Re-illustrating a classic

April 11, 2014By Alice Ratterree

One treads on sacred ground when it comes to re-illustrating a classic. The classic has already reached the status of, well…a classic. So, is there a reason to “fix what ain’t broke”? Here’s a nice presentation by Lexington Public Library Children’s Librarian Meggan Conway on the subject.  Meggan has also set up a website devoted to … Read More

How to illustrate a map in a hand-drawn style

March 28, 2014By Alice Ratterree

Recent editorial work for Town Magazine involved an illustrated map of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The process, while brand new to me, proved to be very rewarding. It began with a conversation with the editor, in which she provided the key places along the trail that would be highlighted. Initial (messy) notes: To start, a soft-green … Read More

The most important question illustrators need to answer

February 1, 2013By Alice Ratterree

My fascination with Alice continues, this time in her encounter with the caterpillar. He asks her the famous question, “Who are you?” I believe this question is the very heart of Lewis Carroll‘s brilliance. It is his confrontation with Alice’s escapism, as if holding up a mirror to his own character. (Is it a coincidence … Read More

Tomie dePaola Award: Illustration Using Silhouette

December 16, 2012By Alice Ratterree

My entry for the 2013 SCBWI Tomie dePaola Award. Papercutting is an art form that has been practiced for centuries in many different cultures throughout the world. Being a bit biased, I am particularly drawn to the Southern American heritage of artform of silhouette. A few months ago we discovered this Carew Rice paper cut: Rice, … Read More

Illustrating with boundaries

October 4, 2012By Alice Ratterree

This past weekend, SCBWI Carolinas celebrated their 20th annual conference in Charlotte, NC. I love returning to the well. Inspiring keynotes and energizing breakouts filled our time for three whole days! Illustrators arrived early on Friday for an intensive session with the charming illustrator Priscilla Burris. We were given an assignment ahead of time which was: Characters … Read More

The two faces of Fear in artmaking

September 18, 2012By Alice Ratterree

A tip of the day from Art and Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland: “Fears about artmaking fall into two families: fears about yourself, and fears about your reception by others. In a general way, fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you … Read More

The art of crying tomatoes: Moosejaw madness

September 17, 2012By Alice Ratterree

So Moosejaw has asked for 10,352 crying tomatoes, if you’re up to the illustration challenge. Artists of all kinds link up their best crying tomato for Moosejaw rewards points. What’s a crying tomato? Why would a tomato cry? Well, this is my best guess…. I’d say that’s a pretty fun way to buy a new tent. … Read More

Cats

December 8, 2011By Alice Ratterree

So I’m working on a collaborative book for the Upstate Book Project (http://bit.ly/o5sKpQ) The first page was given by Chuck Bailie (http://bit.ly/4Vx70o) and then sent in progession to 19 other artists/writers. I’m page 13. By the time I received it, Graycie (the main character who lives in a world void of color) had just freed … Read More