CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! THE BLACK & WHITE ISSUE

 
Art by Elizabeth Haidle

Art by Elizabeth Haidle

 

Are you an artist or writer who would love to contribute to ILLUSTORIA? Well, we'd love to hear from you!

We have a few slots left in our upcoming issue, themed "BLACK & WHITE." In particular, we're looking for:

- a couple of 2- to 3-page comics or illustrated stories

-spot art or standalone illustrations + minimal text or poetry

-1–3 panel comic strips

Pssst...! We  may be a wee bit biased toward work that celebrates diversity, silent films, and b&w photography...but also totally open and excited to see your original ideas! 

Submissions due by October 12th, 2017. Find out more about our submissions guidelines here, then email your submission to: submissions@illustoria.com.

Good luck!

Why Making Cards Makes us Happy

 
Eunice and Sabrina Moyle, founders of Hello!Lukcy. Photo © Zoe Larkin

Eunice and Sabrina Moyle, founders of Hello!Lukcy. Photo © Zoe Larkin

 

Sisters Eunice and Sabrina Moyle are founders of Hello!Lucky, a San Francisco-based, award-winning purveyor of letterpress greeting cards and other doodled objects. They’re also authors of several books including their latest, Happy Mail and the forthcoming Be the Change.

This week, Eunice and Sabrina join Illustoria to share some insight into their art style and why they love to doodle, hand-letter and send snail mail!

 
Happy Mail just launched! Enter to win a copy, details at the end of this post. Photo © Zoe Larkin

Happy Mail just launched! Enter to win a copy, details at the end of this post. Photo © Zoe Larkin

 

There are lots of reasons why doodling and writing snail mail cards makes us happy. For one thing, Eunice loves to draw and Sabrina loves to write, so cards are a perfect way to team up!

We also love cards because they’re fun and social.  Since cards have a clear purpose -- to say hi, thank you, happy birthday, etc. -- they can be less daunting than drawing for no reason on a blank piece of paper.   Kind of like bowling with bumpers!

 
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When we make a card, we usually start with the occasion and person in mind. Then, we brainstorm concepts -- the combination of words and images that we think will create a good vibe, a smile, or a laugh. We love to look on Pinterest for inspiration. Sometimes a cool pattern or illustration gives us a great idea that we can apply in a new way. There’s nothing wrong with looking for artists you like and trying to learn their styles, just as long as you make it your own!

 
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Doodling cards is simple. They don’t take a lot of time to draw.  Since they’re small, you can easily try different ideas or start over. Sometimes the simplest cards are the best!

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We love cards because they combine words and pictures. We like to think of these as two different languages.  Many of us are more comfortable with words than pictures (ahem, Sabrina!), so cards give us a way to use both -- it’s not so scary to draw when you also have words to fall back on. We’ve seen great cards that are only hand-lettering or hilarious one-liners, and we’ve also seen great cards that are all picture with no words. Our favorite? A pun paired with fun illustration!  Cat puns, especially!

 
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Our rule of thumb for card-writing is keep it short, light, and sincere. We love the fill up the page with hand-lettering and add doodle flare, like rainbows, stars, and hearts.  Writing short messages lets us try different styles without worrying too much about messing up or rambling!  That said, we also love hunkering down to write a multi-page letter to a pen pal -- it’s an amazing way to catch up when you have a lot to say, and way better than a multi-part IM! :D

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You might think that in today’s tech-enabled world, handmade cards and handwritten letters aren’t important.  In our personal experience, that’s not true.  Handmade cards and letters are another form of communicating, just like texting, calling, or sending an email. Each one has its place, and a handmade card makes a great impression.  

 
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We like to think of snail mail cards like slow food or home-cooking. They take a while to prepare, but they’re satisfying and unique to the cook or sender.  Social media has its place, too, just like fast food. Sometimes you’re in a hurry and you just need to get a message sent (we love french fries but try not to eat them for every meal ;))

Nothing beats getting a handwritten card in the mail, personally addressed to you.  These days, it’s a memorable experience. It’s something you can hold, read, re-read, and keep forever.  (Sabrina still has letters she exchanged with her BFF in high school! Amazing time capsules!).

