honest I loved seeing what was changed in the book. The Chinese edition is divided into 3 books, for some reason using another artist on the cover! On the Russian version they chose different cover art as well, with a dinosaur drinking a glass of water. For the eagle eyed, I've included a translation of another book I illustrated called ‘How?’, a follow up to ‘Why?’ Let’s hope it continues the tradition and has as many translations. 

Posted on 28 Nov 2017 06:05 -  Category: update
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Leaves on Cobblestones

   It's almost halfway through October and I'm winding down my time in Berlin. This city is so beautiful in the fall - massive trees with leaves scattering on the cobblestone (real cobblestone!) Kindergarten kids being ferried to and fro in little kiddie karts. It seems very German because the teachers peddle groups of 5 or 6 kids through the streets. Back in Canada there would be rules about helmets or capacity and the kids would have to be piled into a city bus. 
    As many times as I've been to Berlin I still love this city. I'm going to be sorry to come home. But don't feel too bad for me, I love Vancouver so I'll get over it pretty quick. 
    I've had the good fortune to be able to do some work on my book that takes place here (in Tiergarten, the Stanley Park of Berlin.) There's something pretty special about being able to work on a project in the location it takes place. 
    And of course being somewhere new can stimulate the creative juices. I've got seeds for a few book ideas but the only way to see if they will really turn into anything (or at least the way I work) is to put them aside for a bit. I wonder how other freelancers work. My technique is a rotation of delving into new possibilities, followed by storing those away while I work on current projects. And the cycle goes on. The trick is to always have 3 burners going: one on the boil, one simmering and one you're out at the market gathering ingredients to see what you can make - which is clearly not a burner. I seem to have mixed my metaphors again. 
    I've been having fun working on a couple of Apps too - It's the image above and is something very new for me. These are math apps for young kids. I guess you could say I did a bit of animation but it's very simple. So let's just say, inching my way into the world of Apps.

Posted on 12 Oct 2017 05:29 -  Category: update
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Squirrels in Paris in August

I'm sitting here drawing squirrels in Paris and realized this is the kind of thing I should probably write about. Doing what I do, and being able to travel is pretty amazing and I have to remind myself how lucky I am.
On top of drawing squirrels in Paris I'm staying in an amazing building built in 1901, complete with a separate entrance up the back stairs for the servants and 8' windows in every room. It's  kind of hard to leave and see the sights. But I'm a trooper and I managed to get out and take some pics. 
I had planned to take an actual holiday here - which is something freelancers know very little about. But when it came right down to it I wasn't able to and brought my work gear with me. But to be honest, drawing squirrels in Paris, and getting paid for it is as good as any holiday I can think of. 

Posted on 11 Aug 2017 05:50 -  Category: update
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New Books!

   As always it's been too long since I wrote so here goes. 
   I have two new books coming out. First, 'Federica', a story inspired by the daughter of a wonderful friend. I was lucky enough to work with Groundwood Books, winner of Best Children's Publisher of the Year, North America 2016.
   Also coming in September is 'See What We Eat', - the fourth book in the 'Five Friends' series by Kids Can Press (who just won Best Children's Publisher of the Year, North America 2017.) Guess I'm in pretty good company. 
   I'm happily back home for awhile but already scouting around for a place in Berlin in late summer,fall. Berlin Art Week is amazing and I hope to be able to visit. 

Posted on 07 Apr 2017 03:54 -  Category: update
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Madrid, Frankfurt, Berlin!

Time flies when you're on the move. I've settled in Berlin now for a couple of months but last month was an action packed visit to Madrid. For the month of April I rented an amazing flat right in the middle of town. It had a beautiful rooftop deck and I could watch the sunset from my work desk as well.
As usual I'm working while I travel but I have to say this was one of the nicest settings. The weather in Madrid was wet and cold, not that I'm complaining - I was in Spain after all - but it didn't quite fit my expectation of what Spain is meant to be like. On the plus side I could focus on my work and I visited lots of galleries. Although (not being a fan of religion in general) I've seen my full share of Virgin Mary's and Christ on the cross. I wasn't really ready for how religious Spain is. Although the cathedrals are beautiful, especially in Toledo. But art is art and I enjoyed it all. 
After Madrid it was off to Berlin to settle in for a couple of days then up to Frankfurt to see some dear friends. That was a wonderful visit and I'm quite happy to be settling into my flat here in Berlin. I've also started art on a book I began writing here 2 years ago so it's feeling very 'full circle'.
The image I'm posting is from a job I did with Perform Art Studios, a dance school in North Vancouver. Wonderful people who asked me to do a giant window covering. It was quite a departure but I have to say I loved doing it because I could show parts of the north shore and Lonsdale Quay.  Hope it's still up when I get back to Vancouver. If you see it, take a picture and send it!
Ok, time to go collect my bicycle and go for a ride - one of my all time favourite pastimes here in Berlin.

Posted on 11 May 2016 09:09 -  Category: update
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