Bill Mayer
September 2010
The Bad Egg
© Bill Mayer 2010

The Bad Egg © Bill Mayer 2010
I woke up Tuesday morning with a little idea for a story, I had thought about exploring the Goldfish / Death of Frogs style a bit and what better way to do it than in a sweet little story. I came into the studio and painted a few illustration’s . When I stuck those on the scanner at 11:30 I started writing the little story down. I finished it and printed it out at 12:00 just in time to read it to Lee over lunch. She liked it so when I got back from lunch I did a few more, then went for a walk up the mountain. I walk everyday , it’s a great way to clear the head. When I got back I showed the story to my grandson Forest and he edited it, we had our editor artist meeting around 4:30 when he got home from school, He suggested adding a few more frames to flush it out a bit. Wednesday  and Thursday morning I finished adding the new frames ,designed a cover title page and back cover. The last children’s book I did for Simon and Schuster took a year and a half of waiting drawing and revising this was a real treat to do the whole book in two and a half days. Thursday after noon I got some direction from the Harford Stage thumbnails I posted last may, you remember those? I barely did myself. But finally on to final sketches and hopefully finish. This little exorcize was pretty fun. Not sure if it would be a Caldecot winner but I hope you will enjoy it just the same.
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010

 This story may not be for your kids ,I guess it's really more of an adult folk tale. It's a loving story about parenthood and how all of the love and caring will sometimes not keep the baby from eating the parents.And yes Yuko, been thinking about a name to use, maybe not Japanese name though, I was thinking Edgar Oddskin .Edgar for Edgar Allen Poe,it's the 200th anniversary and Odskin because it just sounded funny and Odd ....or maybe Sal Monelli...or Sal Monella? The End ?..... Well maybe for the parents.When I read this story to Lee she said...YES...when I showed it to  my niece in Los Angeles who has a one year old,she said "Oh no...., you don't have to kill the parents..." Let me know what you think. Many apologies for having to show these twenty inch sreads as  three inch spots but I think you can get an idea how it would go. right now rethinking some of the images seem a bit repetative and I could explore more of the size relationship to the ants and the objects compositions in the spreads.  Here is a link to Issue presentation love to here your suggestions or comments.
The Bad Egg

2010 Hartford Stage Poster
Nice but could have been a contender...© Bill Mayer 2010

A few of you guys may remember back in May when I posted thumbnails for the 2010 poster for Harford Stage. I was pretty excited about several of the directions that I had come up with. As usual they were nervous and wanted to see a more family oriented direction. I did several more thumbnails and sent them. Periodically, I called them, persistent, but finally gave up, since my efforts to get some direction seemed a bit like stalking. After many indecisive months, I got a call from the advertising manager at Harford Stage and, after sitting on the thumbnails for over ninety days, they’d decided they wanted to see two of the thumbnail ideas in a tighter sketch form. After just five days, a “go” to take it to final. This is the direction they picked; I worked the ghosts into the reflections on the ornament, subtlety. I am thinking at this point maybe I am giving them too many choices and aiding their indecision. So rule number one…send them maybe three or four thumbnail directions, making them all ones I would like to see go to final. All together I was pleased with the results on the poster. Despite the long exhausting delay, I tried to put some care and enthusiasm into the final.
These are the first round of thumbnails I was so excited to see taken to final. Sorry, I know what scary is, and I just don’t find these that scary. After all, it is a Christmas ghost story…

The second round of thumbnails, certainly less scary, and more family friendly.

Sketches for approval.© Bill Mayer 2010
Close up of ghost reflected in the Ball.© Bill Mayer 2010

The final art. © Bill Mayer 2010

The Monster That Did My Math
All illustrations © Bill Mayer 2008

"The Monster That Did my Math" was picked by "Georgia Center for the Book" as one of the 25 books all young Geogians should read. This was the first list created by the group in hopes that it will serve as an instigator and stimulus to connect readers to the writers of these books, One of the illustrations was a past Gold Medal Winner in Society of illustrators 2008. It's a great little story about a little boy that makes a deal with a monster only to realize that everything comes with a price.
All illustrations © Bill Mayer 2008

Danny Schnitzlein’s wonderful book was so filled with great imagery, that I can’t really take all of the credit for these little illustrations. He is really quite a genius. He made it easy for me to come up with these crazy illustrations. The globe-like head and sharp pointy teeth, even down to the number line tail, are all in the story. The large open cape was designed originally to hold all of the text that accompanied the illustration. ”Boo hoo,“ growled the monster, ”I’m feeling your pain. This awful arithmetic is draining your brain.”
All illustrations © Bill Mayer 2008

This little spot was designed for the title page, When it appeared in the book the art director had stripped it into a colored background .I always liked the way it appeared on white.
All illustrations © Bill Mayer 2008
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