 
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Making cards makes us feel more connected.  We like to make cards for friends, family, and even strangers because it allows us focus our attention on relationships.  To us, relationships matter most in life, more than material things. Cards remind us of what really counts!

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Sending cards or letters can be like a meditation or gratitude practice. When we sit down to draw a card or write a letter, it immediately puts us in a happy place. Why? Because we’re focusing all our imagination and energy on how we can make people happy. What hilarious idea would make them snort with laughter? What would make them feel warm fuzzies?  Thinking about these things gives us a real high, like planning a surprise party!

 
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You can almost always find a good reason to send a card.  Birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, holidays, and or any time you receive a kind action, gift or letter.  We especially love sending cards to grandparents and people who might not be as tech-savvy. You might even keep a calendar of card-sending occasions, or a list of people you want to write to along with their snail mail addresses.

 
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Most importantly, though, making and sending cards is just good fun.  We crack ourselves up coming up with funny, punny card ideas and we have even more fun sending them to our friends.  So the next opportunity that comes up, grab a pen and some paper, and start doodling!  Pop your creation in the mail and see what happens!

 
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You can pick up lots of card and hand-lettering ideas and inspiration, letter-writing prompts, and even ready-to-write tear-out cards and self-mailing letters in our new book, Happy Mail.  So have fun making your own cards!  We know they’ll be totally paw-some! :D

 
Sabrina holding a copy of Happy Mail! Photo © Zoe Larkin

Sabrina holding a copy of Happy Mail! Photo © Zoe Larkin

 

To celebrate the official Happy Mail launch, we’d like to offer one of you your own copy! Follow @illustoria_mag and @helloluckycards on Instagram and tag a friend you would send handmade happy mail to and we’ll pick a winner at random!

Call for Interns!

 
illustration by Paul du Coudray 

illustration by Paul du Coudray 

As ILLUSTORIA continues to grow and flourish, we are on the look out for some helping hands! If you are a student living in the Bay Area, and have a love of (slash more like an obsession with) children's publishing, illustration and DIY culture, this might just be your dream internship. 

We are now currently looking to fill two positions:  
-Sales and Marketing Internship
-Editorial and Publicity Internship

Details:
-unpaid internship, school credit available
-part-time with flexible hours, approximately 4–6 hours/week
-6-month minimum duration

Our deadline for applications is October 3, 2017. Please see below for job descriptions and further details. Questions? Email them to hello@illustoria.com 

Illustration by Elizabeth Haidle. 

Illustration by Elizabeth Haidle. 


Sales and Marketing Internship
We are looking for a part-time intern to support sales outreach and order fulfillment. The ideal candidate is meticulously organized and detail-oriented, with a passion for children’s literature, illustration and DIY culture. Strong communication and writing skills, ability to multi-task and meet deadlines is essential. 

Qualifications & Skills:
-College student or recent graduate
-2+ years of experience in administrative work
-Strong communication skills
-Detail oriented, strong ability to multi-task and meet deadlines
-In-depth knowledge of Excel, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ (esp. Sheets)
-Basic knowledge of Squarespace and MailChimp

Responsibilities & Duties:
-Outreach to and cultivation of relationships with media, bloggers, potential stockists and partners
-Manage order fulfillment:
          ~Track & record magazine store orders + subscriptions in database
          ~Package for shipment
-Basic website & database maintenance

Please submit your resume, cover letter and 3 references to hello@illustoria.com.

Illustration by Elizabeth Haidle. 

Illustration by Elizabeth Haidle. 

Editorial & Publicity Internship
We are looking for a part-time intern to support editorial content and social media outreach. The ideal candidate is passionate about children’s literature, illustration and DIY culture. Strong communication and writing skills, illustration and graphic design background, and ability to multi-task and meet deadlines is essential.

