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Author, Illustrator, Creative Guy willstrong.art@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Will Strong Recommends Danny The Champion of the World

The book that Tiff assigned to her 5th grade class as summer reading this year is Danny the Champion of the World.  I hadn't ever read it so I picked it up.  And this book is fantastic.  One of Roald Dahl's many great works, I think Danny gets overshadowed by James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which is a shame.

There aren't any giants or special powers or magic of any kind in this book.  All this book really is, is a simple story of a boy and his father.  They are simple folk.  It's a simple story.  But it's so well written that it's incredibly endearing and heartwarming without being preachy at all.

One of the assignments that Tiff had her class do was to draw a picture of Danny's home.  One kid in the class, Mary, told Tiff, "I don't think I did the assignment right.  I painted it."  Well let me tell you Mary, that you did it more than right.  You rocked it.

Keep up the good work kids.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brotique Week

Upcoming event in Kids Books.  It's gonna be great.

So, if you're going to be in the Provo area come check us (my critique group) out at one or all of these many cool activities.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Not a Monster

I almost can't believe it.  But there it is, an illo that's not a monster.  Go figure.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TIff's Classroom

This is how the outside of the classroom turned out.

Yeah, that's a lot of kids for one classroom.  34 kids in fact.  Ridiculous.  And that's not even the most crowded class in the building.  Nice job on Education this year Utah.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Double Dip

I made this card for Jed.  Happy Birthday Jed.

How I Work

People ask me all the time, "How did you come up this?" when referring to my illustrations and other creative things.  It's sort of hard to explain because I don't always end up with what I started out to find.  The following is a demonstration in my stream of consciousness creative process.

The Assignment:  Tiffany needed me to make her some kind of notice board where she could post supplies she needs for her classroom this year.  Because I had done the rest of the room in monsters I figured that I should continue with the theme.  So I set out to create a "donations monster."

Here is the end result of my process:

Now let me walk you through it.  First I think, "the monster needs to hold lot's of little notes."

So, yeah, that's how I think.  I just follow ideas around until they take me somewhere.  If I work long enough I get something good.  This is how it turned out for Tiff's class:

I'm pleased with it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I've Got an Etsy Shop

Yup, I just opened up an Etsy Shop.  Etsy is pretty nifty if you ask me.

Check out my shop here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/frankenstuff

And I've got a new companion blog for my Etsy Shop:  http://franken-stuff.blogspot.com/

Prices are very affordable and all prints are ready for standard sized frames.  Also, if I talked to you earlier about print pricing (like, at the art show) just know that I've dropped the prices to make them more affordable.

So, in conclusion, buy my stuff.  Thank you, come again.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Because monsters seem to be the theme of my blog for the last few posts, here are some more.  I've decided to call them Franken-Stuffs.  (Get it?  Cause they're stuffed.  And they're monsters.  And it's funny ... right?)

This guy's name is Brutus.

Trapazoid Man is named Cantaloupe:

Queazy Quinn doesn't feel well:

Zig and Zag (though I'm not sure which is which):

One big happy family:

I've had so much fun making these monsters and I've learned a lot about sewing as I made them.  Everybody keeps telling me that I should sell these guys but it's just not cost effective to sit and sew these guys all day.  What I am going to do though is try and get some sewing patterns together and sell those online (probably on Etsy or something.)  So if you want one of these Franken-Stuffs for your very own, keep your eyes peeled.  The patterns will be available soon (and by soon I mean about a month or two.)

Just curious, which pattern do you folks think I should start with?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Munchers - New Photoshop Brushes

I didn't make the brushes used to paint this illo.  They were made by Jake Wyatt, a friend of mine.  Special thanks also to Jed Henry who constantly answers my Photoshop questions.  I'm still trying to figure out how to get more interesting textures in Photoshop.  I think this is a good step but there is still much to learn.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Monster Name Tags 2

As promised:

If anybody uses one of these name tags I want to see it.  Print it, color it and send it to me: bign.strong@gmail.com.  Then I can post it on the blog.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monster Name Tags

Occasionally I get to help out in my wife's 5th-Grade class (she recently moved from 6th) with some kind of cool project.  Each year I get to help decorate my wife's class list that goes up outside the classroom door.  Last year I did monkeys.  This year it's all monsters (because that's kind of my thing recently.)  You might recognize some of these guys.

Bonus:  these can double as coloring pages.  Just print them, cut them out, write in your name and color away.  More coming soon.