Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Artist of the month!

Look!!!sooo cool !
Thank you Lisa for the wonderful opportunity!!!and a huge thank you to my wonderful friend Esti and my awesome Sister-in Law Nitzan for all the help in translating!
Take a look!
 for the article on me: Claudia Fehr-Levin

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Art Classes with a taste of English

 Living in Israel, apart from speaking English to my kids & Anglo friends, the rest of my world functions in Hebrew.
I while back I was seeing a business coach, Yishai, and he brought the English back into me! Now I use English in my daily life and am empowered by it!
Hence the idea came to me of teaching art classes in English! Well it's not entirely in English the kids are still "littlies" & so I am giving them a taste of English.
I have fixed my studio (again thanks to my wonderful coach) and have a table midst all the artistic chaos. I run small groups; no more than 4 or 5 kids. Keeping it small gives the kids an intimate & cozy environment to feel free to create & learn plus it allows me to have the time to give each child their personal attention.
I go with the flow, some kids are not so interested in the English & others eat it up & come back for more! Others prefer the painting, others the drawing. I simply create a fun & warm environment where they hear words here & there in English. Here's hoping that when they start to learn English at school they will remember their classes fondly & enjoy learning English!
Mostly it's about building up their confidence, believing in them & giving the space to create! To bring out their individual colours in them!
We are learning together, from each other! and sometimes I'm not sure who is enjoying themselves more!I love it!
In my opinion there is nothing more beautiful than children's art! I am very honored that I can be part of their journey!!
They are amazing little artists!!!

And on my blog under "Cloudscape Art Studio"
Enjoy looking at their wonderful masterpieces!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Published in "Erik the Great"

How exciting!
I've just been published in Erik The Great's Blog
What an honor!!
Erik is an amazing book reviewer! You really should have a look at his bolg!
He is only 10 years old & until I read about him I had no idea!What a privilege to be mentioned in his blog!!
Go Erik!
2 of my 3 books that I have illustrated for uTales are mentioned : 'Snug Snag ' by Laurel Heger and "The boy who cried Shmutz"  by Sandi Hershenson

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Boy who cried Shmutz

I am so proud to share the thoughts and ideas behind my wonderful new book "The Boy who cried Shmutz" by the truly gifted author Sandi Hershenson
Firstly I'd like to mention that I felt everything I'd ever done or thought has prepared me for this book, it just felt like pieces of a puzzle coming together
It all started November 2011 when I discovered uTales (a fantastic group of writers & illustrators looking to collaborate) I responded to an invitation from Sandi looking for illustrators, she liked my portfolio and sent me the story.
The minute I read the story I was hooked! I loved it & felt really attached to it!
It is a retelling of "The boy who cried wolf" and filled with Yiddish vocab ,funny, sweet & beautifully written!
Sandi & I, although miles away (she lives in the States) had so much in common and we forged an instant connection. Both being mothers to 4 kids we keep strange & busy hours and total different time zones, but what I loved best was that every minute of the day one of us was awake & pouring love & good energy into our book!

For the next couple of months I lived, ate & slept "Shmutz" I was constantly thinking of ideas, watching people & collecting information. I fell in love with the main character and based him on my youngest son Etai, who became the "shmutz" patroller in our house!
Etai laughing his "tuchus" off

Etai with his cheesey grin

A family trip to Bulgaria greatly inspired me with the house & buildings. One of my darling friends became the "soap lady" and even Sparky (our dog) got a part in the story.

I had the book printed for Etai (as yet it’s a digital book-although Sandi & I totally believe we will get it published) and to this day he insists upon reading it every night!

Ok so I thought I'd share a bit of the process with you
I first did some rough sketches, uploaded them into our book (uTales has a draft book format available-which is simple & user friendly) Sandi supplied the text. On approval I slowly worked into the finished artworks .
Rough sketches

Drawing them onto good quality paper with my most loved pencil & leaving my faithful HB pencil lines to shine through, giving it, I believe a really nice feeling .I then painted with my Dr Martin's inks, shaded with my caravan ache pencils and scanned the pictures one by one.

Hershel coming alive on my notice board

scanned picture of the buildings with Hershel
Working on Photoshop I added different dimensions, textures, and patterns …basically playing around with the images…letting them have a role in their destinations! Then because it is a digital book I was able to have some fun with special effects & "animation"
We then decided that the text would work better if I did it on InDesign with my drawings, which is what I did. I made a PDF for Sandi so that she could see it all & check for any mistakes or changes we need to make. She was as excited as me! So I then saved them all as jpegs & uploaded them into our book…added some sound effects & movement here & there ….AND  finally after 5 months we were ready to submit our book for approval…fingers crossed
Hershel on "Shmutz" patrol

Hershel laughing his "tuchus" off

The villagers "kvetching"
After a bit of twigging here & there our book was published! Most exciting!!!
Thank you Sandi for the wonderful opportunity!!! Together we will move mountains!
And thank you uTales for a fantastic site!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Snug Snag

A couple of months back(more than 4 actually) Laurel Heger contacted me through uTales (a wonderful platform for illustrators & authors to collaborate in creating eBooks) & asked me if I would be intererested in illustrating a poem she wrote called "The Snug Snag"...
What is a snag ,you may ask?!I also didnt know! first thought was Dr.Seuss...but no thats a "thneed"...well I went online & discovered that  its a tree that is no longer living ,but becomes alive with all the creatures living in it!a home for many!And so began the journey of our book together
Laurel lives in Washington state & I'm here in Israel,so we could catch up my early mornings or early evenings.It was easy & good fun to communicate!
I researched all the animals in the poems & printed out some pictures &  inspirations
I drew my sketches & planned my pages

Then I drew the pictures with my lovely new pencil (which by the way I could'nt find again when it ran out when I did I just about bought out all the stock!

some of the gorgeous animals that make this snag their home
and then colored it in on photoshop(because its an ebook I wanted to use RGB colours-vibrant & fun!)

Laurel was always possitive ,encouraging & understanding ... a pleasure to work with!
After some basic "animations" we sent it for approval to uTales
And to my suprise it was loaded right up!
So do yourselves a favour & have a look at our new book!: "The Snug Snag" by Laurel Heger and illustrated by me!
Thanks Laurel & thanks uTales for this wonderful opportunity!!!!

The Snug Snag