Qualifications & Skills:
-College student or recent graduate
-2+ years of experience in marketing + editorial work
-Strong communication skills
-Detail oriented, strong ability to multi-task and meet deadlines
-Strong background in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign
-Excellent writing skills
-In-depth knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+

Responsibilities & Duties:
-Write and coordinate weekly to bi-weekly engaging blog posts
-Social media outreach:
        -support and create engaging social media content  
        -create engaging MailChimp newsletter
        -monitor analytics on facebook + twitter
-Marketing + event support:
        -assist in event planning
        -promote events on social media + outreach to local media sources
        -represent ILLUSTORIA at various promotional events
-Create and oversee marketing collateral such as posters, postcards, swag, etc.
-Potential to contribute editorial illustrations + stories  
-Collaborate with team on growing media and partner relationships

Please submit your resume, cover letter, illustration/graphic design examples, website, and 3 references to hello@illustoria.com.

 



 

 

 

Creator Crush: Mike Lowery

 
Sneak peek from Issue 5: Motion: Mike Lowery doodles his answers to our Q & Artist interview.

Sneak peek from Issue 5: Motion: Mike Lowery doodles his answers to our Q & Artist interview.

 

Who cannot absolutely adore Mike Lowery for his amazing doodles, hand-lettering, books, and inspiring-hilarious-addicting-to-watch #randomillustratedfacts?

 
From Mike Lowery's Instagram feed, where he regularly shares videos of his sketchbook drawings featuring engaging and adorable random illustrated facts. 

From Mike Lowery's Instagram feed, where he regularly shares videos of his sketchbook drawings featuring engaging and adorable random illustrated facts. 

 
 

Mike is a prolific children's book writer and illustrator who infuses his work with a sense of humor and child-like simplicity that never fails to amuse and delight us. His latest series with Workman Publishing, Doodle Adventures, invites kids to draw their own characters into the story and, page by page, the interactive book continues along via prompts for more illustrations by the reader. It's an ingenious format that combines drawing and doodling with the silly escapades of a wonky cast of characters that will keep everyone anticipating the next funny episode. By the end of the book, the reader will have helped to co-write a totally unique story that can be read over and over again with family and friends for a riotous good time. 

Doodle Adventures Series

Doodle Adventures Series

Thankfully with three books out (The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs!The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!The Rise of the Rusty Robo-Cat!) and counting in this series, your little doodlers will have enough to keep them creatively satisfied for some time. We are thrilled to share Mike's book trailer for this series, a series which has been described as "a visual Mad Libs: part game, part graphic novel, and a thrilling, interactive experience in which the reader draws him- or herself into the story and becomes the star." So much good!

 

And a few more glances at Mike's Q & Artist for Illustoria, issue 5: Motion:

 
Yes! Roald Dahl books...we couldn't agree more. 

Yes! Roald Dahl books...we couldn't agree more. 

 
 
Art by Mike Lowery. See The Motion Issue for the full Q & Artist feature!

Art by Mike Lowery. See The Motion Issue for the full Q & Artist feature!

 

Don't miss out on Mike's awesome books and make sure to get a copy of The Motion Issue to learn more about what inspires Mike, what he's currently up to, and when he feels his most creative.

And be sure to enter our GIVEAWAY in partnership with Workman Publishing between now and Friday, 9/15/17, for a chance to win a set of Mike's Doodle Adventures books. Head to our Instagram feed for contest details.

Announcing #5: THE MOTION ISSUE

 
Cover art by Yuliya Gwilym

Cover art by Yuliya Gwilym

 

We are thrilled to present issue #5 of ILLUSTORIA, The Motion Issue. This issue is currently at the printer and will be delivered in the coming weeks so be on the lookout! 

