Rae Crawford

New York City, NY

Rae Crawford is an illustrator, author, and comic artist from the most mysterious regions of the Chicagoland suburbs. She is the creator of the webcomic, I’m Broken, Send Help. When she graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Communication Design, she became a designer by day and an illustrator by night. She loves cartoons, comics, puns, cooking and working on fanzines. Rae currently lives in NYC with her partner, her iPad and a few assorted stuffed animals and plants.

Where do I go for inspiration?

When I’m feeling low on inspiration, I love to watch animated cartoons and movies of all genres and varieties. I browse Instagram where I follow amazing artists and creatives who are always doing something new and exciting. Sometimes, I’ll grab graphic novels from my bookshelf and spend all day soaking in them. But one of my favorite ways to get inspired is to converse with people I find really interesting and insightful. I believe your own perspective can only take you so far.

What is your favorite food?

“There is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with pizza.” – Daria

My favorite topping combos are pepperoni & mushroom and just sausage. Fruit does not belong on pizza. Looking at you, pineapples. I have lived in both Chicago and New York. Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria in Chicago has the best thin-crust pizza I’ve ever tasted. But I have a lot of love for my local NY joint. My preference is thin-crust but don’t sleep on the deep dish from Pequod’s (Chicago). I’d prefer my local joint to any fast food place but if necessary, give me Domino’s. Query me for additional pizza-related opinions, quotes and recommendations.

GET IN TOUCH ABOUT RAE

Art Process:

Before anything else, I break the project up in a to-do list and set goals. I invest as much time, love and care into brainstorming, outlining, and conceptualizing as I can because it is the foundation of the rest of the project. I usually conceptualize ideas with my laptop, ipad, sketchbook and notepad on hand because I never know where my ideas will be best articulated. I usually draw thumbnails and write dialogue side by side. Once the groundwork is solid, I begin sketching.

Sometimes I start on paper but more likely, I will start in Procreate. My sketches start pretty rough but it helps me plan out composition and iron out my thoughts with visuals. Then I do a couple rounds of refining my sketch until I’m happy with how the elements are harmonizing. The sketches I deliver are typically a solid reflection of the final product. Once I get approval, I do a final inking stage and then I spend a day or two agonizing over the color and texture. I work almost exclusively in Procreate now but I will export my finals into photoshop to adjust colors. As a designer myself, if I’m not delivering flat images, I will go in and label my layers accordingly.

Awards and honors:

Adobe Design Achievement & MAX Awards (2014, 2017)


Steve Metzger

New York City, NY

Steve Metzger is the award-winning author of many children’s books, including Detective Blue (SLJ starred review) and Pluto Visits Earth (Children’s Choice Book Awards Nominee). The first book in his forthcoming graphic-novel series, The Bumble Brothers (illustrated by Brian Schatell), will be published in Fall 2022. While growing up, he enjoyed being silly, which sometimes got him in trouble at school. Now that he’s a grown-up, he (mostly) keeps out of trouble by writing silly books. Steve lives with his family in New York City.

What was your favorite book as a child?

When I was a young child, I loved “The Red Carpet” by Rex Parkin. It’s a wild, rhyming read-aloud about a carpet that keeps rolling…and rolling…and rolling all through the town..

What cool travel spots would you most highly recommend?

Nothing too exotic here: Jamaica, Venice, Paris, Florence, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Canyon.

Awards and honors:

The Way I Act: (Parenting Press) Winner of the Gold Award in the illustrated children’s book category of Book Design of the Publishers Association of the West; Approved for classroom use by the California Reading Association.

Detective Blue: (Scholastic) Starred Review (SLJ); Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Nominee; IRA-CBC Children’s Choice Nominee: Kansas Bill Martin Jr. Children’s Book Award Nominee; Colorado Children’s Book Nominee.

Pluto Visits Earth!: (Scholastic) ABC Best Books for Children catalog.

Yes, I Can Listen: (Chicago Review Press) Eureka! Honor Award from the California Reading Association.

Bank Street Alumni Association Award

GET IN TOUCH ABOUT STEVE

Published Books:

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt (Scholastic) 2005

The Great Turkey Race (Scholastic) 2006

The Mixed-Up Alphabet (Scholastic) 2007

Skeleton Meets the Mummy (Scholastic) 2010

The Way I Act (Parenting Press) 2011

The Dancing Clock (Tiger Tales) 2011

Detective Blue (Scholastic) 2011

The Ice Cream King (Tiger Tales) 2011

Pluto Visits Earth! (Scholastic) 2012

The Turkey Train (Scholastic) 2012

Lincoln and Grace: Why Abraham Lincoln Grew a Beard (Scholastic) 2013

This Is the House that Monsters Built (Scholastic) 2016

Toto’s Story (self-published chapter book) 2016

Princess Kitty (HarperCollins) 2017

Yes, I Can Listen! (Chicago Review Press) 2019

Turn Off Your Silly Phone! (Koehler Books) 2020

A Hawk Is Thankful Board Book (Familius) 2022

The Bumble Brothers Graphic Novel Series (Reycraft) 2022

Location:

Visit Steve at:

Available for School Visits:

My program (PreK – 5th Grade) features:

Award-winning picture books, including The Way I Act, Detective Blue, and Yes, I Can Listen!

Science connections are made with Pluto Visits Earth!

The power of writing is emphasized through Lincoln and Grace: Why Abraham Lincoln Grew a Beard.

The six traits of writing, especially “point of view,” is communicated through Toto’s Story: My Amazing Adventures with Dorothy in Oz.

An engaging PowerPoint presentation: the process of how a picture book is created– from idea to publication.