“Can you summarize what you would tell students on the first day?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: If you were teaching a class on beginner digital illustration for children, can you summarize what you would tell your students on the first day of class (after you cover the syllabus etc.)? They are eager to get going with making a great illustration and hope for some practical advice, having some basic drawing skills under their belt.


IMG_1726
Adams: Anna, you should invite me to speak at a local school to see firsthand. I have 3 rules for students of any age: raise your hand if you have a question; pay attention; and ask good questions. Raise your hand and use your voice, the best time to learn is now. Pay attention because the knowledge you want is in front of you. And ask good questions because you’ll get good answers. Average question: “Mr. Adams do you like being an illustrator?” Answer: “Yes.” Good Question: “Everything you’ve asked in this interview!”

Also I use the visual example that at three years old, I scribbled and my mom said “Wow!” One day I drew an obscure heart-shaped image. My mom didn’t say anything but loved on me. I kept drawing the heart and received the same response from my dad. When I arrived in Kindergarten, I showed my teacher I could write my ABC’s. She said, “One day you’ll be a writer.” From age 3 to 5, I wasn’t born an artist or a writer, but through practice and positive feedback I became one. Every person is a product of the type of effort and encouragement we give and receive.

I think this is why I’ve visited so many elementary schools. I’m not there to sell a book; I’m there to inspire at least one person to achieve their dream.
Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Advertisements

“Do you make money for public appearances?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: You were drawing for visitors to your booth at the ALA. I believe you also do these types of drawings during your art presentations at schools. Do you do these public art projects because of your desire to perform your art before a live audience? Do you ever make money on these appearances? Do you use them for research or to market your illustrations to kids? At ALA, were you giving any of the resulting drawings away? You had tossed a few of them onto the carpet in front of you at ALA, and you toss them on the floor of auditoriums etc. in your school presentations. Do you toss them down for symbolic reasons or to illicit sympathy, or because you want to display them and you don’t have board to clip them onto? Were you drawing what visitors asked for, or whatever came to mind? Do you doodle and free-draw to come up with ideas for your illustrations? If not, what do you do to research ideas or to come up with initial character sketches?

AdamsDrawing Is My Super Power! That would be my t-shirt slogan. I find an audience, whether drawing on a pad, a napkin, or in a Best Sketchbook. I drew for free when I was younger. Some people appreciated the gesture, other discarded my effort. In the 3rd grade, I began to charge for my time and the appreciation level increase. This remains true today.

My first professional illustration contracts came from tossing drawings on the floor at Book Expo America in Los Angeles, California. I did this both for symbolic and sympathetic purposes, depending on the audience.

Publishing (writing, illustration, and marketing) is about inspiring an emotion. I can’t keep every drawing, so I give them to conference audiences who feel sympathy when they step on a “pretty picture.” I also joke, “This drawing is worthless until I sign it!” Publishing audiences find my personality a plus in the working relationship.

IMG_6356I’ve meet over 1 million students through paid elementary school visits. I walk on “pretty pictures” to show students and teachers sheets of paper have less value than the pages within a book. This reinforces the need to journal in hardbound books.

Do I give away drawings for free? Yes, I’ve given away over 45,000 drawings in eight years like the ones you mentioned at ALA. My gift makes others happy and in return makes me happy. I do have two rules. Children are the recipients of most drawings unless it’s for a teacher’s classroom or at a conference. Also, I only draw one picture per person, per day. This rule stemmed from my own children asking me to draw instead of doing it themselves. My children get one picture, just like anyone else’s child.

