Hi, everyone! If you don't know who Scott Campbell is, you should really check him out. We here at Read Now Sleep Later are big fans of this author and illustrator and were thrilled to hear that he was having launch party for his new children's book, Hug Machine, at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra.
There was a big crowd there for the event. Scott started off with a slide show detailing his process for coming up with the idea for and writing the book.
Above is a page from his sketch book. Campbell said that he'll sometimes go to the children's section of the bookstore and read a bunch of picture books to get ideas flowing. Then he'll go to a coffee shop and just sketch in his notebook. He does this for several months and then culls through his notebooks to see if any of the ideas lead him anywhere. Hug Machine started with a page of drawings which depicted a child attached to various people/characters (if you look at the drawing above you can see how he is attached so someone's back in the middle of the page).
After coming up with the story and idea, it's time to develop that artwork and look of the book. Above are some early paintings of Hug Machine. This book was mainly done in watercolor paints. Campbell likes to play around with the colors until he comes up with a good palette for the book.
Next, Campbell read the entire book aloud to the rapt audience. Above is one of my favorite panels in the book which depicts Hug Machine giving a porcupine a much needed hug.
Then it was time for the drawing portion of the show. Campbell let the audience pick who/what Hug Machine would hug. Above is Hug Machine hugging an ice cream sundae.
Next we had Hug Machine Hugging Scott Campbell while a giraffe, dragon and knight wait in line for their hugs.
One of my favorites was Hug Machine hugging a Civil War ghost.
After the drawing portion of the show, Campbell sat down to sign some books. The line was quite long but we were luckily near the front of it.
Along with displaying original artwork, the show also had a cool interactive Hug Machine. As you can see, Kimberly and Hug Machine became fast friends.
If all this cuteness doesn't make you want to read Hug Machine, then check out the hilarious trailer below. It'll help you get those arm muscles ready for some serious hugging!
We highly recommend Hug Machine to picture book lovers and fans of great art. Hugs for everyone!