7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #214: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Rozalind Best

h1 April 10th, 2011 by jules

Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.

Since I like to highlight student or brand-new illustrators to the field on the first Sunday of each month, that was my plan for last week, but I was out of town and shifted things around. Instead, I welcome a student illustrator this week, and her name is Rozalind Best. Pictured above is her rendering of Captain Hook’s ship. Roz is set to graduate soon from The University of Plymouth in the UK, and here she is tell us all a bit more:

* * * * * * *

Roz: I’m very fond of children’s books and capturing characters in an innocent and humorous way. I believe escaping into your own world and maintaining a sense of humour is important in illustrations for children — on par with a good imagination! Facial expressions are key aspects I focus on, and I like to use a dip-pen with ink to achieve quick, expressive marks. Watercolours and gouache are also my favourite mediums to use.

“Hook heard the dreadful sound. He knew the crocodile was close upon him.”

I’m nearly a graduate from The Plymouth University and have studied illustration here for three years. I aspire to illustrate for children, having studied children’s book illustration specifically and in depth, but I would also like to write as well.

I’m currently building my portfolio and working on a non-fiction book about wild flowers and continuing to develop my story book Granny Green and the Amazing Cough Syrup Cake.

(Click to enlarge and read some of Roz’s notes about the project.)

Maybe we’ll see Roz in children’s books over here in the States one day. I particularly like the opening image, especially Roz’s use of light in it. Best of luck to her in her career.

All images © 2011 by Rozalind Best.

* * * * * * *

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). Last weekend’s conference on children’s lit at the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (CCYAL) at UT was wonderful and invigorating. Author Jack Gantos was a great speaker, as always. (He is wicked funny.) And, for the first time, I got to meet Steven Withrow and Richard Michelson in person. Both were genuinely friendly and so smart, not surprisingly, and I really enjoyed talking to each of them. Here we are pictured with some of the very talented board members of the CCYAL. (Steven is the second from the left; Gantos, fourth from the left; and that’s me and Rich on the right. Photo credit: The One and Only Robin Smith.)

Also, for that trip to East Tennessee, I stayed with a friend who let me sleep in her THREE-STORY TREEHOUSE. I’m yelling that in excitement. And, no, I’m NOT EVEN MAKING THIS UP. It’s the coolest place I have ever slept, let me tell you what. Three levels. Wee stairs. A little bathroom that works. BUNK BEDS. I could go on.

2). Extended deadlines.

3). Finally started the first Harry Potter book with my girls, and the seven-year-old is falling head over heels—there is no passing go and no collecting $200—with the book. She literally whoops and squeals and jumps up and down at the end of each chapter. Reading books that make them this excited is The Best Thing Ever, as I may have mentioned a few billion times here at 7-Imp.

4). I noted on Facebook that Friday would have been illustrator Trina Schart Hyman’s birthday, mentioning that I read—and wrote a bit—about her for the book I’m currently writing and have decided she was a real maverick and that someone needs to write her biography. And the responses, though not many, were rather poignant. One friend even sent me a heartfelt email about how hearing about Trina’s death years ago really shook her and moved her to tears. She wrote, “Who knows, maybe we wouldn’t have connected in person, but I always felt she was making her drawings for me. And if that isn’t a testament to art, I don’t know what is.” That gave me chills. The good kind.

5). Three music kicks-in-the-pants:

I’ve been sitting on this one a while, one of my new favorite songs and I’ve yet to mention it. You may not be up for one impossible ass-shake in your face before breakfast (the back-up dancers), but I think Jenny O. herself has some great moves (not to mention bike). And how great is this bass line? I ask you:

I want to find someone with a blue truck and make a video in the street. I’m in Tennessee, so I’m thinkin’ my truck chances are good.

And this from Typhoon. As Paste Magazine put it, sometimes you just gotta hear joyful folk-rock with bombastic horns and a chorus singing the chorus:

I would like a choir singingly jubilantly in my kitchen in the mornings (ESPECIALLY if there’s a devil in the basement) — but not till after coffee, or I might get stabby.

(P.S. “Be kind to all your neighbors / ‘Cause they’re just like you. / And you’re nothing special / Unless they are too.”)

And this kickin’ Paul Simon sighting:

6). This poem at The Poetry Foundation’s site. I’m going to include it here in its entirety and hope I don’t get sent to Poetry Maximum Security Prison:

“I have to tell you”
By Dorothea Grossman

I have to tell you,
there are times when
the sun strikes me
like a gong,
and I remember everything,
even your ears.

