Monthly Archives: February 2013

Owls, Birds and Blossoms

Owls have started to come into and roost in our studio. We love having them here.

Dennis has just finished two new collections and the first is:

Our new owl collection

Our new owl collection

Four individual sweet and lovable owls , each offering a symbol of love, patriotism, sharing and romantic love.

patriotic owl

patriotic owl

Spring Greeting

Spring Greeting

Gift offering

Gift offering

Romantic Love

Romantic Love

Owls have become so important at this particular time because as my friend Suzanne put it so well, “We are in need of the qualities that Owls symbolize.”Of course the first quality that comes to mind is wisdom. The wise old owl. The more you get to know about then they care very well for their young. When tamed they are loveable and cuddly pets-friends. They are fiercely protective of their own. We welcome them as messengers of important changes to come in the world and our society. They also have very sharp vision, a quality that is very needed to have an optimistic view of what is in store for us.

Mama Owl and her owlet

Mama Owl and her owlet

In Tuesday 2 /26/13 on the front page of the NY Times Science Section is a very interesting article called “The Owl Comes into Its Own.” Definitely worth a read.

                           Patriotic Owls repeat
         Patriotic Owls repeat
Patriotic Owls in repeat

Patriotic Owls in repeat

The second Owl Collection is called “Patriotic Owls”.These are three of these guys who proudly brandish their patriotic symbols.

I am more interesting in a more realistic owl painting and will include them in my continuing series of Birds and Flowers.The bluebird and the Peony were painted before last Surtex. There was a lot of interest in them at the show but the question kept coming up, ” Are there more?” Manufacturers like to see at least 4 in a grouping. That spurred me on to continue and expand the collection.

First in the Bird and Blossom Series

First in the Bird and Blossom Series

The blossom half of the series

The blossom half of the series

I have sketched out and done some of the painting for 8 more pairs of Bird and Blossom. I definitely want to include at least one owl and a few holiday themes.

I can envision all the series on a variety of products. Just off the top of my head: Coasters and trivets; napkins; journals; childrens’ and crafters fabric (the patriotic owls) and childrens’ wall paper borders; wall graphics; totes and pillows to name some of them. I’ll be looking forward to showing these at Surtex in May. It’s coming closer so I am painting away.

Finch in Progress

Finch in Progress

I think I will thin this finch out. He looks a little too plump to me.

I'm painting away till Surtex

I’m painting away till Surtex

Happy with our imaginary aviary

Happy with our imaginary aviary

Happy with the chickadee.

Well In my minds eye I see our studio becoming an imaginary aviary filled with small singing birds and owls.

I love it but I don’t think our cats do.

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Filed under Birds, Newspapers, NY Times Science Section, Owls, Uncategorized

A potpourri for Valentines Day

Today February 14, 2013 is a day we celebrate those we love and care for. It’s also become a custom to send valentines to business associates and more casual acquantances.

The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (know as “valentines”).Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. (from Wilkipedia).

This comes under the category of paper goods in the art licensing market.Paper goods include such items as stationery, boxes, gift bags, paper tableware, greeting cards and more. Thus far we’ve worked with three greeting card companies, Design Design, Leanin Tree and Papyyrus.

Design Design valentine cards

Design Design valentine cards

I love to reflect and look at old family photos on Valentine’s day. It’s a ritual.

Andrea's Mom and Dad

Andrea’s Mom and Dad

This could be a valentine’s photo. It was taken shortly after my parents became engaged.

Our Wedding Day

Our Wedding Day

We had a beautiful wedding atop the Rainbow room at Rockefeller Center. Nothing traditional about it. We had the ceremony at the UN Interfaith Chapel since my family is Jewish and Dennis’ is Christian. But we were married byan unusual Kabbalistic Rabbi, Rabbi Gelberman.

Sisters

Sisters

My sister Pat and I always exchange cards and gifts for Valentines.This year knowing that I was into cupcakes Pat sent me this.

Valentines cupcake

Valentines cupcake

My valentines cupcake necklace

My valentines cupcake necklace

I’ll end with Dennis’ newest Valentines Design. This is one of my all time favorites.

A splendid new design by Dennis

A splendid new design by Dennis

And wish you all a happy Valentines Day from both of us.

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Ebooks illustrated by Dennis Kendrick

If you’ve read our home page or the “About us” section  you know that Dennis has been a very successful children’s book illustrator. Before discovering the computer in 1989, Dennis Kendrick worked in a cartoon-style of illustration — by hand!

Dennis

Dennis

One of the Silly Joke and Riddle Books

Working on Silly Dinosaur Jokes and Riddles

He drew the pictures for over thirty children’s books, illustrated countless articles for national magazines and created numerous TV storyboards and ad agency projects. His work has been featured in the Print Regional Design Annual, Idea Magazine and the Society of Illustrators’ Annual. He has exhibited at the Miami Children’s Museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame Gallery in Cooperstown, New York, the Pentagon (yes, that Pentagon!) and he has illustrated 30 books that have been all-time favorites with kids and their parents. A number of these books  were done in collaboration with kids’ science writer Seymour Simon. A number of these ebooks are now available from Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Nobles’ Nook and some are already available for the iPad.

