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Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Blog, Books, Design | 9 comments

Beautiful Book Covers.

Beautiful Book Covers.

* I found these book covers over here at Sotheby’s and I fell in love with them. My idea is to create a decorative book for my coffee table so I needed some inspiration. Now I have plenty of it! Happy Monday and Happy New Year! Images ©...

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Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Adults, Artists, Blog, Books, Illustration | 8 comments

The Water and The Wild. Available for Pre-order.

The Water and The Wild. Available for Pre-order.

* Dear friends, I had the honor to design the cover of a special novel for young readers called The Water and the Wild  (Chronicle Books). This book was written by super talented K. E. Ormsbee and I loved reading it. Ormsbee currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky. She lived in lots of equally fascinating cities before then, from Austin to Birmingham to London to Seville. She grew up with a secret garden in her backyard and a spaceship in her basement. This is her first book and I’m sure that many more will follow. She has an amazing imagination. Alison Decamp left this review over at Good Reads : “This book is richly imagined with such compelling characters and high stakes. I’m in awe of the author’s storytelling and look forward to more!” Here is a general description: “For as long as Lottie Fiske can remember, the only people who seem to care about her have been her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter-writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things and...

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Posted by on Feb 12, 2013 in Blog, Books, Categories (2), Children, Dolls | 114 comments

A Giveaway! Margaret Bloom’s book: Making Peg Dolls.

A Giveaway! Margaret Bloom’s book: Making Peg Dolls.

  “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes And because I want you to stay forever young, today I’m giving away a copy of  Margaret Bloom‘s book: Making Peg Dolls. The more peg dolls you make the younger you become. I was 41 before I got this book, now I am 7 years younger (1 year per peg doll I made). This fun book (192 pages) has over 60 different doll designs with step by step tutorials and patterns for you to play with. The peg dolls in the pictures above are not in the book, but they were inspired by it.  Margaret’s animation also inspired me to create the GIF animation above. For a chance to win this book, simply  leave a comment on this post. I will announce the winner on Monday, February 25, 2013. BONUS: With the book I will include one of the peg dolls that I made.  Just let me know your choice from the picture where...

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Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Blog, Books, Videos | 24 comments

Do More Great Work. By Michael Bungay Stanier.

Do More Great Work. By Michael Bungay Stanier.

Do More Great Work “Whatever work we do is basically bad work, good work or great work.” –Michael Bungay Stanier. In which of these three places do we spend most of our time? Watch the video to have an idea of what bad work, good work and great work is according to the author. One thing is for sure: we all have the potential to do great work most of the time. This book will help you understand...

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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Blog, Books | 22 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 35)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 35)

This is going to be my last post about the book for now. I will leave the cover as an element for the future because that way we will have something nice to look forward in a few months. This year is going really fast so you will be seeing the cover sooner than you imagine. YAY! Let’s this post end in a fun way with another little survey. This time I’m using the free Google survey system. (Thanks a lot Cynthia for the tip!). But before I go I want to say: thanks a million from the bottom of my heart for having been with me during this intense creative time. Your comments and feedback really made a great difference. I deeply appreciate your interest and support. You’re a real friend to me. See you on Monday with new adventures to share! Elsita   Start from the...

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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Blog, Books | 12 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 34)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 34)

View this photo Dear friend: Today I want to give you a little present on behalf of the animal crew from the Fables of La Fontaine book and myself. It’s a screen saver that I put together using some elements from the illustrations. To get the large file of the image just click on the link above that says View this photo. I hope that you enjoy it The quote is a favorite of mine by Aristotle. And this is a portrait of Aristotle. I like the fact that he was an amazing thinker but I also  really like his hair style  Read Post #35 Start from the beginning...

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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Blog, Books | 39 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 33)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 33)

Here’s a picture of the little corner where I created the 8 illustrations for the book. Instead of going up here I improvised a mini  work station in our master bedroom. That way I was able to stay closer to the kids during that intense time and I could also work at night  when my outside and inside world is a lot quieter. While taking the picture above a whole series of ideas came to my mind about space, the material world, creativity etc. Today I would like to share them with you: Several years ago I used to think that having a studio was the ultimate way to confirm that an artist was a real artist. My whole life I dreamed about having a real studio, exactly like the one that I have now. When Bill and I moved to our new house almost 9 years ago I was thrilled to finally have a real studio, which is located in the back of our home. I adore my studio. But I discovered...

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Blog, Books | 18 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 32)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 32)

Today I’m excited to announce the results of our favorite animal survey. Yay! Zoomerang.com only accepts 100 votes for a free survey, that’s why the fun ended at vote #100. After 100 visits they give you the option to cast more votes by paying a reasonable fee of $199 a year for a Pro account or $599 a year for a Premium account. I was tented to open an account with them, but then I decided to use that $mall fee to buy a truck full of paper, eight hundred boxes of X-acto knives, five hundred gallons of HP neutral glue and a new studio 😮 But this mini survey gives us enough information to start our award ceremony anyway. Ready???!! Ladies and gentleman, the survey says that the Oscar goes tooooo: The Stork!!!! Followed by best supporting male actor/musician: The Grasshopper!!! Followed by best naked animal actor: The Wolf!!!! And don’t forget the Ant! She won the 4th place and a Golden Globe. The Tortoise follows the Ant slowly...

