Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tooting My Own Horn, and Introducing Henry!

Henry especially likes juicy berries. ©Cheryl Kirk Noll
On September 29, 2012, I was featured on Kathy Teamen's blog, Writing and Illustrating. She has a regular feature, "Illustrator Saturday," with extensive interviews of dozens of fabulous illustrators, from Dan Santat to Brian Lies to Susan Jeffers, and many, many more.  I'm honored to be included in this treasure trove of information about the lives and creative process of children's book illustrators.

To read my interview, which includes lots of information about my student days at RISD, and my illustration process, go to:

Kathy was on a retreat when she put up the information, and had a hard time with a bad internet connection. Consequently, you'll find several things repeated, and she wasn't able to put up my new  work, so...

 I want to introduce my latest project, a picture book dummy about a vivacious hedgehog named Henry. Working on Henry has been such fun that I wanted to share him.

There is never enough time in the day for Henry. ©Cheryl Kirk Noll

As I mentioned in the interview, I've been writing up a storm.  I dummied up this story, (that means I made a prototype of the book, with sketches, words in place, and a few finished illustrations) and it  is currently being considered by a few publishers.  I have my fingers crossed.

Henry loves to swim, and fish, and chase after whirlwinds. ©Cheryl Kirk Noll

Henry is always on the lookout for slimy slugs and chewy grubs. YUM! ©Cheryl Kirk Noll

Occasionally Henry likes to rest, but only if it's outside. ©Cheryl Kirk Noll

Monday, October 1, 2012

Highlights of Fall

What is it about fall that brings human beings back to life? Is it the cool weather? The fear of winter? Years of "back to school" conditioning?

At any rate, I've been wildly busy, and wanting to share some of it here. I want to post about an interesting historical structure I recently visited, and toot my own horn about being interviewed for Illustration Saturday, a feature on Kathy Teaman's blog, Writing and Illustrating. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/illustrator-saturday-cheryl-kirk-noll/

The logo I created for "Brush Master"
But I'll begin with the Highlights for Children Illustrator's party.

I've had the honor of getting together with wildly talented and creative folks in the mountains of the Poconos for fifteen years now. Begun by Kent Brown, the party invites Highlights illustrators and their families to gather for a weekend of "Fun with a Purpose" each fall. We are feted with food, seminars, family activities, a square dance, a themed costume party, and more food. Every year we get to reconnect with old friends, and meet new illustrators. What a blast!

This year, the theme was "Superheros" and we were encouraged to dress as people who were heros to us (teacher, famous artist, dad, firefighters) or a Superhero with our own unique skills. I went as "Brush Master"!

My totally goofy Brush Master costume, and hubby as Clark Kent.

It's SO much fun to meet with these folks in such a great atmosphere. The staff is warm and welcoming. Highlights really is a family business, and they really do care about children.
The illustrators convene from far-flung places like Arizona, California, Texas, and more, and I go green with envy when we share our portfolios. 

I love all the events, but I'm always in awe at the costume ideas folks come up with.  

David Helton as Super Vincent, and Lyn Martin as Super Frida.
David Galchutt as... you guessed it! (thanks to a Facebook contributor for photo)
Robert and Jessica Squire... The Pink Pearl rubs out Evil Doers, and Duct Tape Girl saves citizens from Sticky Situations!

My friends Ruth Flanigan as "Pantonia" and Judith Moffatt as Frieda Khalo.

The Valiant family, of course, with Graphite Girl!

Three powerful SUPER women. Terry Taylor, Rebecca Thornburg and Sharon Vargo.

Super Girl, StarMan and Pantonia 

Don't know who. Justice, I guess. Isn't this a great costume?

Let's not forget Anni Matsick as "Wonder where-I-put-that? Woman" and her hubby as "Retired Super Hero". (thanks to Annie for the picture, and the one of PBAA below.)

Below is a very small sampling of the artists who attended. This group belongs to a listserve with about 150 members, all of whom have illustrated three of more children's books. It's called Picture Book Artists Association, and displays art of all it's members, which changes quarterly. http://www.picturebookartists.org/

Back row, l-r: Anni Matsick, Jennifer Emery,  Judith Moffatt, Terry Taylor, Laura Jacques, Cheryl Kirk Noll, Sharon Vargo.
Front row, l-r: Maggie Swanson, Sharon Holm, Sue Miller, Barry Gott, Laura Jacobsen, Sherry Neidigh, Layne Johnson, Paige Billin-Frye, Len Ebert. The very Front: Rebecca Thornburgh

 And here is the bucolic scene that awaited us each morning. Thanks to Highlights for Children, for caring about children, AND illustrators.