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Truck Illustration copyright D.E.Uhlig

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I love to draw trucks. According to my mom, it's an interest I developed in nursery school. My specialty in those days: 18-wheelers in crayon. Forty-seven years later, not much has changed, except that I have better art supplies. :) 

Here's a monster truck from my (yet-to-be-published) book, The Grannyator. (With a little luck, someday it will get off the ground, but more on that later.)
Truck Illustration copyright D.E.Uhlig
By the way, I'll let you in on a 'little' secret: sometimes my original drawings…
Truck Illustration copyright D.E.Uhlig
…start out very small. Here's a picture of me drawing the orange truck above. (Notice its size, relative to the penny.)
Truck Illustration copyright D.E.Uhlig
Of course, when I'm through drawing, I can make the illustrations any size I want. But as I often reminded my son when he was little, "You don't have to be big to be awesome!"
"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." 
–Roald Dahl
Title: 5 Things
1. Apparently, you can draw yourself happy. (I've known this for years.)

2. Sting makes $2,000 a day from a song he wrote 30 years ago.

3. This woman wanted to see if it was possible to learn how to play the violin. She documented her progress, and it's amazing how quickly she progressed.

4. William Utermohlen was an artist with Alzheimer's who drew self portraits for five years until he could barely remember his own face. More from the NYTimes.

5. Roald Dahl speculated that a brain injury he received while he was an RAF pilot in WWII might have been responsible for his extraordinary writing talents. 
"If you have good thoughts… they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." 
–Roald Dahl, Matilda
Trivia Czar Logo copyright D.E.Uhlig

Curious Minutiae

I actually met Roald Dahl's wife—the American movie star Patricia Neal—and their son, Theo, in Wichita many years ago.

Roald Dahl—who was nearly six feet, six inches tall—spent four hours a day writing in a tiny 'writing hut' in his back yard. His daughter, Ophelia, describes the hut here, and here's more about his writing routine.
Illustration copyright D.E.Uhlig
Roald Dahl's Writing Hut
He was known to spend nearly a year writing each book.

Here's a good (though rather lengthy) article about the author, and if you want a 'warts and all' viewpoint (and there were many warts, to be sure), you may find this article interesting. (NOTE: Apparently, he could be a real grump, and you may never look at him the same way again after reading the article.)

Then again, here are some letters he wrote to fans which should cheer you right back up. They're part of the The Roald Dahl Archive, which is housed at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, a village in England. The archive features a lifetime's worth of letters, early manuscripts and more, including his original writing hut—yes, it was moved there! Here are some Highlights from the archive.

PS: Don't forget to read about the mysterious chocolate wrapper ball.
"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men." 
–Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Notes Title
Speaking of Roald Dahl, his long-time collaborator, illustrator Quentin Blake, is one of my all-time favorite artists.
Photo of Quentin Blake
'Sir' Quentin was recently knighted by Prince Charles 'for services to illustration' (how awesome is that?) and has been an important influence on my work for years. I even modeled my watercolor palette after his (more on that in a future issue). In the meantime, here's a great video of the master at work…

Ten Minutes of Illustration with Quentin Blake: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
"I don't wait for inspiration. I'm not, in fact, quite sure what inspiration is, but I'm sure that if it is going to turn up, my having started work is the precondition of its arrival." 
–Quentin Blake
Weekly Doodle Illustration

Win a Free Limited Edition Print

Each month, we give away a signed, limited edition fine art print to one loyal subscriber of this newsletter. Current subscribers are automatically entered, so if you're not already subscribed, click here or on the orange button below. Winners are selected at random during the last week of each month, notified via email (so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox!) and announced in the first newsletter issue the following month. Here's January's print…
My Garden Fine Art Print

My Garden

This print started out as many do — a gift for one of my children.

  • SIZE: Artwork is 8 x 10 inches with a 2 inch white border to accommodate signature and numbering (fits in standard 11 x 14 inch frame).
  • EDITION: 1 out of a total of 20 artist proofs.
  • MATERIALS: Hand-signed, limited edition, Giclée fine art print, matted but unframed.
  • PAPER: Printed on Hahnemuhle William Turner — a 310g, acid-free, natural white, mould-made paper with 100% rag content (highly archival).

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Signing up is easy, there's zero risk, the newsletter's free, and you may unsubscribe at any time. When you receive the confirmation email, click the appropriate link, and then just sit back and wait for your first issue to arrive!
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"I often ask myself, 'What would be the ideal life?' I think an ideal life would be just drawing."
–William Steig

   Until Next Week…

As it says in my bio below, for as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. Here's a little note my nursery school teacher sent home with my report card nearly fifty years ago…
Note Photo
As the late Alan Rickman said in a touching letter to J.K.Rowling after completing his role in the final Harry Potter movie: "A lifetime seems to have passed in minutes."

See you all next week.
Peace Signature copyright D.E.Uhlig

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RedSneaker Logo copyright D.E.Uhlig
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About Me

Hi. I’m D.E.Uhlig. I’m an artist, author, husband and father.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. Years ago I gave my wife a hand-drawn card for our anniversary, and she loved it so much she made me promise to ALWAYS hand-draw her cards. Then our three kids made me promise to do the same with their birthday cards. And when I posted some of my drawings online, people began asking how they could purchase my work—so I created this newsletter. I believe in something I like to call “The Happiness of Art” and I hope it makes you smile.

Official Bio

D.E.Uhlig is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in numerous publications including the Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor, University Daily Kansan, Editorial Humor Magazine, and World Policy Journal. Commercial illustration and design clients over the years have included Samsung, Sprint, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, among others—and his Starbucks RedCup illustrations have been featured on the company's Pinterest and Facebook pages. In 1989, Mr. Uhlig co-founded Uhlig LLC, a leading provider of cross-media publishing and communication services in industries ranging from residential housing to book publishing to cancer care. Mr. Uhlig is married with three children and resides in Kansas City. He is currently working on children’s books, ebooks and apps.

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Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.

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