Bird drawing video! Bird is not happy. I won’t say why. Let me know if there is something you’d like me to draw on video!
Quick video of me drawing a cat in Clip Studio Paint. Also showing a few neat tools in Clip Studio! Let me know what else you want me to draw!
This is how I like to draw a quick rose. I did a video like this for a friend, but I think I just posted it on twitter so the quality was bad. Is there anything you’d like to see me draw? I’ll do drawings of general items so please let me know what you want me to make!
I had wanted to say that I was catching up with artwork for Doodles & Dreams this week. Really this is a relaxed event so there is no pressure to finish anything. I do want to draw more so I’m going to make an effort to do more. I’ve been so exhausted this week. Here are some things I’ve been working on for both the booklet and the prompts.
I should admit I did get side tracked. I worked on a new color palette for Clip Studio Paint. I took a red, blue and yellow and mixed them with an almost white, and almost black to make a bunch of nice colors. It took a while, but I finished. It should help the blending of colors later on.
I’ll likely be posting these on Instagram! Some I’ve posted already. I’m posting the book prompts here: https://www.instagram.com/dani_duck_art/
And the daily prompts here: https://www.instagram.com/smart_dummies_challenge/
There is a list of prompts at the bottom of the page! To download the booklet and sign up please go here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/
Welcome to Doodles and Dreams! All the fun starts today. If you haven’t signed up for this event please sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/ Don’t forget to pick up your free booklet as well.
This is a relaxed event to encourage doodles and fun! I’ll be making posts here so be sure to sign up for my email. If you like what you make during this event please share it with me on Twitter or Instagram using #doodledreams! I’ll RT some work I see. You don’t have to stick with what’s in the book. Please feel free to share any of you work with that tag.
If you have something you really like please mail it to me at daniduck(@)gmail.com. I’ll be posting other people’s work on Fridays (but only if you email it to me). I’m also hoping to post a few other things throughout the month so please sign up to get my emails below!
I just finished editing the Doodles & Dreams booklet so if there are mistakes please let me know. Also if you find accessibility issues in the booklet or on the website please let me know!
If you are an artist or writer please feel free to join my Discord server: https://discord.gg/mEt4PGr This server is meant for adult professionals and those working towards becoming a professional. Right now it’s mostly kidlit and graphic novel people!
Subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss out on any event posts!
I meant to announce this sooner. I’ve been extremely fatigued this past week and before that I’ve been so busy.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any Smart Dummies this year. It’s something I wrestled with a lot. It’s been an extra busy year for me. COVID has really messed things up. Also, I feel like I need a break.
This year I’m running a relaxed event called Doodles and Dreams! This will be an event much like my Spring into Writing Event. I will be releasing the Smart Dummies booklet again this year. If possible I’ll also do a fun booklet for Doodles &Dreams as well.
Doodles & Dreams wont have prizes, but I’m hoping it will be a lot of fun! We’ll do some art sharing and maybe even have some chats. I’ll be talking more about this before September starts. I hope to see you there!
Sign up here: https://www.daniduck.com/doodles-and-dreams/
I want to invite you all to a new Twitter chat! The chat is called #QueerKidlit and will be Wednesday nights 5:30pm PT/ 8:30pm ET. It’s hosted by Jenette Bradley (@jeanettebradly) and myself (@daniduck). The very first event will be Wednesday August 12th! All LGBTQIA+ people and allies welcome! This event is for both kidlit writers and illustrators.
There are lots of things we are working out about this chat. Please come with ideas for things you’d like to see!
Logo art by Jeanette Bradley.
I’m going to start doing weekly updates again! I will be posting my own creative goals (and maybe some artwork), my current reads, and any art/writing events and fun stuff that’s coming up. The format and name for this may change a bit, but I’m really excited to have time to do these updates again.
I just got an iPad Pro. I’m currently using it to work on some illustration work! I have a cat book that I think will work well with on the iPad.
