Posts Tagged ‘Craig Frazier’
My next book, Bee & Bird, is about to hit the shelves in May. I’ll tell you already—it’s got no words. No, it’s not half-baked, it just ended up that way. I know what you’re thinking, it must have been easy—no editor! The truth is I worked with my editor, Neal Porter, tirelessly to make this book work without words. After publishing Hank Finds Inspiration with Neal and Roaring Brook Press, we have a good working rapport that usually takes place over the phone, over coffee, or preferably over cocktails. Neal points and I sketch. He initiated this book with “how about something really bold and graphic, really different.” Following remarks were like “no, no, not that, any other ideas?”
I’ve always been fascinated with image cropping from my years as a designer. How little information does it take to tell a story? A tightly cropped image can often extend well past the edges of the page. The book can become virtually huge. So I showed Neal some initial sketches along those lines—each page revealing more information and a fresh point of view.
My initial sketches had words and we both felt an urge to eliminate written narrative. Over the next month we batted the storyline around until we felt it stood on its own. The rest of the year was spent making the final drawings which is always the best part.
The exciting opportunity I saw was to produce very graphic and geometric illustrations—reminiscent of 80’s Swiss graphics that I was schooled on. I got out my T-square and circle templates—sorry Adobe.
Without giving away the story—you already know the main characters in Bee & Bird. In short, it’s a story about companionship, separation, and reunion without words. Believe me, we really thought hard about the merits—or not—of a wordless book. We kept coming back to thing that kids and parents love, that is, to contribute your own version of the story. A book to teach reading this is not. A book to teach storytelling it is. Look for it this May or pre-order it now. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.
Craig Frazier | Chronicle Books 2010
Face it, dots are fun. They are fun to draw and fun to see—and even more fun to spot in unusual places. Lots of Dots features one of the most beautiful shapes around—the circle, or dot—and all the obvious and not-so-obvious places that it appears. Clean, bright and graphic illustrations are put to rhyme taking us through a menagerie of scale, pattern and opposites. “Some dots are big, some dots are small. Some dots float, and some dots fall.” Are those buttons or just dots? Are those eggs or dots? And those wheels on that car—they’re dots! Lots of Dots is a visual celebration of observation that promises to make parents see again like kids.
This book originated from a random sketch in my sketchbook a few years back. I was playing with stick-on dots with this wacky silhouetted character. I was attracted to the simple isolation of both forms—the figure and the dots. With hope of a theme, I started sketching where dots are apparent. My initial fret was not having enough material to fill 36 pages. Eventually, the images came—as did the rhyming words. I had a lot of fun working with the scale of the illustrations and the coloring. Each final illustration was built from a scanned sketch that was traced and improved in Illustrator. A less-is-more-kind of book. Lots of Fun!