7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #399: Featuring Marla Frazee

h1 September 28th, 2014 by jules

(Click to enlarge)

Pictured here is an early comp from Marla Frazee’s newest picture book, The Farmer and the Clown (Beach Lane Books, September 2014). This book is something special, and since I recently reviewed it for BookPage, I figured I would see if Marla could share some early sketches and such from it. Lucky for me and all of 7-Imp’s readers, she said yes. She also includes below some final art from the book.

So, to read about this book and why it’s so good, that BookPage review I wrote is here. Below are the preliminary images and final art.

I thank Marla for sharing. (Oh, and don’t miss this conversation she had with the Horn Book’s Roger Sutton.)


Marla: “This is the first drawing I did of the two characters.
It kicked off my thinking about what the story could be.”


Marla: “This is one of the many, many, many versions of early thumbnails.”
(Click to enlarge slightly)


Early small sketch dummies
(Click to enlarge slightly)


A sketch from the full-size sketch dummy
(Click to enlarge)


Early comps
(Click to enlarge)


Marla: “The direction I decided to go in for the finishes …”
(Click to enlarge)


A finished pencil, close-up
(Click to enlarge)


Finished drawing before painting
(Click to enlarge)


Farmer and clown, pre-painted
(Click to enlarge)


Two more pre-painted final images
(Click each to enlarge)


Some Final Spreads from the Book:


(Click to enlarge)


(Click second image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


(Click second image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


(Click second image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)



THE FARMER AND THE CLOWN. Copyright © 2014 by Marla Frazee. Published by Beach Lane Books, New York. All images here are posted with permission of Marla Frazee.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is 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. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I love love LOVE looking at Marla Frazee’s pencil drawings. Even her early sketches are spectacular.

2) Lev Grossman’s The Magicians! AH! THE ENDING!

3) Grossman will be speaking at the Southern Festival of Books in a couple of weeks. I’ll have to go hear him. (Hey, I will also speak at the Southern Festival of Books in a couple of weeks! My co-author will be in town for that too.)

4) Transparent. It’s good stuff, you all.

5) I’m learning to play “Honey Pie” on the piano. My 8-year-old loves this song, so if I can nail it (I’m still a beginner), I’ll surprise her.

6) Surprises in the mail.

7) Laura Marling has surfaced — and in such a lovely, melodic way:

BONUS: I get to meet Lauren Castillo in person today!

What are YOUR kicks this week?

17 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #399: Featuring Marla Frazee”

  1. 1. THIS.
    2. First published piece in a national periodical in over 20 years (last one was in SASSY magazine in 1994. I got paid for that one. So this is kind of a step down).
    3. Made some kick-ass flour tortillas.
    4. Heard “Karma Chameleon” on the radio for the first time in, like, 30 years.
    5. The leaves are turning.
    6. Wrote some stuff this week and didn’t hate it.
    7. Roxane Gay. That is all.

  2. I saw this book as an F & G at my local indie store. I sighed out loud. It is so good. I am thrilled with all the art work today. Marla really nails the essence of emotion.
    Jules: Please let us know how the song “Honey Pie” goes.

    My kicks:
    1. Like you I had a surprise in the mail.
    2. Blooming mums in shades of autumn
    3. Trees turning yellow and red.
    4. Crisp clear air
    5. Fall rains to replenish our water
    6. Early morning quiet
    7. Strolls with my sweet Xena

    Have a wonderful week everyone.

  3. Hi Shawna. I have a special place in my heart for literacy specialists. (I looked at your site.) Nice to cyber-meet you. I’ve noticed the leaves turning too, and it sounds so cliche, but I’m not sure how we already got to nearly-October. … Congrats on kick #2. I have a funny Sassy story from high school (but it’s probably only funny to me).

    Margie, give Xena a hug from me. … #6 is a nice kick, even if I’m not good at the actual waking-up of early mornings. Enjoy your Sunday!

  4. p.s. I just edited the post to add Roger Sutton’s wonderful interview with Marla from recently. I knew I’d forgotten something. That’s a good read.

  5. Good Morning!
    Thank you, Marla for sharing your lovely images. I can’t wait to see the finished book. I think I will have to buy a copy for my friend who is a clown.
    Jules – Glad to hear you are still learning the piano. I have recently discovered the beauty and challenge of being a beginner by choice.
    Shawna – Your whole post gave me a Reality Bites flashback.
    Margie – I love surprises in the mail! I hope for one every time I walk to the mailbox.

