Sunday, March 31, 2019
Red-tailed Hawk flying over San Anselmo
Pelican and a Boat with Galapagos Heron in Inverness
Blue Heron in Briones
Flower Man at the Estero in Pt. Reyes
Friday, March 29, 2019
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Little Gull: Lost at Sea Book Now Available in Print (in full color) as well as in a Kindle e-book Format
An Interview with the Author of the book Little Gull: Lost at Sea
Interviewer: What is the story behind the story of Little Gull: Lost at Sea?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: I wrote and illustrated Little Gull in 2019. I love to go to the various beaches in Pt.Reyes National Seashore and am always amused by the sea gulls. We are also lucky here in California to witness whales migrating past various sites on the Pt. Reyes peninsula. So I came up with a story that included sea gulls and whales.
Interviewer: Is there any significance behind the names Greta Gull and Wanda Whale?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: No, I just thought Greta Gull (GG) and Wanda Whale (WW) sounded good.
Interviewer: I remember you telling me that your first book, Little Cloud, had a message of friendship and you hoped it would instill awareness of climate change, however subliminally. Are you trying to do that again with this new title?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: I used to write little morality short stories when I was very young. I was strongly influenced by Aesop’s fables (still one of my favorite books). So, yes, I have a tendency to add some little positive takeaway in my writing. In Little Gull, that is a bit tempered. Although it is fine and good to make friends with strangers, and even to count on them to help you out in a jam, it’s not a good idea to take any kind of serious risk hoping someone will always be there to rescue you if things don’t work out.
Interviewer: Can you tell the reader a little bit about your illustration process. The artwork in Little Gull looks different from that in Little Cloud.
Lucy Autrey Wilson: Again, I wanted to make both a digital and a print book so needed to make as much of the art vector based to reduce the file size. Drawing water with mathematical lines and curves, however, turned out to be really hard. So, I took original photographs I shot at the local beaches and converted them to traced vector images for the backgrounds, and then painted in Illustrator on top of the converted photos.
Interviewer: What source material did you use for your illustrations?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: All of the birds and ocean scenes are based on my photographs. I’ve never had the good fortune to see a humpback whale breach, however, so I had to go searching for a lot of other reference to draw the various whale pictures.
Interviewer: What do you hope is the take away of your reader?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: First and foremost, I hope the reader is entertained. Secondly, I hope the message of friendship and the benefits of helping others resonates. And finally, humans have created a mess filling up our oceans with plastic and other garbage. It is killing off the creatures who live in and depend on the sea. So, I hope to raise awareness to this problem as a little added benefit.
Page 16 Photo shot at Limantour Beach in Pt. Reyes, 2017
Page 24 Big wave photo shot on Seymour Island in the Galapagos, 2017
Page 30 Photo shot at North Beach in Pt. Reyes, 2012
Page 4 Birds at the beach photo shot at McClures Beach in Pt. Reyes, 2016
Friday, March 15, 2019
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
The children's book Little Cloud is now available in print and as an e-book on Amazon.com First published as an e-book in 2014, and a print edition on Blurb, it has now been made available as a print edition on Amazon. Here's more information about the book, in the form of an interview:
Interviewer: What is the story behind the story of Little Cloud?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: I wrote and illustrated Little Cloud in 2014, at the peak of California’s driest period since record-keeping began, between late 2011 and 2014. I was wishing for more rain so thought a story about a rain cloud might be nice.
Interviewer: Is there a reason your other main character is a blue jay named Jack?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: Since I made the cloud feminine, I thought it would be good to make the bird male. I have twin grandsons who were four years old at the time, the age target of my story, and by making one of the characters male I hoped to appeal to them. Neither of the twins is named Jack, but that name seemed to fit. I was also inspired by my backyard blue jays.
Interviewer: Can you tell the reader a little bit about your illustration process. It looks like your illustrations were drawn using vector software, is that correct?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: Yes. I wanted to make both a digital and a print book. The requirements for an e-book meant getting the file size as small as possible. I needed to create the art using vector software, instead of raster images. A raster image is artwork created in a non digital medium, then scanned in to the computer becoming a digital file made up of pixels. When these raster images are enlarged, the image quality diminishes significantly and the file sizes are much bigger. Vector artwork, on the other hand, is composed of mathematical lines and curves. Not only does vector art take up a lot less digital space, it can be scaled to any size without losing quality.
Interviewer: How did you come up with your book title?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: The title Little Cloud just fit the story. After I first published the e-book in 2014, I realized it was the same title as a book by Eric Carle, one of my favorite children’s book author/illustrators. That was certainly not intentional.
Interviewer: What source material did you use for your illustrations?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: I am a photographer and am always looking for new ways to use the tens of thousands of photos I’ve taken over the years. At the time I wrote Little Cloud, I was also travelling up to Seattle a couple times a year to visit my daughter’s family, including the aforementioned twins. So the photo reference in the beginning of Little Cloud was shot in Washington State. Where Little Cloud travels south to, is Marin County, California, where I live.
The tall mountains in my story are based on the Olympic mountains, as seen from the top of Mount Walker, in Washington State. The tallest of the Olympic mountains is Mount Olympus at 7,965 ft.
The body of water Little Cloud and Jack fly over is Puget Sound, as seen from Seattle.
Small Mountain is based on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County. Although the biggest mountain around where I live, its peak is 2,572 ft. much shorter than the Olympic mountains.
The various flower drawings are based on photographs taken at the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg, California in 2013.
Interviewer: What do you hope your readers take away from the book?
Lucy Autrey Wilson: First and foremost, I hope the reader is entertained. Secondly, I hope the message of friendship, and the benefits of helping others, resonates. And finally, I hope there is a little more awareness of the beautiful world we live in and a desire to help combat climate change to keep it that way.