On a website I visit, we're doing a Christmas card exchange. 21 people, all creating their own unique design. Fun idea! This is my contribution, looking forward to seeing what everyone else came up with.
It was 10 years ago this month that I got a call from Vicki Whiting about Kid Scoop, a newspaper activity page for children. Would I be interested in illustrating the page? I was thrilled to give it a try. The "Hawaii" page above was done in November 1999. Little did I know at the time how that call would change my career path for the better. After 10 years, it's still as much fun as it was back then. And we're just getting started!
Every so often something new and fresh and innovative comes along that changes everything. Sesame Street was like that. Even though I was a few years north of the intended audience, I loved the sense of humor and the creative animated segments. So, using the excuse that I "had to" watch it because of my little brother, watch it I did.
Back in 1970, my aunt took me to see the musical version of A Christmas Carol called Scrooge with Albert Finney. Somehow I'd made it through my first eight years never hearing the original classic tale, so seeing it on the big screen was stunning. I was so excited I wrote a long review of it that week in school.
Alec Guiness played Jacob Marley in the film, several years before becoming Obi Wan Kenobi. If you've never seen it, you're missing a real holiday gem. For me, he'll always be the Jacob Marley to beat.
Christmas + ghosts = Total coolness. A few years ago, we did a Kid Scoop page about A Christmas Carol, and this illustration was my version of Jacob "Dead as a doornail" Marley as he warns Ebenezer to stop acting like a Bernie Madoff before it's too late.
Whenever I have an illustration that involves toys, I tend to work in some variation of this little stuffed bear. It's based on the little bear I bought the day we found out my wife, Terri was pregnant with our daughter Hayley. I got the call at work and at lunch, headed over to the local Toys-R-Us. I found this little bear -- a "Nosy Bear" that had a clear plastic, snow-globe sort of snout. You squeezed its tummy and airflow would make a little windmill in the nose turn. The one I got had a red balloon inside, so when you squeeze the bear, the nose turns red.
Hayley still has the little bear. And he makes cameo appearances on Kid Scoop and other places. The one shown here was on our Toys for Tots page last December.