Monday, November 29, 2010

How I Create an Illustration

Every year since 1998 I've been asked to illustrate articles in a teacher magazine from NAEYC (National Association of Educators for Young Children). Here's how I created an illustration for their December/January 2011 issue.

First, I read the magazine articles I am going to illustrate to understand the theme and get ideas. Then I sketch some doodles.

I drew the children in a circle for the reason that the articles discussed inclusion in the classroom. Circles have no beginnings or ends, simply a visual way to relay that everyone belongs.

Before I paint, I refine the sketches and an art director must approve of them. I might also have to go back and re-do or tweak my sketches.

When my sketches are approved I create color samples where I can experiment.

Experiments over! Now on to finished art.

Illustration printed in magazine!

Extra Bonus! A Free Coloring page! Click to enlarge, then download to enjoy in your homes or classrooms!

All Illustrations copyright 2011 Melanie Hope Greenberg

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Drawn In Brooklyn" Curator Interview- John Bemelmans Marciano 

I met John Bemelmans Marciano last year. We were introduced by Barbara Wing who had been my curator for a solo picture book illustration exhibition at Brooklyn Central Library in Spring 2009. Working with Barbara Wing was a fantastic experience. I knew an exhibition she and John were cooking up called, "Drawn In Brooklyn", featuring many Brooklyn picture book illustrators, was going to be exciting fun.

John's grandfather was Ludwig Bemelmans of Madeline fame.
John now writes and paints Madeline in the 21 Century. Marciano said it took a long time to capture his grandfather's art style. His latest Madeline book is called "Madeline at the White House". Besides Madeline, Marciano also writes and illustrates picture books such as "Harold's Tail", "Delilah", and "There's a Dolphin in the Grand Canal!". John is very excited about his newest books for Bloomsbury USA. They are called "Anonyponymous" and "Toponynity".

Marciano lives in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn with his wife Andromache, daughter Galatea, and cats Maud and Liddy. 

I am so thrilled that John Bemelmans Marciano and his co-curators Barbara Wing and Paquita Campoverde of Brooklyn Central Library have agreed to provide a history of what goes on in front of and behind the scenes of their wonderful exhibition, "Drawn In Brooklyn".
In Part 1, we talk with John.

Q: How did you get the idea for curating this show?

JBM: My desire to do a show that celebrated the illustrator comes from my experience going around the country to schools and bookstores and constantly being surprised at how people are fascinated by my having written books but generally not caring that I did the pictures too.  I think because most books are about text and only text, people are conditioned to think about authors, whereas in picture books it is the illustrator telling the story just as much as the writer. 

Q: What did you discover about the Brooklyn picture book arts community while curating this show?

JBM: That it is even more vast than I realized!  Also, that it contains some of the nicest and most talented people I have ever met, and that many of them--like me--have been craving a community.  Most of us work alone in our studios spread out all over the borough, and the opportunity for us to share our work with each other was for many the most exciting thing about the show, and I believe that desire is apparent in the exhibition.  Not just in the care each artist took in deciding which of their work they wanted to present, but in the Youth Wing portion of the show, where illustrators opened up their sketchbooks and put their process on display.

Q: How did the multi-media aspect the exhibition arise? (There's a film, a festival, live presentations and workshops, illustrator's process besides the original picture book illustrations).

JBM: Largely from Barbara and Paquita, and the amazing people they work with at the library.  As an illustrator myself, I felt the need to protect my fellows from being asked to do too much, but as it turned out everyone was thrilled at what they were being asked to do!  What I especially learned from this experience is the importance of large public institutions, and the idea that people want to be involved in something larger than themselves.  In the do-it-yourself, privatize everything age, when real spaces are being replaced by websites, I think it's vital to rally around organizations like the Brooklyn Public Library.

Q: What are you currently working on? 

JMB: I am currently working on a chapter book about the richest, worst little boy in the world.

Q: If you had a Mermaid name what would it be?

JMB: Lorenzo!  Or Adolphus.

Thanks, John!

