Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday To-mie! Happy Birthday To-mie!

I was asked to contribute to a new blog honoring Tomie dePaola for his 75th birthday AND for his life long gift to all of us- his books.

I first saw Mr.dePaola 2 years ago @ the NYC SCBWI winter conference. Altho, I haven't met him- he's been popping up in my life over and over again. I asked my mother if we had any of his books growing up. She knew of him instantly - remembering reading them to us. Off I went to order a few online and immerse myself in his world.

Here's a few things I've learned from studying 3 of his books and drawing his characters.

1. Simple is deceiving. If art looks simply done- simply colored- don't assume it's easy. When it is done well- or really well- like Pancakes for Breakfast; It's actually harder to do. Every element stands out- and you have to be a really great designer to do less. Ya know the whole less is more thing- one of these days I'll get it.
2. I know why my mother liked the books. Now that I've read them as a mother; and not a Snoopy crazed child. You want children to have books that are like warm hugs. Tomie's are.
3. You can learn a lot from drawing other people's characters. -I did know this from the years in cartoon licensing but never applied it to illustration. Like all of the artists parked in front of master paintings at the Met - I may just park myself in front of Tomie's this weekend at the Carle.

Go Check it out and Happy B'day Mr. dePaola!

Three Kisses for Tomie


Nikki S said...

I love the Cookie's Week book. I even did my own rendition of a few of the pages for my portfolio. Check it out!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

He is such a wonderful artist! Happy birthday to To-mie. I love the music!!! Anyway, I wanted to tell you thanks so much for your encouraging words. They mean the world to me. I really appreciate you even taking time to stop by. I will you know how things turn out with post and hopefully video!
Hugs till you're purples

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Tomie graces us with many, many years of wonderful work!

Roberta Baird said...

How very cool! Your piece is awesome Kelly!

Anonymous said...

I checked out your piece and as usual it was wonderful. Pancakes for Breakfast was one of your favorites. I hope you get to meet Mr. dePaola, it would be great. take pictures to show me. MOM