Abigail Marble and Susan Boase are my critique group friends and live here in Portland. We've been getting together, drinking wine and talking all things kid book every month or two for a couple of years now and generally have a pretty great time at it. Abbey has illustrated several lovely kids' books and you can find her work at www.abigailmarble.com. Susan has illustrated (and even written) some wonderful kids' books and also makes beautiful things out of clay. Her website is www.susanboase.com.
Dasha Tolstikova and I have been best friends since we were barely old enough to vote! We met at a children's book writing class and it may be true that I did not quite like her at first. But we sorted that out and have been cackling and scheming ever since. Sadly, she lives in Brooklyn, not Portland. She draws for both kids and adults (just yesterday she had a fantastic drawing in the New York Times!) You can find her work at: www.dashatolstikova.com .
AND I have work from my 88 year old grandmother (who is still as sassy as you can be, even while recovering from a hip fracture!) and my 6 year old niece (who has declared that the drawings she made for this issue a couple of months ago are "old work" and NOT as good as what she could do now.)
So, as you can see this issue is pretty darn special.
Now I'm off to get my new year started right - a little drawing before dinner. My resolution is to draw every day, what's yours?!