I Art You

I Art You Poster

Calling all art lovers and art enthusiasts! Ignite your inner creativity and foster your imaginative spirit in National Book Store’s ‘I Art You’ event. Enjoy a Saturday of free and fun-filled art activities and demos designed for artists-at-heart. Join National Book Store’s ‘I Art You’ event for free on August 6, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Grand Atrium, Shangri-la Plaza Mall. Registration starts at 10 a.m.

The event is made possible in partnership with Shangri-la Plaza, Canson, Chameleon, Caran d’Ache, Derwent, Faber-Castell, Grumbacher, Pebeo, Winsor & Newton Pigment Marker, Prestige Paper, Raphael, Sakura, Sargent, Sennelier, Simbalion, Tsukineko, Tulip, and Zig Kuretake.

Tag #NBSIArtYou to join the discussion.

RSVP here: http://bit.ly/IArtYou.

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Draw The Line by Laurent Linn (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

I’m so pleased to welcome author Laurent Linn today to the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2016. Laurent upcoming debut novel Draw The Line is a unique YA novel that not only offers arts/illustrations showcasing Laurent’s talent as an art director at Simon & Schuster but also a powerful story of self-discovery.

I had so much fun asking Laurent few questions during the interview which I hope will push you to add this beautiful book to your TBR pile.

Following my interview with Laurent are few sample interior arts from Draw The Line, Laurent bio along with places where to find him online. Then there’s also the book description and where to pre-order copies of Draw The Line before it hit shelves this May 10th, 2016.

Also, be sure and check the bottom of the post as well for all the details on a special giveaway!

Interview with Laurent Linn

You’ve contributed a lot of art and design for picture books, chapter books, and even YA books. What made you decide to finally create your own book instead of just providing art for others? How’s the transition for you?

In my artistic career, I’ve created puppets (I was a puppet designer and builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop for many years, which was SO fun), illustrated books as you mention, and am also currently an art director and book designer for all types of books. But a few years ago, I realized I had stories of my own to tell and characters of my own to give life to. The power of literature is so important and I decided I really wanted to hopefully inspire teens — and others — to try and make the world a better place if at all possible. I know that books do that for me, so I’m hoping Draw the Line may possibly effect some readers in positive ways.

Because I am fully involved in the children’s book world, the transition has been very natural. However, being on the author side of things does take some getting used to! It is very different when it’s your “baby” people are reading and talking about. It’s a bit surreal.

Draw the Line is a unique novel with all its artistic illustrations. Can you tell us about your writing process? Do you have to actually draw first the scenes or just picture them in your mind then write?

Yes, I’m doing something very unusual with my YA novel: it has many pages of illustration. In fact, there are 90 pages of art (!) so it’s quite unique. The art is “drawn” by the main character, Adrian, so we get to see a big part of who he is by what he creates. We’ll see his sketches as well as comics of his secret webcomic superhero creation, Graphite. For the process, I wrote the novel first, keeping the art in mind as I revised the many drafts. I had a clear idea in my head of what the art would be like, and I did do sketches as I wrote and designed the comic characters and world over time. But the art came last since there is much more text than art, and the text tells the main story. I can’t wait to hear what readers think of such an illustrated YA.

How different was the original version of Draw the Line from the final version? What changed?

Extremely different! When I first started writing the book, the story was much simpler and, honestly, not very interesting. I created a main character that was more of a “problem” than a “real” teen. But after a few false starts, and revisions, the main character clicked into place, as did his friends, and the story took off running. I have an incredible writing critique group and there’s no way I could have shaped the book so well without them. This book has been through many many revisions and it just got deeper and fuller each time.

Could you tell us a bit about Graphite? What is his origin? Who is he based on?