Last week, Dennis received a much sought after recognition at the Digital Book World Conference held here in New York City. Among the many things the Conference does is to publish a list of  books that have received the QED seal. This stands for Quality Excellence, Design, and is considered to be the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for eBooks and apps. One of these eBooks that Dennis illustrated in collaboration with Seymour was given the QED. To ensure that an eBook title submitted for a QED will render well on the device a reader chooses. It is reviewed on three devices: a small, mobile-sized screen, an eInk reader-sized screen, and a tablet-sized screen. The QED is judged on the criteria established on the recommendation of the Publishing Innovation Awards advisory council, who are respected leaders in the digital production and design space.

The book that was awarded the QEC seal of approval is Silly Space Monster Jokes and Riddles. It is available in Kindle and very soon for iPad.

                                                                                                Awarded the QED

Silly Zoo animals jokes and riddles

Silly Space Monster Jokes and Riddles

IPad version of Silly dinosaur Jokes and Riddles

IPad version of Silly dinosaur Jokes and Riddles

Body Sense Body Nonsense

Body Sense Body Nonsense

Ben (5) and Rachel (11)

Ben (5) and Rachel (11)

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In this photo Rachel and Ben, our friends Irene and Wayne’s grandkids are reading Silly Zoo Animal Jokes and Riddles. Check out Dennis’ eBooks, as well as the other Seymour Simon books on the StarwalkKids.com. You will be delighted. Kids can read by themselves, or choose to have the on-screen voice read to them.  All the books are not yet voice activated, but will be in time.

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Filed under Children's Books, E Books, Kindle, NYC

The New York Gift Show at the Javitts Center

In years past the New York Gift Show at the Javitts Center was a great place to meet and see some of the larger paper goods and giftware companies like CR Gibson, Boston International, MeadWestvaco and Enesco to name a few. This has been changing over the last five years as more and more of these companies no longer showed here. The reasons had to do with the downturn in the economy . As products other than paper goods (such as jewelry) began to sell more and as Business

has been changing and the Gift show was no longer the right place for them to make their sales. Many moved to the Atlanta Show.

Gift Show Divisions

Gift Show Divisions

The show was divided into sections. For example the General Gift, Tabletop, Accent on Design and Children and Baby and personal accessories.

At the Gift Show

At the Gift Show

The Accent on Design section was a bit of a disappointment. I remembered it as being an exciting, innovative and inspiring part of the show with booths from all over the world and varied product lines. This year it seemed to me to be a bit lackluster.

The weather outside was .....well wet

The weather outside was …..well wet

Despite the rain and snow the show was well populated which was encouraging.

Dennis and I were very surprised at the overall change in the show. We found very few gift and stationery companies in the Gift Division. There were more companies that sold pillows and clothing. Many more companies that sold the kind of giftware that would fit in with some of the categories I names above.For the most part not the kind of products that would require licensed artists for the designing.There were lots of big publishers like Penguin, Chronicle and Workman to name a few. More companies that sold Judaica and body care products. In the tabletop division most of the companies that have always shown at the gift show were there.

Despite these drawbacks (from our point of view as art licensors) we enjoyed walking the show. We made new contacts and did some trend spotting. Of course owls everywhere. We also had a good meeting with a potential client. We returned to the studio and began working on a few presentations for this company.

Tonight I was remembering advice that was given to us when we were first starting out as illustrators and we took a wonderful course offered then by Elaine Sorel which truly gave us a legs up on our journey into the world of illustration and commercial art. Elaine beside being the wife of Ed Sorel the well known illustrator and one of the co founders of the Push Pin Studios was a thorough professional and very knowledgable person about how to do business as an artist and succeed at it. She had been an artists agent for 15 years representing top people in creative fields. She began doing the workshops when she stopped being an agent. One of the things she told us that I have never forgot (and I paraphrase). “It’s important to genuinely enjoy the people that you are doing business with.” Don’t fake it in order to get work. You are much more likely to get ahead if you form relationships that are mutually enjoyable by all.” I was reminded of that today as we had our meeting. She also said, and again I paraphrase ” Don’t show your work with the expectation of getting work. Show it because you are proud of what you do and want to share your creativity.”

Stitchery illustration by Margaret CusackImport

Stitchery illustration by Margaret Cusack

I also have the pleasure of knowing Elaine’s very talented artist and teacher, daughter Madelaine Sorel. Madelaine and I are both part of an illustrators lunch group that was founded and kept alive by the efforts of Margaret Cusack, who is both a wonderful stitchery artist and a world class promoter. It was difficult picking an image to use in this post as Margaret has many varied and wonderful stitched art that has been used in editorial, advertising and gallerty exhibits. This lunch group has been meeting once a month for lunch for over 20 years. It has been a life saver and thriving sharing creative community for those of us who have been regulars.We share business, art and our personal lives at these monthly meetings.

And once again Dennis and I are back at work doing what we love most. Designing and painting and dreaming about our next project. Top priority is finishing the two remaining Halloween cupcake designs.

Whoo knows

Whoo knows

Art licensing is a risky and exciting business to be in. Whoo knows where it will lead us next.

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Filed under Art and Design, Artists, Halloween, Holidays, Javitts Center, Licensing, Manufacturers, NY Gift Show, Owls, Trade shows, Trends