I just finished several illustrations for the cover of the next issue of Edible East Bay magazine. It's a beautiful mag that comes out four times a year, with recipes and info about farmer's markets, sustainability, and food in general. Here's one image they didn't pick.
What I really want to be doing: laying in bed reading "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" , nursing my sore throat and drinking tea. But what I am doing is: writing report cards (150 total, I'm getting to the end), taking inventory in the Art room( an overwhelming task!), painting a couple of illustrations, and designing a spider ornament....all with looming deadlines!
There has been an interesting discussion on the SCBWI liststerve that I subscribe to...about race/ethnicity and writing for children. One of the questions brought up is whether or not it is ok for a 'white' person to write about people of color? I think it depends on your experience, and what you know best (however fantasy writers don't know about flying and magicians and dragons any more than I do)...but we are all people of color, different colors, and sometimes different colors at different times. My skin color is not white, copy paper is white. I am sort of peachy-gold, tanner and more freckled in summer than winter. Our family discussed this when filling out our census forms. I wrote in European American. My ancestors, or at least the ones I know about, mostly came to the US many generations ago, from Sweden, England, Scotland, Germany, but there are many more I don't know about at all... I have lived all my life in the multi-ethnic bay area, which I think colors my world immensely. The author/illustrator Karen Katz wrote a great kids' book about comparing skin color to spices (The Colors of Us) like cinnamon, cloves, and cumin. Wouldn't that be fun to write in on your census form? I think I might be pink peppercorns mixed with some mustard.
It all began when my aunt gave me The Tyger Voyage (by Richard Adams)when I was fourteen. Looking at Nicola Bayley's glowing illustrations made me want to paint some of my own. I still love her work, and I still have that book.