Art: Copyright John Marciano

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Drawn In Brooklyn" Exhibition

"Drawn In Brooklyn" in Time Out Kids and in Captial New York

I'm in a brand new exhibition at Brooklyn Central Library. It's called "Drawn in Brooklyn". In October, I'll be giving FREE programs at the Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza 718-230-2100
Show Schedule: Sun 1-5pm; M-Th 9-9 F & Sat 10 - 6

A festival and exhibition of children's book art curated by John Bemelmans Marciano ("Madeline"). The exhibition features 34 illustrators who live and work in Brooklyn, from the most exciting newcomers in publishing to the legends of the business. The exhibition showcases over a hundred pieces of art.

Original illustrations from my books MERMAIDS ON PARADE, A CITY IS, and DOWN IN THE SUBWAY.

I'll be visiting the Ryder Branch Library on October 20, 2010. And an author visit with a visual power point program in the Dweck Auditorium on October 28, 2010.

At the opening reception there was a beautiful welcoming table with exhibition programs, bookmarks and information.

Co-curators John Marciano and Barbara Wing gave speeches.

The illustrators from "Drawn In Brooklyn"

Susan Straub from the Read to Me Program celebrated picture book art with my hero, Diane Dillon, illustrator of so many award winning books.

I'm with David Mowery, Division Manager of the Brooklyn Central Youth Wing and my art patron :)

Michelle Lynch, my intern from Pratt, a senior majoring in picture book illustration is with Andrea Vaughn, Brooklyn Central librarian fantastique!

Blog Diary from my solo exhibition at Brooklyn Central Library in Spring 2009. Here is a Facebook photo album from "Ordinary Into Extraordinary".

Photos copyright Melanie Hope Greenberg 2010
Group Photo: Al Pereira 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Melanie's List of Links

I've done all the you don't have to.
Here they are! Weblinks to learn about my books, art, career, and events. All in one place! And this list will always grow. My heartfelt thanks to everyone for supporting my books and my art!

Elementary Schools
Hope Floats
Megan Kimball PS 58 '09
Megan Kimball PS 58 '11
Blog Diary PS 58 Residency '09
NYC School Help
PS 250
PS 370
Brooklyn Arts Council
Ferguson Library CT
Eric Carle 1
Eric Carle 2
Eric Carle Museum Sells My Books
Eric Carle Museum Bookstore Shout Out
Professional Development/University
New School Forum Feb 15, 2011
New School Facebook
New School Event Link
New School Free Press
Brooklyn Arts Council
Daniel Warren Elementary
Read To Me Program
SCBWI LA'08 Deborah Mori
SCBWI LA'08 Ken Min
SCBWI LA'08 Mike Baker
SCBWI LA'08 Alice Pope
SCBWI NYC '09 Susan Raab
SCBWI NYC '09 Liz Burns
SCBWI NY Metro '10 Marketing to the Max
SCBWI NY B. Ehrentreu-Metro Examiner
SCBWI NY Metro S. Dunlap-Red Room

Picturing Books
A City Is
Storied Cities Book Giveaway
Brooklyn Eagle
Brooklyn Women's Exchange
Bowery Boogie Blog
Heights Books
Unica Home
Nancy Keane's Booktalks
Brooklyn GO
Mermaids on Parade
Literary Map of Brooklyn
Storied Cities Blog
Amazon Reviews
Shop Exit 9
PBS Parents Summer Reading List
Summer Edward
UP Authors
SLJ- Fuse#8 Blog
Leaving Shangrila
Mom and Kiddo
Picture Book Lists by Topic
Planet Esme 1
Planet Esme 2
Lee Wind
Tiny Reader
OC Family
Down In The Subway
Star Bright Books Blog
Book Nut
Picture Book Junkies
Good Morning, Digger Mom To Mom Forum
Holiday House Celebrates 75
The book on Holiday House website

