Pictured here is Susan Gal’s Dog Gone, painted in 2009 (charcoal and digital collage). Some of you may remember this Poetry Friday post in which I shared two spreads from this debut illustrator’s first picture book, Night Lights (2009), which was met with more than one starred review. Susan—who began her illustration career as a poster and calendar artist, followed by animation work for Disney—is here this morning to say hello and tell us what’s next for her. Her second picture book with Random House will be released this May. It’s called Please Take Me for a Walk, and since I’ve got an early copy of it, I can vouch for its deep, deep charms. It’s a title about friendship and community, as seen through the eyes of a gregarious pup, and it’s cozy and fun. I said before, and I’ll say it again: Gal’s work to me is reminiscent of one of her idols, Ezra Jack Keats. (I also see online, as I compose this post, that Kirkus made the same comparison and also compared her work to Margaret Bloy Graham’s, though they add, “the images manage to be both fresh and familiar.” Graham, as you can see below, is another of Susan’s artistic idols.) Susan’s charcoal and digital collage spreads are warm and intimate. I love what I see in her two titles thus far and am eager to see where she goes from here.
Without further ado, here’s Susan to say hi and share a bit more art: Read the rest of this entry �