Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Big Universe / 大宇宙

The Big Universe / story written and illustrated by Weichuen You 


Nio got my handmade picture book The Listening Princess last year for her birthday. This year when Nio's mom Daphne invited me to her 6-year-old birthday party, my conscience was roused. I actually felt ashamed about not having drawn any picture book for months. I took this as a great opportunity from God for me to reform myself. So I decided to make another picture book for Nio.


   I've seen a lot of kids this month. I can't figure out how come these children, who draw so instinctively, will turn into a bunch of boring adults who can do nothing but touch their mobile screens all the time. I wonder if school deprives them of their creativity too. I hope Nio, who is going to elementary school in fall, will draw forever and be a child at heart forever.


   This time I tried a new form of handmade books, which is called "step book." The box was also completely handmade.

Your ears hear the raindrops dancing. 

You love to smell the fragrance of flowers. 

When you smile, stars all light up.

Your hugs sooth sad Dad and Mom.

You are as free as the wind. 

You are curious about everything. 

You are a grown-up in many ways. 

You've conquered many mountains and oceans. 

Don't buy their words when adults tell you, 
"You've never been anywhere!" 

Buttoning your shirt might be a little bit challenging, 
but you're almost there!

Mosquitoes are not scary at all, no. 

Don't let them take away your imagination! 

Don't believe that 
your hand is too small to make any difference. 

You are not an ant. 

You are not merely a little star. 

Please don't cover your sensitive nose. 

Don't block your ears either. 

Because you are the big universe of a six-year-old.
You have stars, the moon and the sun. 

Don't believe that you are just a tiny six-year-old child. 


   A truth which I'd always known dawned on me again after I was done with the book: However the world or my life changes, all I have to do is concentrate on what I love to do, and then many kids will come to me. 

Birthday party / 生日派對


Today we throw a birthday party for Nio and Mr. Hamburger. I am asked to give an art lesson to the children. While we are still eating lunch, Nio is too eager to start the workshop. 


   Being a loyal fan of Mr. Bernard Waber, I choose his book The House on East 88th Street as the major theme. It really pleases me to introduce the lovely Lyle to as many children as I can. 


   I prepare the pictures for the children in advance so that they can directly get to do the coloring. However, this time I request everyone to choose as many as ten colors. The media include crayons, collage and inks. 


   For those kids who are not into coloring really detailed parts, they can turn to collage and inks for creating the color block effect. 


   But some kids impress me with their patience. They take their time to finish the pictures. 


   After the kids are done with drawing, they can come by to hear the story of Lyle. I have repeated it for 4 times today. Great thanks to Mr. Waber! 


   There are only three colors in the book, red, yellow and green. See how the kids recreate the whole story with their own color combinations! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

So many children / 好多小孩


I've been making birthday picture books for children these weeks. It's amazing how inspirations finally smile upon me. I can't help thinking: There are so many kids in the world, but I have so little time every day....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Come to draw, boys! 5 / 孩子們來畫畫吧!5


Boys are fascinated by I Am a Little Dinosaur written by Mazuoka Tatsuhide. I am inspired to make use of the book in our art class today.


   Kai is asked to pick an image that interests him the most. Our task is to create its 3-D version. 


   It takes me an hour to draw merely the background. 


   Because Mr. Tatsuhide has a very fine style, we three make great effort to color the picture. 


   The background is extremely colorful. 


   Kai is more than eager to make the 3-D dinosaur, but we make it a rule to take the noon break first. During his nap, he can't help getting up to check on me. The first time he comes only to find me sleeping, he goes back to the bed murmuring in disappointment: Didn't Auntie Wanda say that she's always ready whenever I wake up? When he comes around the second time, I happen to open the door from the inside while he turns the knob on the outside. We both blurt out: You scared me! 


   Kai gets to draw the dinosaur of his dreams! 


   Our dinosaur paradise has the colorfulness of the tropical zone! 


   After the basic challenge, we decide to try more complicated 3-D works. We would like to borrow Nina Cosford's idea and then apply it to other picture books. 


   I have to prepare three pictures that represent three layers first. 


   The color prince finally gets down to work! 


   The texture of oil pastel and watercolors mixed together is quite striking, so I make Kai use both media. 


   Our snack today is passion fruit! 


   We'll live with anticipation before our next art class comes!