IMG_3952I have over 100 journals (23,000 pages of drawing and writing). These journals are 20 years of research and inspiration. Illustration clients are asked to provide me a list of 5 of their favorite children’s books, 5 new books they discovered at the library or bookstore, and 5 things they’d do for free. Their favorite children’s books tell me who they were. The new books tell me what they expect based on paper types, finishes, and dimensions. Lastly, incorporating something they love in the illustrations will boost discussion topics with readers.
Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Anna brings new meaning to the traditional phrase, “as a fly on the wall.”—Gracie Bradford, Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower-Fly on the Wall Series-3D-book
Reviewed by Gracie Bradford for Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is written by Linda Smigaj. This 50-page fiction book written for 7-10-year-olds by a retired elementary school teacher of 34 years conveys a powerful lesson. The main characters are Professor Beatrice Fuddy-Duddy and Anna, a cheese fly. The story dates back 400 years, starting in the year 1620 to chronicle the arrival of a ship called the Mayflower. Anna is a cute little character dressed in a stunning, colorful outfit; she wears a bow tie and displays colorful wings. The book contains journal entries about what transpires on the ship as seen through the eyes of a fly. Anna brings new meaning to the traditional phrase, “as a fly on the wall.” I think this book would be an excellent addition to classrooms of a younger age group, given the exceptional illustrations throughout the book and a well-developed story line.

Linda introduces a lesson on early American history with a twist to make learning fun. This book has pictures throughout, making it easy to comprehend concepts. Equally important are ten non-fictional facts elementary school kids probably did not know about the journey of the Mayflower. A glossary provides additional insight into the story. The highlight of the book is illustrations of six flies dressed in an array of colors with unique shapes and forms. Kids will love these characters, and the questions associated with the pictures are sure to generate interesting discussions. The illustrations are outstanding. The main character is well developed and lends itself to a book series.

The Midwest Book Review, Education Shelf: “Parts of Speech Parade, New York City”

Parts of Speech Parade, New York City
Irina Dolinskiy, author
Mark Wayne Adams, illustrator

Parts of Speech Parade: New York City is a gorgeous tale in verse that teaches the main parts of speech, using the vehicle of a fabulous kids’ parade in New York City. Stunning multi-hued action illustrations show children of many different races (even including a king in a wheelchair) having a fun filled balloon-studded outing in downtown New York City. Kids are invited to meet and greet the parts of speech that make language, communication, and reading favorite books possible, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. This charming, educational book is bound to appeal to kids of all ages. It ends with: “Our Parts of Speech Parade is done. Happy reading, everyone! Now that you know our sound and look… we’ll see you in your favorite book.”

Read more at The Midwest Book Review…

Meet Karen Spruill: “Teddy Tales” & “Scribble Dee Sophie”

Karen Spruill, M.A., L.M.H.C., is looking forward to art projects with her new grandson. She is a counselor, blogger and award-winning book author. She believes art is awesome therapy for children and adults. Karen lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, and rescue-dog, Teddy. Their two married children, and grandson live nearby. Karen’s Books:

Teddy Tales

  1. Florida Publishers Association President’s Award Silver Medalist – 2012

    Scribble Dee Sophie

“Thanks for helping me bring Teddy Tales to life! I look forward to marketing together and more projects. Keep creating dreams!” – Karen Spruill

Meet Irina Gonikberg Dolinskiy

Irina Gonikberg Dolinskiy is a corporate/business attorney, as well as a classically trained pianist and an avid writer and storyteller. Having practiced law in New York for a number of years, Irina is now a partner at a law firm in Central Florida, where she resides with her husband and her daughter, Jayne. Irina’s son, Mitchell—the original audience and inspiration for her stories—lives and works in New York City.

Parts of Speech Parade, New York City was first written as an entertaining grammar aid for the author’s then-young son, Mitchell. After becoming fast friends with the Noun, Verb, Adjective, Preposition, Conjunction, and Interjection, Mitchell started recognizing their familiar faces in every book, making his reading adventures fun and enjoyable.

While Mitchell is now a college graduate, the author is eager to share the Parts of Speech Parade with today’s girls and boys who are newly discovering the magic of reading.

Read more about Parts of Speech Parade, New York City

Mark, this is simply beyond amazing!! I am absolutely speechless (no pun intended), and in awe of your brilliant creativity!” – Irina Dolinskiy