Tuesday, August 31, 2010

re: thesis...

Hoo boy. I have come to that place in my education where I have to write the thesis. Not fair. I mean, do they make the math grad students hang an art show? Does computer science have to have a cohesive visual display, with cocktail shrimp and champagne, of their thesis? The professor, who is very nice, and a walking encyclopedia of obscure art knowledge, asked if we had any questions. I didn't feel it would help my case to have her define critical thinking... Anyway, to console myself, and while the graphic novel is (gggglk, anxiety and nausea) off at a publisher being looked at, I'm going to pursue a series of paintings I've wanted to do for a while now, of warrior fairies mounted on dragon-armor clad mantises. And build the Surfside Girls website, with my new friend Priscilla. Stay tuned. Oh, the lobster tail was at our Cabrillo Beach campout with Scouts- tons of fun!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We had such a great day yesterday! Linda from my illustrator group suggested a sketch day in San Juan Capistrano. She had free tickets to the Mission, and it was "Historic Days," where people are moving about in period costume. Yesterday was Zorro day. I've always had a thing for Zorro; so mysterious, with the Latin accent and all. We never actually saw him, which was probably a good thing, since we were there to be serious artists and he would have made quite a distraction. It was an amazingly beautiful Southern California weather day, and we all had a great time making little pictures. I'm very inspired to go back! Lots of early Californian history.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The L.A. Times Reading Room illustration published Sunday, and the colors looked great! Thanks, Jennifer, for that great opportunity. My son was so proud; he is, of course, always my model, so he's told everyone he knows that "he was in the paper." We're in the process of updating his bedroom- he wants his decor to be a combination of Despicable Me Minions (I picked up a bunch of cut-outs at ComiCon,) Mom's art, and Star Wars. Yes, I have a pop-culture child, and yes, I am proud of that. Anyway, I put a little frame on the original piece, and that will be up in the room.

I mentioned in the last post about this cross-platform media stuff. I find this endlessly fascinating, and am embarking on getting Sam (my graphic novel's mystery solving surfer girl) up and running on the internet. I love the added depth and reality this can add to a story. I came across this article in the online magazine Script, put out by Final Draft. The link follows:
There is probably a more elegant way to do that, but I'm just learning this linking business. The article made me flash on a memory I didn't know I had, of myself as a four or five-year-old at Disneyland. There was a board, and on this board were a bunch of labeled phones. You know, the old style kind, with the metal cord and ear and mouth bulbs between the handle part. These phones were labeled "Mickey," "Minnie," "Donald," etc. You could pick up the phone and "call" these characters. Fast forward to today, and I imagine Mickey tweets! Same concept. Disney was always ahead of the curve, especially in those early days. I do remember the sense of awe, knowing that Mickey was talking to me! I am only slightly less naive now...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

re: website!

kimdwinell.com is up and running! I know I've been a bit slow off the blocks with this digital stuff, but now that I'm in, I'm really excited, and look forward to more. John Sciezsa, at the SCBWI conference, talked extensively about his SPHDZ project, which is a multi-platform middle grade novel. What that really means is that the characters in his book, and their classroom, all have facebook pages and websites. Among other projects I'm on right now is getting Surfside Girls' website up and running, with a trailer. Woo hoo! Back to my film roots! This is honestly the best of both worlds. It's a great tool to make a fictional world that much more real.

I've attached a screen shot from the website. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I am back to reality after an amazing four days at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (yes, a mouthful) conference in Culver City (LA.) Exhausting, emotional, overwhelming and inspirational, I am recharged for another year of chasing the dream. So today I am taking the day off from anything creative, and doing that miserable task of getting my house back under control. Really, it's ridiculous the state it's in. Try leaving a man, a boy, and a puppy home alone for four days with no woman supervision. If you are a woman reading this, you are nodding your head and sympathizing right now. However, in their defense, everyone still has all of their limbs, and the house isn't burnt down.

I had a very clear "I will remember this moment as long as I live" kind of moment at the conference- I was out on the dance floor at the Heart and Soul Ball under the stars, dancing next to the awesome Lin Oliver, who runs the show, in addition to writing awesome books, and Gail Levine of Ella Enchanted fame. My friends were also all around me, shaking booties to "I Like Big Butts," and for a surreal moment I had a sense that this was my tribe. Odd and looney, but my tribe nonetheless. If writing or illustrating for little people is what you want to do with your life, this summer conference is something you shouldn't miss.

Let me also put in a word here for my friend Kelly Light. She is a fellow illustrator and happy, saddle-shoe clad gal, who took the gulf oil spill tragedy to heart and started Ripple. So far she has raised $10,000 for the cause, all money going to bird and animal rescue organizations on the Gulf Coast. You rock, Kelly. Check out ripplesketches.blogspot.com.

I compiled doodles, words, and caricatures from my weekend conference notes/ sketches and thought I'd post them. Now back to cleaning...