If Dinosaurs Could Talk for Me

January 8, 2017

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This is it guys – I wrote and illustrated my first picture book. I’m an author! It feels very good to say.

Being a first-time author, I’m not exactly sure what to do now that the book is done. I know I need to market it, but how is a bit mysterious to me. I’m not a salesman and I don’t think I’m charismatic or persuasive.

In an attempt to be interesting and make some sort of viral post, I had written about the numbers involved in creating a children’s book — the number of emails I sent back and forth with the publisher, the number of hours probably* spent making it (*I was purely guessing because I really have no idea), the number of drafts I went through — trying to prove that what I had done was worthwhile. When I reread it, I realized the numbers mean nothing. Really, the thing I feel proudest of is the feeling that I did my best and created something true to my heart.

 

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Like the main character in the book, Ben, I use art to express myself. Just like Ben wants to reach out to Sophie (the new girl), I want to reach out to my audience, to show them how I feel and what I have to say. Ben comes to realize that he’s not the only one who feels shy. I want the kids who read my book to discover that there are lots of other people in the world that feel exactly the same as they do. I believe this is one of the greatest things art can do — give us empathy.

So that leaves me with the big question: will anyone really care about my book? Will it mean something to others like it does to me? Should it? I look at the final product and see things I could have done better. Maybe it won’t end up on every shelf in the world. But in the end, I think the meaning of the story holds up. If one kid can read it and feel that they’re not alone, I’ll consider it a success.

So I introduce to you Ben and Sophie. They may be shy, but if you take the time to listen to them, you might find they have something to say.

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If Dinosaurs Could Talk for Me

Available now

Prophesies and Sacrifices

November 2, 2016

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New works. I’m not entirely sure what they mean – just visual manifestations of how I was feeling at the time. I think there are themes of marriage and sacrifice, and the tall figure with his hands up in the crowd seems like a prophet to me. I’d love to know what they mean to you.

New Book!

September 9, 2016

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I’m excited to announce my newest book – “If Dinosaurs Could Talk for Me,” coming in January. And I’m extra excited to announce that this time, I’m both the author and illustrator! I’ve been working extremely hard on this project and it is very close to my heart. I’ll be revealing more details soon!

Centauresses

August 4, 2016

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A centauress (or whatever you call a female centaur).

Side story: A year ago, for my senior show at Southern Virginia University, I did an oil painting that included a female centaur (see image below). A visiting professor of Latin and Greek saw my painting and was very shocked at the idea of a female centaur. He told me that it went completely against the Greek notion of centaurs.

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I am by no means an expert in centaurs or mythology, and I defer to his Harvard Ph.D. knowledge. But I would just like to point out that I’m not the first person to use the subject of a female centaur. While at the Musee Rodin in Paris, I saw this:

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Somehow seeing Rodin’s centauress sculpture made me feel justified in making my own centauress artwork.

Stranger Things

July 27, 2016

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My wife and I just finished watching Stranger Things. It was creepy, nostalgic, funny, heartbreaking, and just really well made. Highly recommended!

This is my drawing of Eleven.