Adrian, the main character in Draw the Line, is a talented artist who is obsessed with Renaissance art, superheroes (and all things sic-fi/fantasy), and he’s non-violent. He also happens to be gay. Except for his two best friends, no one understands Adrian — in fact, he tries to stay hidden at school to not be noticed. To express his passions, he creates a gay Renaissance art inspired superhero named Graphite. Adrian creates comics of Graphite’s adventures and posts them on an anonymous website. No one at school knows it’s his . . . for now.

Graphite represents the side of Adrian that wants to be free and able to simply be who he is, without prejudice or fear. He creates him only for himself. But, when the time comes for Adrian to decide how to make a difference in the world, and perhaps not be so hidden, Graphite inspires him in the real world to take action.

Draw The Line Art 1

As a writer, do you feel like you are writing yourself or pieces of yourself in Draw the Line? Why?

None of the characters are based on me exactly, and Adrian is quite different from who I was at 16 years old. But it’s interesting you use the word “pieces”. Definitely, there are pieces of me in all the characters. There have to be. Otherwise the emotions wouldn’t be true and the needs and hopes and fears wouldn’t be honest. There may be a few plot elements that are loosely based on experiences in my life, but I’ve changed them all to be Adrian’s experiences in very specific ways. Every aspect of the book must help or challenge him in ways that he will grow.

Did you encounter any challenges while writing Draw the Line? How did you deal with it?

I’d say the main challenge is common with most writers: time! Since I have a full-time job, which I love, and am also involved in lots of children’s book organizations, and I have family/friends and other things in life, finding the time to write and explore and fail and succeed is always hard. But the trick is that you don’t “find” time, you must plan it. Most evenings and weekend are sacred for me, and everyone in my life knows and gets that (thank goodness!) Most all my friends are artists in some capacity, so they’re creating as well. We help energize each other even though we’re in our own little spaces. Also, I don’t watch TV like most people. That’s writing time!

Where do you see your writing will go after Draw the Line? Do you think you’ll stick with this type of format or branch out into something else?

I’ve already got my next book idea in the works! It’s funny how our brains work — as soon as I was done with the last draft of Draw the Line, my brain started thinking of more ideas and I soon found myself writing notes about it every day. I can’t say more than it will be an entirely new story with new characters. And it, too, will be contemporary realistic YA fiction. Also, I definitely want it to have illustrations. Stay tuned!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes. In Draw the Line, I wanted to explore the idea of how someone uses their real-life superpower to make a difference. It’s one thing to fantasize about what our imagined superpowers might be. But in real life, everyone has unique talents and skills that really are powerful — you just have to conquer your fears of using it. For Adrian, his superpower is his art, so he must find a way to use art to fight brutality and prejudice. For his friend Audrey, her superpower is being an incredible friend no matter what (even if she doesn’t see that at first,) etc.

So I’d love for a reader to come away from reading Draw the Line thinking about their own superpowers, their own unique qualities that only they have. There’s no reason you can’t make the world a better place simply by being YOU.


Thank you so much Laurent for stopping by today and for taking the time to answer all my questions above. Looking forward for Draw The Line to hit shelves this coming May 2016.


Laurent LinnLaurent Linn, author and illustrator of Draw the Line, began his career as a puppet designer/builder in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, creating characters for various productions, including the Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island films. With Henson for over a decade, he won an Emmy Award (four-time Emmy nominee) for his work on Sesame Street, eventually becoming the Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets. In addition to writing and illustrating books for teens, Laurent is currently an art director and designer of books for kids and teens. Laurent is also on the Board of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is Artistic Advisor for the annual Original Art exhibit at the prestigious Society of Illustrators in New York. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well as at LaurentLinn.com.

Find Laurent

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Draw The LineTitle: Draw The Line
Author: Laurent Linn
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Pages: 528
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background at his Texas high school. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but those traits only bring him the worst kind of attention.

In fact, the only place he feels free to express himself is at his drawing table, crafting a secret world through his own Renaissance art-inspired superhero, Graphite.

But in real life, when a shocking hate crime flips his world upside-down, Adrian must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.

