Archive for April, 2009

Today is the deadline for SCBWI scholarship application

April 15, 2009

Taxes, schmaxes…today is the deadline for something grand!
The benevolent Fairy Godsisters, Ink are hosting their second annual scholarship. The lucky, lucky winner will get $1500 to attend SCBWI L.A. 2009 in August.
If you have been thinking about entering, do it now, before it is too late!

SCBWI Spring Conference in South Dakota

April 15, 2009

dinner Friday: Jean Patrick, Tim Gillner, Chris Browne, Lori Walsh, Nancy NL Sharp, Susan Underdahl

dinner Friday

Above photo: Jean Patrick, Tim Gillner, Chris Browne, Lori Walsh, Nancy Sharp, Susan Underdahl

Sometimes I must admit, that here in the sprawling cornfields of South Dakota (which also includes North Dakota and Minnesota, if that gives you a better idea of our chapter’s demographics) –where authors and illustrators are few and far between, we get a little jealous of the big cities where SCBWI members can meet each other for coffee at the drop of a pen.

At the same time, we are also proud of our independence and determination.

Our 3rd Annual Spring Conference was scheduled for April 4. Who would ever think that a blizzard would really happen on that very weekend…especially when we had record numbers of registrants committed to come? We are blaming it on Jean Patrick, of course. She, our fearless coordinator ,is the author of If I Had A Snowplow, after all.

Our speakers, and all the attendees each showed what they are made of by getting to the conference…and some did not get to leave until a day later, after the roads and skies were clear. Even with several cancellations, we had 68 attend, not including the speakers. Of that 68, 16 were artists.

The following photos are compliments of Chris Browne:

Dinner Friday

Dinner Friday

The day began with a nuts and bolts for writers given by Mary Scarbrough.

Tim Gillner then enlightened us with A Picture Book: Conception to Birth. I love that Boyds Mills just does what they love to do, without trying to predict what is “marketable.”

At 11, Martyn Beeny from SDSHS Press wowed us with a presentation about this amazing press. Though small, the number of award-winning books they create is impressive! Go Martyn!

Susan Underdahl shared her story with us. I love that every person who creates books comes is on a journey all their own. Just love it.

Dr. Mark Geary taught a break-out session on making book trailers.

All this along with critiques, panel discussions, topped off with a great lunch and tons of door prizes made for a perfect way to spend a weekend in South Dakota–blizzard or no blizzard.

Candace Trew Camling at the Doodle Diner

April 3, 2009
Watercolor, 2009

Watercolor, 2009

Hi, I’m yet another member of the Doodle Diner, Candace Trew Camling. Its so great to be a part of this group! I have prepared some answers to some interview questions for my first post!:

1. Your studio is…
the best place in the house!! I look forward to getting in there every morning when I wake up. (well, most mornings anyways.) I have my computer, art desk, supplies and all my favorite books in here. I live in a 2 bedroom house in Des Moines, IA, and one of the bedrooms happens to be my studio.

2. Other than your personal style what illustration style are you drawn to and would you ever consider trying it?
I really love illustrations that are collaged fabric or sewn together. I also like 3D works like “Red Nose Studios”. I already play around with fabrics, felt and buttons quite a bit when I craft, but someday I would really like to try a more sculptural look and see what I come up with!

3. What forms of marketing do you employ?
I have a personal website that needs to be updated SO BADLY! (ok, bad first example) I also have a portfolio on I send out the usual postcards and I update my blog a few times a week.

4. What is the first thing you remember drawing?
I’ve seen my REALLY early drawings, but the first thing I remember really drawing was “Princess Jasmine” from Disney’s “Aladdin”. Oh, Disney.  Also, I did this amazing “follow the teacher” drawing of an owl in Mrs.Downey’s first grade class. I think my mom might have removed it from the fridge when they remodeled the kitchen during my time in high school.

5. Is there a certain person from your childhood that especially encouraged you to pursue your love of art?
Yeah. Mom always had a ton of supplies around for me. Notepads, sketchbooks, crayons, markers, and as I grew up, she made sure I had better stuff. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to work with cruddy art supplies. Also, my art teachers through the years at Kenowa Hills Public Schools. They really have GREAT art teachers: Mrs. Rossell, Mrs. Baker, and Ms. Fritz.

Well, I guess that is all I have for now, but I look forward to all the opportunities and amazing things that this group has the potential to be!

Roberta Baird at The Doodle Diner

April 1, 2009

Rub a dub dub!
Rub a dub dub!
 Hi! Welcome to The Doodle Diner. My name is Roberta Baird and I’m so glad to be in The Doodle Diner group blog with these wonderful illustrators. I hope you’ll stop in often to see what’s on the menu!
What’s the first thing you remember drawing…
I remember drawing a self portrait in Kindergarten. Complete with brown page boy haircut, blue eyes, one lower than the other of course, a very cool striped skirt and one leg about three inches longer than the other.
Do you have a favorite memory from art class…
I was the only student in Advanced Art my senior year in high school, so rather than cancel the course, they housed me in another art class and I had individual assignments.  Oh, and I once I drew a portrait of my Algebra teacher and he raised my grade to a D-… does that count?  lol!
Do you have a favorite character from a book…
Oh yes…Miss Rumphius from the  book by the same name, written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. She scattered lupine seeds…sowing a little beauty where ever she went.
 My studio is…
A mess right now! I work in a lot of different mediums, so I have a little bit here and there. I do try to clear the desk top every so often.
When you go to  a diner what food are you most likely to order….
Lets see… I’ll have a “short stack of vermonts, pigs on the side and a blond joe,  hold the sand!”  Translation: Pancakes with maple syrup, sausage and a coffee with cream, no sugar!
Care to join me?

