In honor of the book birthday of my newest picture book, TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS!, I have such an awesome treat for you! First, a guest post from my incredible illustrator, Zachariah OHora, about his creative process. Then,there is an awesome giveaway where two lucky winners will get some great prizes (scroll down to the end for more information on the prizes, though you don’t want to skip over this great post, do you?)
by Zachariah OHora
When I first heard about this project I was super excited to work with Chad (creative director at Abrams) and Sudipta.
That excitement quickly turned to fear when I realized I’d never really drawn dinosaurs before.
Not even as a kid.
Plus there seemed to be a whole lot of dinosaurs I’d never heard of.
I think there were like five dinos when I was a kid and half of them don’t even exist anymore, er, I mean, they ALL don’t exist anymore, but uh…you get the point.
I realized I couldn’t just fudge through with a vague lizard creature.
So I started where all ignorant people do, with a Google search.
Fear turned to terror as I collected images. NO WAY WAS I GOING TO PULL THIS OFF!!!
Then I had an idea. One that might appear brilliant enough to fool everyone into NOT noticing I can’t draw dinosaurs. What if it was kids DRESSED as dinos instead?
This seemed like the perfect solution as it allowed me a good deal of creative license.
(Left: One of the first sketches for T Wrecks Boy. Right: Then I thought since he was always wrecking stuff perhaps he couldn’t see out of his mask)
Then Abrams politely showed me a book that already had my “brilliant” idea in it that came out two years earlier.
Illustrator practices and practices drawing dinosaurs!
Until finally the characters ended up having some human qualities but were most definitely dinosaurs!
Fortunately everyone was happy with the new version and that’s what you see in the book.
Fear of failure forced me to get my proper dinosaur education on. And best of all Sudipta was happy with them too.
Sometimes in a collaboration you have to go way out of your comfort zone.
And that’s a good thing.
Zachariah OHora is an illustrator and author of a number of children’s books. His debut STOP SNORING, BERNARD! was awarded the Society of Illustrators Founder’s Award and was chosen as the PA One Book for 2012. His book NO FITS NILSON! was awarded a Kirkus star and was the Huffington Post Book of the Year for 2013. He lives and works in the tiny village of Narberth, PA with his wife, two sons, and two cats.
Sudipta wasn’t just “happy” with these illustrations — she was thrilled! (Why am I referring to myself in the third person??)
Thank you, Zack, for such a great and insightful post. And just so you know, I hadn’t heard of a Gallimimus either — not until my then 4-year old son educated me on that and all the other dinos in the book (except the Tyrannosaurus — I had heard of that!).
And now, for the part you’ve all been waiting for…
In honor of TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS, we here at Nerdy Chicks Rule are going to give away TWO prizes to one lucky winner.
First, the winner is going to score a copy of TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS! signed by both Zach and me! And second, the lucky winner will get an original sketch from the book, signed by the illustrator himself!
Book and art — how can you not like that?
How do I win? asks my faithful blog reader.
It’s very simple.
1. To register, fill in the form below with your name, email, and Twitter and/or Facebook handles. (Don’t forget to hit ‘Submit’!)
2. Tweet or post about the TYRANNOSAURS WRECKS! release with the hashtag #TWRECKS and tag Sudipta (@SudiptaBQ on Twitter or Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Children’s Book Author on FB) AND tag Zack (@ZachariahOHora on Twitter). Don’t know what to tweet/post? Cut and paste one of the suggestions below:
- Happy book birthday to TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS! http://wp.me/p126Z2-N4 #TWRECKS @SudiptaBQ @ZachariahOHora
- Do you know #TWRECKS? http://goo.gl/m28AnO @SudiptaBQ @ZachariahOHora
- Got #TWRECKS? http://goo.gl/7nd3xU @SudiptaBQ @ZachariahOHora
3. Every time you share using the handles you’ve registered, you’ll get one entry. The contest will close on April 7, 2014 at 11:59pm. At that time, we will gather up all the entries and choose a WINNER!