In Draw the Line, Laurent Linn’s debut novel, he writes a charged story—illustrated with his own extraordinary drawings—about discovering your own superpowers, deciding how to use them, and where to draw the line.

Book Links:

Book Site | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads



Draw The Line Art 2 Draw The Line Art 3


What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed Advanced Reader Copy of Draw The Line as well as a bookmark (custom made from Simon & Schuster)Draw The Line Giveaway Prizes

The Rules:

  • Open to US/Canada residents only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends April 12, 2016
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!

celebrating debutantes 2016 collage


Vendetta Art

Today is the official released day of Vendetta by Catherine Doyle, the first book of Blood for Blood series published by Chicken House Ltd.. So Happy Book Birthday to Vendetta!!!

I have read the book few weeks ago and we are organizing a five days blog tour via PBT in partnership with Scholastic Philippines which will run from March 02-06, 2015. Aside from reviews and interviews there will be exciting trivias and interesting guest post that I’m sure you will all enjoy. I myself is excited to share them to all of you. We might also do a give away, you just have to convinced me first to let go of my own advance copy. 😀

Before the blog tour, let me share first this cool Vendatta Art made by author Alice Oseman as a sneak peak. This art perfectly represents the three main characters of this new contemporary YA series, Blood for Blood by Catherine Doyle. Trust me, you need to meet these three characters as well as the other characters of this beautiful series.  There are five brooding hot guys in this novel! I won’t give more details, just go and read the book.



Check these links for more information about the book, Vendetta: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher | Author

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

“If you don’t learn to carpe the diem, you will be, while most certainly not Nobody, something less than a Somebody.”

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy.

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends—the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art—and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Personal Thoughts:

After reading the sampler of The Fine Art of Truth or Dare from the amazon, I instantly like the first chapter. So I grab a copy right away to continue reading the whole book. The first chapter is written in a unique way wherein Ella Marino, the main character is declaring her undying love for Edward Willing. It contains a list of facts about Edward, and Ella’s dreamy criteria of her prince charming. Since I haven’t read the synopsis of this book before diving to actual reading, I assume that Edward Willing is the male character lead. So when Ella pointed out in the last sentence of chapter one, that Edward Willing is in fact dead since 1916, I can’t resist checking out the story.

When I continue reading, I found out that my assumption is wrong. Edward Willing is not the lead male character. Though he is part of the story there is another guy that holds Ella’s interest. The guy is Alex Bainbridge, a typical Mr. Perfect who is almost unattainable like the long-dead artist.

Ella has a quirk of talking to Edward Willing self-portrait. And in her subconscious, Edward Willing actually talk back to her. So they have this conversation in between chapters. At first I found it as a unique addition but after a while I honestly get bored reading them. Though there are some interesting topics in those conversations like the concept of undying love and arts, in the end I find them unnecessary. Even the research and excerpts from books chronicling Edward Willing’s life and art works are not that important in the story. Those are the parts that drags the story for me.

Now lets talk about the two real main characters, Alex and Ella. These two are total opposite in terms of status in life. Ella is a scholar kid who loves art. She draws almost everywhere – on her sketchbook, on walls, on her bed and even on her jeans. She mostly draws architectural structures like doors and windows. Not the most enticing subject to draw but she surely got talent in art. One of the reason why she loves Edward Willing is because of art. Ella belongs to the non-popular kid in school while Alex is in the top of the elite group. A popular guy who is also smart, good-looking, talented and rich. A typical Mr. Perfect with a cliché life background. Someone whose life is already planned by his parents, complete with a map, instructions and a goal. But also someone who wants to be something else than what his parents wants him to be.

