Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Little Yellow Tabs

TOM:  As illustrator of Janice's books, I am her love slave!
Our home studios are in two separate buildings, the big house and the little house, connected by a bridge across our wooded property. On days when I'm working downtown in my architectural office, Janice crosses the bridge, reviews the current sketch or illustration, and leaves her comments on little yellow tabs stuck around the edges — some praising, some not.
In an illustration of young Antonio Vivaldi playing his violin at home, I gave him a sad expression. His mother had just told him that God meant for him to be a priest, not a violinist, which was not what Antonio wanted to hear. As he tells it, "I stomped upstairs and played a fast piece that expressed the anger in my heart."
When I came home from the office the illustration had a yellow tab that said, "Angry not sad. Read the text, dummy! Love, Janice."
I did and the final illustration became one of our favorites in I, Vivaldi. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers also loved it and turned it into a poster for the book.

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