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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Blog, Books | 25 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 31)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 31)

Today I’m back with a post about my tools. Very often I get e-mails asking about what tools I use for my papercuts. Below you can see them. I also need to say that if you ever wrote me an e-mail and never heard back from me, please, Oh please! (as Diego says) don’t be mad at me please. Sometimes it is not possible for me to respond to a large number of e-mails individually. But I hope that this post answers some of your questions. For my one-color-only, flat papercuts, I just use my X-Acto knife with a #11 blade, a cutting matt underneath the paper for protection, a pencil for drawing the design and an eraser to correct the drawing if necessary. But for making more complex pieces I use mostly the tools that you see in the picture below: View this photo in a larger size. Here is the list: 1- I use both sides of this wooden tool for shaping paper. 2- Metal dentist tool for shaping...

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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Blog, Books | 13 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 30)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 30)

Today I want to share the evolution of The Tortoise and the Hare illustration with you. After the first version was finished I got feedback from my editor on behalf of the Auzou team about reconsidering the way I illustrated this fable. Aude (my editor) suggested that I bring some movement to this illustration since it’s about a race, a rather famous race. We all know about the hare and the tortoise race because it has been represented extensibly in many cultures. I like the first version a lot, but the more I thought about the idea of movement for this scene the more I liked it. So I went on with the changes. First, I convinced the hare to change his clothes to something more sporty and second, I got the tortoise a pair of colorful shoes. Then I asked both of them to run as fast as they could. The tortoise didn’t start running right away because she came up with this idea of wearing a little sailor hat. I said yes and then things started falling into place. I...

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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Blog, Books | 33 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 29)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 29)

* Here we have all my sweet friends from the book gathered together The Hare and the tortoise look different from what you saw before because I did some changes in that illustration. I will talk about that tomorrow because it’s something very interesting that I would like to share. I love my new animal friends  so much! They’re very real in my head, like people that I have known for a long time. The process of preparation and anticipation of these little buddies reminds me of when I had Natalie and Diego. I don’t feel like I designed these characters, it’s more like I gave birth to them. Entering the children’s world as an illustrator has been such a pleasure and fun adventure to me. Those little animals taught me so much! Now let’s continue the fun with a little survey. I would love to know which one is your favorite animal from the list of 16: To vote please see the box on the bottom of this post. After you pick...

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Blog, Books | 15 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 28)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 28)

The last illustration for the book is finished!!!! Hooray!!!! Illustration number 8 has been finished right on time to celebrate Natalie’s 8th birthday. Today is my girl’s birthday and I’m so happy and so proud to be her Mom. All the original illustrations from the book are my special gift to her. Do you see the little flower right next to the dog’s hand up there in the illustration? Natalie cut the yellow part As I mentioned before I wanted her to cut a tiny little piece for this book to create a special memory for the future. We’re so happy that the illustrations are going to stay in the family. Something nice about it is that (with Natalie’s permission, she loves the idea) we can frame them and organize a show in the future when the book is already in print. I think that it would be special for children and adults to see the originals. We just need to find the right place for such event. But...

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Posted by on May 15, 2011 in Blog, Books | 17 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 27)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 27)

Hello! Here I’m sharing the last 2 characters for the book. I cannot believe that I’m working on illustration #8. I wanted my wolf for the fable to look like the real animal because in the story he’s free and wild and hasn’t been domesticated. He’s also hungry and a little bit underweight. See the ribs? He’s carefully listening to the dog’s stories about how much food he eats and the advantages of having an owner. But as you can see the wolf is not completely convinced. In the fable the wolf realizes that between food and freedom he choses freedom: “Better starve free than be a fat slave”. And here we have our dog very well dressed with a full tummy, looking almost like a human. Anybody would think that he’s totally happy with his life, but very deep inside he misses being free. This little dog is well dressed and fed but at night his owner makes him wear a collar attached to a chain and that...

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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Blog, Books | 11 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 26)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 26)

Yay!!! The Frog and the Ox illustration is finished!! Per my editor’s suggestion I arranged the stage to represent a lake in this fable. Frogs are normally close to water so I really loved the idea. I tested reflecting the trees and the 2 flowers from the background in the water but it became too busy and distracting. That’s why I decided to reflect only the lower green bed of plants. I first used the same color for the reflection but it didn’t look nice so I ended up using  lighter green color. I like the humor in this scene. These two characters together make me smile for some reason. Maybe because they’re not the typical idea of cute This is illustration #7 so we only have one more to create! I cannot believe it! The last one is: The Dog and the Wolf. Have a wonderful Friday ! Elsita  Read Post #27 Start from the...

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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Blog, Books | 7 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 25)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 25)

Please somebody do something!!! This little frog is about to pop like a balloon!! Please froggy!!!! Stop trying to be as big as an Ox!!!! It’s never gonna work!!! Do you want me to hold your three-finger hand? I promise not to ruin your yellow nail polish!  May I interest you in some fly dessert? (Something tells me that she’s not listening) But if you think of a way to call her attention please let me know. I just tried everything 😮 Read Post#26 Start from the...

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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Blog, Books | 18 comments

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 24)

Fables de la Fontaine. Book in Progress (post 24)

Here is the Ox from The Frog and the Ox!!! There are different types of Oxen (that’s the plural of ox). I decided to represent a Musk Ox because the presence is more appropriate for the story which is about a BIG ox and a small frog. The frog sees the giant ox and wants to be as big as he is. Our frog starts swelling to look bigger and bigger and them BOOM! She explodes. The fable doesn’t specify what kind of ox I should represent so I was free to make my own choice. The regular ox looks more like a cow or bull. But the Musk Ox is in my opinion a lot more interesting for the fable, I like the way the horns are set. Anyway, the oxen, cows, bulls etc are all from the Bovinae family. After this lesson I’m ready to go to a farm and spend the rest of my life working with animals from the Bovinae family I really like their...

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