Saturday, November 14, 2009

Artful Publishing


It’s all Judy’s fault. My creative brain has been on overdrive for publishing another children’s book, or doing custom reprints of my original alphabet books. When Willie

 was born in the late 80’s, I wrote and illustrated the Alaska Animal Alphabet and later the Amazing Animal Alphabet. I wanted to create a “stay-at-home mom” cottage business and self-published the ABC wall friezes and books.  All of my printing was eventually done in Hong Kong at a major children’s book printer. I had the good fortune to travel to China as a designer with a client who was in the toy industry and introduced to their printer, forging an instant business relationship, though the thought of reprinting the books again in China would involve much more energy and time than I have now. Both books and wall friezes were a hit and as a literacy advocate I’ve volunteered at schools

promoting reading, writing and illustrating children’s books. I have a plastic tub filled with the most precious letters written by school children all over the country who have been inspired to create their own alphabets after learning how I made my ABC books. Over the years both have been reprinted a couple of times and as the kids grew and I moved on to other artful ventures and publishing and the books were set aside. Occasionally, I’m asked to illustrate kid’s names in the letters (thankfully I now have them all digital) for birthday or baby shower gifts. In high school an all zoo alphabet I created called AlphaZoo’s provided my gas money as I illustrated family and friends names. It was quite serendipitous that a friend asked me to illustrate (digitally now) a couple of names for them this week, as new baby and sibling gifts and The Alaska Alphabet has been put on the front burner again as part of a 1% For Art Proposal I’m currently bidding on…. I forgot how much I enjoy seeing the names come to life with each animal! When I read fiber artist extraordinaire, Judy Coates Perez of Painted Threads had just published her first book on the e-publishing site of Blurb I’ve been all fired up about the books again! We went to the library today and I was surprised to see my original Alphabet books on the shelf in the children’s section! With the new digital and electronic technology Blurb and other similar sites offer, just about

anything can be self-published at a fraction of the cost and hassle. Check out some of the Blurb staff picks as well as most recently published Blurb titles, those alone are inspiring!

Kristen is home from UAF for a few days and just in time to celebrate Daddy-O and my anniversary! With all the kids in one city at one time we treated everyone to dinner

 at Bear Tooth Grill for our Anniversary on 11/12 (we married on 11/12 so we could remember the date better -though Mom still needs to call us and remind us!). Our hostess took a group shot as we squeezed together in the booth. Will, Will’s cute girlfriend Nikki, Gus, Kristen, Me & Derek are in the group shot. Gus gets a big ‘sis squeeze and Derek 

and I toast the night with a yummy, Spenard Brown Ale! -I know, I know, the last two pictures of me in my Blog I’ve been holding alcohol… tis' the Season!

14 comments:

cookingwithgas said...

you are full of surprises!
I never know what you will have a hand in or have done.
You are a person of many talents.
Wonderful- and the family!
Great fun!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Holy cats, you illustrated those, wow!
And you KNOW I would have the brown ale too.

Linda Starr said...

You're talents are truly amazing, Cindy, a worthwhile cause of a children's book and illustrations, great photos of your family too. Hope your annivesary was a good celebration.

Orion Designs said...

Happy anniversary to you and Derek!

I didn't know about your books. You really are amazing!
Vicki

Judy Shreve said...

The book's are so cool -- you are a woman of many talents. I'm glad you were re- inspired! And happy anniversary too!

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

I love the books, Wesley had a similar book when she was small but it was numbers in the shapes of animals, loved it, but she chewed all the pages. No worries on the alcohol, I have to set my beer down nearly every time I blog:) You definitely need to do more books! I am a huge book lover.

cindy shake said...

Hi All- thank you for the kind words of support!! Seeing the Blurb site and Judy's new book definitely got me all fired up!

jimgottuso said...

who knew, what a great idea for a book. dare i ask what was the animal for "Q"?

cindy shake said...

Hi Jim- In the AK book "Q -The Qiviut quivers when a musk ox shivers." -Qiviut is the valuable musk ox under layer of hair that is downy soft and made into scarfs etc. In the Amazing ABC book "The quetzal doesn't quack, but has quite a tail." It is a long tail tropical green bird.

The "X's" in ABC books are historically the toughest. The AK book has "An x-ray exposes the fox's fireweed feast!" and the AMazing book has "The xenosaur explores music on the xylophone." It's a smallish lizard :o)

HENHOUSE POTTERY said...

Cindy, you are amazingly talented in so many ways! The books are delightful...

...and happy anniversary!

cindy shake said...

Thank you Julia :o) BTW that is a HUGE pet Orb spider you have!

Peter said...

Hi Cindy,
Congratulations on the anniversary, looks like you had a lovely and precious time with family. The alphabet books are marvelous and so much fun too! Thanks for the tip about "blurb", I'm about to hop over and have a look... (I did go through a would be book writer/illustrator period, and do have one or two things sitting here that I have done nothing with). Funny about alphabets, Laura and I sometimes try to send ourselves to sleep by composing alphabets with all sorts of themes. Some letters of the alphabet are a real challenge though and are really amusing to try and work around.

cindy shake said...

Hi Peter! Thank you :o) When I first saw your very talented journal sketches and illustrations my first thought was that they would make for a wonderful children's book! You have such an illustrative quality about your drawings with so much movement and detail. Yeah, I think once you get hooked on alphabets they are hard to let go! Hopefully you'll find Blurb as inspiring as I did!

The Bryants said...

Congrats on the anniversary! You have mentored Todd well, he finally finished his first metal art of the ravens in the snow. You should stop by and see it!

Patty B