The BiblioFiles: Betsy Bird Interviews Team Tolo

Team Tolo4_2Just posted! A special edition BiblioFiles with guest host Betsy Bird. She interviewed the creative team for Tolo, an original chose your path virtual adventure released by the Cotsen Children’s Library.

You are Tolo, a mouse and apothecary’s apprentice. When sickness strikes the distant village of Mossden, you must make a treacherous mountain crossing with the cure. From ice chutes to surprise attacks, the decisions are yours as you navigate the dangers and obstacles in your path.

Tolo is illustrated by David Deen, who grew up sketching the monsters and beasts in his brother’s Dungeons & Dragons manuals and reading fantasy books. After earning a BA in Art from the University of North Texas, David worked as a computer game artist before embarking on his freelance illustration career.

Tolo is written by Cotsen’s own Dana Sheridan! And since Dr. Dana can’t interview herself, we’re delighted to further introduce our guest host, Betsy Bird.

In addition to being a super librarian, Betsy Bird hosts two podcasts, has a popular blog called A Fuse #8 Production for School Library Journal, and reviews for Kirkus and the New York Times. Betsy is also the author of two picture books, co-author of Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, and editor of the middle grade anthology Funny Girl. Her most recent release is Long Road to the Circus, a children’s novel illustrated by Caldecott Award winning artist David Small.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview


Photos courtesy of Betsy Bird, David Deen, and Dana Sheridan

Studio Snapshots: David Deen

Today we’re featuring David Deen, the amazing illustrator of Tolo, Cotsen’s digital adventure! Furiously sketching and coloring owlbears and nagas from his brother’s D&D books, David also grew up reading fantasy books. After earning a BA in Art, David worked as a computer game artist before going freelance. We asked him to give us a quick tour of his Colorado studio (and we get to meet his cats)!


As my art has shifted to being mostly digital, my studio space has shrunk to a fairly compact little space in the corner of my basement. I still have a sketchbook for initial concept sketching and printouts of the information I need to reference. And we have two cats that keep me company as I work, Summer (shown above) and Smudge.

Most of the work is done on my iPad Pro, where I use a couple of different programs designed to provide the look of traditional media with the benefits of easy revisions and no loss of quality from the artwork being photographed or scanned.

While I’m working on the illustrations, I use the computer to find reference photos and look up information I might need… and to entertain my ears with music. Once the final images are created, I send them straight to the computer through Dropbox. Then I can finalize the files, send them to the client, and do all of the other business involved in illustration.

The studio for creating traditional artwork is currently being used as a guest bedroom; the drafting table is folded down and the supplies are all put away. I hope to get back in there in the new year and make some paintings again, but in the meantime, my little digital corner of the basement is enough to keep me making all the artwork I need.


Images courtesy of David Deen

Tolo

The Cotsen Children’s Library is delighted to announce Tolo, an original choose your own path virtual adventure written by Dana Sheridan, and illustrated by David Deen!

You are Tolo, a mouse and apothecary’s apprentice. When sickness strikes the distant village of Mossden, you must make a treacherous mountain crossing with the cure. The decisions are entirely yours as you navigate multiple dangers and treacherous obstacles. You must succeed…an entire village depends on you.

Follow this link to begin your journey


Stay tuned…awesome interviews and a blog contest coming soon!