New Book – Kid, Grandpa, Donut

Kid, Grandpa, Donut book cover Webcomic Kindle

I’m very happy to announce that my new book Kid, Grandpa, Donut is finished and ready to read!

Here is the official description:

One pink donut with sprinkles. Two people who want to eat it.

If Kiddo can finish his chores before Grandpa does, he gets the whole thing! With the help of his kitty, he is determined to win, but how far is Kiddo willing to go for victory? And, really, are cats good partners?

James Hough, author and illustrator of Starving Artist (Jim Public:2013), brings another story of hard work, sacrifice and the pursuit of a delicious treat, with a child-grandparent relationship and lots of drawings of a cat being a cat!

The story was always meant to be light and fun, yet it took me about 18 months to finish! I’m hoping to improve my time on the next one. I wrote so many versions of this story, some much shorter and some much longer. At one point “Grandpa” was “Dad” and the twist was that he made ice cream in the garage (???). My hope is that this finished version is less random…

Ultimately, this story became what it is because of two main inspirations:

  1. Cats are cute and furry, yet they have infinite talent for getting in the way, and
  2. I love watching my kids’ relationships with their grandparents, particularly with my wife’s dad.

Take those influences from real life, and throw in some Scott Pilgrim, Mo Willems, Calvin & Hobbes and lots of color, and you get Kid, Grandpa, Donut. I hope you’ll read and let me know what you think!

Kid, Grandpa, Donut is available to read any time as a webcomic. You can also purchase from the Kindle store. It’s published digitally by Jim Public, 2019.

Webcomic Kindle

Happy reading! While you’re perusing, I’ll be seeing if there is a story to be told featuring our other kitty, Tiger Feather.

Donut and Tiger Feather on the bookshelf

Donut (left) and Tiger Feather

Silly M.I.A.

james_hough_mia This is my personal favorite of the Fujikawa-esque fan arts I’ve made. It brings together M.I.A.’s loudness and Gyo’s softness, and I just kind of like how all the pieces came together. Now I need to take some time to finish coloring a piece with the working title, “Bad Blood.”

Dan and Phil, Jumping on the Ultimate Bed

james_hough_dan_and_phil My daughter is devoted to Dan and Phil. It wasn’t practical to fly them out last December for a Christmas surprise, so I made a Gyo Fujikawa-inspired fan art as a gift. I owe her friend Ashley a debt of gratitude for consulting with me to ensure that I didn’t mess up any details! It turns out that Phil’s colorful bed set is available at IKEA, so my daughter’s bed now sports the comforter and pillowcase that you see on the right. Nothing against Dan’s monotones at all—Phil’s palette just works better on her sky blue walls.

Lorde, Riding the Bus with the Knees Pulled In

james_hough_lorde Sometimes when you love a thing you have to do something about it. I love Lorde’s music, and too many times I’ve expressed my feelings by listening to her too much. So, to keep me from overdoing it on the tunes, I made some fan art! I also love Gyo Fujikawa, so I did what I could to channel her line and color, and her light touch:)

Runaway Soccer Ball, new and improved!

I made this illustration during the run-up to the 2014 World Cup. I was never thrilled with the final product: it needed some attention. So, I worked with the color palette and value, and now I am happier with the artwork. Watching little kids play soccer is a unique, crazy joy, and here I give the soccer ball’s perspective on it. James Hough, Runaway Soccer Ball, digital illustration, 2014

Postcard from April 2014

I am working on my current postcard that I mail out to art directors, and it occurs to me that I have not shared my design from April. See? If you need drawings of gardens, furry monsters, or hovering robot artists, I’m your man! James Hough, designer artist illustrator postcard (front), April 2014

SCBWI Picture Book Workshop in DFW, with Priscilla Burris

I’m passing along the details of this workshop—I’m looking forward to it, and it should be particularly helpful for aspiring illustrators. I learned so much from last year’s workshop with Dan Yaccarino.
Dear NC/NE Texas SCBWI illustrators, Do not miss the April 20 SCBWI picture book workshop, BLENDING WORDS WITH ILLUSTRATIONS. We are lucky to host Priscilla Burris, a successful Southern California-based illustrator/author who has published many books for kids. She is also the illustrator coordinator for SCBWI. As an added bonus, Priscilla will do portfolio critiques for the first eight who register and pay for the conference and a critique. There are still a few spots open, so send your registration form in by April 13 to reserve your spot. In this full-day workshop, Priscilla will share her views on the publishing industry and what it takes to create a successful picture book. Targeted to illustrators and author/illustrators, you’ll leave with a better understanding of how to blend words with illustrations. There will be lots of hands-on work, so bring a sketch pad, pens and pencils as well as your favorite picture book. WHEN: Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. WHERE: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1330 S, Fielder Road, Arlington, TX 76013 WORKSHOP COST: Admission is $45 for members, $60 for non-members. PORTFOLIO CRITIQUE COST: Admission is $35 for members, $45 for non-members. Go to www.scbwi.org/Regional-Chapters.aspx?R=47&sec=News to download the registration form. Please plan to join Priscilla and other SCBWI members for a casual Dutch treat dinner Friday night in Dallas and/or Saturday following the conference in Arlington. Times and locations are on the chapter website). We look forward to seeing you. Watch the chapter website www.scbwi.org/Regional-Chapters.aspx?R=47 for the latest news and events.

February

February poem, written and illustrated by Jim Public In honor of this most brief of months, a poem, illustrated.
FEBRUARY
The clouds, a blanket overhead, Won’t let the sun get out of bed, And crows among the seagulls fly Like salt and pepper in the sky.

Superhero Kid Portrait on Canvas

Jim Public, Superhero Kid, June 4, 2012 I received some commissions to make a few superhero portraits on canvas. I was able to make the colors and characterization a little richer in these paintings than in the works on paper, and to experiment with depth of color and lighting effects by using acrylic glazes. Here is the first one I finished.

Digital Baby Daughter

Illustrated Baby Daughter, Jim Public, 2003 My daughter was born during the time of my graduate studies at UNLV, where I was learning about digital art from the illustrious Helga Watkins. In an effort to improve my skills and create a portfolio piece, I used Adobe Illustrator to make this vector portrait of my baby girl. I like the idea that, because it’s a vector image, she could be scaled up infinitely without losing her smooth, baby features.

Two Sisters as Superheroes

Little Girl Superhero Portrait, Jim Public, 2012 Baby Girl Superhero Portrait, Jim Public, 2012 While working on new paintings and illustrations in the studio, I have also been working on an upsurge of new portrait commissions lately. There are so many painters who do traditional portraiture better than I do–not to mention photographers–that I prefer the fun energy of transforming people into comic- and cartoon-style heroes.

New Homepage Illustration

Homepage Illustration, Jim Public I have just streamlined this website, and the homepage now features this new illustration of some characters standing in front of one of my paintings with their attention elsewhere.

Words in the Air

Words in the Air, Jim Public, 120207
Sometimes I like to talk out loud when nobody is there. My brother calls it craziness, my mother calls it prayer, my father calls it poetry, and all of these are fair; but I just like to watch the shapes my words make in the air.