 
Color proofs of The Motion Issue

Color proofs of The Motion Issue

 

The Motion issue is bursting with invigorating stories and comics that will get your brain humming and your feet gearing up for action. We asked writers, artists, and makers to explore motion in all different forms, and the result is a meditation in movement in the form of sea creatures at the aquarium, the gallop of horses, journeys into space and fantastical worlds, the capturing of motion through art and photography, and even the progressive, forward-movement of trailblazers and activists. 

Start off the school year inspired and energized through interviews with writer/activist Kate Schatz and visionary artist Miriam Klein Stahl of the bestseller Rad Women Wordwide.

A spread from our interview with rad women Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl of Rad Women Worldwide and Rad American Women A-Z

A spread from our interview with rad women Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl of Rad Women Worldwide and Rad American Women A-Z

Learn how to make your own Victorian-era animated thaumatrope with a DIY activity by our creative director, Elizabeth Haidle.

DIY Victorian-era thaumatrope activity

DIY Victorian-era thaumatrope activity

Become a color detective when you read a brief history of vermilion by pigment and watercolor expert Alexis Joseph of Case for Making and master watercolorist Lindsay Stripling.

A Brief History of Vermilion by Alexis Joseph and Lindsay Victoria Lee, for issue #5: Motion

A Brief History of Vermilion by Alexis Joseph and Lindsay Victoria Lee, for issue #5: Motion

Fall in love with heroes of art history through eye-opening comics on Eadweard Muybridge, Madeline L'Engle, and Henri Matisse, and enjoy so much more in the form of comics, illustrated stories, book recommendations, a playlist and recipe, coloring pages, and activities.

Photographing Motion: Eadweard Muybridge, by Marlowe Dobbe for issue #5: Motion

Photographing Motion: Eadweard Muybridge, by Marlowe Dobbe for issue #5: Motion

 Spread from Literary Giants as Kids: Madeleine L'Engle, by Elizabeth Haidle for issue #5: Motion

 Spread from Literary Giants as Kids: Madeleine L'Engle, by Elizabeth Haidle for issue #5: Motion

So get moving and pre-order your copy of The Motion Issue on our shop page or at your local favorite shop, newsstand, or bookstore

DIY: Paper Maché Succulent Garden

 
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Does the wilting monstera plant in the corner of your living room keep you up at night? Is photosynthesis your least favorite word in the dictionary? Has your green thumb been ignoring your calls for the past year and a half? If the answer is yes, don't despair, your days of dying plants are over! With a beautiful, super easy to make DIY paper maché succulent garden, you may never have to touch a watering can again. (That is unless you're recycling into a cool found object sculpture...for instance as a pot for your new paper plants!) We featured this in issue #4: The Grow Issue. Just for you, we've expanded the steps in full, glorious, step-by-step photographic detail. Enjoy!

Paper Maché Succulent Garden

Here's everything you need: 
-stack of old newspapers
-scissors
-mod podge (or your own paper maché glue recipe!) 
-a large bowl
-masking tape
-aluminum foil
-colorful paper
-paint brushes
-acrylic or tempera paint
-terra cotta pots, or any kind of small container for your plants
-tissue paper
-a tablecloth or more newspapers to keep your table clean, this project is messy! 
-optional: blow dryer, for faster drying time!

Step 1 - Mold the aluminum foil into plant like shapes. The masking tape can be helpful for keeping your sculpture in place. 

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Step 2 - Cut your newspaper into 1 - 2 inch strips. You're going to need a lot of it, so don't be afraid to cut up a whole stack! (Just make sure everyone is done reading it first!) 

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Step 3 - Dip a newspaper strip into the mod podge. Use two fingers to squeeze off the extra glue. Pro tip: You just want to cover your entire strip in a thin layer of 'podge. If you're strips are too wet, you're sculpture will be very soggy and won't hold up. Too little, and it won't stick to the aluminum. 

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Step 4 - Tightly wrap the newspaper strips around your aluminum shapes. The tighter you wrap around, the more your sculpture will stay true to it's original form and not get too lumpy. Cover your shapes completely three times around.

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Step 5 - Lay out your wet, wrapped shapes on a piece of newspaper to dry overnight or simply blow dry!