I have another cat graphic novel that I’m doing on my desktop. I am almost done with the images for this, but it is taking some time. I’m hoping that the work for this will give me more things to share for Smart Dummies later this year!
I have honestly not had much time for reading in recent years and that’s been very sad for me. I am listening to a TON of audiobooks right now. It’s easier for me to listen to something while I’m working on art or cleaning the house than it is to sit and read. I can read so much faster than I can listen, so I was resistant at first. I found that I do love listening to these books. I’ve had so much fun hearing these stories.
Stories I’ve read in the last little while:
Full Disclosure by Cameryn Garrett
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Tarnished are the Stars by Rosilee Thor
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow
The Black Flamingo By Dean Atta
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Most of these are by Black authors other than Tarnished are the Stars and The Henna Wars. These are both queer stories! I highly recommend reading all of these books.
Currently Reading: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
This book is different from all the books I’ve been reading lately, because it’s nonfiction. It’s a memoir/manifesto. I’d also say there are CW for this book of sexual abuse, general abuse, homophobia, transphobia, racism and repeated use of the f-word and n-word. The writer of this book is Black, queer and does not put the bad things that happened in his life in a good light.
More Fun Stuff:
Just around the corner is the SCBWI Summer Spectacular conference! I’m attending this event. It starts Friday July 31st and runs through August 4th. I’m very excited for this to start. I honestly keep forgetting the start date, so posting the date here is as much for myself as it is for you! https://www.scbwi.org/events/scbwi-summer-spectacular-2020/
The Children’s Book Academy is having their Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Books starting August 31st. This is an absolutely fantastic class. You will learn so much in this class. The fantastic Larissa Marantz is a new teacher in this course. She is absolutely fantastic! It will be the best year to take this class. ADs, Editors and Agents will be looking at your work at the end of the course so sign up now! https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/2020-craft–business-of-illustrating-childrens-books.html
Cyndi Marko puts the POW in Kung Pow Chicken — The book series, not the food (maybe also the food). She is a writer and illustrator. She started off her career hoping to sell picture books. Things don’t always happen the way we plan, but Cyndi did end up selling books. Just not the picture books she had planned.
Cyndi has now created a wonderful collection of superhero chicken books called Kung Pow Chicken. This was my son’s first chapter book. I read them to him when he was in kindergarten. It’s still on the top of my list for fun chapter book series! Cyndi’s new book Kung Pow Chicken: Jurassic Peck comes out in September. The Kung Pow Chicken Collection can be now bought as a 4 in 1 book!
Check out Cyndi’s Website here: https://www.cyndimarko.com/
Dani: Besides writing and illustration, What is your superpower?
Cyndi: Well, I’m actually pretty put out that I can’t fly or shoot lasers from my eyeballs, but I am a fairly decent cook. I love to put on loud music and just lose myself in the kitchen, and I always sing while I cook.
Cooking is a creative outlet for me separate from book work stuff. I’m particularly good at creating dishes from whatever’s on hand when there’s almost no food left in the house because I haven’t gone grocery shopping (which I hate doing), and I’m also good at recreating dishes I’ve had at restaurants. I hardly ever use recipes (except for when baking because science) and prefer to just go by instinct as I’m cooking. (Pro tip: there’s no such thing as too much garlic!)
I love to bake as well, and have been making sourdough from my own starter for about a year now. I think I most enjoy making soups (I save bones and make my own stock) and baking fancy cookies at Christmas time. I think this love of cooking comes through in my books because I almost always find a way to incorporate food into my stories. There are candy corn cupcakes in KUNG POW CHICKEN and stale jelly donuts in THIS LITTLE PIGGY.
Dani: How has your process changed since you first started creating books?
Cyndi: I’m much faster now, for one thing. It used to take me months to make a sketch dummy for a picture book, and writing was like pulling teeth. But now I can sketch a dummy for a picture book in about a week, and a book like KUNG POW CHICKEN in about two weeks.
