Beth Gismondi

Posts tagged illustrators

24 notes &

Draw Me A Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration

Over the holiday weekend, I was lucky enough to go see Draw Me A Story: A Century of Children’s Book Illustration at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY. The exhibit showcases the art of forty illustrators from the last hundred years, including Randolph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway, Jules Feiffer, Maurice Sendak, and William Steig (among others). It was wonderful to see works by all of the greats under one roof, and also to observe how much the art of illustration has evolved over the past century.

Some of my all-time favorites were represented in the show, including Trina Schart Hyman, Chris Van Allsburg, and Tomie dePaola.

Trina Schart Hyman
Illustration from Bearskin
(HarperCollins, 1997) 

Chris Van Allsburg
Illustration from The Z was Zapped
(Houghton Mifflin, 1987) 

Tomie dePaola
Illustration from Stagestruck
(Putnam, 2005) 

I also “discovered” a few illustrators who I hadn’t known of beforehand, namely Elizabeth Miles and Michael Hague.

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Spotlight on: John Rocco

Cover, Moonpowder, written and illustrated by John Rocco (Disney/Hyperion 2008)

I came across a wonderful interview with author-illustrator John Rocco this morning. John’s work immediately caught my eye because it reminded me of Tony DiTerlizzi’s illustrations for The Spiderwick Chronicles. As you probably already know, Tony is one of my all-time favorite illustrators, so I felt compelled to see more of John’s art. (As it turns out, John is influenced by Tony…but I digress.) Although John shares some stylistic similarities with Tony, he has a great style all his own.

John has had quite an interesting career path. Many illustrators do, but John’s is the stuff that fairytales are made of! He landed his first book deal when he bravely handed Whoopi Goldberg a promo card during a Tony Awards after party (John was bartending). Whoopi liked his work and asked him to illustrate her children’s book manuscript. John did, and then moved to LA, where he worked as a creative director for several companies, including Disney Imagineering. Fifteen years later, John moved back to New York City. He joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and was discovered at the SCBWI annual conference (See?? It can happen!). John has illustrated five children’s books, three of which he has also written, to date.

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Illustration Heroes: Tomie dePaola

Illustration for The Art Lesson, written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola (Putnam, 1989)

Tomie DePaola is one of my favorite children’s book illustrators. I loved his books growing up, and I appreciate them more than ever now that I am working on my own illustrations. Tomie will be giving one of the keynote speeches at the upcoming New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Annual Conference, and I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to go see him. I thought it was fitting to devote today’s post to Tomie and his illustration career.

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14 notes &

Illustration Heroes: Trina Schart Hyman

One of my favorite children’s book illustrators of all time is Trina Schart Hyman. I have been a big fan of her incredibly intricate, detailed images ever since I first read her version of Snow White as a child. Trina is remembered for her fairytales, folktales, and legends, but also illustrated many other genres for children during her lifetime, including poetry, nonfiction, and contemporary fiction. She was also a pioneer of diversity in children’s books—she was one of the first to include mixed-race families in her illustrations, and set several of her books in non-Western countries.

Trina Schart Hyman, illustration from Snow White, retold by Paul Heins (Little, Brown, 1974)

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Spotlight on: Justin Gerard

I am so happy that I did a little web surfing this morning over coffee, because I came across this painting by illustrator Justin Gerard:

Justin Gerard, The Undomesticables

Technical perfection + a sense of humor = the perfect illustration.

I hadn’t heard of Gerard until today, so I spent some time checking out his blog and website. He is super talented! Wow! Some of his stuff reminds me of Tony DiTerlizzi's work…and that is a HUGE compliment in my book (DiTerlizzi is one of my all-time favorite illustrators).

See more of Gerard’s stuff here:



Filed under illustrators justin gerard tony diterlizzi