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Step 6 - Once dry, paint your succulents and pots to your heart's content! You can also glue on bits of paper for embellishments. I used Sakura's Pen Touch Markers to add on details, they're so much fun to use. 

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Step 7- Put your plants in your pots with some tissue paper as "dirt" to keep them in place. And voilà, it's your own paper maché garden! At long last, your green thumb can come out of hiding. 

This DIY activity is featured in Illustoria's Issue 4 — The Grow Issue! This issue is chalk full of amazing projects, stories, and comics and it's available at your local bookstore or our online store

 

 

 

 

Playlist: Issue #2 Canvas

 

Our playlist for The Canvas issue is inspired by all things that come to mind when we hear this word: from the material to a blank slate to endless possibilities. These songs make the perfect soundtrack for getting in the groove of art makin' and creative day dreaming. We hope this playlist sparks the idea for your next genius creation.

Art by © Julia Breckenreid for #2: The Canvas Issue

Art by © Julia Breckenreid for #2: The Canvas Issue

 

Cray-Pas Oil Pastels

 

The first time I picked up an oil pastel was in the fourth grade, when I fell head-over-heels in love with the notoriously shorty of Post-Impressionist fame, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. If I recall, it all started with an assignment to create a class report on a famous artist that I took far too seriously. When the project was assigned, there was no doubt in my mind that I would report on Toulouse-Lautrec. Just the weekend before my grandma and I had visited the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, where I became hypnotized by the artist's boisterous cabaret ladies drawn fanatically in day-glo colors I never knew we were allowed to use. That a lady's face could be colored absinthe green and her legs neon purple simply blew my mind.

Seated Dancer in the Pink Tights, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1890. 

Seated Dancer in the Pink Tights, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1890. 

At the Moulin Rouge, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895. 

At the Moulin Rouge, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1895. 

I came away from the museum knowing two things:

1. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was my new favorite artist of all time. 
2. Oil pastels, Toulouse-Lautrec's art material of choice, were the coolest thing ever. 

Fast-forward thirteen years later, and I still feel the same way. If you ask me, oil pastels, specifically Sakura of America's Cray-Pas Junior Artist Oil Pastels, are an essential in any art class or creative home. Why, you ask? Well if Toulouse-Lautrec's paintings aren't proof enough, get this: oil pastels are so incredibly waxy and smooth that when you drag a stick across the page it feels like drawing with butter. It's insanely satisfying! 

Also, Cray-Pas are filled to the brim with delicious pigment, and are exceedingly more rich and vibrant than your run-of-the-mill oil pastels. The smooth quality of the sticks allows Cray-Pas colors to be super easy to mix and blend. There's many different styles and techniques for drawing and blending, and it's fun to experiment with oil pastels to see what works.  

Some helpful tips and tricks for using Cray-Pas oil pastels that I've learned over the years:

1. Mixing colors with your fingers (like you easily can with chalk pastels) is fun, but pretty messy. Try using a palette knife to mix, or experiment with the amount of pressure you use when you press down your pastel. 

2. Experiment with different drawing surfaces. Grey and dark beige heavy weight paper amplify the vibrance of the pastels. Pastels also look ultra-cool on cardboard!

3. There are many different stroke methods you can use to create interesting effects with oil pastels. You can layer colors to create unique color combinations, or try sgraffito, a method of scratching lines through thick layers of colors to reveal the color underneath. 

You can also try stippling, a method where you use short, quick strokes or dots of color to create an optical effect when seen from far away, as in Georges Seurat's Pointillism paintings. To create a soft, defused effect like Claude Monet, try scumbling by creating controlled scribbled marks. 

Close-Up of Circus Slideshow,  George Seurat, 1888

Close-Up of Circus Slideshow,  George Seurat, 1888

Impression, Sunrise, Claude Monet, 1872

Impression, Sunrise, Claude Monet, 1872

 

4. For inspiration, make sure to check out Toulouse-Lautrec's gorgeous oil pastel sketches of everyday life. 

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

 
 

We're so excited to have Sakura sponsor Issue #4 of Illustoria, which is on shelves and available now. We hope you enjoy our Cray-Pas oil pastel tips, now get out there and start sketching! 

