A HOP IS UP Goes to Kindergarten

It was a super-fun dream come true to bring proofs of A HOP IS UP to my son's class for a visit! His gracious teachers let me take over the class for 45 minutes. We started out with a show of hands to see how many authors and illustrators are in the class... looks like a lot to me!

Holden, my trusty assistant, got to wear the special dog cap I made to match the book.

We shared a couple of easter eggs hidden in the book (shhh... don't tell anyone.)

Sometimes the pencil sketches can look different from the final art in the book. Holden is showing one of the sketches for this page, and I asked the kids to spot the differences!

Next up - doggie drawing demo. 

Then we got to work creating our very own dogs! It was inspiring to see what designs the kids came up with: yellow dogs, striped dogs, rainbow dogs, dogs with spots, dogs with names on their collars... SO fun!

While getting ready for a group photo, the kids showed off their adorable dogs for my friend and photographer Tory Williams and we all made our best doggie 'woof' sounds!

Remember to look for A HOP IS UP (by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by me) in both hardcover and board book in stores September 13. You can also pre-order now!

Drawing Workshop: Graphic Notes

The first project I designed for my 4th and 5th grade drawing workshop was to create a set of graphic notes (or "visual notes") on a topic of the student's choice. But first we needed to do some idea collecting! We developed a tool kit of design elements by doodling arrows, lines, shapes, and type styles into little sketchbooks. Then, we sketched some iconography and words related to our chosen topic... 'favorite foods' and 'video games' were quite popular.  :)

We then combined our tool kit design elements with the topic sketches into an organized composition, focusing on details, scale, and communicating the information in a fun and visual way.

Finally, we colored in our pieces with bright marker to make them POP!  Every student's piece was very personal, and their individual voices really shined through. They did an amazing job!

Art Workshop with Gowanus Houses Art Collective

Amy Fuller, one of my talented friends at Friends Work Here, connected me with Chris O'Falt of Gowanus Houses Art Collective. This organization brings arts programming to children of all ages living in Gowanus Houses in Brooklyn. I had the pleasure of working with them last weekend by leading a workshop for ages 4-9. We read two of my favorite concept picture books, PERFECT SQUARE by Michael Hall and BEAUTIFUL OOPS! by Barney Saltzberg, and then created our own artwork based on the books. These kids (and their parents!) were so creative and enthusiastic.  They quickly got to ripping, tearing, coloring, gluing, drawing, and crumpling to create some wonderful OOPS! art pieces.  

I also shared my artwork with the children and got some really great questions.

I also shared my artwork with the children and got some really great questions.

I'm Teaching at PS372!

I just started teaching a drawing workshop at PS372 in Brooklyn. These lucky 4th and 5th graders get to choose an elective studio taught by an outside expert and attend every Friday for 14 weeks. I am paired with a certified teacher who is in charge of the all-important kid-wrangling, but I get to develop all of the curriculum and teach the class. I have TEN BOYS (a total coincidence) and they were all so engaged the first session. Our first project is illustrated notes -- I can't wait to see how their creations turn out!! Here are some examples and worksheets I brought to the first session. Once we're finished, I'll publish the lessons here with PDFs you can download.


Brooklyn school visit

Today I had the wonderful pleasure of sharing my book project at Open House Nursery School in Brooklyn! The kids laughed when I referred to myself as "Lori with a story." We talked about writing stories, making book dummies (this name also got some giggles) and what books look like before they are printed and go into libraries and bookstores. I also brought some coloring pages with my characters, and it was amazing to see the children add their own color. Thank you, Open House!