    1. I made a page just for the birds on my website. http://moiraswiatkowski.com/birds/
    2. I also made a blog post that kind-of explains my inability to stop drawing birds. http://moiraswiatkowski.com/2014/09/15/bird-count/
    3. Getting through “Flora and Ulysses” without getting any teardrops on the pages.
    4. Reading with my big kids. They have their own tastes now and I don’t always get it but I’m happy that they still want me to read to them.
    5. Pumpkin Ice Cream!
    6. Went for a lovely walk with the kids and saw a blue heron.
    7. The September light here on the Cape is so beautiful it hurts.

    Have a great week all.

  6. Wow, I loved looking at the early sketches and then the final art. Such emotion.
    Jules, The Magicians look interesting. And hooray for book festivals.
    Shawna, Karma Chameleon, such a fun song.
    Margie, the fallness of your kicks made me smile. And strolls with Xena.
    My kicks:
    1. Talking about banned/challenged books to fifth graders for Banned Book Week.
    2. Working out in the yard for the first time since my surgery.
    3. Writing at Willamette Writiers ‘House today.
    4. Coffee with former student who’s passionate about writing for children.
    5. Laughing Yoga: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b6xpPUfFXyE shown at our staff meeting.
    6. Laura Ingalls Wilder online class.
    7. Autumn!
    Have a great week.

  7. Moira, I love your cardinal. We don’t have them in the PNW.

  8. Good morning, Imps!

    Marla: Thanks for the illustrations and insight. I always like seeing the process, so it’s lovely to see the early sketches then the full-color finish.

    Jules and Margie: Snail mail is wonderful.

    Jules: Have fun at your meet-up!

    Shawna: High-fives for liking what you wrote, and for being published, and for the tortillas.

    Margie: Pretty puppy. Pretty fall colours.

    Moira: Your birds are lovely. Glad that you have fun times with your kids.

    Jone: Happy post-surgery mobility!

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) Casting
    2) Auditioning
    3) Recording
    4) Singing
    5) Memorable music
    6) Classic films
    7) Truth

  9. So wonderful.
    is it wordless? I think it must be.

  10. Beautiful art this week – I love how expressive the frames are.

    Jules – So glad you loved The Magicians! And I gave a listen to Honey Pie – what a fun song! And surprises in the mail can be the best.

    Shawna – the leaves turning is a spectacular kick. Much as I love summer, there is just something about fall colors.

    Margie – glad for your strolls with Xena, and the fall colors.

    Moira – your Cape Cod fall sounds gorgeous. And a blue heron! I love your birds.

    Jone – glad you are out working in the yard again. Hooray for autumn!

    LW – classic films are awesome. Hooray for singing and recording!

    My kicks this week:
    1) The nip in the air on my morning walks with Daisy.
    2) Daisy hiding a bone in leaves: http://youtu.be/1Irkye9rnmk?list=UU-Yj0199ayUeg9_ttRJPLeg
    3) People are applying to adopt Daisy! Excited for her, and trying to enjoy what I know is limited time together.
    4) Baking chocolate chip banana muffins.
    5) Making homemade spicy marinara sauce with all the excess tomatoes from my garden.
    6) Networking events and lunches, and a catch-up lunch with a good but not-seen-often-enough friend.
    7) Soccer game Friday night, and late night drinks with the whole team afterwards – always fun.

    Have a wonderful colorful week everyone!

  11. Moira: I wanna see September light on the Cape! … I was talking to friends today about reading aloud to my kiddos and wondering just how long they’ll let me do it. I’m glad yours still enjoy it when you read to them. … Thanks for the links! I shall go and read in a moment.

    Jone, I love your first two kicks in particular. So glad you’re recovering after that surgery.

    Little Willow, I assume “casting” means YOU were cast, so congrats!

    Hi Ashley! Yes, it’s wordless, save for a few illustrated train “toot toot”s.

    Rachel, oh oh oh I hope Daisy ends up in a great home with someone as loving as you. Love seeing her in the video!

    Have a great week, all.

  12. LW: congrats on the casting!
    Rachel: Homemade tomatoe sauce, yum! And hooray for Daisy.

  13. It’s great to see these, as I have been so curious about this book. I am a big fan of Marla, AND her work. This one looks fantastic. I am definitely curious about all the staples though…

  14. […] becoming an artist on her website. Follow her on Twitter. She’s recently been interviewed by “Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast” and The Horn Book’s Roger Sutton. See a sample of the illustrations on Simon & […]

  15. […] becoming an artist on her website. Follow her on Twitter. She’s recently been interviewed by “Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast” and The Horn Book’s Roger Sutton. See a sample of the illustrations on Simon & […]

  16. […] Seven impossible things before breakfast […]

  17. […] would. Brian Karas is a quiet genius. Ditto Ana Juan; Frida is a fantastic. I love Raúl Colón, Marla Frazee, and Jon Klasssen’s stuff is gorgeous. That tree house book — wow. Ed Young, the Dillons. […]

Leave a Comment

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