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.

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!!

We Heart Sakura

 

Who doesn't love a maze?! But with a selection of colorful Gelly Roll Pens at our side, doodling and writing takes on another level of playful pleasure. Photo ©  Melissa Kaseman

 

When Michaela Yee at Sakura of America heard about us through a Facebook post, she connected with us right away. Aside from the fact that we have an amazing friend (Patricia Wakida of Wasabi Press) in common--one of those connectors of people who attracts artistic, talented, energetic, generous souls into her life--we both knew right away that Sakura and ILLUSTORIA were going to get along like playground pals at recess. 

 
Mark working on the Archidoodle activity for issue 1, with his trusty Micron Pens of course.

Mark working on the Archidoodle activity for issue 1, with his trusty Micron Pens of course.

 

While Sakura as a company is nearing its centennial and ILLUSTORIA is just a newborn pup, we have a lot in common. We believe in quality materials, access to artistic expression for all, and keeping creativity alive in both grownups and little ones. I must admit, as the new kid on the block I was already smitten with everything that Sakura represented. Art supplies are one of those pleasures that need not be guilty! Micron Pens are a staple in our house, with my architect-maker husband constantly sketching with his number 01s and 02s and on up the spectrum. The Pigma Sensei Pens are never far out of reach of my 10-year-old comic artist in the making, and my youngest can't get enough of his collection of Gelly Roll Pens.

 
Paper and ink are so important to me as a reader and as a publisher. I made sure to test out our uncoated interior stock for maximum drawability before we hit the press. The Gelly Roll Pens truly glide smooth as jelly on the pages of our mag, and the ink dries beautifully too--so no unsightly smudging when you flip the page! Photo ©   Melissa Kaseman

Paper and ink are so important to me as a reader and as a publisher. I made sure to test out our uncoated interior stock for maximum drawability before we hit the press. The Gelly Roll Pens truly glide smooth as jelly on the pages of our mag, and the ink dries beautifully too--so no unsightly smudging when you flip the page! Photo ©  Melissa Kaseman

 

We pretty much as a family tote them around to every and all long car rides and dinners out. I personally use a selection of all the above to capture my wandering thoughts and doodles. There's really something so satisfying about putting not just pen to paper but really lovely ink that glides oh-so smoothly and beautifully. The words and illustrations somehow look more intelligent and attractive on the page. Really, it does!

 
A selection of colorful Gelly Roll Pens on our table beckons the creative (and silly!) spirit in all of us. 

A selection of colorful Gelly Roll Pens on our table beckons the creative (and silly!) spirit in all of us. 

 

For Sakura, then, to see this new fledgling indie press and believe in us from the start--with no track record to show of but a lot of heart, enthusiasm, a dedicated team of contributors and a mission to inspire artistic expression, they proved to me that they are true supporters of the creativity cause. Their motto celebrates the "Power To Express" and we at ILLUSTORIA couldn't agree more. May we all tap into our own artistic expression and find the tools that work best for us individually, for our own daily creative practices. 

A very hearty thanks to our issue 1 sponsor, Sakura of America, for your support of us and your dedication to creative expression in all ages!