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Writer | Illustrator

Posts tagged Tomie dePaola

For the 2017 Tomie dePaola Award, Tomie invited SCBWI illustrators to mine their memories for a significant moment from childhood and create a self-portrait that might appear in a picture book.

I’ve included humans in only a handful of cut paper collages, so I saw this prompt as an opportunity to stretch my skills and step out of my comfort zone.

I settled on picking out my first pair of glasses. Here’s my illustration:

tomie-depaola-award-entry-priscilla-mizell

The winner and runners-up were announced today. Congratulations to Katya Tabakh for her soft, snow-swept illustration of sledding at night! You can find her submission here.

Diandra Mae, the illustrator coordinator for the Houston chapter of SCBWI, has assembled an online gallery so we can see all the other submissions, too. Stop on by! (My illustration is on this page.)

Thank you to SCBWI and Tomie for this challenge! And thank you, Diandra, for collecting the submissions and sharing them with us!

This year’s excerpt for the 2012 SCBWI Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award is from Chicken Licken by P.C. Asbjörnsen.

So they went along and went along until they met Turkey Lurkey
“Good morning, Goosey Loosey, Ducky Daddles, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny,
and Chicken Licken,” said Turkey Lurkey, “where are you going?”
“Oh, Turkey Lurkey, the sky is falling and we are going to tell the King!”
“How do you know the sky is falling?” asked Turkey Lurkey.
“Ducky Daddles told me,” said Goosey Loosey.
“Cocky Locky told me,” said Ducky Daddles.
“Henny Penny told me,” said Cocky Locky.
“Chicken Licken told me,” said Henny Penny
“I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears,
and a piece of it fell on my tail!” said Chicken Licken.
“Then I will go with you,” said Turkey Lurkey, “and we will tell the King!”

Now you may not know this about me, but I love drawing birds. I am crazy about their swooped wings and strange feet and patterned feathers and colored beaks. So I did a little dance when I read Tomie’s text.

Here is my entry!


Oddly enough, the most challenging part wasn’t creating the illustration itself. Once I decided on the composition, it came along fairly smoothly. But I had quite a bit of difficulty scanning the image. My personal scanner focused on certain areas while leaving other areas blurry, and the fancy university library scanner made the colors all wonky. I’ve never had this problem before, so I think it was because of the multiple layers. (Most of my illustrations are only three or four sheets of paper thick whereas, at its highest point, this illustration has over ten sheets of paper). The photographs below can give you a better idea of the layers.


I would love to learn how other illustrators overcome this challenge. I probably should have submitted a photograph instead, but the pictures I took never seemed right, either. Anyway, while I’m not thrilled with how the illustration was captured, I’m pleased with the piece itself. And I had great amounts of fun putting it together. I particularly enjoyed creating Cocky Locky as I was able to use some bits from this lovely Japanese wave paper for the feathers in his tail.


I am so grateful to SCBWI and Tomie for providing an opportunity like this for aspiring writers/illustrators like myself. The winner will be announced on January 9th.

Thanks for looking! And, if you entered this year’s competition, best of luck!

Update: Yvette Piette Herrera won the award with a dynamic “round robin” composition of the scene. Congratulations to her!