June Hedge a gram
Here's my June hedge a gram. This is the time I gather my thoughts about
being an artist, and I try to tell you about the challenges and fun I am having
with my children's books. I am thinking about the child or reader that has a
book deep in their mind that is about to unfold. Sometimes we're distracted or
just not ready to dig in. After all making a book is hard work. The surprise
is how exciting and uplifting it is to get in the middle of a creative project.
You may know that the book I'm working on tells about Hedgie the Hedgehog
going to outer space. I got the idea from when I was a young person, and used
to draw other worlds. My mother always pushed us to use our imaginations, and
the big attraction about outer space is that almost anything can happen. I also
think astronauts are the heros of our time. The discipline they have to have to
study and train is awesome. The astronauts were once kids like anybody, whose
parents were very amazed that their child became an astronaut. When I tell the
story of Hedgie, he's a stand in for all the people who stepped forward to be
part of the discovery and adventure of space.
You may be surprised at another huge influence I have. It's kids! This
spring I visited three schools. When I was at these schools, I saw the
children's drawings. Some were from the How to Draw videos on my website, some
were their own ideas and some were from my little art lessons. I am amazed at
the talent of the kids.
I am intrigued at how much of a story their drawings tell. They are not
afraid to do new things and put their ideas into use. I think of the Toucan
birds one class drew for example. Each one looked like it could talk any minute
or fly off the page. Some artists drew wild leafy backgrounds with exotic
flowers or dangerous predators. When I looked at the drawings, I wanted to know
I made my mind up that I would put more mystery and atmosphere in my new
book. I would not answer every question asked in the art work. I liked how my
imagination was fired up looking at the student's artwork and I want my book to
be the same way.
Please, please, please take some time to draw a picture. Drawing is like
swimming, or math, or playing a musical instrument, you get better the more you
Right now, I'm working on Hedgie's astronaut uniform and his spaceship. I
am designing the interior of the laboratory where he works. Seeing the
facilities at the Space Center gave me some ideas. I am also getting ready to
show some scenes from outer space. I have photos from the Hubble telescope for
that. Soon I will show my first finished drawing to my editor Margaret and my
art director Cecilia. I listen carefully to what they say because I want my
space book to be the best it can be.
Good luck and keep on being creative!