In honor of Blogging for a Cure for Robert's Snow, I contacted participating illustrator Erik Brooks and received the loveliest response:
I found out about Robert's Snow by accident in 2004 and immediately sent Grace and email asking if I could participate. I've never met her, but the idea of helping an important cause by making art was just too perfect to pass up. It was also such an inspiration to see someone ACT on behalf of a loved one in such a profound, innovative, and communal way... The same holds true for this third installment, and I would be happy to paint snowflake every year for the rest of my life.
Lucy's Pups, my snowflake for 2007, is based on a black & white illustration that I did for DOG DIARIES (Henry Holt, 2007). The chapter itself, Lucy's Blended Family, is about a mother dog who is recruited to nurse a pair of stranded kittens. She subsequently adopts them into her own family and the spirit of this story seemed only too right for Robert's Snow. The dog on the back is a quick doodle of my own loveable Humane Society mutt, Max.
I usually work in colored pencil and watercolor, but the snowflakes have also been a great place to experiment. I've used acrylic paint for each installment, and I'll be painting my second book in that newfound medium starting this week!
Additional thoughts: I live in a small mountain town, Winthrop, in north central Washington state where the real snow flies early and piles up often. I have been happily making books for the last 7 years - full time for the last 3. I started off in pursuit of chilldren’s book illustration work, but my early polar bear portfolio paintings led me to a story that became my first, THE PRACTICALLY PERFECT PAJAMAS (Winslow Press, 2000). Coming full circle of sorts, my next book release (November 10th) will be for POLAR POLKA by Chérie Stihler (Sasquatch Books, February 2008). Thusly, while I've loved to see my own writing come to life, I am finally illustrating a polar bear book for another author as well. Giddy up, bear folks. Bring 'em on! - Erik
All images © Erik Brooks, used with expressed permission from the illustrator. Click the thumbnails for full-sized artwork.
Visit Erik at his website and blog.