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.
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.“
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.
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.
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?