The Wheel Diver

The Wheel Diver

A few layouts from The Wheel Diver, Ashley Schwellenbach’s third book. This 488-pager has been so much fun to design. Michael Arras made it somewhat easy by sending the 21 chapter illustrations one at a time so that there was breathing room between them. But there weren’t any sketches, which meant I had to run with whatever showed up.

For some perverse reason I thoroughly enjoyed working like this.



Reworked an old drawing that was never right. And, how annoying is it to realize that WordPress chews the pixels out of images? The image has a background leaf detail, which is still fuzzy even after multiple file regrinds.

In any case I’ll have to go back into this one. Still not happy with it.

The author to her book

Hannah is the 2017 winner of this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition at her school and consequently I can’t seem to pull myself away from the site. This poem by Anne Bradstreet made me laugh out loud. It takes me forever to edit a book, and the first line of the poem below is pretty much where I live until it’s done.

But . . . is it ever done?

I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array ’mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.



Good one. More Hannah, she’s doing all the drawings for a short (short) movie/animation/story/thing with parts that do and do not move and lots of words you have to read.



Found yesterday at the SLO Botanical Gardens where I volunteer once a week. The first day of the new year was sunny at 8 a.m., cold, and quiet in the gardens.


Stingrays by Mignon Khargie

I was so sure this drawing was already in here. Not new, in fact this is several years old.

Paper + Pencil


I’ve noticed that Hannah’s drawings change depending on the paper she uses. For instance, paper with texture makes her drawings a little soft, and there’s a more confident line in any piece that’s done on the regular stuff we use in our printer. It must also have something to do with the pencil that’s nearby when she feels inclined to draw. I’ve given up on buying art pencils since those always go missing. In any case she has to like how it feels in her hand and how it works on paper or it doesn’t happen.

But, boy, when everything comes together like it did above …

The fiddle leaf fig


Astonishing plant that seems to thrive on benign neglect. I found it a couple of weeks ago in Morro Bay and only just watered it this past weekend. It’s sitting under a window and I’m afraid that the light will not be enough to compensate for the draft from that uninsulated wall and old window. I’ve read that it dislikes being moved to a larger pot until it’s about ready to walk out of the current one, which works for me. I’ve left it alone except for cleaning its leaves, and my reward this week? A new leaf.