Linda is naked at the Diner

April 1, 2009




I woke up with a start today,
because my dream went wayward.
I dreamt I went to my first class,
naked as a jaybird.


Waitress, I’d like a refill on my coffee and a side order of doodles… the diner is open for business…and I’m proud to be a part of this sweet, wacky, crazy-talented bunch of folk.

We’ve all been asked to answer a few questions to break the ice and here are my blatherings:

1. If you could only use one colour to draw or paint with forever and ever, which colour would you use?

Green. Any shade or tint will do. A bright, yellowish green evokes excitement and liveliness. Olive or moss green has a range from comforting to morose. Jade green can be mystical or refreshing. With a palette full of greens I feel I can communicate just about anything.

2. Other than your personal style what illustration style are you drawn to and would you ever consider trying it?

Although it’s a bit of a departure from the sketchy style I’ve been playing with lately, I am drawn to a more graphic, vector style. I’ve dabbled with it here and there over the years, but after being exposed to some fantastic vector artists of late, (like fellow Doodle Diner, David Sones) I feel inspired to get back into the Adobe Illustrator saddle and play some more.

3. What is the first thing you remember drawing?

I know I drew many things before this, but the most vivid early memory I have is of Fatty the puppy. My younger sister Susan was a big fan and she and I would create an ongoing illustrated story of the adventures of Fatty as I drew. So I suppose this is also my earliest recollection of artistic collaboration as well!

4. When you go to a diner, what food would you be most likely to order?

On a typical day I tend to lean more toward a salad or the ever popular Mediterranean style diet. However, on the odd occasion (less odd lately) I find myself craving diner food (AKA comfort food). It’s at these time I’ll have myself a patty melt with fries and a chocolate shake (the shake for dipping the fries in, of course.) Mmmmm… diner foooood!

5. Is there a certain person from your childhood that especially encouraged you to pursue your love for art? 

Both my parents encouraged my love of drawing as a child. However, my earliest recollection of that support is my dad bringing me pads and pads of bond paper home from the office on a regular basis. I would fill up these pads with drawings of strange characters and goofy animals as fast as he could bring them. (I wish I was that prolific now!) He also bestowed upon me, at an early age, many of his old art supplies. He gave me pastels, oil paints and a collection of how-to books. I played around with all this stuff and found that I had some natural ability and was hooked on creating art from that point on. 

PrincessTomato and Mabel at the Doodle Diner

April 1, 2009
Mabel at The Doodle Diner


1. Your studio… used to be the library of the brick school house we live in.

2. What is the first thing you remember drawing? Obviously, I drew lots of things before this, but I remember looking at a ballerina on my jewelry box. My family was waiting for me to come out of my room so we could go somewhere.  (First things first! heehee)  When I came out, I showed them what I drew, and they could not believe I did it without any help.  I tried to draw it again soon after, and it didn’t turn out so well. Sigh.

3. When you go to a diner, what food would you be most likely to order? Something with ranch dressing. And I will still want to taste whatever you ordered.  Unless what you ordered a reuben. You are safe with a reuben.

4. Is there a certain person from your childhood that especially encouraged you to pursue your love for art? Lots of people—art teachers, parents…but especially my grandparents. My grandma used to make sure I signed and dated my artwork. It really made me feel like a real artist, and like the art was important and official.  One more example:  my parents knew I liked to color.  Once they woke me up in the middle of the night just to have popcorn and COLOR with me. 

5. Is there something in your artistic life you take for granted? Yes. My thumbs.

I am so glad to be a doodler! Woohoo!

Doodle Diner: Pickledog

April 1, 2009



Hooray the Doodle Diner is open for business! To celebrate to launch Pickledog has created a dilly-diner illo, and answered  5 questions created by his fellow diners. Enjoy!

5 Questions with Pickledog

Q: Do you have an agent…if not would you like to work with one?

A: I do not currently have an agent, but I would eventually like to work with one. It would really depend on wether I found an agent that was good fit for me and my illustration style. Of course it would also depend on wether there’s an agent who wants to take on a cartoon dog.


Q: What is the first thing you remember drawing?

A: It may not be the first thing that I ever drew, but I remember drawing a red and blue house in kindergarden. The house was just basic triangles and squares with smaller squares inside for windows and doors. I think it was built into a giant tree, as I was (and still am) crazy about the idea of living in a tree-house. I think it would be fun to try to recreate the drawing from memory someday.


Q: Do you have a favorite memory from an art class?

A: Most of my memories from art class were great, but one that sticks out is when I was told to always paint from the top of the paper down so I wouldn’t get my sleeves dirty. Really, if you can’t get dirty, then what’s the point?


Q: When you go to a diner, what food would you be most likely to order?

A: That’s easy, a hamburger topped with cheese, bacon, tomato, pickles, onion, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and slaw instead of fries. If the diner has an All-Day Breakfast menu that’s a totally different story.


Q: Is there a certain person from your childhood that especially encouraged you to pursue your love for art?

A: Both of my Grandmothers encouraged me to draw, and paint. I think ownership of all of my childhood masterpieces was spilt between them.


I’d just like to add that I am super happy to have been invited to stir up trouble here at the Doodle Diner. Let’s get cookin’!