Origami, Paper Sculpture, and More

Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book was released earlier this month, and in its honor, I made a video about creating the images. Prior to V&V, I used pen and ink and watercolor on paper for my illustrations—a style that I adore, but one that also comes with many limitations. V&V used a wide range of traditional and not-so-traditional media, all combined in Photoshop. With this new style, I had almost no limitations. It was both exhilarating and panic inducing, but mostly, it taught me to trust in the process; I spent months working on the individual bits and pieces that would eventually come together to make the images.

To learn more, please check out the (3-minute) video. As usual, I am indebted to my brother for his music.

Artist's statement from the book
"The illustrations in this book began with graphite pencil sketches on paper. Because this story is, in many ways, an homage to the printed page, we wanted to include a variety of books and library materials in the images. I've always loved a good scavenger hunt, and this one proved to be quite gratifying as I hunted down the building blocks for each spread—books with embossed covers, antique maps, and well-worn library cards to name a few. I learned origami, I painted over old book covers, and I made cut paper sculptures. I took photos of the three dimensional elements. I even wrangled my six year old daughter into doing some of the lettering. All of these ingredients were assembled in Adobe Photoshop to create the final illustrations." 

Finally, I leave you with the following news that made me (born in Canada) smile this week—V&V on the Canadian Indies Bestseller list. Happy Holidays!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Back in August

I did an interview for Yellow Brick Road, a newsletter for parents, teachers and librarians that is edited by Joy Mosher, a professor at SUNY Cortland. I’ve been meaning to share it since its publication, and, well…here we are in November. But, my tardiness aside, Joy’s questions were insightful and probing, and I loved sharing many (MANY) thoughts about picture books. If you’re interested, that link is here.

August also marked the release of I Feel Five! from Candlewick Press—and my first attempt at a live action trailer (see below). My favorite reviews to date:

“Fritz and his Marmaduke-size dog make excellent companions on this philosophical journey, leavening big questions with kid-scaled humor.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“Murguia has perfectly captured the child perspective here, and Fritz’s trials and tribulations will be easily recognizable to young listeners.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Coming up soon

I’ll be at the NCTE National Conference in Washington, DC speaking about how words and images work together in picture books. I’ll also be at the Capitol View Neighborhood Library on November 21st to speak to students, children, youngins, and such—I believe this is a public event.

November 29th is Small Business Saturday

I’m lucky to have a few thriving indie bookstores in my area, and I plan to stop in and help out at a couple of them:

Diesel, Larkspur Landing, between 12:00 and 2:00 pm

Book Passage, Corte Madera (time TBD)

If you’re local, please come say hi! If not, I encourage (IMPLORE) you to shop at your local independent store on the 29th to show your support.

Looking forward to December

December 2nd, to be specific—because 

Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book

will be released on that very day. In anticipation, I’m putting together a little something about my process for the book, which was quite a departure from the work I’ve done in the past. Look for that here on the blog in December. In the meantime, I’ve included a couple of “building blocks” below: a sketch of Violet and a few of the many, many little books I made for this project.