7). Deciding to let go.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

15 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #214: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Rozalind Best”

  1. Thanks for posting the photo, Jules. An unforgettable event!

    My kicks:
    1. See above (Knoxville — hooray!)
    2. “Swan Swan H” and “King of Birds” by R.E.M.
    3. 30 more pages on my first YA novel
    4. Catching up with my best friend, Jason
    5. Thinking about “space” in the two poems below:

    By Steven Withrow

    Bradbury’s rockets are targeting Mars
    And packing enough plutonium power
    To overshoot the nearest stars—
    Rambling bumblebees rumbling flowers!

    Bradbury’s rockets are held in a field
    Of clipped Ohio summer grass,
    Such spirited horses, whose wagons are wheeled
    For homesteading Alpha Centauri. Alas

    Bradbury’s rockets are grounded for good
    By the penalty tax against dreaming of flight,
    As Armstrong, the Kitty Hawk Wrights understood it,
    Who will pay no passage through limitless night.


    By Steven Withrow

    I’ll tell you, when I really get annoyed,
    Is when you people call me “Planetoid.”

    OK, I’m not as large as Earth or Mars,
    Names, like meteors, leave their scars.

    You bumped me off the planetary team
    And damaged my celestial self-esteem.

    The things that count in any solar system
    Are things I’ve got in spades, and I can list ’em:

    Solidity—I’m solid rock and ice.
    And gravity—my orbit’s pretty nice.

    And maybe I’m too cold to ever melt,
    But that’s from living in the Kuiper belt.

    I demand a full retraction—make it soon—
    Don’t jerk around a guy who dwarfs the moon!

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  2. (How is it that you always have such awesome music to share? Seriously. How? Is it a Tennessee thing???)

  3. Hello,Jules. Here are my kicks.

    1. Finished first complete draft of new novel, “The Thirteenth Fey,” which is a fairy tale novel based on Sleeping Beauty. It’s off to the beta reader now.

    2. Signed books with my daughter Heidi Stemple at the Bolton (MA) Public Library’s fundraiser and then went off to see our old house where we lived 41 years earlier;.

    3.Sold a middle grade fantasy trilogy with son Adam Stemple to Viking.

    4. Fell on the top step of an up escalator at the Philly airport and despite having five people leap over me and three fall on top of me,escaped with no bruises,nothing broken, only a slight case of whiplash. AND I made my next plane.


  4. Great pic of everyone at the conference. And that treehouse sounds so cool!

    Thanks for sharing Roz’s work. Did I see the word “cake” mentioned up there? 🙂

    I agree with T. You always find the best music. I love that Jenny O. one, especially.

    Great Pluto poem, Steven!

    Huge congrats on finishing your draft and selling the trilogy to Viking, Jane. Wow! So glad you weren’t seriously injured in that fall.

    A few kicks:

    Managed to post 4 Poetry Potluck features despite all the problems going on with LJ. Looks to be a rocky month with the DDoS attacks on the site continuing. What keeps me going is working with all the generous and talented poets who send great things and always say, “YES” to whatever I ask for.

    Excited about meeting an online friend in person in a couple of weeks.

    Little gray bird is back building a nest on the front porch. She’s working so hard and just keeps going despite wind and rain sometimes hampering her efforts.

    The sequel to “Upstairs, Downstairs” starts on Masterpiece Theatre tonight. Loved the original series, so excited to see this new one.

    Barbara Crooker’s chocolate shortbread.

    Enjoying all the poetry events around the kidlitosphere.

    Happy Week, everyone!

  5. Steven, thank you for sticking up for Pluto. That needs to be in a Steven-Withrow poetry collection for children. I can see it one day.

    Tanita: Simply from being a music addict.

    Jane: Congrats on finishing the novel, and whew, glad you’re okay.

    Jama: Your poetry posts make April better. I’m sorry about the LJ worries. What a pain. I’m jealous of your second kick, ’cause I wanna meet you in person, as I may have said a few billion times.

  6. Jama: There’s a SEQUEL to Upstairs, Downstairs? As my husband just said, “Tell me more, tell me more!” Nothing’s been the same since Her Ladyship died.

    Jules: I’m glad you had a lovely time at the conference. I’ll have to check out the Jenny O. music video after the kicks.

    1. I got to sleep in this morning. Hallelujah.
    2. There was bacon for breakfast!
    3. Jane Yolen is working on a novel about Sleeping Beauty (and didn’t get injured on the escalator).
    4. You have another reason to visit Seattle: the peanut butter cookies at the Dahlia Bakery are divine. (This is not so great if you have a peanut butter allergy, I know.)
    5. After years of reading to my bunny, my bunny finally read to me: Mr. Putter and Tabby Make a Wish, by Cynthia Rylant.
    6. I made a Baby Moses/Miriam/Pharaoh’s Daughter doll storytelling set.
    7. My gluten-free popovers rocked the house.

