Happy Birthday!

There have been a lot of birthdays among my friends and family (and myself) over the last 2 weeks. That means fun time shopping for and making birthday cards like the one pictured above. 

I love a really great greeting card.   This weekend my husband noticed that one of my favorite greeting cards purchased for him months back was created by the same illustrator, Jon Klassen, who created the book I bought him for his birthday last week. 

The book is "I Want My Hat Back." It was published last year but here is the book trailer incase you've missed it. 

Jon Klassen's new book "This Is Not My Hat" is now availble in book stores.  I love the way the narrative builds in these books and how the animals are illustrated sort of imobile and stoic.

As a illustrator interested in children's publishing I often hear that I should prepare a portfolio illustrating scenes from every angle, show characters interacting, have a lot of movement in my images. I throuroughly enjoy these hat books. And I enjoy the illustrations even more for not following these often advised rules.

In my illustrated world characters are just kind of standing around thinking about stuff in loosley defined white space. Drawing after drawing that is what comes out. I'll think to myself "try to have characters interacting, in perspective, in a room. Be more dynamic." But then I draw a pig just standing there with a weird grin holding a flower.

Anyone who is a well developed and studied artist, archer, jedi, etc. knows that the more you try to do something the worse it is. Jon Klassen's hat books give me hope. More drawings of weird animals standing around.