Category Archives: Children’s Books

Children’s book illustrators and writers

Surtex 2013 Part II

Of course we go to the Surtex Show to meet with Clients, meet new manufacturers and generally get our new work seen.

Equally  important and enjoyable is networking with our fellow artists. Each year is a glad reunion with old friends and a chance to make new friends among our colleagues.

Part II of this Surtex Post will be photos and brief descriptions of these encounters. I was not able to include everyone I would have liked. Either time or space ran out. There are just too many wonderful artists at this show.

Our first reunion was with our good friends Andrea and Dan Tachiera. Andrea is a wonderful licensing artist who is now represented by Donna Westman of DSW designs. Andrea and Dan and their sons  live in Berkeley Ca and we don’t get to see them often enough. Andrea’s wonderful sunny watercolors reflect her sense of design and whimsy whether she is painting animals, flowers or rain boots!

Andrea and Dan Tachiera

Andrea and Dan Tachiera

Andrea's bright colorful watercolor flowers

Andrea’s bright colorful watercolor flowers

Then of course there was our “neighborhood”, our small aisle of five booths and our friend Lucinda Wei just across the aisle who has become a part of the “neighborhood.” (More about Lucinda later)

Sue Zipkin

Sue Zipkin

Across from us is our friend and wonderful artist Sue Zipkin. Sue’s colorful, zestful and lively art is a treat for the eyes. She is very successful in the business and is always fun to have nearby. Her husband Bob is there to help her and last year her son Max helped out also.

Ingrid and Kristin, Nutshell Designs

Ingrid and Kristin, Nutshell Designs

We look forward each year to seeing Ingrid Slyder and her sister Kristin set up in the corner booth next to us. Ingrid is another art licensing veteran and her finely painted, somewhat whimsy illustrations are a joy to see. She also has a neat wicked sense of humor and we love looking at her humorous card designs. We missed seeing Ingrid’s husband Duane this year.

Beth Logan Art Stuff

Beth Logan Art Stuff

Beth Logan’s booth is next to us on the corner. Not only is Beth fun bright and easy to talk to, but her art is whimsical, imaginative, cute and beautifully painted. She is a  popular artist and creates many fun fabrics for crafters. She wore a skirt each day made from her own fabrics – reversible too!

Kate Spade from Edinburgh

Kate Spade from Edinburgh

It’s definitely a pleasure to greet Kate Knight and her mother Jeanne who come all the way from Edinburgh. Kate’s beautifully designed and colorful florals are always a lift for the spirit as are both Kate and her mother. They thoroughly enjoy the Surtex experience and being in NY and we all enjoy them. It’s a pleasure to listen to their Scottish accents.

Lucinda Wei

Lucinda Wei

Lucinda Wei is fairly new to licensing. We met a few years ago in Atlanta and have become good friends. We walk a lot of the shows together. Her color sense is divine and she is a wonderful designer and illustrator. She has also been climbing the steep curve of art licensing very rapidly. Keep going Lucinda. Her sister Belinda was helping her out in the booth. It is nice to note how many family and friends pitched in to help.

Now we start to walk a little further afield. This is what I did every time we felt one of us could leave the booth. I stopped and talked to friends, looked at art,  took pictures and met new friends.

Elizabeth Golz Rush and     Lazarr

Elizabeth Golz Rush and
Barbara Lanza

My friends Elizabeth Golz Rush (on the right) and Barbara Lanza (middle) were sharing a booth with a third artist, Pamela Bishop who was unable to make it to the show. Mandy Hawes on the left pitched in for Pamela. Pamela’s art is whimsical and character driven.

Elizabeth’s work is so incredibly fine and detailed. Just a treat to look at. Her side interest now is in fairy doll kits which she makes and the fairy doll workshops that she does. I’ve bought several from her and helped my friends grandkids put them together.Check out her blog,

Barbara Lanza’s work is also very involved with wonderful magical fairies. Barbara started out as a fashion illustrator and now does children’s books as well as her fantasy art.

I was very happy to find Caleb Gray was here this year with his partner Connor Lynch.

Caleb and Connor

Caleb and Connor

Love that lunch box

Love that lunch box

Caleb Gray is the Artist and his partner Connor is actually in a scientific profession. They work wonderfully together in the booth. Caleb’s work is at the same time clean and modern and very retro. I feel like I am walking onto a 1950’s kids television show set (the aprons made from Caleb’s fabric do help the image). It’s a very unique look and he’s doing well.

 Rose Mary Berlin

Rose Mary Berlin

Rose Mary Berlin and her husband Rick are long time friends. As a matter of fact there were students of ours when we were teaching a course on The Business of Illustration for the Graphic Artists Guild. Besides being a mom Rose is a wonderful children’s book artist who has now branched out into licensing.  She paints “good” whatever she does, but her animals are spectacular. We always look forward to our time spent with Rick when he comes on the last day to help pack up. He is one of the world’s greatest schmoozers.

Alex Columbo and Paul Stout

Alex Columbo and Paul Stout

Alex Columbo and I met over the internet before the show via one of the many social networking groups we belong to. We’ve been in touch since and almost met in Atlanta in January. This was our first time meeting face to face. Her designs are whimsical colorful and charming as is she. This is her first Surtex and I believe that she had a great show and a wonderful experience. I also had the pleasure of meeting and talking to her husband Paul Stout who is involved in the business part-time.

Patti Gay

Patti Gay

Patti Gay is an extremely versatile artist who can work in many styles and media. In her career she has published many adorable and beloved childrens’ books as well as having been an art director at Portal Publications. In addition to her regular licensing art she has created an imprint called Two Can Art. Here she publishes art that she has done in collaboration with her son Noah who is 21 and autistic. His love for color and textures has been incorporated into her designs. She and I also got to know each other first on Facebook before we met at Surtex.

Another wonderful reason for being on facebook is networking with your colleagues.

                                                                                Martha Collins in her booth with Caleb Gray
Martha Collins in her booth with Caleb Gray

Now here is an artist whose work I love. Martha Collins. She herself is sunny, bright and interesting as is her artwork. She is very diverse in her styles. Her floral watercolor paintings are my special favorites. When I first noticed her work at a Surtex some years back I was so very impressed with her style and all the chances she took to continue being different and new. After that I wanted to move in a new direction too. Thanks Martha.

Give yourself a treat and take some time to go to each artists’ site.

And thanks to all the wonderful artists at Surtex. There wasn’t time to capture more for my blog but they all helped make it a very fine show.

I might as well mention our websites. They are linked to each other and the Andrea Brooks site has more of painted designs and Dennis site is more graphic and whimsical.

Andrea Brooks

Dennis Kendrick

The two of us

The two of us

Well, I like this photo of us in our booth. It’s a rarity to get a photo where we both look good and happy. Thanks again to our friend Tom Cathey who also baked the marvelous cookies. Hint, hint Tom.

Back in our studio, I’m in fighting the cold that I held at bay during the show. But that’s what is great about working at home. I can still get up every day and do our follow through and we continue to work together. The cats are so happy to have us at home.

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Filed under Children's Books, Flowers, Javitts Center, Licensing, Surtex, Watercolor

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