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A Rumble-Grumble Friday Fan Art

December 3, 2010

I’ve been wanting to do a series of retrospective posts about breaking into the children’s publishing industry since 2010 marks a decade of yours truly having my books published. I had grand plans of comparing and contrasting what the market was like in 2000 vs. 2010 and what I know now that I didn’t know then, etc, etc.

I never got around to it because I have been so darn busy with The Search for WondLa – getting the first book finished, doing pre-pub press, going on tour, and (now) preparing for the start of the second book. A dream-come-true life for me. To say that the last ten years have been an amazing journey would be a gross understatement. But I am usually off onto the next project, only occasionally looking back to see what I’ve created throughout my life. (I suppose this is why an “Art of Tony D” book doesn’t exist. I want to wait and release it later in my life.) All of this reflection was brought perfectly into focus at the Miami Book Fair that I signed at just a few weeks ago.

Right in front of my line was 4 year-old Marina who handed me her rendition of the Grimblegrinder from my debut picture book, Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure. She then handed me a carton of Moon Pies with “Thank You Tony” scrawled on the lid. I realized that the love and passion I put into creating my stories for kids comes through and I am validated each and every time I go out and do an event. I guess that’s the only anecdotal message I can relay, “If you love what you do, the world will respond in kind.” A bit cheesy, I know. But I believe it to be true.

Thanks for the kind gifts, Marina. Here are some old original sketches of the Grimblegrinder from 1997 that I dug up for you to see. This was when I was still trying to figure out what he looked like. Keep drawing. Keep dreaming.

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.