Easy- peezy. New capability…
Each week I draw a column for Science Magazine- the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It’s called Working Life, and it’s a series of essays written by a diverse collection of scientists from all over the world, in all stages and walks of life. I’ve done drawings of fleeing war in Syria, sexual harassment, family life, motherhood, the trials and tribulations of post-doc life, immigration, career paths, you name it. My design team is Marcy Atarod & Holly Bishop, with editor Donisha Adams.
This has been a really fun gig for the last few years. The authors are almost always drawn in the illustrations, and so far they really love it. Fan letters from scientists! Here are just a few. These are always done in two formats, square for the print version, and horizontal for the web. It can be tricky… R.
More Library Show! I couldn’t be happier with having my illustration Show in the Children’s Library in this fabulous building in the center of a metro area of two million. The show runs all summer long. Having a show in such an openly public venue, especially a library, is perfect for this work. I focused on the kids books and hung them at 50” centers so the kids could see them easily. Photographing the show was tough- I used my phone, which was not adequate, but through the magic of photoshop I salvaged the exposure somewhat. I had to shoot them at knee level... I'd like to thank Librarian Robyn Green and Assistant Librarian Tressie Rollins for all their help in making this possible, and for hanging all the pictures- no mean feat. It's a real honor to be here. This is the hub of urban life in Salt Lake, the center of the city. And, as we open, the Pride Festival is just outside in Washington Park. Utah. Wow.
One of the most fun parts of my job as an Author/Illustrator is reading to kids in schools and libraries. The Greater Salt Lake Library system sent out a call for artists to hang shows in their many libraries across the Wasatch Front- I sent them a link to my website and here we are- the children's section of the main library in Salt Lake City. It's a remarkable piece of architecture, and a community center for a growing metropolitan area of over two million people. The show will be up all summer, June 4th to mid August. So this is a big thing. I've concentrated on my thirty plus kid's books, but, having been an outspoken editorial illustrator for a lot of years, there's a lot of that too. Robyn Green, the head librarian, said: "Good. It'll make 'em think."
Below are some pictures of the framing process in my studio. My framing is done by Mary Schawb of Avenues Frames- a to the trade framer in our old 19th century neighborhood in Salt Lake. For the show we found some very affordable ready mades from Dick Blick and Mary cut mats- a lot of these are digital and were printed on my Epson 1430 on heavy matt paper.
We framed north of sixty illustrations.
Our Book, Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing is up for the Texas Bluebonnet Award from the Texas Library Association. This is a big deal- Penguin Random House flew us in and we signed hundreds of books for schools and libraries all over Texas, from Houston to North Zulch (yes, real). Much graciousness and southern hospitality in Dallas. The final award winner is chosen by the kids from among a short list of children's lit that they read and review over the coming year. Very honored and excited to be on that list! Much thanks to Jessica Garrison , Rachel Wease & Vanessa Carson from Penquin for all their help.
We gave a talk to two hundred selected Texas librarians and donated a few hundred books to school and public libraries.
Jessica, Penguin, Leo Espinosa and Junot Diaz's Island Born... thousands of bookies were about to flood in.
I"ve been working with Trent on Opera News for a few years now. Most of the projects entail a full page or spread with a spot or three. Some of these articles are pretty intellectual, after all, it's opera. The latest published piece is about the morbid introspection of Contemporary American Opera. In the past, Opera would take on the classic themes of morality, good and evil, love gained and lost, greed and betrayal, redemption. Generally outward looking. Contemporary American Opera is much more morally ambiguous, introspective, blurring the line between good and evil. Here are the sketches and the final layout:
This one is adventures in Trumpland; how small opera companies will be decimated by his regime.
The following are spreads for a piece on The Flying Dutchman:
This image was for a piece on being gay in the theater during the Eisenhower Administration:
And, to finish up, here are a piece on funding Italian Opera companies:
Three cards, two for me, and one for the Global Family Research project. Guess which is which...I had fun with all! Merry Holidays!
I draw for the Your Money column by Ron Lieber in the paper most Saturdays. We've been exploring what the hell happened at Equifax and how to deal with it. The following drawings are from various recent columns addressing the issue. I've included sketches too, as they're often funnier that the ones we ran. Remember, kids, freeze those credit reports.
Space Boy and the Snow Monster is the third in a series of graphic novels for kids written by Dian Curtis Regan. We're published by Boyds Mill Press, Mary Colgan editor & Tim Gillner art director. These were big fun to do- I grew up on comics of every description and was very interested in doing a graphic novel. To get to do three was a real treat. There was an evolution in technique, going from pencils to Wacom tablet, then finally wholly on Cintiq. The second book, Space Boy and the Space Pirates won the Crystal Kite Award 2017 from SCBWI and is a finalist for the 2017 Colorado Book Award. I won that in 2013, Children's Literature, with Jean Reidy for "Time Out for Monsters." This just came out, October 2017...
I had a lot of fun with this one. David is a V.P. for animation production over at Nickelodian, and I got to meet Spongebob. It was one of the highlights of my life, the best day ever. This tome is brought to you by Beach Lane Books, Simon & Schuster, under the guidance of the incomparable team of Andrea Welch & Lauren Rille.
