Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 1, 2011

Free Fall Friday

This week we are inspired by this wonderful illustration done by Joe Cepeda. He was featured last week on Illustrator Saturday.  This is the link: Here’s Betsy:

What a delightful image, a dad with his daughter, together with their dog. Don’t you love this? I do, especially the expressions on the three characters’ faces. They have just discovered something or they are on the hunt for something thrilling. How endearing it is that the parent seems as eager as the kid, and their dog. Notice how the three colors of the lanterns reflect colors in the characters’ clothing. And how the angle of the ground, and the different shades of blues used for the night and the light coming from the lanterns bring the image to life. It immediately sucks you into the world, and as for me, I want to know these characters names and their life situation, in addition to what lies ahead, beyond the glow of the lighted lanterns. The illustrator has done a bang-up job.

So be inspired by this artist. Dwell in this world. Travel back in your mind to when you were a child. Close your eyes and imagine your favorite month in the summer, when you played outside and did not want to come in when your parents called you.

Are you ready? Do you feel like a kid again? Now sense the coolness of the night air. Fireflies flit around you, creating flashes of light. How does your body feel when you jump to catch one? Are you successful? How long do you keep the insect in your cupped hands? Now hear the hoot of an owl from a near distance, the chirp of a cricket, your mother calling you to come in. You are not tired. You could stay outside into the wee hours of the night, if your parents would only allow it.

You notice your father watching you from the living room window. He is smiling. Then you hear an unusual noise or see something beyond the woods past your backyard. You run to announce this, beg to stay out longer. Your mother gives in. She lets the dog outside to join you. Then, soon, it is the three of you in the night: you, your father, and your dog.
What is out there for you to find. I want to know, don’t you?

I would love to hear what you come up with, but mostly, I want to hear that you are writing, even for only ten minutes a day. Do this for yourself.

My recap on the 2011 New Jersey SCBWI Annual Conference is here:
Enjoy the summer weather, and remember to wear suntan lotion! I speak from experience on this topic.

Thanks Betsy!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Joe is definitely a wonderful illustrator! What struck me about this picture was that, to me, the lanterns look like books!


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