Wondering where I have been since March? Well here is a quick rundown before I get back to work.
I am currently working on two separate book projects, both which have deadlines in June. One is a picture book and the other is a comic book. Both very exciting and a lot fun to work on. I am really enjoying them.
Beyond the two book projects, I am also putting my teaching curriculum together. This summer I am teaching about 13 new courses for children and adults. For more information about the classes I am teaching and classes being offered by other instructors, visit the websites for Banfill Locke Center for the Arts, Maple Grove Art Center and the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center. You can get more information about all kinds of great classes there.
Additionally, I am serving on a grant review panel for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. This is sure to be a fun experience.
And finally, I have been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Banfill Locke Center for the Arts. I am very honored to join this group of amazing people and I look forward to bringing some of my ideas to the art center.
Well, there is a quick wrap up of what I am doing and where I have been. I will share a more detailed update as soon as these pressing deadlines are met and the teach time of year has begun. Enjoy the season!!!
March is the month of inspiration. More hours of sun, chirping birds and the promise of green grass coming soon (hopefully). Every once in a while, I stumble across a few lines from the guys who I call “the Awesomes”; Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. This almost always spirals me in to a misguided exploration of “quick writing”.
With these short writings I use very little form. I try to slap ideas down as quickly as they come and then sometimes I use them for inspiration on a future project. Over the past couple weeks, I have been using this type of writing as a morning warm-up before I dive in to my regular work load. I thought I’d share a few of these “poems” for all of you to enjoy or analyze or laugh at or whatever makes you happy. I hope you have a wonderful month!
March? (a haiku)
And so the snow flies.
I’m glad it doesn’t snow flies,
Spiders would get fat.
My feet are on the floor
And now they’re on the door.
They’re on the wall. They’re in the hall.
They’re in the air. They’re over there.
My feet are nearly everywhere.
Except the ceiling;
I’m not tall enough to plant my feet up there.
Single kernels of popcorn, splintering sounds of ash.
Balls fly outward, bound for the bleachers.
Visitors toast their heroes as each of them crosses the plate.
The manager’s walk to the mound projects the dreadful fate
Of the rookie who’ll be lucky if he pitches here next season.
Rain stopper, sun blocker;
Outside, you make life good.
But inside you’re a bad-luck maker,
Which is why you stand silent in the corner.
One of the best kept secrets of the Twin Cities is a little art center on East River Road in Fridley; Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. Every year this wonderful little art center hosts what I consider the coolest art exhibit around.
For starters, admission to the show is FREE!
Besides a great admission price, this art exhibit is perfect for art-lovers of all ages. The exhibit is called Kids Do Art.
All of the art work (hundreds of pieces) was created by elementary school children from the nearby schools. The show features beautiful artwork from five year-olds and equally amazing art from kids who are knocking on the door of teen-dom.
It is a phenomenal show which should not be missed. I have seen many art exhibits and even participated in a handful myself. But the feeling you get when you walk in to BLCA for the Kids Do Art exhibit is unforgettable. From the moment you step in to the gallery space, you are entranced by amazing splashes of color and unbelievable talent, covering the walls from ceiling to floor. It’s inspiring on so many levels.
The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm.
On Saturday, February 23rd, I will be hosting a free “make your own picture book” art workshop during the show. The “open door” workshop begins at 1pm and goes until 3pm.
For more information, visit www.banfill-locke.org
This organization, commonly known as CBIG, is a group of Minnesota-based children’s illustrators. I have been a member for a little over two years and the organization has proven to be an amazing source for inspiration, motivation and friendship.
In 2012, CBIG engaged with the community in a number of ways. We exhibited our art at a number of libraries throughout Hennepin County. We participated in the 2012 Art-a-Whirl in North Minneapolis. We held gallery shows in Fridley and in Fergus Falls. We joined two+ days of fun at the Minnesota River Arts Festival, in Shakopee. And we capped the whole year off by doing something many of us will not soon forget. We held the “Smiles for Sandy Hook” event at the Bloomington Theatre & Arts Center.
Though it was an awful moment in America that brought us together, the event was filled will smiles and sunshine. With help from children and parents from all over the Twin Cities, we created nearly 500 pieces of artwork for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary. Here is just one of the many news videos documenting the event: Smiles for Sandy Hook
In coming weeks, the artwork will be delivered to Newtown and displayed for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.
I was very proud to be one of the 25 volunteers (many CBIG members) who made this event a success. And I am thankful that Minnesota has an organization like CBIG to recognize when the children (wherever they are) need a little pick-me-up. CBIG has reminded me what children’s illustration and literature is all about. I look forward to bringing more smiles to children everywhere in 2013.
The Children’s Book Illustrators Guild of Minnesota (CBIG) with assistance from the Bloomington Theatre and Arts Center, Wet Paint and Richeson Art is hosting an event on Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 designed to bring smiles to the children of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Smiles for Sandy Hook Elementary: A Minnesota Children’s Art Project” will bring Minnesota children and their families together at the Bloomington Theatre and Arts Center to create small, one-of-a-kind pieces of art which will be given to Sandy Hook Elementary in hopes of bringing a bright, happy light back to the halls of the school.
The event, which will take place from 10am to 2pm on December 22nd, 2012 is an open-door event, prepared to handle hundreds of children and their families as they visit the art center, make unique works of art and create smiles for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.
For more information, visit
For volunteer and donation information,
please contact me (Scott Spinks) at email@example.com or by calling me at (651)247-0359
The location has been donated by the Bloomington Theatre & Arts Center.
The following donations are still needed:
Time and Energy
Drinking water and snack for volunteers
Photography (We need two photographers to cover the event)
Shipping (to ship the finished at to Connecticut)
Signage to direct participants to the location
Printing for flyers
Name tags for volunteers
Cash donations will be taken at the door on the day of the event.
Connect with the event on FACEBOOK: Smiles4SandyHook
The first week of December has been very exciting and entertaining. My workshop, “App-ortunity” was a great success with SCBWI. I hit the 30k point on my YA graphic novel manuscript. I have a short stack of comic-style commissions which I am very happy to be working on. I submitted my Tom Sawyer-themed illustration for this year’s Tomie dePaola Award (click to see all the submissions). And I have started working on the final art for a comic-style picture book. Here is one of the completed pages for that story.
I will share more about this story in coming months.
Beyond my regular weekly work, I have also spent some time speaking with the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) about an outreach program I am developing. I will share more information about this once the plan is finalized.
For those of you who may be looking for unique holiday gifts, I currently have some signed prints for sale at the Banfill Locke Center for the Arts, in Fridley, MN. They are having a huge holiday sale and I would encourage you to check it out. It’s a great way to find some really cool gifts while supporting your local artists. I also have gift certificates available if you are looking to give someone a custom comic or cartoon for the holidays. You can email if you’d like more information.
So, time to go out and start the snow blower again. Actually it’s a shovel, so the “starting” part is easy. Have a great week and be safe.
In conjunction with the MN SCBWI (Society of the Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), I have created a new workshop; “App-ortunity: My Journey in to the World of Storybook Apps.”
During the workshop (December 1st, in Eden Prairie, MN) , I will share notes from my journal, revealing many of my own findings, the ups and downs of the journey and valuable insight in to the process of creating a storybook App.
Along with my own notes, I will also share some Apple “secrets” and take you through the process for developing a storybook App, step-by-step. A portion of the workshop will be hands-on, so be sure to bring your own ideas too. Attendees will leave the workshop with a clear understanding of the numerous steps involved with developing a successful storybook App.
For more information, follow this link. App-ortunity Workshop I look forward to seeing everyone on December 1st!