My entry for the Missouri SCBWI 2015 conference poster Illustration

Soaring_Sislen_300This is my illustration for the SCBWI-MO conference Illustration competition. The theme is “Soaring to New Heights!” The conference is this weekend, September 15-16th at Lindenwood University in St. Charles Missouri, just outside of St. Louis.

If you have been following this blog, you might just recognize the mouse character from theMOYH 3d_BookCover last picture book I illustrated “There’s a Mouse on My Head!” by Donna Warwick. I enjoyed illustrating that book so much, I have just fallen in love with the little chubby mouse.

The first week of October, Donna Warwick and I will be doing a presentation at the Jewish Book Festival Book Club Tea. We have some fun surprises for the attendees.

The Winner of the 2014 Tomie dePaola Award

Every year the SCBWI and Tomie dePaola have a competition for illustrators. The theme for this year was the poem “Sneeze, A sneeze Is a breeze In Your Nose. Square format illustrations, for a young child’s book (2 months to 2 years). Before I entered this competition, I thought long and hard about the poem and how best to illustrate it for a young child. My idea was to use an elephant, who else has spectacular sneezes? In Tomie dePaola’s introduction, he mentions that there were far too many elephants. I guess I was not very original. He also mentioned that there was too much “stuff” flying out of nostrils. Whoops, my bad again! Visit the SCBWI website to see all the runners-up.

winner 2014 Tomie dePaola awardThis year the winner of the Tomie dePaola Award is Akiko White for a wonderful creation in “cake.” Congratulation Akiko! Your illustration is perfect, I love it!

It looks like icing  or Sculpy to me, but the SCBWI announcement says cake. The subject of the winning illustration is surprisingly–an elephant! I really like the composition and the colors. The surface texture and lighting  are wonderful. The mouse stopping the sneeze is priceless.

nina_goebel_smFirst runner-up is Nina Goebel. Her illustration is applique on a vintage handkerchief. Tomie didn’t like the lace edging on the handkerchief. Loved the bi-racial family and the simple imagery. You really should see all 5 of the runner-ups on the SCBWI website, there is a short critique for each one. Alice Ratteree was 2nd runner-up, Anne Dawson was 3rd runner-up, Jacob Grant was 4th runner-up and Lisa Cinelli was 5th runner-up.

It is so generous fo Tomie dePaola to take his time to have this award each year. It gives all illustrators a chance to work on an assignment and see our work with some of the best in the business.

SNEEZ_SMThere is another website set up showing ALL the entries for 2014 that the illustrators choose to share, winners and non-winners all together. What a great opportunity to see a lot of creative work. You can even leave comments on each entry. Thanks to Diandra Mae for all her work.

My entry, not a contender, also shows an elephant. He has “stuff” flying out of his nose which Tomie say this is a real no,no, considering flu season and all. I really needed to take more of a risk on subject matter and technique. It’s fun to see what other artists come up with. Next year I will go all out.

Thanks for the opportunity Tomie

Black and white illustration for Tom Sawyer.

Dayne Sislen IllustrationI’m a bit late showing my entry to the Tomie dePaola Illustration competition for 2013. Here is a link to all the entries for 2013. The winner was Sandra Ure Griffin for her wonderful illustration for the Yearling.  All illustrations for 2013 had to be in black and white and greys. I love to use color, so this was hard for me. There were 300 illustrations entered this year.

I decided to illustrate a scene from Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, a book I had not read since grade school. I loved reading it again and chose part of the scene in the cave with Tom and Becky as my inspiration. I wanted to keep it as simple and dramatic as possible in black and white with very little grey.