2009
12.22
The Last of Its Kind

The Last of Its Kind

Recently I took a trip down to The Big Apple. The city was dipped in a vat of tinsel and sugar plum dust. So many dazzling lights and ornaments that would distract even Santa himself and send him off course.
It was mesmerizing…THE tree at Rockefeller Center, all the window displays competing for your attention, the jolly “Ho Ho Ho’s” and ring-jinga-lingle from the artificial santa’s posted on every street corner…Ahhh my heart swelled with Christmas spirit! So much in fact that I needed a break.
The alternative?
To visit the Museum of Modern Art and take in the Tim Burton exhibition.
I’m aware of who Tim Burton is as a movie maker: Edward Scissor Hands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hallow just to name a few. I never realized the depth and magnitude of this creative genius until I stepped in through the gallery doors! Shuffling past the displays of sketches, drawings and paintings I was introduced to morbidly abrasive and disfunctional characters, one after the other – that were surprisingly charming and vulnerable. A complete contradictory justaposition of sorts! (woah – now that’s a tongue twister).
Most of his work appeared character based, but there were a number of pieces that showed off his agreeable sense of composition – namely his studies for The Nightmare Before Christmas. Absolutely stunning! I would hang those on my wall any day.
The exhibition runs from November 22/09 to April 26/10. If you’re in the area and are overwhelmed by your own nightmares before Christmas (or New Year’s or Valentine’s Day or Easter), check out the exhibition for a dose of therapeutic refuge.
Excerpt from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Excerpt from The Nightmare Before Christmas

2009
12.15

My sister asked if I would design a family Christmas Card for her.  “No problem”, I say.  However, shortly after I realize that it all hinges on whether my 18 month old niece, Mia will cooperate. 

Will she be agreeable to slip on tights and a knitted dress that her Auntie bought or run away screaming in a soppy diaper with “Blankie” trailing behind her?  Will she give us a small toothy grin, sit still for the camera or…even look at the camera?

See for yourselves…

Mia Renee Thompson

Mia Renee Thompson


The Thompson Christmas Card 2009

The Thompson Christmas Card 2009

2009
11.08

What an amazing day to get totally inspired!
It was an early start to a jammed packed day of illustrator and writer workshops:
First up was Jeremy Tankard of “Grumpy Bird” fame. I’ve seen Jeremy around a couple of times at monthly CANSCAIP meetings (to be honest – he’s hard to miss since he towers over the mostly middle aged female audience). He spoke about his journey into children’s publication. What impressed me most was his tenacity and belief to push forth and challenge the norm for new/unpublished illustrators. The best part was speaking to him one on one at the end of the day and having my copies of Grumpy Bird and BooHoo Bird signed. Thanks for the tips Jeremy, and now I have two more books to add to my growing picture book collection!
I thought I’d switch things up in the second and third sessions with Creative Non-Fiction presented by Kathy Kacer and Writing Mysteries for Boys presented by Shane Peacock. Both workshops were packed with helpful tips and tools to shape your story. The day ended with a light hearted “inspiring” keynote address by Kenneth Oppel. I didn’t take any notes down during this session – just sat back and enjoyed the good laughs of Kenneth spoofing himself. What a great sense of humor!
This was my fourth time attending this annual day of workshops. Already can’t wait for next year!

2009
08.23

Postcard Mail Out

Postcard Mail Out


Received this invitation in your mail today?

I’m delighted that you did and decided to stop by since it’s wonderful to finally be able to share my work with you.

Thank you for taking the time to review my work. I would certainly welcome and appreciate any comments you have to offer!

2009
08.21

Each blank sheet of paper, canvas, template or whatever the choice of substrate may be, is the start of an exciting creative journey. Most of the time the finished idea/image is composed in my minds eye before I start…sitting there…brewing, sifting, filtering – waiting until I’m ready to tackle it. So really it’s just a matter of getting from point A to point B. Sounds easy, but sometimes there’s a disconnect between mind and motor skills!
I do not keep to a step by step process when I’m composing my illustrations. It’s more fluid, where I allow the content of what I’m trying to express and communicate dictate the execution and sequence of work. However, I can say that it’s usually a combination of traditional and digital media that’s used. More often than not, my finished illustrations involve sketches, colouring in Photoshop CS3 and overlaying real images on top of the colour layer…therefore becoming a seemless digital collage.
Here’s a series of snap shots during the making of “Fall’s End”:
Baby Bear does not understand the concept of hibernation. He doesn’t want to go to sleep yet, so he waits for the last leaf to fall before following Mama Bear into the den. It’s a suspension of time.

Scrunched up tracing paper that's scanned and adjusted for contrast & colour

Scrunched up tracing paper that's scanned and adjusted for contrast & colour

Twisted trace paper that's scanned - adjusted for contrast, colour and size.  This texture/shape will serve as the trees.

Twisted trace paper that's scanned - adjusted for contrast, colour and size. This texture/shape will serve as the trees.

The scrunched up trace paper is shaped and blocked with colour to create the cave.  The twists are copied, adjusted in size and placed.

The scrunched up trace paper is shaped and blocked with colour to create the cave. The twists are copied, adjusted in size and placed.

Pencil sketches of Mama bear and Baby bear added and placed in position.

Pencil sketches of Mama bear and Baby bear added and placed in position.

Colour added to bears, bright leaf added for focal point and narrative, top of image sculpted to mimich shape of cave.  Any final tweaks in colour and shading complete.

Colour added to bears, bright leaf added for focal point and narrative, top of image sculpted to mimich shape of cave. Any final tweaks in colour and shading complete.

2009
07.15

Welcome to My New World!

Thanks for dropping by!

It is truly exciting to finally have an online presence and break through the confines of my vinyl bound portfolio case!
This new venue to show case my work would not have been possible without the love and support of my family and the handy web-techie skill and knowledge of Andrew Attard…

Much thanks and gratitude!