Monday, December 31, 2012

Sketch and final illustration for an article in "Lawyers Weekly" magazine. The article covered a bill in congress in which artists rights were being challenged. I originally made the PK and EFF character a robber baron type character but the editor asked me to soften his demeanor. I don't recall who PK and EFF. Happy New Year! Pencil, water color, gouache, 2007.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

This is a color sketch for a manuscript called "6 Billion and You", written by Tom Bodett (of Hotel 6 radio fame), illus.d by me and not yet publ.d. It's a fun concept- introducing a 6 year old to the concept of a big blue planet with lots of potential friends on board. If your an editor and you're interested in the story, contact me! Water color, gouache, 2004.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Final art for pages 44/45 of "Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln" by Judith St. George, illus.d by me and publ.d by Phylomel/Penguin&Putman. The sky grows dark over the woods into which young Abe is walking as he waves goodby to his step-mom Sarah. By coloring the sky this way I was trying to intimate the difficult future which the senior Abe would face. Water color, gouache, 2006.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Revolution 
by Kabir

There is nothing but water in the holy pools,
I know, I have been swimming in them.
All the gods sculpted of wood and ivory can't say a word.
I know, I have been crying out to them.
The Sacred Books of the East and West are nothing but words.
How do I know? I looked through their covers one day- sideways.

What Kabir talks about
is only what he has lived through.
If you have not lived through something, it is not true.

Final art for "The Moon Clock", a graphic novel I wrote and illus.d, publ.d by Scholastic. At the time I submitted this manuscript to Scholastic (1989) graphic novels (or comic books, as they were referred to then) were very much frowned upon by the publishing industry. I've got to hand it to senior editor Jean Feiwel for stepping up and supporting this endeavor. Thank you Jean, it was a risky thing to do. As soon as I put my current graphic novel to bed (the end of January 2013) I'm going to self publish "The Moon Clock" in a digital format. Pen&Ink, 1990.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thumbnail sketch and final art illustration for "Because I Could Not Stop My Bike" by Karen Jo Shapiro, illus.d by me & publ.d by Charlesbridge. My son Gabriel Faulkner was about 11 years old when I illustrated this book. He had a beloved shirt that seemed super-glued to his body. Woe be to the dad who tried to get it off of him on wash day. Hence- I didn't have to use much imagination to picture this particular scene. Water color, gouache, 2003.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spot illustration from "Because I Could Not Stop My Bike", a poetry anthology by Karen Jo Shapiro, illus.d by me and publ.d by Charlesbridge. My son was 12 at the time that I made this. He did not appreciate the techniques I used to wake him up for school. Singing the Barney song often worked quite well.  Water color, gouache, 2003.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sketches for an article in the children's magazine SPIDER entitled "Pounce's Christmas Surprise". Pencil, 2002.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thumbnail sketches for an article in the children's magazine SPIDER entitled "Pounce's Christmas Surprise". Pounce the kitten is a new addition to a home where an older somewhat curmudgeony cat and his human now reside. Pounce's behavior is both annoying and endearing to the two oldsters, in particular his desire to climb the christmas tree. I had two cats at the time, Leo- big old chubby guy and Rosie- young weisenheimer female feline. Rosie kept Leo on his toes. I used them as models for the story. Happy Holidays! Pencil, 2002.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear Friends,
I'm a picture book author and illustrator and as such I've spent a good share of my professional life hanging out with first graders and I've got to admit- they fascinate me. I see them behaving beatifically sometimes, their faces calm in sleep or their eyes alight with joy, and I wonder, "Are these Angels?". However, when they laugh at one of my silly jokes or play a trick on me, I know that I'm in the company of Rascals. Other times, the haiku-like wisdom that comes tumbling from theirs mouths will floor me, and I'll think "I'm in the presence of an Elder- so wise, so ancient. What happened to the 6 year old I was talking to?". And then, when I am sad and I feel the unfettered understanding in their embrace, its then that I'm quite sure that I am in the care of a Saint.
28 of my tribe were gunned down last week- 20 of them first graders. I include in the number of those counted dead the sick young man who did the shooting, because he, and all our troubled children, are in my tribe too. As painful as it is, I can not push him out. I will not. He and his family, along with all the slain and their loved ones, are in my prayers.
I very much wish to honor their passing in some way that attempts to match the loss of these innocents, an unfathomable loss for their families and for our country. I know that an effort to change things in the future- fix our mental health care system, better regulate access to these horrific weapons- is planned and I support that. Those efforts may help and that will be good. But right now, deep down, I just want to turn off the nation. I want us all to shut it down for a week in honor of the passing of these sweet children.
I regret if this post has brought you down. If you delete this from your feed, don't worry, I won't blame you. I wish I didn't feel this way. But if you bump into me on the street and I don't quickly reply with a smile to your holiday greeting, please know that I very much appreciate your friendship, but right now, the passing of these Angel/Rascal/Elder/Saint children is on my mind.


