Sunday, October 3, 2010


This Friday I am talking to Evan's school about illustration. No sweat, right? Well other than it is a Japanese public school and I don't speak Japanese... My drawings will just have to do the talking.

They have been reading "My Father's Dragon" written by Ruth Stiles Gannett and expertly illustrated by her daughter-in-law Ruth Chrisman Gannett. So, we will be using this book as a place to start. Now I have to say first of all that I love the illustrations in this book and since it is one of the oldest books in my memory they have for me a sort of elemental "truth" to them. SO it feels weird to rethink the wheel a bit.

I used to think that every text had a "platonic" ideal-the perfect interpretation. I don't think that anymore. There are so many thousands of ways to visualize something, reinterpret, add on to. None of which are 100% right or wrong. Even if you are both the author and illustrator. Once you send your story out into the ether anyone can visualize it in their own unique way.

Besides, I like drawing dragons.


  1. I really really like the vaguely duck-like quality of the dragon's face -- although I go back and look again and it's all snake. Snake + duck = really fun, friendly dragon.

  2. These are great. And make me crack up. Especially that brown pencil dragon face! Good luck with your school visit--I'm sure it'll be awesome.

  3. Love these! How do you make dragons sweet? And I totally agree, although I do feel like in writing I am searching for the elusive 'perfect fit' which is sometimes there and not there. Teddy is trying to make a 2T batman mask fit on my head by force--so I'll go now.

  4. Hi Amy! It's a delight to discover your blog..your dragons are so charming!! I had the great fortune to meet you about a year ago at the Fort Mason in has been a busy year since and I am working hard at sketching more and more as you had recommended...thank you again. Good luck at the school talk - I'm sure it will be received extremely enthusiastically. : )

  5. Thanks! It does seem as if this particular dragon is much more likely to quack than burp fire.

    The school visit was great good fun. Good thing drawing dragons transcends language/culture barriers. It was a hoot!

    Heidi, I wish I was there to laugh at you. Is there something Teddy wants me to draw?