Apps, Talks, Festivals, Books GALORE April 21, 2010 14:58
Kiwi and Pear iphone/itouch app: I just finished working on new art for the Kiwi and Pear iphone/itouch app. For those of you who are not familiar with the book, I had a children's book (Greetings from Kiwi and Pear) released last year based on one of my greeting card collections featuring Kiwi and Pear - a pair of lovey, huggy, adventurous little monkeys! A New York City-based independent game development company Zephyr Games approached me about an app for kids based on Kiwi and Pear after having seen my book and voila a collaboration was born! As in the card designs and my book, Kiwi and Pear will embark on a world adventure. The app will feature several scenes from the book with 6 NEW scenes along with 3 mini-games! The scenes will be animated and interactive. Here's a sneak peak at one of the new scenes -
Talks: I spoke at an intercollegiate conference at Boston University sponsored by 85 Broads about being an entrepreneur a couple of weeks ago. I gave a brief overview about how I started my company wanart, talked about what my work entails, the challenges of running a design business and on finding and devoting yourself to your passion. After thinking about this talk I realized I actually get a lot of questions about how I started my business and what I do all the time. I think that topic actually deserves it's own blog post which will be soon to come.
Not only did I give a talk but I even attended one! I went to a talk last week sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Illustrators Metro New York Chapter. If you've never attended one of their Professional Series events and are interested in the field of children's books I highly recommend checking them out. You will surely come away from them enlightened and inspired! Last week's talk was given by the prolific children's author/illustrator/television producer Dan Yaccarino. Even if you have never heard of his name you most likely have seen his work. He's illustrated over 40 children's books, was the creator and producer of the animated series Oswald that used to air on Nickelodeon, designed the characters for the hit animated series The Backyardigans and has a new animated series called Willa's Wild Life that is currently airing on NBC on Saturday mornings. I was just amazed at all that he's accomplished in his career so far. One interesting comment he made was about creating from the heart and always designing/creating things YOU like - not what you think kids or other people might like - only then does your work have the authenticity that makes things really good. Even though the talk was mainly about his career and about him saying YES to all the opportunities that came his way regardless of his experience or knowledge I think what Dan was trying to tell us was that opening yourself to more of what life has to offer, instead of hanging back and staying with what you already know is the only way you can learn and grow as an artist and even as an individual. Saying YES more often along with constantly learning and experimenting boosts your potential and could take you to a whole new level. Saying YES can at times be a little scary and risky but saying NO is worse, because it closes the door forever on anything different. Overall a very inspiring evening and makes me excited about all the possibilities as an artist/designer and in life.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="Dan Yaccarino in his Studio"][/caption]
Festivals: The weather is starting to get warm so I've started doing NYC street fairs. Yes, I know what your thinking - those street fairs with all the junky tchotchkes, discount socks and italian sausage trucks? Actually, I started doing street fairs last fall and I have actually been pleasantly surprised by them. They offer me an opportunity to sell some extra inventory, meet and greet with people which I love to do, and sign and promote my children's book! See us at NYC street fairs all summer! I usually announce our street fair appearances on twitter (@kiwiandpear) but I will also try to announce our street fair appearances on the blog. We usually sell our items at a discount from what we offer on our website - so please do drop by if even to say hello! :) The next festival I will be doing is the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival - it's the largest pan-asian community event on the East Coast and only happens once a year! It will take place on Sunday, May 2nd in Union Square, NYC from 12pm-6pm and will feature 50 vendors/community organizations, food and cultural performances - always a delightful event!
Books: I was at a Japanese bookstore called Kinokuniya last week and saw a really cool book that I thought I'd share some snapshots from. If you don't already know, Kinokuniya (1073 Avenue of the Americas - Bet 40th & 41st St) is an amazing store if you havent been there and they have a great selection of unique books (both American and Japanese) and SUPER cute stationery and gift items. I don't know what the book is really about as I can't read Japanese though the book was pretty much wordless. However, this book really caught my eye because it was so simple and just sheer silliness. The author really captured the expressions so well in such few lines.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Cover"][/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="my favorite!"][/caption]