Holman had the great pleasure of attending the Washington / Oregon SCBWI Illustrators Retreat held at the beautiful Dumas Bay Center this past weekend in Federal Way, Washington. Here’s a quick photographic tour:
Here’s the whole gang:
One of the incredible faculty members, Kelly Murphy, sharing her wisdom.
Class in session!
Evidence of why Holman sticks to needle felting!
Another incredible faculty member, Sergio Ruzzier, giving us a short history on Randolph Caldecott.
During one of the ad hoc sessions, Holman spread the gospel of needle felting.
A felt bear made by Kate Berube, clearly a needle-felting natural.
Dumas Bay sunset.
The Dumas Bay Center.
Just a small sampling of some of the illustrations created at the retreat, starting with these amazing gestural pen-and-ink drawings by Abigail Marble.
Absolutely delightful characters by Kate Berube.
Assigned to evoke “romance” with nothing more than an image of shoes, a mat, leaves, and hardwood flooring, Dana Armin whipped up this gem.
The talent of Karen Lewis is apparent, despite the out of focus photo.
Dana Sullivan came up with these awesome characters in a matter of minutes.
It was a great time had by all, and Holman’s looking forward to next year already!
Happy 186th birthday, Leo Tolstoy! Google honours the man today with a beautiful animated doodle by artist Roman Muradov. Here are some screen grabs from the doodle, matched up with the Cozy Classics versions!
And did you know that the BBC is planning an epic 6-part adaptation of War and Peace for 2015! Here’s the latest news on the project.
In case you missed it, here’s the full profile of Cozy Classics from the April / May 2014 issue of American Craft. American Craft is absolutely gorgeous magazine, and a must-read for artists and crafters everywhere. The online version of the article is here.
Cozy Classics is also featured in this American Craft trailer at 1:32, where we’re praised for having that “thingy-ness”!
We’re back from a well-earned vacation after the marathon that was working on the Star Wars Short & Sweet books, and we’re ready to announce our next Cozy Classics title: Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations! As you can see from the picture below, Ms. Havisham and The Criminal have already started to take shape, albeit in alien form for the moment.
Check out Publishers Weekly’s sneak peek at children’s books for spring 2015. Under Chronicle Books, you’ll see mention of Star Wars Short and Sweet: A New Hope (our needle-felted versions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi will be coming out at the same time). We can’t show you any images yet, but we can assure you there will be a felted tauntaun!
We got a little shout out recently from Metro UK for their kids summer reading list! Go Huck, go!
And in this recent post from Media Darlings, Cozy Classics is called “just about the most beautifully realized set of sight-word books you will ever see, period.” Wow. Now that’s a compliment! Thanks, Media Darlings!
We’re sharing with you today the first ever Cozy Classics concept shot from early 2010: Ishmael from Moby Dick. As you can see, a lot has changed since then.
The single words appear opposite the illustration now, instead of superimposed on top. We thought we would be relying heavily on suggestive 2-D backgrounds, such as maps, old etchings and other public domain illustrations, but we’re now building realistic 3-D sets to place our felted figures in (except for the first pages of each book, which incorporate the famous first line of each classics, and, of course, outdoor location shots). The photography has definitely gotten a lot better. We thought each book would have about 20 words, until we realized that we would have to delve into subplots with 20 words, instead of concentrating on the main narrative arc. And the series was pitched as Abridged Classics for Babies back in the day (the series title is much snappier now!). From the initial concept to where we are today, we’ve come a long way, baby!
Our good friends at the uber-crafty shop Berylune in Leamington Spa, England posted this beautiful picture of our new titles which recently arrived at their store:
And speaking of the other side of the pond, it has always been a lifelong dream of ours to make it into the British tabloids! Well, we jest, but we’ve made it anyway. Here’s a little blurb about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in The Sun (UK). As the Brits might say, “That’s ace!”
And we would be remiss if we talked about England without mentioning that Jack is headed that way in a few months for a good long while! Jack will be spending his sabbatical year there with his family after he received the 2014-15 David T.K. Wong Fellowship from the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia–a program that has spawned the likes of Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan! Jack will be working on a novel when he’s there.
Maybe we can get Jack to do a few media events for Cozy Classics while he’s in England, and hopefully not get into the British tabloids for the wrong reasons!
Here’s a quick tour around parts of Holman’s studio in Vancouver, including shots of piles of felt, pre-felt, props and the shelves where our felt figures go to rest (sorry if it looks a bit macabre!).
Cozy Classics: Moby Dick is reviewed in the Washington Post today. In the review, a cynical parent is surprised that our version of Moby Dick has become one of her child’s favorites–while the “sanitized” version by the competition doesn’t get a second glance.