Heath Newsstand Launch Party

 
Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Get out your party hats and come celebrate with us on June 3rd, 2017 for the launch of Heath Newsstand, a new gorgeously curated space of printed publications at Heath Ceramics!  From 10 AM1 PM, we'll be hosting a craft table where kiddos & grownups alike can color, write, and make their very own books and zines. While you create, there will be delicious pastries provided by Tartine Manufactory and free juice samples from the Juice Shop truck. But wait there's more—we'll be giving away adorable limited-edition pins, stickers, temporary tattoos and postcards. What could be more delightful?

In addition to crafts, we'll be showing off our newly released Issue 4: The Grow Issue along with our past issues 1–3. 

After you've crafted to your heart's content, stick around to meet contributors from other local publications:

2–4 PM: Meet the team behind the National Magazine Award-winning publication The California Sunday Magazine. Full of ambitious true features and cinematic photography from across California, the West, Asia, and Latin America. Chat with Leo Jung, Creative Director, and Jacqueline Bates, Photography Director. And, don’t miss the free samples from San Francisco-based Original Grahams, graham crackers with quite the underground following in the city.

5–7 PM: Franchise will be presenting their newest issue and limited-edition print giveaways. It’s a global basketball print-only magazine full of vibrant photography, illustrations, interviews with designers and players, and covers locations from LA to Ghana. We’ll have beer from our friends at Fort Point Brewery along with bread and cheese from Tartine.

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Heath Newsstand is a democratic space for the local community and visitors alike, with a wide range of topics to explore: international design publications, hard-to-find printed matter from far-off cultures, food and lifestyle magazines, and your favorite daily newspapers. There’s also a sweet selection of classic candy, snacks, cold drinks, cards from our favorite printers, and flowers from La Fleuriste. Plus, bags and accessories from Heath Sews, perfect for work and travel. 

For more information about the event, check out: http://mailchi.mp/heathceramics/youre-invited-heath-newsstand-grand-opening?e=94d3664172
 

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

What: Heath Newsstand Launch Party -- ILLUSTORIA DIY bookmaking & crafts

When: June 3rd, 2017

Time: We'll be there 101 PM, but the festivities continue until 7 PM!

Where: Heath Ceramics, 2900 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

RSVP here.

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

See you there! 

 

Drawing Contest! Win a signed book + original art by Martin Cendreda

 
Contest page in Issue 4: The Grow Issue. Enter to win An Apple and an Adventure and a piece of original art. 

Contest page in Issue 4: The Grow Issue. Enter to win An Apple and an Adventure and a piece of original art. 

 

Do you have a copy of ILLUSTORIA issue 4: The Grow Issue? If so, you can enter our drawing contest for a chance to win a signed copy of An Apple and An Adventure PLUS a piece of original art by the talented illustrator-animator-storyboard artist-comic book maker-author Martin Cendreda!

All you or your creative little one will need to do:

1. Draw what you think will grow in the empty space on the page (pictured above). Bonus points for creating a ditty for the cave girl to sing!

2. Send a photo or scan of your artwork to hello@illustoria.com

Contest runs from May 01, 2017 to July 15, 2017. (Deadline has just been extended so don't delay!) We will choose a winner on/around July 15, 2017. (For further details, see our contest rules.)

Here's a look at Martin's comic, "Seed Songs," which appears in Illustoria: The Grow Issue.

 
 

This adorable comic was inspired by the characters in his new book, An Apple and An Adventure, published by Boom! Studios. In this engaging book that grownups will enjoy just as much as little ones learning their ABCs, a cave girl and her triceratops set out on an adventure from A to Z and make new friends along the way. They meet all sorts of characters including galloping goliaths, nine newts, petite plesiosaurs, and more. Martin creates a fantastical landscape that will have everyone poring over the details--large and small, simple yet other-worldly. It's a total joy to read so don't miss out on this opportunity to get a signed copy + an original piece of art!

