It was a fabulous 2013 with the release of my book and now that it is 2014 I am looking ahead to more of the same, and then some! With joining a new organization and several conferences coming up this year, I am excited about the possibilities this year brings.
I recently joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, looking to meet others who love creating books for kids, as well as getting a better grasp of the business side of it all. There are two conferences a year which I will be attending, the first in just two weeks from now in New York! Two days of networking, workshops, panels, a portfolio showcase, and a third optional day I signed up for, the illustrator intensive, which I am particularly excited for. Next newsletter I will share my experience, or you can follow my blog where I regularly post updates on all of my mosaic and book related activities.
Books by Barb Keith
The next Society of American Mosaic Artists conference is at the end of April and takes place in Houston. This time I won't be taking any workshops as I will be sharing a booth at the vendor marketplace with Barb Keith where we will be selling our books. If you're attending the conference, please stop by and say hi! We will also be selling postcards with our artwork on them. If you're not going to be there, you can purchase Barb's books and cards here, and my book and cards here. My postcards are currently being ordered and I will post them as soon as they are available.
A Quick Book Update
In the two months leading up to Christmas, I sold close to 500 books! I didn't have a distributor so I am quite proud of what I was able to accomplish. This year I will be looking into more ways to get my book out to a wider audience. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me!
My book is still available on my web site and is now also available on Amazon. I have a favor to ask those who have my book: would you be willing to head over to Amazon and give my book a review? Even if it is only a sentence long, your contribution will help my book to appear higher in the rankings. You can also leave a review over at Goodreads if you feel so inclined! Much gratitude to you for taking the time.
Speaking of reviews, I received a very nice one from Tasha Saecker over on her blog, Waking Brain Cells. Head on over to read it and find new children's books you might be interested in! I posted another review I received on Goodreads here. And I sent an email to Betsy Bird at one of the blogs over at School Library Journal asking if she'd be interested in reviewing my book. She wrote a wonderfully encouraging email back to me: "Wow! As you might expect I get a lot of submissions from folks wanting me to review their books but I'd say 99% of them are pretty awful looking. I keep waiting, though, in case one of them looks as gorgeous as your title. This appears to be amazing! I would absolutely LOVE to take a look, if you're willing to pass a copy along." Made my day. :)
Finally, there was a fabulously detailed article about me, my book and my artwork published by the Santa Barbara News-Press in their Sunday edition. It isn't accessible online without a subscription, but I have re-posted it on my blog if you're interested in reading it. It was the cover story for the Life section and writer, Dave Mason, was wonderfully thorough with his interview, along with some really nice photos taken by Thomas Kelsey. I'm very happy with how it turned out. You can read it here!
Fiesta, In a Pear Tree, and Happy!
I sold these three mosaics in the last few months and I'm very happy they got new homes, though I will miss the little pink cat.
Other Artists I Enjoy
Well, since I am venturing into the world of children's book illustrators, I thought I'd feature one of my favorites here. The creativity and talent of Sophie Blackall enthralls me. I am always attracted to happy art, and her art just plain makes me happy, like this poster she did for the New York MTA Arts for Transit program (read about the project and see the entire poster here). She also has a book called Missed Connections, illustrations of actual classifieds found on Craigslist, including this one that began, "We shared a bear suit at an apartment party Saturday night." So original and fun! And if her art isn't enough, Sophie herself is utterly charming. To see what I mean, watch this video on her and her work.
Thank you so much for following along on my artistic journey, and if you think others would be interested in reading about my art, feel free to share my newsletter.
Warm regards, until next time,