The biggest difference is scale, I think. I used to sketch at full size and it led me to be a perfectionist. Over the years my sketches got progressively smaller. Now I sketch at thumbnail size and then enlarge when I scan. I can then edit the composition in PhotoShop, and print off and trace using my lightbox when I go to final art.
As for writing, I’m much more likely to start with a loose outline before jumping into a first draft, which has totally helped my productivity. Also, I found a writing partner who writes and illustrates the same types of books as I do and getting feedback from a peer has been invaluable. (Hi, Troy!)
Dani What’s it like writing your 5th book in a series? Is it hard keeping a series fresh so far into the series?
Cyndi: It had been about five years since KUNG POW CHICKEN 4, so it was interesting to jump back in with book 5 (JURASSIC PECK). I had to reread the previous books to make sure I got all the details right. It surprised me how little I remembered writing the words or painting the art!
But I had SO much fun working on book 5. We had more time in the schedule for each step of the book, and I found I was faster and more experienced. KPC 5 also has dinosaurs, and I have always wanted to do a book with dinosaurs so I was pretty much geeking out the entire time. I really love the end result and I hope we get to do many more KPC books. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of adventures for those plucky little chickens!
Dani: What is your favorite way to relax?
Cyndi: Reading a book while having a glass of wine and eating Sour Patch Kids (pairs nicely with merlot) or spending time with friends. During social distancing I’ve found ways to spend time with friends online: playing tabletop games on Roll20 or watching a series or movie at the same time and chatting about it over messenger.
Dani What are you working on now?
Cyndi: So many things!
First there’s SLOTH SLEUTH, a graphic novel series about a sloth named Paz who solves mysteries on the fantastical island of Winklefuss. The first two books will come out in 2021 and 2022, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I’ve also got BOO! HISS! (Aladdin, 2021), about a ghost and a snake who are roommates in a haunted (by them) house.
I also have a couple dozen (I’m not kidding) WIPs—works in progress for the layperson—on the go. I’m working on picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, middle grade novels, and maybe a humorous coffee table book for grown-ups. I am sometimes overwhelmed by so many ideas that I am dying to work on that I end up working on none of them and just drink too much coffee and share too many memes. But I am determined to prioritize!
Buy the Kung Pow Chicken Collection: https://shop.scholastic.com/parent-ecommerce/books/kung-pow-chicken-collection-books-1-4-9781338599213.html
Preorder Kung Pow Chicken 5: https://www.amazon.com/Jurassic-Peck-Branches-Book-Chicken/dp/1338596640/
Indiebound links to all of Cyndi’s Books: https://www.cyndimarko.com/my-books
Lisa Chen-Wing is just hilarious. Anyone can write a story about their life, but it takes a special kind of person to make other people laugh about that experience. Lisa’s webcomic Whiny Whiny Pancakes is all about Lisa’s life with her kids. This comic is hilarious and very dear to my heart. I love reading this comic and I hope you will too!
Lisa’s website: http://whinywhinypancakes.com/
9 Reasons Why
By Lisa Whiny Whiny Pancakes
2 Reasons why I started a semi-autobiographical web comic
- My friend looked at a web comic and said ‘Hey, you could do that!’
- I said ‘Hey, I could do that.’
5 Reasons why you should start a web comic.
- Making more social media accounts is extremely easy.
- The best way to get better at something is to do it regularly.
- It’s a great way to practice new skills and techniques.
- Getting a few likes from randos on the internet is a great ego boost.
- It’s not a huge time commitment.
1 Reason why you shouldn’t start to draw a web comic
- Nobody really cares about your web comic.
1 Reason you should draw your web comic anyway.
- Outsider artists, the ones who toil their whole lives in obscurity, are the real heroes.
Since I don’t have the integrity of an outsider artist, only the same number of followers: (Instagram @whinywhinypancakes, Twitter @WhinyPancakes, Facebook @whinywhinypancakes, URL: whinywhinypancakes.com, other URL: elsiedub.com)