Talking Story Blog - Craft Prompt
Hunger Mt / VCFA "Passion for the Picture Book"
Hunger Mt / VCFA "Diversity In Picture Books"
HMHnyc "Diversity in Picture Books"
HMHnyc "Transitions"
My Word Playground "Writing Sea-crets"
Momasphere "My Mother's Work"
SCBWI NY Metro "Diamond in the Slush"
SCBWI NY Metro "Say YES with Dan Yaccarino"
SCBWI NY Metro "What Makes a Caldecott"
SCBWI NY Metro "Getting the Gigs"

Got Story Countdown - Interview Questions 1-10
Got Story Countdown - Full interview
Mom Blog Network - Interview
Wordswimmer - Interview
Five on Friday - Interview
Mom and Kiddo Blog - Article
HMHnyc - Article
Park Slope Patch - Article
Summer Edward - Article
Self Absorbed Boomer - Article
The Dabbling Mum Blog -Article
Alex Battles MySpace
Brooklyn Heights Blog 10 Award
Cybils Awards 2010 Picture Book Fiction Judge
Cybils 2010 Finalists
Cybils Kids Book Blog
Cybils News8 New Haven
Kidlitosphere Central - Publishing Bloggers
Literary Family - Mermaids On Parade blog
DumboNYC - Mermaids On Parade blog

Brooklyn Central Library
“Ordinary into Extraordinary” 2009

Artist Statement
Melanie's Blog Diary
Urban Baby
Brooklyn Eagle
Brooklyn Central Library
"Drawn In Brooklyn" 2010

BPL Exhibition Website
BPL Events Calendar
New York Times
Time Out New York Kids
NY Daily News
A Child Grows In Brooklyn
Capital New York
HMHnyc Drawn In Brooklyn
John Marciano Interview
"Drawn In Brooklyn" Crafting & Meet the Author
CC's Kidz Blog
Mommy Poppins
Prospect Heights Patch
"Drawn In Brooklyn" Videos
Melanie's BPL Video
RIPPLE Auction 2010
826LA Auction
Publisher's Weekly
Nucleus Gallery
Huffington Post
NYer Magazine's Passport to the Arts '08


Book Court May 2011
Book Court May 2011
Brooklyn Book Fest '08
Brooklyn Book Fest '09
Brooklyn Book Fest '10 Fuse#8
BKLYN DESIGNS Brooklyn Eagle
Brooklyn Women's Exchange
Atlantic Antic Brooklyn Eagle
Atlantic Antic Brooklyn Hts Blog
Atlantic Antic Organization
Atlantic Antic Video
Atlantic Antic Miss Brooklyn Blog
7th Heaven
Atlantic Avenue Artwalk '06
Atlantic Avenue Artwalk 6/5/10
Atlantic Avenue Window Judge 2010
Women's Exchange
A Child Grows in Brooklyn
Keelie Sheridan
Sharon Lerner
Momtrends NYC
Fireproof Gallery 1
Fireproof Gallery 2
BPL 24 Hour Read-In
Reach Out and Read
Literacy Quilt
Literary Quilt 2
Women's History Month Celebration 2010
Walking in Public
Brooklyn Heights Blog
Aileen Leijten
Mermaids on Parade Blog 1
Mermaids On Parade Blog 2
Miss Brooklyn Blog
Found In Brooklyn
World News
Selina Alko
Barbara Ehrentreu
Red River Writers Radio
The Literary Family
A Child Grows In Brooklyn

Photo credit: Melanie Hope Greenberg 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Librarians, Bookstores and FREE Coloring Page

I went to Washington DC to attend the ALA or the American Library Association's annual conference. I stayed at my friend Virpi's apartment and passed the White House a few times.

I attended some parties, walked the exhibit floor and met many of my colleagues. I Love Librarians!

I also love bookstores! On July 10 I read and signed books at a Beach Party for the brand new independent bookstore called Boulevard Books and Cafe in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.

I felt warmly welcomed by the neighborhood community.

And signed almost all the books the store had in stock. Thanks!

Books and art make us aware of the world we live in. Please keep nature's world alive. Color the beautiful ocean and all her creatures for FREE. Click on the image to enlarge and download. Have fun!

Photo Credits: Copyright Melanie Hope Greenberg,Jeanette Larson and Tatiana Nicoli

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spring into Summer

Wow it's Summer already! The past month was incredibly busy.