Matt Faulkner

Pencil sketch for the back and front cover of Cricket magazine. This sort of assignment is so much fun to me. They call me, give me some idea of what they'd like to have included in the illustration and then let me get busy creating something. In this case, Cricket called and said- "We've got and issue that will contain Dizzy Gillespie, space travel, Albert Einstein's violin and Mozart's cat. We think your work is wild enough to encompass all these- can you do it?" I said yes, of course and got busy making this. I'll post the final art tomorrow. Peace out, Matt. Pencil, 2001.

Monday, December 17, 2012

This is a sketchbook page I started when my son Gabriel Faulkner was in little league. During one game I was sitting in the dug out and looking at my son and his team mates and thought- I should do a drawing of each one of them and, I don't know, maybe make a t-shirt for the kids or something. I asked all the kids to stand still for a few minutes and let me draft the basic lines of their faces. They and their parents were a little apprehensive by my drawing them but also very appreciative when they saw the result. Well, as you can see, I never finished the sketches. I don't know why I left it this way. Maybe I just got busy. Or maybe I got tired of running after each boy and getting him to stand still so I could draw him. Or maybe I just didn't like the way the drawings were turning out. It's a fact that hyper self criticism has forced me to flatten so many fun projects. Yuck, I don't like the internal critic! Any way, as always with any creative effort that had merit but was never completed I regret that this was left unfinished. However, in and of itself, just the way it is- I really enjoyed finding this drawing and seeing the sunny smiles of my son and his team mates. Pencil, 2002.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Single page illustration for "The Moonclock", written and illust.d by me, published by Scholastic Inc.. The book was printed in full color but the art was created in two pieces- water color and a separate pen and ink. Something that may be of interest- Early on in the making of this art I received a call from my editor regarding the sketches of the two nordic sphinxes. The originals were inspired by two tremendous bronze sculptures I'd seen in Vienna at the Belvedere Palace- a gorgeous site open to the public. Except for the winged helmets I put on the statues, I was very faithful to the design of the original sculptures, including leaving them bare breasted. It seems the marketing folk had noticed their bronze bare breasts and alerted my editor that covering their chests was essential. I argued that I'd taken reference photos of kids playing all over these statues and not a single parent was in the least concerned about the nipples. Ah well, you can see from the drawing above that the marketing folk won out. Maybe they were right... after all this is the United States, not Vienna. We do things differently here. Such as immerse our kids in ultra-violent first-person-shooter video games from toddlerhood onward. But, dear God, flash a nipple and get ready for the moral outrage. I was a tad angry about this then. I'm better now. Can you tell? Pen&Ink, 1991.