Alex and Ella’s world collides through french lessons, when Alex was assigned to tutor Ella. Later on they become a couple and confronted with different relationship issues. Ella struggles to tell her friends about her relationship with Alex so she ends up lying about their real status. Alex also can’t tell to his friends about them which later results for more misunderstanding between them. Then everything is thrown in the way. The story tries to deal with a lot of things that somehow it didn’t work all properly. Between the battle of truth and lies, family issues, friendships, self-acceptance, art, and love, the story struggles to focus on the plot. The in-between chapters about Edward Willing doesn’t help too. Basically the structure of the novel doesn’t work for me.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare is a lighthearted read. Disregard some unnecessary information about the dead artist, this book is still enjoyable.

YA Books Cover Art Transformation

When I was browsing Devian Art this morning, I saw this particular photo entitled Romanticide that looks so much alike with the book cover art of Passion by Lauren Kate. The art photo is uploaded by Nathalia Suellen under her Devian Art account, Lady-Sympjonia. I’m not sure which one is the original but I assume Lauren Kate’s publisher bought the rights for the design to be used for Passion. I also tried to search other art designs turned to book covers and below are some of the cover arts I found online. On the left side are the photos or art designs while on the right side are the version used as book cover art by some young adult books.

What do you think about the art design transformation?

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

“For a while, for as long as you’re looking at it, that painting is the world and you get to be in it.”

an artist, a dreamer… a long mean night

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate:

tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for.

Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city.

And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

Personal Thoughts:

The story is set over one long night, as the characters cruises in the dark of adventure and discovery. A night of searching for Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist who paints great canvasses around the city with his friend, Poet. Lucy is so determined to meet Shadow as she believe he is the one. So she embarks in a one night journey with her friends Jazz and Daisy together with Dylan, Leo and Ed as the boys proclaims they know where to find Shadow. As readers we are fully aware of the irony of this mission because Ed is Shadow and Lucy and Ed knows each other. They went to the same school, became classmates and they even dated once. So how can Lucy find someone who is already in front of her?

“It’s like the sun during an eclipse.
I know it’ll blind me but I have to look.”

Cath Crowley pour the story through art. She gives life to Shadow through those paintings in the wall. The painting captures Shadow’s life and experiences and Cath Crowley makes it easy to understand Shadow through art. Each art on the brick walls and the decaying structures were full of life and emotions that shouts all over the city.

Cath Crowley’s writing style is poetic, flowing and descriptive. Each graffiti were vividly beautiful and full of life. The way she describes Shadow’s works will put you in front of the wall she’s painting in your imagination. The vibrancy of the colours and even the mind and feelings of the artist were perfectly captured by how detail she describes each masterpiece. You will feel the grief, love, desire, despair and passion of the painter. She effortlessly bring the images to life which will make you more eager to see all those painted walls for real. And will make you crave for your own graffiti artist who can paint like Shadow.

“Most times I look at Shadow and Poet’s work, I see something different from what the words are telling me. I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall.”

I like how the characters connect through art. Ed and Lucy are like masterpiece in the making. There are a lot of potentials in them as an artist that they haven’t really discover yet. The dreams that Lucy cultivate in her makes her more daring and vibrant. Ed is a real artist hiding in shadow of brick walls and graffiti he skillfully painted. He is full of angst and self-pity but instead of hating him you will want to cheer for him and show how talented he is. That he has a great future ahead waiting to be claim.

The other characters are quirky which brighten up the scenes of this whole night adventure. The adult characters also complement with the teens. Ed’s boss is like a shining light in Ed’s confused world and Lucy’s mentor is a guide you just need while growing up pursuing your dreams.

The story also creatively lay out different issues like poverty, crime, illiteracy in a more subtle but realistic approach. In a span of one night it managed to show the dark side of reality that surrounds the characters.

Graffiti Moon paints characters and emotions through art on the wall. Reading this book is like being in an art gallery that is full of art works and seeing through each of them in every different way possible. This book defines the line between art and vandalism, between rebellion and the desire to have a better future, between searching and seeing. It is experiencing life through the work of art.

This review is based on an e-ARC I received courtesy of the publisher, Random House Children’s Books  via NetGalley.