Friday, November 20, 2009

The show was a great success. Lots of spirit and spirits. Thanks to everyone who showed up and supported this show. We'll do it again in the future. I'll post some pictures soon if I can get them from the camera holders.
This image was one of the originals at the show that garnered some attention. Although very funny, I never thought of making it a print. After the response, I just may. Thanks for all the support. Best -Zak-

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coming Soon... 3 Views

Well we're in November now and I'm submerged into the next book project. The Magic in Me - Hockey Hero is well on it's way to completion. I should be ready to show some of the finished paintings very soon.
For this post however, I wanted to talk about an upcoming event. On November 20th, me and a few other extremely talented people are having a show here in Casper. The show will be one night only and the evening promises to be very enjoyable.

The two others involved are Aumi Kauffman Perry and Rod Knowlton. Both are stand out talents in their own right.
Aumi is a classically trained oil painter who's work is so well done it staggers me. I love the fact that I have one of her paintings in my home. Besides being a very talented artist, she is a great Mom and all around pleasure to be around. You have to see her work in person to understand the talent that she possesses.
Rod on the other hand has gotten some great attention locally and nationally. His photography is breathtaking and deserves it's place in many collections. Not only does he have a knack for capturing his subject at the right time, being a Master Printer, he has the ability to never let anything leave his studio without being the finest quality that I've ever encountered. His work of all sizes is sure to floor the audience.

Then there's me. I'm not going to have a ton of work at the show although what I will have will show my biting sense of humor and keep my child audience in mind.

If you have the opportunity, please come and see this body of work that we've titled "3 Views".

The night of the show, there will be a limited edition (25) print there with one of each of our works on it. Also there will be some amazing cards for holiday or anytime use. Books will also be available at that time to get signed and shipped before the holidays.

Thanks and I'll see you at the show.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Off to Work I Go

Just a quick post to follow up on my visit to Cheyenne.
What a great evening. Hopefully I'll have some photos soon to share. I've gotten quite a few emails this morning asking follow up questions. Hopefully I've answered all your questions. If not though, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Alright, so last year, I did a visit down in Douglas and I promised the kids that I'd post some images that I painted at 'Natural Bridge'. I don't claim to be a great painter in the field although I have fun with it and really, that's what it's all about. I am planning a few trip this next season to paint out in the field. I really want to take an oil palette out and see what happens. I'll post those if they turn out as well. For right now though, I'm just going to post a few of the quick watercolor sketches that I did when I had my son and a young student with me. I was trying to paint, swat flies, and keep two children safe simultaneously. Hope you like these?

Also a few other images that I thought were cool when they arrived in the studio. After visits I'm lucky enough to get letters and posters. All come in creative and some exceptionally so.
The box was made of a poster that I had done the illustration for.

This box still sits in my studio and I constantly wonder how much time it took. Very cool and strange at the same time. I love it.

Thanks for a wonderful night in Cheyenne. I had a great time because of all of you. Hope to see you again soon. Now I better start working on a few deadlines.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Prize

Recently it was announced that President Obama had been awarded the 'Nobel Peace Prize'.

It seems very strange to be responsible for a book that educates its audience about the prizes and the man that made them possible. Although many names have won these prizes, they meant very little to me until I was involved in the project. If you haven't seen the book 'Alfred Nobel, the Man Behind the Peace Prize', please go find it, or request it at your local library.

I learned a ton of information through the research to illustrate the book, not to mention how informative the actual text for the book was. Kathy-Jo Wargin did a fantastic job with this title. I feel privileged to have illustrated it and now understand the meaning and life that was Alfred Nobel.
New Reviews are popping up from all around. This is a great one.

On another note, we are heading out this weekend to visit Cheyenne. I am going to be speaking at the Laramie County Library Foundation Dinner. This sounds like a great event and I am looking forward to seeing the people that care about the library and the development and integration of this resource to the county. I use libraries all over the place. As much as I love books and keep up my personal collection, the library gives me unlimited resources to research. Without this research element in my work, the books would lack the detail that makes them successful.

See you on Saturday night.

Here's another image from the upcoming title 'The Magic in Me, Hockey Hero'

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I'm off in a few days to promote S is for Story. The book Festival in Cheyenne went well and now I get to visit Laramie. I haven't been there in quite a long time so it should be interesting. The weather is changing rapidly here and that brings more work hours.

