Sunday, September 30, 2007

SCBWI-NC Conference Part 1

I’m glad the conference is over. I’m tired of chewing gum. I chewed gum all weekend, cause you know, you have to talk to lots of people. So I chewed it.

I chewed it on Friday, I chewed it on Saturday. I chewed it in the morning, I chewed it at the party while drinking a glass of wine. Hubba bubba merlot.

My jaw hurts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

As time winds down to the 15th anniversary of the SCBWI-NC Conference and my debut as a speaker, I thought I might share a few articles I've written on the topic of web design. Sort of get me in the mood :) Here’s a recent article, written for the Pen & Palette titled: Join A Clog. Enjoy…



If I asked you to tell me what a blog is you might say it’s a personal diary, an online journal or a place to hang your hat on the web. And you might be right. Most blogs are singular. They are a great way for illustrators to display their art and for writers and editors to vent about the slush pile.

But a new type of blog is popping up across the web. This new blog replaces the singular with the plural and the personal with the community. I’m going to coin a phrase here, a Clog.

A clog, as I’ll define it, is a community blog. Clogs replace the blog’s one editor/owner with several editor/owners. They replace the personal thoughts and statements used to promote a singular entity with a joint effort to promote a group’s purposes.

My term ‘clog’ may never take hold, but the concept of community blogs is steadily growing. For example, the Picture-Bookies clog started as a group of 4 children's book illustrators/writers. The site was designed to promote each illustrator’s individual style.

“Working from home can make one feel isolated,” states Sherry Rogers, children’s book illustrator and one of the founding members of Picture-Bookies. “We formed the group because of the need to communicate with like minded individuals with a common goal.”

Picture-Bookies is designed to help motivate the members of the clog with monthly challenges and information from the illustration community. The clog also features interviews with each artist as well as links to their personal websites and blogs. Picture-Bookies is currently by invitation only.

The Class of 2k7 is a clog of first time children's and YA authors with debut books coming out in 2007. In all, there are 39 authors collectively blogging to help promote each other's books.

“I had the idea early last year that a group of authors with first books coming out in the same year would be able to do more and speak in a louder voice than any of us alone.” Stated Greg R, Fishbone, founder of Class of 2k7. “I put the word out through a few lists and message boards and it just snowballed from there.”

Features of this clog include an "Ask a Debut Author" section, author’s discussion forum, interviews, biographies and perhaps most importantly, information about their books.


Ian Sands is a writer, artist, and active member of his regional SCBWI, NC. He has worked as a computer graphic instructor, web designer, project manager, and graphical user interface designer.

Friday, September 21, 2007

So Ask Me About the Web

Guess who will be a speaker at this year’s 15TH Annual SCBWI-Carolinas Fall Conference? Me! How very exciting. Here is what it reads in the brochure:

Ian Sands has been a web and graphical user interface designer, creating websites for corporations, education and the healthcare industry for over 10 years. He teaches web design and graphics applications at the high school and college level. He is also the author and illustrator of Pony Wombat and the Second Ark.

Wow, almost makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about.

Well, if I’m going to be a speaker, I better hurry up and figure out what I’m going to speak about. I have received a lot of good suggestions, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Where do you go to set up a website?
  • How do you get the website on the web &
  • how to edit it once it's there?
  • How do you market your website?
  • Is a frame-based website ok or will most of the website material not turn up in search engines?
  • Can authors offer copies of their books for sale from their website?

Now it’s your turn. If you have any suggestions of something you would want to ask the web guru :), post a comment. The more the gooder and thanks in advance for your questions.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Watergate Blues

My high school art teacher, Fred Nold, turned me on to the Heath Brothers. Percy Heath is an outstanding jazz bass player and he performed a live version of this tune, Watergate Blues.

Don't remember the album title… heck, I don't remember albums. I borrowed this one from the Yonkers public library back when you could borrow records from the library. Really hope I returned it or I must own some outrageous late fees ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2007


click to view larger

After my exciting morning in the emergency room, I decided to take the kids to Bugfest.

Bugfest was fun. I would show you photos but my camera phone seems to be on its last tripod. So instead I posted this illustration of an Imperial Moth caterpillar I did a while back till I can get photos out of my phone.

Let me tell you about some of the cool stuff at Bugfest.

First, there was this guy doing a flea circus. He was funny but we got there a bit late and it was crowded, couldn’t see well, so we moved on.

Next we saw a guy getting a honeybee beard. They tied a queen bee to his neck and then proceeded to dump box after box of honeybees onto him. The honeybees like to hang with the queen so they clinged till this guy’s entire face was pretty much covered in bees.

There were lots of bugs in little plastic boxes and at almost every booth there was a tank of those big Madagascar roaches. You could pick them up and hold them. They all had names. The one we held was Rebecca.

The bestest booth was the buffet line. Yes, yummy bugs to eat. And all free!

The Stir-fry Grasshoppers were really good cause the grasshoppers were so big you could pick them up and eat them straight. That was much more fun then the mealworm lasagna that had the bugs baked in.