Friday, December 14, 2012

"Calling All Wisemen". Done for pleasure. What would the Wisemen look like today? Who are these men? Well on the left you have a Catholic Priest. Next is a Shinto Priest followed by a Dagara Shaman. Next is a Hasidic Rabbi. To his left is a Navajo Shaman and lastly we see a Sufi Mystic. My thought behind this was to show, in a simple way, a need for all those who can look beyond our religious/political/tribal beliefs and reach collectively for a way to collectively nurture all our children. One world. One family. One love. Pretty simple. Water color, gouache, 1997.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Illustration for a middle school text book. The story tells of the travails of the young lady in the center of the piece who has a profound case of the "awkwards". Was a fun story to illustrate because of all the physical humor. Water color, gouache, 2008.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

He was standing right next to me and I didn't even see him. Then we met again in a dream. Had a nice talk, too. Do you ever see faces or figures in trees?
Pen&Ink, 2012.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"Mantra- Mind Taken Beyond", color sketch for a tarot deck. This card encouraged the recipient to have faith in forward momentum. Thinking can be over-rated. Instinct, will and focus, plus a little faith can take you so much further. Yet to be published. Water color, gouache, 2003.

"Another Holy Family"- color sketch for a tarot deck. This card asked the recipient to consider "acceptance and celebration". Is it possible for everything to be sacred or is there only one holy family? The deck is sitting on the back burner but could find its way to the front soon. Water color, gouache, 2003.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thumbnail layout sketch for "Black Belt" written and illus.d by me, edited by Andrea Cascardi, publ.d by Knopf.. It was very interesting to me to do research for the project in that Okinawa, the country in which the book is set, had and has cultural influences from both China and Japan. The fun part came in combining these two cultures in designing the book as there isn't a lot of photo references of clothing and environment in Okinawa during the 18th century. Pencil, 1999.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Double page spread illustration for "The Giving Season",  written and illus.d by me, distributed by Somerset Collection.  Back in the mid-1990's I was hired by a very large mall in Michigan to create a book for their holiday presentation. The story told of an usual friendship made between Princess Sophia, who'd been locked in a tower by her royal parents primarily because she happened to be the last kid in the realm and the King and Queen and all the grown-ups were completely fed up with kids, and the King's jester, Phelonious Quirke, a completely selfish little character. The mall printed a standard run of 10,000 hard cover books and used the characters and setting I created for the book to design monstrous puppets (20 ft long) and a 4 story castle for Santa. Learned a bunch from working on this project, in particular establishing ownership of intellectual property (the book) and how to defend them. Water color, gouache, 1996.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Character sketches for the Dragon and the Big Yellow Bear for a book that I wrote called "Quin's Bridge". The story tells of young Quin and the rather restless night he experiences when his dreams (aka-the Dragon and the Bear and Friends) get caught on this side of reality and require him to help them build a bridge (made from some of his parent's most cherished and expensive stuff in the house) back to The Other Side before the sun comes up and his parents awake. Based upon a true story. Pen&Ink, 1993

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cover sketch for "Independent Dames-The Women and Girls of the American Revolution", written by Laurie Halse Anderson, illus.d by me, edited by Kevin Lewis and publ.d by Simon&Schuster. The soldier playing the flute was supposed to be a woman who has disguised herself as a man in order to fight. But she just looked to much like a man here so, among other edits, we decided to put her in a skirt. It worked better that way and made it to the cover. Pen&ink, 2007.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The sketch and final art for a quarter page illustration for "Lawyer's Weekly" magazine. The article covered the difficulty financial markets were having in moving the Euro out of the "cyro-freeze" mode it had found itself in. Was fun trying to figure out how to render an image of the earth as it is lit by minimal light and fractalized by the frozen water around it. Water color, gouache, 2008.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cover illustration for "Because I Could Not Stop My Bike", written by Karen Jo Shapiro and illustrated by me, published by Charlesbridge. Water color, gouache, 2002.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Say hello to Polly. She's a little girl who gets a new scarf for Christmas in an article I illus.d for Highlights Magazine. Pen&Ink, 2007.