Sunday, November 30, 2008

Graphic Novels

Here's a sample of illustrations I did for a client that I then converted to panels, adding text and speech shapes. It's an exercise of how I can work art into this format - and it looks pretty good..

There's a lot of recent buzz about graphic novels moving into children's books. This isn't really new - think of Archie comics, comic strips, even some wordless books - some of Jan Ormerod's come to mind. I recall reading small graphic books in seventh grade - 'Gift of the Magi' stands out, but there were dozens of others in a series at my school which I devoured. Then in tenth grade I discovered ElfQuest while at ICON on Long Island and I was really hooked by the series. Wendy and Richard Pini melded words and pictures in a story so beautiful, compelling, thought-provoking that it was a huge part of my life at the time.

So here are some fan-based art pieces you might enjoy. The characters are copyright Wendy and Richard Pini. The pencils were drawn by another artist (Ariel Wulff), the story was wordless, and appeared in print a few years ago to ElfQuest fans:

Fantasy art

I've always loved sci-fi and fantasy. From Rackham, Erté, Wendy Pini, and Trina Schart Hyman to Rebecca Guay and Tony DiTerlizzi. The worlds of Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Anne McCaffery, Dragonlance, and of course Tolkien were a means of delight and escape during my teen years. I love them still! These stories and pictures that sparked my imagination had few examples of ethnicity, though. So I make my own! Enjoy:

All artwork is copyright Nicole Tadgell, and may not be reproduced without artist's permission.

Spot art

I wanted to create a spot piece for part of my agent's holiday calendar. I chose indoor playing as a theme, with two siblings. I thought it would be fun to show the toys and games they had played and cast aside, and them engaged in a new game. This one turned out to be too complex for the calendar, so I'm posting it here for viewers to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two more awesome reviews for No Mush Today

Write for a Reader Blog:
My Review: I enjoyed this book. It is short and simple. Who hasn’t had their oldest child, because of a younger sibling, want to run away? I think it is something that every older sibling goes through. Now that the new baby is here, some of the attention is gone. That is how Nonie feels. Plus, she is tired of having mush for breakfast. Things will be better at Grandma’s (next door). Or will they? Children will relate to this story. I like the fact that the story is about an African American family. We need to expose children to all cultures and books is one way to do that. Children also need to see other children like them in books, and Lee & Low does this so well with the titles they choose to publish. I love how the illustrator uses facial expressions to show Nonie’s feelings. As you read, you notice these even though the author doesn’t tell you how Nonie feels. This adds so much to the story. Young children will love this story for it’s illustrations, and it’s message. Things may be better somewhere else, but home is the best place to be.

and The Brown Bookshelf:
No Mush Today (Lee & Low Books), written by Sally Derby, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell (grades 2- 3)

This charming story made me smile. It’s a day-in-the life story of Nonie, a young African American girl who’s had enough — no more bawlin’ baby brother, and especially no more mush! So she took off to spend the day with her grandma.

I enjoyed the story sure enough, but I especially loved Tadgell’s art. Her soft lines are expressive, her watercolors are crisp, her color scheme is dreamy! And her characters are real — they look like people you know.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lights Out!

This book is one of my favorites. Night scenes can be scary for young children, so painted everything with a bluish/purplish tint, with lots of moonlight. The little girl in this book is based on my younger sister - she kept the rest of the family busy keeping up with her! The doll I made (a hobby I've always enjoyed) and the quilt I designed. I'd like to say I'm a quilter, but I never got around to doing more than table runners, pillows, a baby blanket and a wall hanging. So I just collect fabric and pretend that someday I'll actually use it. :)

from Lights Out! by Angela Shelf Medearis. Scholastic/Color-Bridge Books, 2004. All images copyright Nicole Tadgell.

This book is available through the publisher or or visit your local bookseller to order it.

More pics from the Kennedy Center Children's Book Festival

Bryan Collier and Lulu Delacre...

Here's my new friend Uma Krishnaswami with her lovely books...

Nikki Giovanni and a young fan...

Here are my books, all stacked up & displayed so nicely!

More signing...

Aww, what a sweet kid!

with another new friend, author Carole Boston Weatherford...

And author-illustrator Adjoa Burrowes (who also illustrated a book written by Sally Derby!)

Two kids settled in to read their books right there on the floor. This is what it's all about, reading!

Jorge Argueta...

Janet Wong...

and Edwin Fontánez.

Monday, November 17, 2008

20 Artists of Worcester Reception

On Friday, I headed down to the Davis Printers' building (not to be confused with Davis Advertising!) to see the art show. There were a lot of people!

Here's Erika Sidor with a friend (I believe he's an artist, too, and I can't recall his name - sorry!)
Erika did my author photos, like the one in the header on this blog. :) See the doggies in the background? Awesome.
Here's my friend Derek, with his art. The art is gorgeous, and the frame really is perfect for this piece. :)