Saturday, March 31, 2012

Drawing Little Tiny Houses

I just posted this on my facebook page - because I was taking a break. But I like the idea of seeing what a person actually does - in order to get an illustration to work.

So this is me, drawing a lot of tiny little houses using a model I made from an eraser so I could see the lighting and the angles.

Carolyn Dee Flores in the studio at midnight

By the way, I researched this - and this is exactly what the houses in Savannah , Georgia  looked like in 1733. I even tried to get those really tall trees in the correct place. And, then I realized I had two flags blowing in opposite directions *big mistake*.

The lady featured is Mary Musgrove:Empress of the Creeks.

P.S. A Bit of Trivia: Mary Musgove - Creek Empress - established a trading post on this bluff first. It  would become Savannah, Georgia. She allowed General James Oglethorpe to build a colony there in 1733.

This is for the book "Daughters of Two Nations" written by Peggy Caravantes and published by Mountain Press which will be out later this year.

Carolyn Dee Flores

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Introducing: Guadalupe Garcia McCall - Under The Mesquite – Winner of the 2012 Pura Belpré Medal

I can always tell if I am going to love the way a person writes by the way they speak.
Guadalupe Garcia McCall spoke to our San Antonio SCBWI chapter this month – and I told my friend, “I am going to love her books.”
But after I began to read Under The Mesquite, winner of the Pura Belpré Medal for 2012, I was stunned.

 I told my friend, (who is also a writer and an illustrator), “Oh, my gosh! She is going to be big! Her writing … it’s got that spark!  I’m really, really blown away!”
My friend whispered back to me, “Are you talking about Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s book Under The Mesquite?”

I said, ”Yes.”

She looked at me and said, “I know. I know. I totally agree!I felt it too.”

So here is an excerpt from the book.

Introducing, if you haven’t already read it – the talented Guadalupe Garcia McCall and her award winning book – Under The Mesquite:

“Here you go,” says my new

drama teacher, Mr. Cortés,

handing me a smallish white box

and a giant bag of Blow Pops.

“What’s this?” I ask.

“Voice lessons,” Mr. Cortés declares.

He reaches over, opens the box

with a flourish, and reveals

a set of four instructional CDs.

They’re brand-new, still shrink-wrapped.

“Go home and practice the lessons

with these in your mouth,” he says,

pointing to the Blow Pops.

“... put these in, one on each side

of your mouth, como ardilla listada.”

He puffs out his cheeks with air

to demonstrate, making a chipmunk face.

“Don’t suck on them, he instructs.

“Just let them sit there.

If you’re serious about acting---

and I think you are---then you need to

lose your accent.”

Rolling the Blow Pops

into position, I wonder if

this is how Mr. Cortés

got rid of his own accent.

The hard candy scrapes

against my my gums. My face

is so stretched out, it feels as big as

one of those hot-air balloon characters

floating over the booths

at la Feria, the annual fair

in Piedras Negras.

“Well? Say something,”

Mr. Cortés demands.

I swallow some spit and warble out,

“I have an accent?”

Guadalupe’s debut novel Under The Mesquite, published by Lee and Low Books Inc., is the winner of the 2012 Pura Belpré Medal for literature for a work by a Latino/Latina writer whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Keep creating,

Carolyn Dee Flores/Illustrator

Friday, March 2, 2012

Research is heavy!

I don't think people realize how much research is required when an illustrator works on a subject - OR how heavy it is!

 Here I am  coming back from the library with 14 books this morning!

 Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

P.S. My first book  - Daughters of Two Nations published by Mountain Press - is due out this fall. I'm excited.

 My other three books are due out at the beginning of 2013.

Happy Composing!
Carolyn Dee Flores