King Louie was a very BIG king in all ways but one: He was five-feet-four-inches short. So Louie and his royal cobbler cooked up the perfect high-heeled solution to help Louie appear taller. But after an embarrassing tumble (on the dance floor, no less!) Louie learned that his subjects were loyal no matter how big—or how shrimpy—their beloved Louie might have been. Readers young and old will relate to this silly and sweet story of King Louie XIV—a man who had it all, but still felt small.
"Neubecker’s cartoon illustrations are bright and full of whimsy. The details of baroque architecture and clothing are depicted in an accessible manner, and the characters are humorous and expressive, especially the baby-faced Louie." - School Library Journal June 1, 2017
"Neubecker... clearly having fun drawing his characters’ Baroque get-ups, portrays the monarch at a humbling height disadvantage compared to the rest of his court, which should win the Sun King instant sympathy with the book’s target audience." - Publishers Weekly May 22, 2017
My new book! Our brother and sister team from Winter is for Snow are facing the dreaded fall season and....school! Sister is stoked, Bro, not so much...from School Library Journal:
School Library Journal
“Fall is for school!” a jubilant girl shouts while her older brother mourns the loss of summer vacation. The boy whines that school is uncool and too hard, it’s full of teachers and homework. But his sister extols the virtues of nice teachers, fascinating projects, recess, and Halloween parties. Eventually, the boy changes his tune as his sister exclaims, with grown-up wisdom, “We’ll learn, and we’ll be clever./A great big world will open up/and change our lives forever.” The full-bleed digital illustrations are full to bursting with fall colors, as well as an accumulating collection of things the siblings will learn about, from Abraham Lincoln to rocket ships. VERDICT This cheery (rah! rah!) back-to-school selection is a colorful addition for school and public libraries.
This was an amazing opportunity. It just came in, another commission. The publisher chose me out of all the illustrators on the planet without knowing any of my shared history with Keith and his era. It was pure joy to work with Keith's sister, Kay Haring, and her loving manuscript. We worked closely with the Haring Foundation to showcase Keith's art, under the excellent guidance of Lucia Monfreid, editor, and with the deft art direction of Jasmin Rubero.
The task was to seamlessly combine my illustrations with Keith's drawings and paintings to tell his life story. It was tricky to showcase the art without cropping or retoucing anything. And we did the best we could respecting Keith's work. I got the advance copy last week and it came out magnificently. Many, Many thanks to Dial Books for making this possible, and to my lovely agent, Linda Pratt.
From Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House):
This one-of-a-kind book explores the life and art of Keith Haring from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame. It sheds light on this important artist’s great humanity, his concern for children, and his disregard for the establishment art world. Reproductions of Keith’s signature artwork appear in scenes boldly rendered by Robert Neubecker. This is a story to inspire, and a book for Keith Haring fans of all ages to treasure.
“Neubecker’s colorful illustrations capture the energy with which Keith [Haring] lived his life, and cleverly integrate some of the artist’s original works… Always upbeat, this story is a celebration of art and life.” — Booklist
“Neubecker neatly incorporates Haring’s real pieces into these zesty, bustling, digital-and-pencil illustrations…. Haring’s work pops; Neubecker’s compositions and enthusiastic crowd scenes do it wonderful credit.” — Kirkus
“An enlightening look at the merits of street art and how it allows those who may not ordinarily venture into a museum or gallery to experience and enjoy art….Children will relate to young Haring’s drive to pursue his calling despite naysayers.” —School Library Journal
“Cheerily energetic….Schools with “Picture Person” programs, as well as primary grades art teachers, will want to share this appealing title.” —BCCB
About Kay Haring:
Kay Haring is the younger sister of Keith Haring. She is a wife, mother, writer, hiker, lover of art and the wonders of nature. Kay has spent many years both working and volunteering for nonprofits, in management and fundraising capacities.
Published by Dial Books
Feb 14, 2017 | 40 Pages | 9 x 11 | 5-8 years | ISBN 9780525428190
Last spring (2015) marked 40 years as a professional, having had my first illustration commissioned by Steve Heller for the New York Times letters page in 1975, while I was a student at Parsons. Over the years the publishing industry has changed, it's grown and diminished, the web has shown great promise and disappointment, magazines have risen and fallen- My career has been remarkably consistent, I think because my emphasis has always been on storytelling, communicating ideas using a visual language both cultural and personal. The metaphors and symbols might be from popular culture, art history, cartoons, whatever is in the cultural grab bag, but the point of view is personal. I had the excellent opportunity to study under J.C. Suares and Milton Glaser. The print magazine world has contracted since the recession, but illustration continues to flourish in its different forms. The field seems to be reinventing itself. I love seeing what Yuko Shimizu and Edel Rodrigeuz are doing, to name just two. Almost every illustration I do now has a web component and I've been having a wonderful time drawing books for children. I've started doing graphic novels, also for kids. Newspapers, once thought to be the first road kill of the internet, are surviving, and some are doing quite well. A good deal of my most interesting work comes from them. I still work for the New York Times, and I love reading it online- with art- and opening the big broadsheets on weekends to see the illustrations and photography in print.
Below is a picture from each decade, followed by a bunch of recent work, which was my original intention to post in the first place...