My writing — with the exception of blogging — has come to a complete stop as of today. I'm hoping it won't be a long pause. Like cuttin' a rug to a George Clinton tune, stopping dead in my step in the middle of my book might cut off my groove. However, my publishers at August House thought that maybe an illustrated dust cover for the book I recently finished illustrating might add value to the total package. The dust cover is that extra page following the cover, and before the title page in a children's book. Sometimes it's just a blank color that compliments the total look of the book. Sometimes it's an illustrated page. I'll need to create at least one more illustration for this, and since the book deals with food — specifically soul food — I thought I'd create a repeating pattern of black eyed peas, bacon strips, corn bread, knives forks and spoons.
For the past three years, I've donated art to Half Price Books Say Good Night to Literacy program. I've also donated art for their calendars. They called earlier this summer requesting art for next years editions, but I was knee-deep in another deadline, so they extended my deadline until after my vacation. The theme I will be illustrating is mad as a hatter. So many images come to my mind with this theme. I've been doing some 3-d (Toy Story style art) work at my newspaper gig, so I'm thinking of letting that style spill over into this project as well.
The above illustration — The Balloon — appeared in the 9th edition of Say Good Night to Literacy. Now, I'm not exactly asking anybody to rush out to Half Price Books looking for any of my books, I mean a brotha needs royalty-generating sales, but this is a good cause.