For dessert we had a little cup of orange jello with ants in it. That was more like you went on a picnic and left your jello on the picnic table for an hour or so, came back and ate it anyhow.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My So Called Heart Attack

So I wake up last night with chest pains, I have shortness of breath and I’m panicky. I’m thinking, am I having a heart attack or did I just eat a bad burrito?

Now I’m no stranger to an upset stomach and this feels like tightness on the left side of my chest. Then again, that is why they call it heartburn right?

Now I try to take care of myself. I work out, I eat ok (unless you aren’t a fan of bugfest), and I don’t smoke. On the other hand, the bottom number of my blood pressure is always up around 90-95, and you always hear those stories, “he was so young, only 41, and he left three children behind.”

The choices:
1. Lay back down, try to burp and fall back asleep (or die depending).
2. Go to the hospital, get poked, stuck and restuck and risk feeling like a smuck because you should have taken a tums.
3. Shoot the hostage

Friday, September 14, 2007


I just found out that Saturday is bugfest!! Is it raining out or is that just my mouth a watering?

More info posted soon!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Apex Art Skeleton Drawings

Hey, if you would like to see some really neat drawings, stop by the Apex High School Art Blog and see what my students did the first week of school.



Yesterday, we went to the zoo and I took my sketchbook. How funny after painting mammoths all weekend that this guy walked right up to us.

Usually, they are way down on the other side of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad these pachyderms have hundreds of acres to romp but it doesn’t always make for the best viewing. So this was way cool to have him only a few feet away.

Drawing animals, even what you might consider slow moving animals, is hard work. They really don’t hold still like you might think. I did a lot of gesture type sketches trying to capture the essence of elephant, (which is a new perfume I’m working on). I really like this sketch with the squiggly trunk. I’m going to have to do more with…. Coming soon to a blog near you.

After the zoo, my body decided to stop playing games with the ear infection I’ve been wrestling with all week. I had a raging fever with the most icky chills. If you’ve ever been under a heap of blankets but still felt like you were standing barefoot in the penguin house then you know what I’m talking about.

click to see it all

My first thought was, Toby Mac. You know; I'm a man on a mission, my position is Momentum.

But then I thought, nothing says momentum like a falling pack of woolly mammoths. Right?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

So play Bass

Every time I stand up I get dizzy. I’m pretty sure I have an inner ear infection. My eyes are puffy, my nose is stuffy, so what’s a guy to do. Play bass.

Cloak and Dagger, done best by Percy Heath, and most poorly by me, especially with an inner ear infection.

ps, if you are really sharp you might see a wog sitting in the background :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tag, I’m it.

Karen Lee tagged me with a meme which I guess is a way for me to bore you with what are suppose to be interesting facts about me. I know, a thrill a minute! So here it goes.

The Rules:
Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names (see below), then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

8. I used to be a Wombat:
In my college days, I was the lead singer and bass player for the Wombats. We toured around NYC playing small venues whenever we could get a chance. Claim to fame was playing CBGB’s which was pretty fab in the day. I’ve written at least 500 original songs (some half decent), all of which are recorded on tape and collecting dust in a box in my closet.

7. I am a professional bagel baker:
having baked bagels for Brueggers in NC and Zaros in NY (to name a few).

6. I like gospel music:
I have 103.9 the Light programmed into my jeep’s radio. I’m probably the only white boy who would know how the Melissa Wade in the water song goes or could tell you the difference between Kirk Franklin and the Kirk Carr Singers.

5. I have a collection of political memorabilia:
Especially, but not limited to, Richard Nixon. Items include bumper stickers, pins/buttons, magazines and old newspapers. I even have a copy of the August 9th, 1974 New York Post, the day Nixon announced his resignation.

4. I wanted to be a toy designer:
In college I seriously considered a career in toy design, having developed prototypes, created a portfolio and interviewed with several NYC companies.

3. I have strange tastes buds:
I will try anything at least once, especially if it contains weird stuff like insects, mollusks or other invertebrates. Possibly the strangest meal I have ever consumed was fried mealworms in butter and garlic. They have a nutty flavor.

2. My photo is on the wall at Buffalo Wild Wings:
I love hot, spicy foods. Not just hot but insanely hot foods. I have a collection of hot sauces that could melt metal. So when Buffalo Wild Wings had a contest to see if someone could eat 12 of their Blazen wings in under 6 minutes, I was up for the challenge. That’s some hot sauce but I won a t-shirt and my face posted on their winner wall.

1. I once wrote Debbie Gibson a fan letter.

So to be meme’d...


Kathleen Rietz

Platinum Blonde


Monday, September 03, 2007


click to see it all

Practicing my stored shark symbols. Not to difficult. I have been drawing sharks the same way since Jaws (4th grade). Now that is a stored symbol!

In other news, I am really ticked off at my scanner. What’s its problem? Why can’t it work? It wasn’t cheap (price) but it scans like (grrrrrrr!)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Edge of the Forest

click to enlarge

All week long I have been training my students not to use stored symbols, to draw what they see. We ran through all the know exercises, blind contour drawing, drawing something upside down, drawing positive and negative space, etc… So what a hypocrite I am sitting at my art desk practicing my stored deer symbols!

click to enlarge

Here is the entire image.