Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sketchbook Saturday

This past Thursday, I spoke at the Montserrat College of Art in conjunction with my exhibit there. I taught at Montserrat for four great years. I haven't been back to campus in some time — it was good to be back. I saw some old friends, including Ellisa Della-Piana, Greg Orfanos and Mark Hoffmann.

I used to teach Children's Book Illustration I & II, Illustration III and the Acrylic Painting Workshop. I had a lot of down time during the Acrylic Painting Workshop, because I needed to give my students time to paint. So I would take out my sketchbook and draw them at work.




Tuesday, February 24, 2009

gallery talk this Thursday


I'll be speaking at the Montserrat College of Art this Thursday at 11:30 AM in conjunction with my exhibit there. Come on by. (It will also be the last day of the show.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

New School Visit Programs


To all of the school library media specialists and PTO directors out there − I am switching up my school visits starting in the 2009-2010 school season. I will have available three assemblies to choose from and three workshops to choose from. You can mix and match the programs to schedule your day as you see fit.

For all of the new information, including a description of my new assembly on writing graphic novels, download and print my school visit brochure here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Carle Museum on Saturday


I'll be reading, talking, drawing and signing at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on Saturday at 2 PM. Come on by!

PF makes a cameo in Canada

Clicking through Vimeo brought me to this cool video. Looks like it was a fun event!


TINARS for Tots Premieres "TOTSAPALOOZA!" from MovingStories.TV on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Colorado

I had a great few days out in Colorado the other week at the CCIRA conference (Colorado Council International Reading Association.) As the plane landed in Denver, I saw the magestic rocky mountains and one single tear slid down my cheek. Not for their beauty, but because I knew thet I wouldn't be riding them this year. When the invite to attend this conference first came a few years back, I thought "Denver! I'll spend another week out in Breckenridge! I'll hit the slopes!" Of course when you have a 2 month old at home, you don't dare do that. How quickly life changes.

At the conference, I got to hang out with friend and neighbor Jane Yolen (we need to go to the other side of the country to find the time!) who gave a fantastic keynote luncheon speech. And to my surprise, there was a whole slew of author buddies there, including Jon Mr. Ambassador Scieszka and Mr. Jack Gantos. Another author pal in attendance, who I've never had the pleasure of meeting in person before, was Lauriue Keller. Hello?! ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT
And I got to make a new author friend in Kate Mcmullan (author of I Stink! and I'm Dirty!), whose books I have been a fan of for some time now.
And of course, I can't forget the quick, drive-by hello by Lauren Myracle (of TTYL fame.)


Both of my break out sessions went very well. I loved all of the teachers who I had the chance to speak with, both in a group setting and one-on-one!

Thank you to everyone at CCIRA for showing me a great time and for having me! Of course, I also need to thank Kyle (who blogs over at The Boy Reader) who made sure that I didn't get lost. Well, at least not entirely lost.



Finally, I leave you with two things.

First, this oxygen bar that greets you in the hotel lobby. (I didn't try it, it freaked me out!)


And second, this video of 600 plus teachers singing "Happy Birthday" to Jane Yolen.

video

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Here is a picture of Ralph with his girlfriend, Ramona. Yes, Ralphie has himself a girlfriend. She lives just around the corner and they enjoy playdates at Ramona's house and here in the studio. (And in case you were wondering, Ramona is named after Ramona Quimby. It was meant to be!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Art show on the North shore

This announcement is a bit late, as this exhibit has been up for two weeks now, but I have an exhibit up and there are still two weeks left to catch it! If you live near Beverly, MA, head on over to the Montserrat College of Art to see a collection of the original paintings from my books.

For full info on the show, follow this link.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kids Heart Authors Day

Kids Heart Authors Day is going to be an incredible string of events and I suggest you head out to your local indie bookshop and see who's popped in. All across New England, authors are heading to their local indie shops for what must be the biggest book signing event in history.

I was invited by a few stores and would love to participate, but G gives up so many days for my books during the year, that Valentine's Day is all hers.

I hope that you consider checking out your neighborhood bookshop on February 14th.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Sensei and I

Here is a photo of Tomie Master and me taken by Jeanne Birdsall on the day of the big video shoot.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Drawings from Denver kids

I recently visited a school in Denver, CO ahead of my time at the CCIRA conference. There were many great drawings that greeted me at the door.

Here are some of Baghead:

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And some of Monkey Boy:

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And some of Slug:

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And some of the Bubble Bath Pirates duck:

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Aren't they all incredible?

If you have any drawings, I would love to see them. They can be
emailed to me via props@studiojjk.com or mailed to:
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
PO Box 60155
Florence, MA 01062

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sketchbook Saturday

I have been pretty slack with Sketchbook Saturday since sometime around that whole book deadline and 3rd trimester thing. Both kept me too busy to scan in old sketchbook pages.

Here are a few pages of sketches made during the SCBWI NY conference from 2001. I found these just before I left for the conference this year.



Tuesday, February 03, 2009

SCBWI NYC

I wanted to recap the events of last weekend - so here we go!

