Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Illustrations by the Children's Book Illustrators Group 
On view in the Youth Wing at 
10 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn  tel: 718.230.2100
June 11 - September 25, 2015 
exhibiting members:
Angelique Anderson, Lisa Cinelli, Deborah Cuneo, Maria Madonna Davidoff, Diana Ting Delosh, Nancy Doniger, Laura Goetz,  Amalia Hoffman, Melissa Iwai, Yuko Katakawa, Kitty Leech,  Marie McCann, Virginia Law Manning, Jennifer Merz, Donna Miskend, Christine Mix, Annie Raulerson, Roberta Rivera, Karen Romagna, Vicky Rubin, Wallace West
guest speaker: Michael Patrick Hearn
Ugly Duckling, Yuko Katakawa
DM: Why did  you choose this fairy tale to illustrate?
I like both stories: The Blue Bird and The Ugly Duckling were telling us, “ Be true to yourself, Look no further, an answer is right there with you.”    -Yuko Katakawa
The tale of Snow White is gruesome but sweet, heartbreaking but hopeful. And who hasn't felt like a wicked stepmother is out to get him or her? It's cathartic. I wanted to capture that sorrowful moment where Snow White feels that all is lost, right before seven little saviors prove her wrong.- Wallace West 
I'm a devout animal lover and in reading through potential fairytales to illustrate, I found a story about animals that were "cast away" by their owners, because they were old. Since all my pets have always been shelter "castaways" themselves, I immediately connected with the story. - Deborah Cuneo
I chose the Balinese version of the Hansel & Gretel fairy tale because during one of my
Hansel and Gretel, Maria Madonna Davidoff
regular visits to Bali, I became fascinated and inspired when I discovered that there was a Balinese version of the Hansel and Gretel fairytale. - Maria Madonna Davidoff 
I chose to illustrate a tender love scene of Beauty embracing the fallen beast, because her compassion for birds and animals also resonates within my heart. - Laura Goetz
I decided to do The Spider’s Thread because it was one of my favorite stories to translate when I was a student of Japanese in college.  It was the first story I ever translated and it stuck with me.  - Melissa Iwai 
I have loved this fairy tale since I was a child. The animals who, being too old to be useful to their owners anymore, leave home in search of peace and happiness as musicians in Bremen. - Jennifer Merz
 DM: Did you have a favorite fairy tale as a child? 
The Princess and the Goblin. Christine Mix
The Princess and the Goblin, by George McDonald was one of my favorite fairy tales growing up. As a young girl, I read the story over and over, captured by it's magic. -Christine Mix
I'm partial to anything with a little gore and a lot of outsmarting of adversaries. Hansel and Gretel was always my favorite (an affinity made stronger when Joan Collins played both the witch and the stepmother in Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre).  - Wallace West

Cinderella was my favorite. I had two different Cinderella books. The most beautiful I saved well into my adult life. The illustrations were exquisite.  - Marie McCann

DM: Do you still read fairy tales? 
Yes, I like the re-imagined or fractured fairy tales based on the original stories. I’ve also written a few that I’m hoping will find a publishing home.  
- Donna Miskend
Absolutely and I collect fairytales from different countries.- Maria Madonna Davidoff
Yes. I recently was reading some of Hans Christian Anderson’s tales and fell in love with the story of the The Beetle Who Went On His Travels — another extremely rude character, a dung beetle! He has many adventures, thinks everyone else is disrespectful, when in fact he’s very self-centered. The end of the story made me laugh out loud! - Marie McCann
I may not always read them but I am perpetually referencing their archetypes.Wallace West

Thumbelina, Donna Miskend
DM: Tell me about your illustration process. 
It depends on the medium, but I make rough sketches to choose a composition. I also take thousands of photos of nature and animals for reference. I might make a color story to keep me on target for consistency and flow, especially If I’m working on a full dummy.  If I need to adjust the size I'll scan my drawings into Photoshop for the layout. I work traditionally in watercolor: redrawing on paper, laying on a foundation color like burnt sienna to enhance the colors layered over it, a process called glazing. This technique adds depth to the colors.  - Donna Miskend

I usually create 3D environments but have decided to experiment with 2D imagery.Angelique Anderson
I first do a lot of preliminary sketches and think about the color I will use. Sometimes I make a "mood board" of the color swatches and inspirational images. I make thumbnail sketches of my composition, then blow them up and refine and do color studies in Photoshop. Then I paint pieces of my illustration in ink and paint and scan those in and then assemble in Photoshop. For more on my process:
 - Melissa Iwai 

I read the text with an open mind, jot down character attributes and begin sketches based on those notes. I do a very rough sketch of the page layout and fine tune bit by bit with gestures and expression. I am bananas for texture and patterns so am always on the lookout for textiles, carvings, tile and woodwork that I can inject into my work.- Wallace West
I start my illustrations as rough  pencil sketches.  Then I draw a few sketches for the same image, developing character and composition.  Once I get a strong drawing,  I scan it, ink it and paint it with watercolor. - Christine Mix

DM: What else would you like people to know about you or your work? 
I think of my work as a reflection of my experiences living and producing art in Asia, Europe, and the United States. My hope is to expose children to a global, multi-cultural view of life through my illustrations and my books. - Maria Madonna Davidoff
I am also passionate about Fashion Illustration. I draw in a completely different style, but I enjoy to explore different subjects and medium. - Yuko Katakawa
I am developing children’s book apps and virtual environments for mobile devices coming soon to an iPad near you. - Angelique Anderson
Look for me Sundays this summer at the Morgan Library and Museum where I will be reading to kids from Alice 150 Years in Wonderland during their celebration exhibit of this classic tale. Days/time will be posted on my blog:        - Donna Miskend
HOURS mon-thurs 9am-9pm Fri-Sat 9am-6pm Sun 1pm-5pm
event: Saturday, September 19 at 2pm: The Magic of Fairy Tales, a conversation with Michael Patrick Hearn, children's literary historian and curator, Donna Miskend
Free and open to the public
Thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library for hosting us. And a special thank you to Barbara Wing, Mgr. of Exhibitions! 
This exhibit is underwritten by the Brooklyn Public Library