  7. Wow, Jules, a cool conference and then a treehouse? What a great trip!

    Running late for leaving for the train to work but at least I got to read all the nice kicks first. And poems, too!

    1. New couches arrived and have passed the afternoon nap test
    2. I have joined my new local library, and now have piles of books from two libraries to go through. Woops.
    3. My niece is just a joy to be around. I also saw a cute video of her reading one of the books I gave her to herself in her own language, of course that warmed the cockles of this aunt’s heart.
    4. Four different ginger flowers from our garden in a vase in front of me
    5. An abundance of lemons in my sister’s garden has meant lemon slice and frozen margaritas
    6. An abundance of family events too – birthdays and surprise visits and chatting over food and wine
    7. A wonderful new project at work that is hard but satisfying.

  8. Hey, everybody —

    Quick fly-through… Great to see everybody kickin’ here.

    Jules, congratulations on doing the Harry Potter thing with the girls. So glad they’re liking it (and I love the way you’ve depicted the response).

    Cool Jenny-O video. Sounded like “Beat It” for a while but then it evolved into something I think I heard on a John Fogerty tune.

    And Paul Simon! A lot of Paul Simon in the air suddenly. I like the way he’s aging. If they ever make a musical of Lord of the Rings, I want him cast as Gimli.

    Only one kick to report right now, and that’s yesterday’s RESTORATION OF OUR HOME INTERNET CONNECTION. This, after a Monday-night thunderstorm that also cost us The Missus’s PC, a wireless-phone set, a cable modem, a router, and the network card in my computer. Ergh.

    Have a great week!

  9. My comment appears to be stuck in the gears, so I emailed Jules for assistance…

  10. Are all of you ready to Rock the Drop on Thursday, April 14th? In honor of Teen Literature Day, people all over the world will be dropping books in public places – schools, parks, coffeehouses, restaurants, everywhere – on Thursday, leaving the books for someone else to find and enjoy. Please participate! Learn more at readergirlz and swing by Bildungsroman.

  11. Let’s see if I can get the rest of my comment to post now…

    Hi there, Rozalind Best! You have a fun name. I am fond of the story of Peter Pan. Thanks for sharing your artwork.

    Jules and Steven: Glad that you had fun at the conference!

    Jules: A treehouse with bunk beds AND a lavatory? Rock. On. Bonus points for using the Monopoly line. I do that as well when applicable.

    Jane: Glad that you escaped unharmed. Congratulations on the sale, and on completing the draft of The Thirteenth Fey. I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled for that book.

    Ooh, and to hold people over while they wait:
    WHEN ROSE WAKES by Christopher Golden
    A modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty. SO good!

    Jama: Please say (sing!) hello to the little gray bird for me!

    I am now singing Little Bird – Jonatha Brooke, who is one of my favorite singer/songwriters, set Woody Guthrie’s words to music in her album The Works.

    Watch Jonatha perform Little Bird live:

    The making of The Works:

    Farida: That is a moment to cherish.

    emmaco: Grinning at your first kick. And your second. Yay for munchkin enjoying the books. Enjoy the abundance of good things. Good luck with the work project.

    Rachel: Thanks for the note from last week, which I just saw. I appreciate it. 🙂

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Visit
    2) Script
    3) Another script
    4) Adjustments
    5) Purple things
    6) Vanilla almond milk
    7) Cranberry apple juice

  12. Looooved the music, soul sistah! ‘Bout to boogie in my boots here. : )

  13. Farida, must see the dolls. You know my oldest is a Miriam. Congrats on being read to, and you are the reason to visit Seattle.

    Emmaco, I had ginger cookies yesterday. Mmm. Food, wine, margaritas, your niece — what a good week.

    John, congrats on getting your foot back into cyberspace. Must have been terribly frustrating.

    Little Willow, not only do I love Jonatha Brooke, but this is one of my favorite CDs of all time. You have heard The Story do “In the Gloaming,” right? And, better yet, heard Jonatha do it live on this CD? A friend of mine told me just the other day about the Guthrie songs. Woot!…. I hope you’re feeling totally tip-top these days and no longer under-the-weather.

    Leslie. Indeed. We are musical soul sisters.

  14. Oh, and Roz’s artwork is gorgeous. Loved the pieces featuring her grandmother.

  15. Jules: Yay! I have all of her albums, including the live recordings and the two from The Story. Thanks. I am feeling better.

Leave a Comment

Should you have trouble posting, please contact sevenimp_blaine@blaine.org. Thanks.