When the invite came in from Lin Oliver to open the NY SCBWI National Conference, I was giddy. BUT - there was a baby on the way. So my immediate thought was to reply with my regrets. However, Gina was quick to correct me. By then, we, especially she, would have been cooped up in the house for 7 weeks straight and by then it would be really nice to get out of the house. Especially for a free weekend in NYC. So I erased the start of my message back to Lin and told her that I would be delighted to join the faculty. I also told her that I had been telling myself that if I was ever invited back to speak, that I would produce another video. If I could (more on that in a later post.)

After getting clearance from Zoe's doctors (we are jittery 1st timers), we took our first trip as a family. And believe it or not - Zoe slept the entire way down to NY. *phew!* On Friday afternoon we took a nice stroll over to Random House and G and Z got to see all of the wonderful people who I've been working with over these years. On Friday night, G and I enjoyed a baby-free evening at the SCBWI party. (Z has an uncle and auntie in the city - thanks Pete & Siobhan!) Upon returning to our hotel room, Z was a little fussy, so I took baby duty while putting the finishing touches on my slideshow and video. Both the fussy baby and the last minute revising kept me up until 3 AM. (And trust me, nothing was saved for the last minute - I'm just a perfectionist.) I went to bed at 3, only to wake up at 6, thinking, "I want to change this, this and that." So I did. And then it was 8:30 AM, so I headed down to the conference ballroom where the event was taking place. (My talk began at 9:15 AM, with Lin's opening remarks beginning at 9 AM.) Holy moly! It was a big room. And there was already quite the crowd. I met up with the SCBWI staff and the hotel A/V guy. Everything got hooked up - BUT - there was no sound. The A/V guy assured me there would be sound, but said that if there wasn't, I'd just have to do without sound. HUH?! WHA?! I took the pill gracefully, but still - I. Needed. SOUND! And sure enough, there was sound. But still - what an emotional roller coaster. Before I took the stage, I was stopped by one Jeremy Evans. He had emailed me some months ago about his dreams of getting into this world of published children's books. I had suggested he join the SCBWI and he did. Which is what brought him to the conference. It was hard not to see a little bit of myself in him, as he was so energetic and excited by what may come. My first conference was the SCBWI NY in 2001 before any of my books were published. In fact, my conference friend, Esther, whom I sat next to at that conference was the very first person that I ran into when the elevators opened to the ballroom. These were all the little pick-me-ups that I needed to get up there on the stage.

Lin gave me a very generous introduction and my talk went off without a hitch. Though, I always do get nervous at the beginning. Very nervous in fact. But once I'm up there for a bit and especially once I throw up a few slides, the time just melts away. Everyone loved the movie and appreciated the candidness in my talk. Then it was a much needed food break with the fam and my agent. G, Z and I returned to our hotel room and needless to say, Z was not cooperative when it came time to take a nap. And not for her - but for me. Before you know it, it was lunch time and a speech by Jay Asher that I was very much looking forward to. And for good reason - his speech was amazing. So inspiring. Halfway through his talk, my contact folded up and got lodged behind my eye. But I didn't care. I was mesmerized. His path to publication is riveting - the man had his books rejected for 12 years. And when that first book did get published - accolades galore, including a number of weeks on the NY Times Best-sellers list. (Of course that second half of his story wasn't included in his speech.)



I was finally able to catch some much needed rest.

I'll fast-forward to Sunday morning. After getting some sleep (Yay babies). I took Z for a walk to give G a break. The elevator opened and there was Jay. We sat and talked for a bit when a man approached me. I think he was British, maybe early 30's. He enjoyed my speech, but more importantly said that everyone kept coming up to him and congratulating him on his baby. He would say thank you and then wonder why they were congratulating him on his three year old. Then they would congratulate him on his speech. To which he would realize - they thought he was me. This isn't the first time this has happened to me at a SCBWI conference. Back in LA in 2006, I received a number of e-mails from people telling me that it was nice to meet me at the dance party. But I hadn't been at the dance party. Someone was mistaken for me and went with it, dancing the night away - as me! Fortunately, this fine fellow wasn't as opportunistic. And as it turns out - people kept congratulating Jay Asher on his baby. And his video...

I took the opportunity of Jay's time to run up and grab a copy of his book, 13 Reasons Why. I picked up the last copy!!! Go Jay!

We spotted Mr. Jack Gantos in the lobby. He was giving the closing keynote. Man, Mr. Gantos is a snappy dresser. And a man who dresses that well and is that handsome deserves the monicker of "Mr." I was excited to hear Mr. Gantos speak. I would say I've never seen him speak, but that wouldn't be a complete truth. I saw him speak when I was in the 3rd grade. He visited my school and I remember this clearly - he walked by my desk, pointed to my drawing of Rotten Ralph and said, "nice cat". That had a profound impact on me. So imagine my excitement to open a conference that he was closing. His speech was incredible. He's like a ballet dancer and a boxer up there behind the podium.


Finally, it was the autographing session and a thank-you to everyone who waited in line and gave such nice well wishes. It was all much appreciated!

Finally, someone approached Gina and said, "Your Jay Asher's wife! Congratulations on the baby!"

Then we went home. Zoe, again, slept the entire way. *phew!* G,Z and I had a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

I rested for about a minute, then I had to pack for Colorado. Im at that conference as I write this.

Stay tuned for a director's commentary on "Book by Book"....


Thank you Lin and Steve for all that you do!

(Photo of me speaking taken from Gaby Triana's Facebook.)

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