Monday, June 29, 2009

What's this? A post?

So I've been a bad blogger of late, and I'm going to try and be better, but we'll see how impending fatherhood (WOOHOO!) treats me and my hit-or-miss blogging habits. Since giving this interview to the so very nice Shelli Wells earlier this month, I've been trying to kick myself into gear in regards to blogging. I mean, I kind of made a pledge there to the Blog-gods, and I don't need their vengeful ways hunting me down, so here we go.

Before I get into what I've been up to, I should note that the above painting is the kind of stuff I'm going to try and do a bit more of as a warm-up (**EDIT: I should correct that and call it an "exercise" or "practice piece" rather than a warm-up. While this didn't take me hours and hours or anything, it didn't fly off in a few minutes either**), and also to keep my traditional-media chops intact. There's definitely a different sort of "reward" feeling (for me at least) in doing a piece completely by hand instead of with digital aid. So anyhow, I'll be trying to do more of this kind of piece for myself and my blog in the coming weeks.

As for what I've been up to, Laini and I had the AMAZING honor of attending the annual BEA (Book Expo America) convention in New York late last month to promote some buzz for our upcoming book with Arthur A. Levine Books (a division of Scholastic) entitled LIPS TOUCH: Three Times. Here we are with (the too nice to be real!) Arthur Levine himself in the Scholastic booth with my cover illuminated (which was a thrill to see!)

We had a fantastic time visiting the offices of Penguin/Putnam, Scholastic, Scholastic Educational, and Simon and Schuster. It was really a day the likes of which I'd dreamed of earlier in my career and almost had to pinch myself as we went from place to place meeting everyone involved with various projects that I've been a part of both with Laini and on my own. Here are a few pics from those visits and NY in general:

and last but certainly not least, a pic of me with my mother, sister, and 2 (beautiful!) nieces when we were visiting them in CA (thanks for dog-sitting Mama! xoxo:)

Now if the small house-remodeling that we're having done (and me re-finishing our hardwood floors later this week! Woohoo!) doesn't distract and absorb all of my time, I'll be posting once again very soon.


BJW said...

No worries Jim, you've got PLENTY on your plate! Best of luck man with the Professor and being a dad.

Cool seeing your adventure in NY. UNBELIEVABLE. Still blows me away how two such talented people got together. Your daughter certainly is going to have some awesome genes and folks to show her cool stuff.

I love you artwork. I really do. Even your "warm-up" intrigues me. Can't wait to see much more.


BJW said...

Also Jim, I'm headed down to your neck of the woods in two weeks to the PNW children's book conference thing at Reed college. Anyways, if you see me getting locked up by the police or lying in a ditch somewhere, feel free to let my wife and dog know I'm fine. I love Portland (as I've told you before). I think my favorite city.

Arthur's going to be speaking there too so I'm pretty excited to see/hear him too (and everyone else there!).

Also, your warm-up looks like you. Was that a self-portrait? The burns, the face? Especially the eyes?

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Aw thanks Ben, for the kind words. MUCH appreciated man. And that's awesome that you'll be in Portland soon! We'll have to try and grab a bite or a beer or something if you (and Almost-Dad-Me!!) have a chance. It'd be fun.

And yeah that is me (ish) -- he's got cooler (and more!) hair and a bit more rippling in the muscle department :)

jesse joshua watson said...
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jesse joshua watson said...

Wha? My brother hit this before I did? Dang. Well, better him than somebody else I suppose...

Hey, Jim, so great to see you and Laini in NY. I smile whenever I think of you guys. Hope that this next few is the best yet! I dont recall exactly what the due dt is but.. Post em when you get em. We cannot wait to see the cuteness. (not the remodel by the way... though, maybe a few of that would be nice as well.)

Hugs all around.

hipphop said...

Jim and Laini,

Holy cow, you're having a baby! Wha...How did that happen!? (I mean, I know how it happened,!)

This is Ryan Hipp (your pal from SCBWI LA) checking in on you. I'm going to be missing the summer conference but I may be going to the Winter conference. Drop me a line, I'd love to catch up. I'm so proud of both of you. Keep up the great work!


p.s. No really, I'm confused how it works. How did that happen? Congratulations!

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Jesse- it's always GREAT to see you too, but I never feel like I get to chat with you much. Next conference I wanna grab a beer and just sit and chat about art for a bit. Deal?

Ryan- I'm depressed at how the public school system has failed you (that's actually a close-ish quote from Toby from The Office). ANYhow, great to hear from you! I still have your "Michigan" song among my gazillion songs on my iPod but it pops up every now and then :) We'll (of course!) be missing the L.A. conference too, but are VERY MUCH looking forward to next year's event!