I am deep into the Hockey Hero - Magic in Me book the weather is definitely inspiring as I sit and work on an inspirational winter book.
I am using the cow that I painted above as a palette inspiration.
Every time I read this manuscript, I find myself liking it more and more. I think it will send out a message that will catch people every time they read it. I can't wait for the project to hit the stands. Please check back on the progress and availability.
I'm just going to post a few pencils for the title and will update this periodically. Enjoy and thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement. All my Best. -Z-

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall book release

I have been so busy with the new book projects that the blog has gone untouched for months. Sorry!
I am extremely psyched on the new product though. I received my advance copies of the new one "S is for Story, a Writer's Alphabet" last week. What a beautiful book this is. I am constantly impressed with the people at 'Sleeping Bear Press'. They are some of the most encouraging people that I've worked with in the industry. They just moved offices and I am hopeful to work with them long into the future.

"S is for Story" was one of the first books that I signed with them and the book was daunting with so many great alphabet books before it. When I read "S' for the first time I found myself wanting to pick up and read again some of the classics that Esther Hershenhorn references in the text. I learned a ton from the script and know in my heart that others will feel the same way.

One of the best parts of the project was the first conference call between the editor Amy Lennex, art director Melinda Millward, Esther, and myself. I believe that we met some common ground and shared our visions and philosophies of our audience and work. This was a valuable tool while working on the book. Thanks to all those that made the decisions all along the line for this one. We have a great product to share and teach with. I can't wait to add "S" to the presentations and show off the collaboration.

I have signings, book festivals, and speaking dinners coming up. School visits are coming in now that the kids are back and this year is looking very busy.

September 18th 2009 - Radio interview, Casper WY - KTWO with Brian Scott

September 19th 2009 - Book Signing, Wind City Books, Casper WY - 9 / 11 am

September 19th 2009 - Book Festival, Lions Park Amphitheatre, Cheyenne WY 2 pm
September 23rd 2009 - 20/20, Little America, Cheyenne WY 7:00 pm / 9:00 pm

October 1st 2009 - Book Signing, WY Library Conference, Laramie WY 10:30 / 11 am

October 17th 2009 - 2009 Booklovers' Bash, Library Foundation Dinner, Cheyenne WY

Upcoming Projects include:
- SPRING 2010 - I delivered artwork two weeks ago for Eve Bunting's new title "Finn McCool and the Great Fish". To work on an Eve Bunting book was an honor. I am very pleased with the work and can't wait to see the final product. Irish folk tale written by an Irish legend.
- COMING SOON - "The Magic in Me" written by Zach Hyman of Toronto Canada. Zach was fifteen years old when he wrote the script. This touching tale of a grandfather and grandsons love for each other and hockey is bound to melt the hearts of all ages. This is a classic tale that earns its place on any families book shelf, coffee table, or night stand.
- COMING SOON - "Diego Maradona the Hand of God and Me" written by Phil Bildner. This is a story of ethics in sports. Phil is a fantastic writer with a keen sense for bringing out the best in his characters.

- COMING SOON - "Lipman Pike" written by Rich Michelson. This is the story of America’s First Professional Baseball Player, First Home Run King, and First Jewish Manager (and he could outrun a racehorse too).
- COMING SOON - "Dee the Mammoth" written by Zachary Pullen and Eugene Gagliano. A discovery of a Mammoth east of Glenrock Wyoming has the 'Tate Museum' in Casper getting attention worldwide. This multi-media project will help teach the story of "Dee" from speculation of life and death to the discovery and beyond.

Thanks for letting me go on and on. I hope to do constant updates for this blog so I don't have to ramble.
Obviously I have work to do so please excuse me for now, I think I hear the easel calling.
Best -Z-

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PHEWWW! Halloween is over.

You see my son is five which is half the number that his costume wants changed. He finally decided on the Black Spiderman, which is always a real safe bet while trick or treating at night. We made it through the holiday though without any injuries or cavities.

The Wednesday before Halloween, I received a phone call from the Wall Street Journal. They needed a cover for the Entertainment section on Friday. This all meant that this painting needed to be finished no later than 4pm the following day to print for Friday. I took the job and was quite pleased with the outcome. This is the process that it took on in under 24 hours.
They chose #4

today is the day...

Sidebar... I don't understand why illustrators seem to take huge shortcuts in technique for rush jobs. I've noticed lately that some have been changing what they are recognized for because of a tight deadline. Fast is fast, personally I enjoy the challenge.

For the kids in Douglas.. I promise my next post will have some of the natural bridge paintings I did. Thanks for checking this out. -Z-