Tag Archives: Babies Around the World

Quite a List!

2 Feb

Great News for Babies Around the World

Reader’s Digest recently listed Babies Around the World (which I illustrated) 4th in their list of the 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time.

Wow!

One of my favorite images from Babies Around the World.

A Family Affair

Written by Puck and published by duopress in 2017, Babies Around the World is special to me.

When kicking off the process of illustrating this charming book, I made some style samples. The publisher liked them all and told me to choose, so I called Graham into my studio and asked him to look over my shoulder. “Which one?” I asked. He pointed, and the rest is history. Since that day, I’ve illustrated several books in this fun, splashy style. But that’s not the only way that Graham helped!

My son also contributed a handful of architectural drawings, which I incorporated into the art for Babies Around the World. This was not our only collaboration, but alas, it’s our most recent. The little bugger grew up and into other interests. Color me gobsmacked. I used to say, “Hey kiddo, draw the Petronas Towers for me.” Ten minutes later, a freshly inked masterpiece would appear. IMHO the young man is a remarkable artist. He’s following his own path now though, studying law. (Again. Gobsmacked.)

I treasure every building my baby ever drew, including those featured in Babies Around the World. (He drew the lamp posts in the London illustration, above.) How incredible that Reader’s Digest included Babies Around the World in their auspicious list? And coming in at number four? Talk about gobsmacked!

Click here to peruse Reader’s Digest’s complete list, written by Molly Pennington, PhD. It’s a wonderful resource for anyone curating a home library for little ones.

To read more about how the art for Babies Around the World was made and see some of Graham’s drawings, click here.

And click here to order your copy of Babies Around the World. Make sure to read the reviews, they are great!

behind the scenes of “BABIES AROUND THE WORLD”

28 May

Recently, duopress released Babies Around the World — a 20-page board book written by Puck, designed by Beatriz Juarez, and illustrated by moi, Violet Lemay.

We opted for a collage look for the book, which was a fun departure from my watercolor paintbox. A new iPad Pro gave me my first-ever access to digital brushes. Babies Around the World was my pioneer attempt at creating images without using any traditional media… with a few special exceptions!

Working Digitally

After adding an iPad Pro and Apple pencil to my studio, setting up my new digital workspace was easy. All I had to do was purchase and download two genius, easy-to-use tech products:

  1.  Astropad, an app that converts the iPad Pro into a tablet by reflecting your computer monitor
  2. digital brushes from Kyle T. Webster

Setting everything up was easy. I’ve used Photoshop to adjust and manipulate scans of my paintings for eons, so the only new skill I had to acquire was loading brushes. It took me a little while to get used to Astropad and to decide which of Kyle’s plethora of cool brushes to use, but that is to be expected. Both suppliers—Team Astropad and Kyle T. Webster—were super nice and offered great support. (By the way, besides designing brushes for Photoshop, Kyle is also a terrific illustrator. Check out his portfolio here.)

The Few Special Exceptions to My New Digital Process

My son Graham and I have always used his school breaks as opportunities for mother-son artistic collaborations. His work has made its way into several books I’ve illustrated, including NY Dogs, a gift book that I wrote and illustrated for punchline shortly before acquiring the iPad. Graham contributed a hand-drawn map to NY Dogs, for which he is credited in a splashy way at the end of the book (see previous post).

Here is his drawing, and how I incorporated it into NY Dogs.

Last summer, because of his special interest in architecture, I gave Graham the assignment of drawing various structures from the cities featured in Babies Around the World.

Some are quite famous, like the San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid, but others are more obscure… because Graham appreciates buildings that most of us have never heard of. That’s my boy.

Here are some of the drawings that Graham contributed to Babies Around the World, along with the final images so you can see the end result.

Graham is a traditionalist—his drawings are made with Micron pens on printer paper, which I scanned and collaged into my illustrations.

Because Babies Around the World is a board book with very few pages, all of the fine print—including Graham’s credit—is on the back cover.

The Re-Cap

1) Astropad and Kyle T. Webster’s brushes have revolutionized my illustration process, and are aiding my effort to save the planet. Previously I went through at least a ream of paper every time I illustrated a book—as shown in this photo of my file from NY Dogs. #recommend! Click their names above to be redirected to their websites.

2) Working with Graham is simply the best! As I write this post, my son is fifteen years old. We’ve been collaborating since he was six or seven, and I hope we never stop. All this time he’s been wild about buildings, and has been contributing tech drawings of his favorites at a cool website called skyscraperpage.com. He has posted over 4oo buildings to date—check out his drawings by clicking here! But please don’t tell him that I sent you. No inter-family tagging allowed. 🙂

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BATW 3D cover + globe

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Click here to order Babies Around the World, written by Puck and illustrated by Violet Lemay (with a little help from her son Graham… who drew the front cover globe!)

published by duopress / distributed by Workman Publishing / 2017