Monday, April 27, 2009

PAPA'S WAY hits shelves

Today is the official release date of That's Papa's Way (written by Kate Banks). Please check it out online, or at your local bookstore!

Here's what School Library Journal has to say:
–A father and his daughter start their fishing day by going into the woods to look for earthworms. Her methods are all her own since, “that’s my way.” Papa picks up worms with his fingers; she scoops them up with a shovel. This is a quiet story, just the telling of the small pleasures that make up an outing on the lake. Both catch fish and go home to have dinner with mom and baby brother. The illustrations in pastel and ink are perfect for conveying the sense of calm that the story requires. The full-bleed spreads show the expanse of the water and the pines, and the depiction of the wildlife is just detailed enough to be naturalistic. The only thing that really happens here is that a father and a daughter spend a lovely day together. And that’s something to celebrate.–Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So I've been searching for quite a while now to find a new transferring technique that has interesting effects, and most importantly is SAFE. Much of my book work, up till this point has been created using acetone transfers. And as you are probably aware, acetone is not the best thing to be breathing in, nor is it good for the environment. I do love its results though, which is why I've had a hard time giving it up. Recently I stumbled upon a site that makes a special paper called 'sheer heaven'. This paper is pretty awesome because you can draw directly on it OR print(ink jet) directly on it, and then transfer your image simply by misting the paper with rubbing alcohol and placing it over the surface of your choice. And rubbing alcohol = much safer than acetone!
I've been playing around with the sheer heaven, and must say it is fun! Unfortunately I do not yet have control over the results. Maybe practice will make perfect...OR, maybe not. Maybe this technique is one that thrives from its imperfections. Is anyone else using transfer methods in their work? I'd love to hear any suggestions if you've got 'em!

*this sad girl on the left was drawn and colored with marker and pencils directly on the sheer heaven paper, and then transferred in to my sketchbook.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Big Cat Pepper arrival

Last week I received an advance copy of my book BIG CAT PEPPER. It was most exciting to hold and flip through the bound version for the first time. The paper has a beautiful uncoated finish, which I think gives the book that extra special touch.

Inside, the flap copy reads:
How do you say good-bye to someone you don't want to leave? And how can you keep a memory alive if your heart feels full-up with sadness? With soft, lyrical text by award winning author Elizabeth Partridge and gently expressive illustrations by Lauren Castillo, this beautiful story will touch the heart of any reader who has ever had to say good-bye to a loved one.
This project will always hold a special place in my heart, especially because during the time I was creating the art my grandfather passed away. I'm not sure I realized it at that moment, but being immersed in such a comforting story must have had a hand in helping me to heal and be at peace with his passing.

Elizabeth Partridge recently wrote a beautiful and touching post over at her blog about our book, and her cat Coyote. You can visit and read it right here. Thanks so much to Elizabeth for providing a wonderful text about a very difficult yet important subject. I am honored to have been the one chosen to illustrate it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mainichi Weekly interview article

Last month I sat down with the lovely Yoshina Watanabe for a little interview about me and my work. Yoshina is a New York City based journalist who writes a monthly column about NY artists for the Japanese newspaper, Mainichi Weekly. Below is the scanned article (which you can click on if you'd like to read) that hit newsstands a couple of weeks ago in Tokyo, Japan. Thanks so much, Yoshina!