At the end of May, Book Expo America (BEA) came to New York City. I was lucky and helped set up original illustrations and attend the Association of Booksellers for Children's (ABC) auction, dinner, party and award ceremonies. Bookstore owner, Tami Furlong, helped me out. How delightful to see ABC's Executive Director, Kristen McLean again. Kristen visited "Ordinary into Extraordinary", my picture book illustration exhibition in the Youth Wing of the Brooklyn Central Library in spring 2009.

Met Jean Dayton in person for the first time. She is my school and conference booking agent at Dayton Bookings.

At the beginning of June, author Susanna Reich and I presented a professional workshop called "Marketing to the Max" for the SCBWI NY Metro chapter, my local chapter. I've been serving on this regional chapter's steering committee for almost two decades. My part of the talk was a visual Power Point show.

To prepare for the annual Mermaid Parade I gave three presentations. First, Mermaid Tail Making at The Moxie Spot. Then a book reading at Bluestockings Books and a school visit in Brooklyn.

I celebrated the Summer Solstice and the opening of the ocean at the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. There were many creative interpretations of mermaids and water creatures on a bright sunny day with a delicious cool sea breeze. I got to relax on the beach.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Photo Credits: 2010 Melanie Hope Greenberg and Patricia Keeler

Monday, May 17, 2010

FREE Coloring Page

I am continuing FREE downloads of sketches from my books that you can color. Enjoy!

This sketch is from a book that I illustrated called, "Love is Like a Crayon Because It Comes In All Colors" by David Heller, published by Villard Books/ Random House. Click on it to enlarge and print.

All images: Copyright Melanie Hope Greenberg 1993

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Weekend

On Saturday May 8, 2010 I read and signed my picture books at a kid-friendly book party.

Author and journalist for women's issues, Sharon Lerner, invited me. Her new book is titled, "The War on Moms".

The night before Sharon's book party I went to another party for the 8th Annual BKLYN DESIGNS show that "marries Brooklyn's talent, commitment, creativity and commerce".

With fabulous Karen Auster from Auster Events who produces the annual show at the St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

On Sunday, May 9, I read and signed my books at the BKLYN DESIGNS KID'S LOUNGE. I sat on a handmade bench, surrounded by adorable children and their parents in the Argington space.

The kids sat on an Argington organic blanket and fun oversized pillows from Iglooplay. Some other kids had a blast running around, climbing, and peeking at my reading from the Casa Kids' bunkbeds.

Thanks to all for a book loving weekend!
Photo Credits: Copyright 2010 Melanie Hope Greenberg
Argington: Alison Hamerstadt

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend Events

Author Sharon Lerner is having a Kid- Friendly Book Party and invited me to read and sign my books. For Book lovers large and small!

** Saturday, May 8, 2010 3:30 pm
33 Flatbush Avenue, 3rd Fl
(That’s PowderKeg, Brooklyn’s new workspace for women writers)
A book party featuring the band Rolie Polie Guacamole, kids book author Melanie Hope Greenberg, plus cupcakes (and book signing, too)!

Please come celebrate the release of “The War on Moms: On Life in a Family-Unfriendly Nation,” a new book by Brooklyn writer Sharon Lerner.

** Sunday May 9, 2010 1pm – 2pm
St. Ann’s Warehouse • 38 Water St. Dumbo, Brooklyn
Kid’s Story Time at Iglooplay in BKLYN DESIGNS™ Kids Lounge.

Bring the whole family to the BKLYN DESIGNS™ KIDS’ LOUNGE on Mother’s Day and hear Brooklyn Heights resident, Melanie Hope Greenberg, read from her books! Melanie has published 16 children’s picture books — “Mermaids on Parade” (Putnam) takes place at Coney Island. “A City Is” (Holt) are poems Melanie illustrated for Brooklyn’s first poet laureate. “Good Morning, Digger” (Viking) is a construction book for urban children.

Thanks to Karen Auster, Iglooplay, and Argington Children's Furniture!

Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn describes the event.