Yep, today marks a year of blogging for me. Hard to believe. It was a quick year. I was skeptical about blogs, about me blogging, about the intention and time involved. Whether anybody reads it or not, it has been a challenging exercise and mostly a good one. I started at the urging of Kirsten Cappy, who has no doubt singlehandedly spawned a megaplanet of bloggers. The impetus was to give visibility to Rickshaw Girl, which I illustrated for Charlesbridge Publishing.
The author, Mitali Perkins, was coming to Portland for a library talk with me. It turned out to be a swell event; I could barely breathe when my turn came. Shortly afterwards, Rickshaw Girl won the 2007 Lupine Honor award from the Maine Library Association. It made the ABC Best Books for Children's list in 2007, and won a Jane Addams Peace Association Honor in 2008. According to Mitali, Rickshaw Girl has made lists in New York, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and France. Mitali says: "Suh-weet!"
I say, not bad for my first ever chapter book assignment! Oh, it also is on the Maine Humanities Council's New Books, New Readers list. Just got word that the book is a finalist for a 2009/2010 Children's Crown Award, too. Cool.
It seemed like a good time to do something else with the original art. I framed some of the illustrations for a faculty exhibit at Maine College of Art awhile back. I chose this piece to donate to the ILAP Celesoiree fundraiser coming up in two weeks.
This woman is a pivotal character, and the only adult that I drew. She is the owner of the rickshaw repair shop, much to the surprise of Naima, the would-be rickshaw driver. She is irritated here by Naima's interruption, but she changes the direction of the story. I love her.
Celesoiree is part silent art auction, international food festival, and world music concert. The event raises funds and awareness for the Immigrant Legal Assistance Project, while celebrating the immigrant community and the cultural vitality of Maine.
I am thrilled to be part of it, along with over 100 Maine artists and businesses.
Check it out: March 27!