Monday, October 6, 2008

The Land of Smaerd

About a year and a half ago, I was asked by Jack von Eberstein of  KnowWonder Publishing to illustrate an adventure in verse called The Land of Smaerd. "Smaerd" is dreams spelled backwards, and The Land of Smaerd is a picture book for children, a journey through the land of dreams where readers learn affect the course of their personal reality. Angela Russell came up with the idea when she was a fifth grader. Decades later her sister Andrea von Botefuhr recreated the story as a poem. It took over twelve months of sketchbooks, layouts, and paintings to turn the poem into an illustrated book. In September of this year it was published.

Know Wonder organized two promotional tours. One for Andrea and Angela in Washington and Oregon and another for me in California. My Land of Smaerd promotional campaign commenced with a month-long solo exhibition at the Island Museum of Art on San Juan Island that ended September 17, followed by an interview on September 23 with Dr. Roxanne Daleo on the Mindworks for Children radio show. In October I traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area for several area invents, including book signings at the Oakland Convention center and illustrated talks at Books Inc. in Alameda and Book Passage in Corte Madera.  Publishers Weekly  ran this "Picture of the Day" from my visit to Books Inc. Thanks to Lydia Bird for the portrait of me and Natalee. 

Before leaving the Bay Area I was interviewed by Denny Smithson on the KPFA radio show Cover to Cover. Anneli Rufus wrote a sumptuous article about my visit in the East Bay Express, reproduced below. None of this happened by accident, but through the tireless efforts of  Alice Acheson, the organizational genius behind Acheson Public Relations.

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