 
From Boom! Studios: An Apple and An Adventure uses rhyme and the ABCs to create an engaging world of wonder that's both educational and fun. 

From Boom! Studios: An Apple and An Adventure uses rhyme and the ABCs to create an engaging world of wonder that's both educational and fun. 

 

Martin was kind enough to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this book. Read all about his fascinating process sketching, developing, and creating his book here

So don't delay. Get out your copy of IllustoriaThe Grow Issue, color and draw to your wild imagination's content on our contest page, and send in your entry here!

We look forward to seeing what you come up with. Good luck!!

Oakland Book Festival 2017

 
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Don't miss the Oakland Book Festival this Sunday, May 21st, 2017, from 11am–6pm! ILLUSTORIA will be there with plenty of magazines--including the just-out issue 4: The Grow Issue -- and lotsa swag including temp tattoos, stickers, coloring pages, and pins. We'll be at booth 22 in the kids' activity area, where you and your creative little ones can color, craft, make zines and create your own custom bookmarks with us. Meet Joanne and Mark, the publisher and co-founders of Illustoria and craft and chat kids' lit with our team. We would love to meet you!

Check out the impressive list of authors at this not-to-be-missed annual event for literary lovers in the heart of downtown Oakland:

There are events and talks galore so check out all the happenings here. 

What: Oakland Book Festival

When: Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Time: 11am–6pm

Where: Oakland City Hall, Downtown Oakland

See you there!  

The Grow Issue: A Cover Comes to Life

 
 

We couldn't be more excited to announce that Issue #4 has arrived from the printer! The contents of The Grow Issue are as rich and teeming with life as the cover. I'll share more about all the amazing writers, artists, and makers who contributed to this issue soon. But for today I'd love to highlight the wonderful artist behind this cover and the making of it. 

Fave local artist and watercolorist extraordinaire Lindsay Stripling graces our cover with her lovely art depicting the flowers and insects that she remembers from long days spent playing in her grandparents' backyard in Lafayette during her childhood, and the flourishing flora she finds in Northern California. Lindsay is a master of her craft, who paints dreamy tableaus of scenes set in folk and fairytale worlds from her imagination. She tells us that the best way to tackle her paintings is to allow for mistakes, since they are impossible to avoid. As soon she messes something up, she just turns it into something else. Find her awe-inspiring work here. You'll also find Lindsay's gorgeous watercolors in another spot in this issue, accompanying our illustrated story A Brief History of Ultramarine Blue written by Alexis Joseph, pigment expert and founder of the swoon-worthy art supplies shop Case for Making in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco. 

Here's a look at Lindsay's issue 4 cover sketch, already so beautiful:

 
 

We knew we wanted the flora and fauna to contrast against a black background. Our creative director, Elizabeth Haidle, came up with this nuanced coloring of the masthead against black:

 
 

 Lindsay's final art in place with a mock cover design:

 
 

As much as we loved the simplicity of this cover, we knew we'd want to accommodate callouts for our delectable main features, so Lindsay filled out the space with added pea tendrils. We also included lettering so the plants could be identified on the back cover. 

And so...the final cover!

 
 

Elizabeth designed and illustrated the back cover to beautifully compliment Lindsay's art and the theme of nature and the outdoors, introducing the legend for curious kids (and grownups) to pore over. 

 
 

We hope you love how this cover turned out and the entire contents of this issue as much as we do! Find out more about all the goodies in issue 4, which includes contributions from creative duo Lisa Brown and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket); an essay on the making of The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, author of The Curious Garden; an inspiring, illustrated Q & Artist interview with illustrator Diana Sudyka; a new Literary Giants as Kids comic featuring Mark Twain; stories, art, DIY, and activities galore. Click here to see our full table of contents and a few spreads from The Grow Issue. Enjoy!