Category Archives: Blogs to Follow

A Quick Heads-Up


My Family Tree and Me by

from My Family Tree by Dusan Petricic

Just want to make sure you all know about (and have a chance to subscribe to) the site called ART OF THE PICTURE BOOK, which comes out online with interviews of wonderful picture book illustrators from all over the world. Listed on their main page right now, among others, are interviews with Oyvind Torseter (of Norway),  Renata Liwska (born in Poland, now lives in Calgary, Canada),  Kris Di Giacomo (born in Brazil to American parents, now lives in Paris), Yasmeen Ismail (born in Ireland, now lives in Bristol, England)  and Dusan Petricic (of  both Toronto and Belgrade, Serbia.  I’ll let the drawings and photos speak for themselves – just know that the site often features glimpses of the artists at work and spreads from their sketchbooks. I encourage you to subscribe – it’s free and easy! You’ll find a subscription form here.

Oyvind Torseter - Whyt Dogs Have Wet Noses

Cover Art for Why Dogs Have Wet Noses by Kenneth Steven

Oylind's Studio

Oyvind Torseter’s Studio Desk

Renata Liwska - The Quiet Book

The Quiet Book by Renata Liwska


Renata Liwska’s Sketchbooks

Kris Di Giacomo’s illustration from Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier

from Kris Di Giacomo’s sketchbooks….

One Word from Sophia

detail from Yasmeen Ismail’s illustration for One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck

Dusan Petricic’s cover art for The Color of Things by Vivienne Shalom

I love poetry. I think it is the most important field in literature for me. With poetry you have to be very precise, very focused and explain simple things. There’s always something a little bit conceptual in each poem. So I love to do that. It’s a lot to do with my opinion about cartoons in general, not only political cartoons. The cartoon is a way of thinking. So poetry and cartoons are similar to me. And that similarity is very simplistic, with the concept of how to find the right, the most precise way to explain yourself. With the least possible words.” [from the interview of Dusan Petricic]

Brain-Picking Advice

"If in doubt, make tea" by Owen Davey
“If in doubt, make tea” by Owen Davey

One of the blogs I care most about reading and staying current with is Maria Popova’s wonderful BRAIN PICKINGS. The subjects and sites she links to never fail to intrigue, educate or amaze me (often all three.)  She understands how connected various forms of creativity are – literary, visual arts, music, much more, and I share many of her posts with my family, my writing colleagues, my friends. Here’s one I’d like to share with readers of Books Around the Table. In it, Popova gathers the images of posters created by graduate design students,  in which they pass on advice to the first-year students. Click here to see the whole post. The one above and the three below are my favorites. Seems to me that if you follow the advice these students chose to illustrate, you can’t help but design (and write…and live) better.

"Do what you love" by Andy J. Miller
“Do what you love” by Andy J. Miller
"Go and look outside" by Robert Evans
“Go and look outside” by Robert Evans
"To create ideas is a gift, but to choose wisely is a skill" by Ryan Morgan
“To create ideas is a gift, but to choose wisely is a skill” by Ryan Morgan