Sunday, February 19, 2023

Cookie Fan Art Project, #2

     I had so much fun working on this second project of mine. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats was one of my FAVORITE books when I was in kindergarten. I would have checked it out every week when our class got to go the library but there was a policy-you could not check out the same book two weeks in a row, you had to give other people a chance to enjoy the book the same as you. Sharing was hard concept for me.

    The story was super relatable for me at that age, snow was magical, it was fun to walk about the neighborhood making tracks in the snow, sliding on ice, and trying to be included with the big kids in their play.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the illustrations, as did so many others, from the bright colors, to the shadows. I had never seen collage used for illustration in a picture book before, and I loved it. This book won the Caldecott Medal in 1963, and deservedly so. This book was special in so many ways. It takes place in an urban setting, which had not really been featured before, and has as the main character a child of color. As one of my favorite librarians said, "It may be the best picture book every created." (Full disclosure-my favorite librarian is my sister.)

    I tried to mimic collage in my cookie art fan piece. I used different layers of frosting, transfers, candy melts, chocolate melts, and fondant to layer my piece, give it texture, and depth. I also tried using food safe brushes and food color gels to "paint" with on the cookie surface as well. Helpful tip for this week is that candy melt chocolates, once cooled, are NOT as easily carved as modeling chocolate, two very different things!

    Please also see the links below to learn more about what inspired Ezra Jack Keats and more about his work.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Cookie Fan Art Project 2023, #1

     New Year's Resolutions are not for me. They just seem like another way to fail. It's not that I don't believe in trying to do your best for in setting goals, I do. It just has never worked out for me to set yearly goals. I get overwhelmed or I start off well, and if I make one mistake or drift a bit, I abandon ship.     

    In 2021 I created a baking project for myself at the beginning of the year, the goal being to try at least 12 new to me recipes. It was a great success. I learned a lot, tried new processes and explored new flavors, and had fun sharing my results with friends and family.

    I ended 2022 creating a cookie project based on a Poem from a favorite childhood book of mine-that had cemented my love of cookies and reading, way back when I was about 3 or 4. I had so much fun with that project, that it became the foundation of my 2023 project.

    This year I am going to do a monthly (or maybe more-just depends) cookie fan art project from favorite books of mine. I will include reasons why I love the art in a particular book, techniques I used to create the cookies, book reviews, and baking tips.

    My first cookie project of the year is-Green Goo-with illustrations by Trey Chavez. We were partnered when my story was part of a contest. My book earned a digital publishing contract, in part, due to Trey's AMAZING illustrations. When we initially worked on the project together, I didn't really have any special instructions for Trey, just for him to read the story and do his thing. I never mentioned in the story that I pictured the main character as a redhead, and yet, that was what Trey came up with on his own. It was interesting to see my storyboard scratching's compared to what Trey created. I am always and forever thankful for Trey's work.

    When my story's rights reverted back to me and I had the chance to produce a printed copy of my book, I was so glad Trey was able to partner with my on this as well. It is the most current illustrations that I based my cookie fan art on for this project.

    In this project it was my first time trying to sculpt a cookie a bit more, layering the dough and carving it and baking it in layers. This was also my first time trying to create a comic book effect by outlining characters and objects with black edible ink.

    My pro-tip baking advice-I ALWAYS use salted butter-because on almost every baking show I have watched, the most common thing that contestants get dinged for is not enough salt, seasoning, or flavor.

My rough sketch on the left, Trey's AMAZING work on the right.

The cookies in comparison to the OUTSTANDING illustrations.