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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2009 Winner of the Tomie DePaola Portfolio Award goes to...






Congratulations, Leeza! In truth, I am not surprised one itty bitty bit. Upon first meeting Leeza you immediately know she is someone very special! I am so very proud of her growth, determination, and stamina! And I admire her talent and positive disposition in life and art. I feel very lucky to know her, to be her friend, and to know that she is my friend too.

So what does winning this award mean to Leeza? Leeza says ...
After the shock and delight of receiving the award, I think I truly felt like winning was a sign that I was finally on the right track. I've spent the past few years wondering where I could fit in, what my style was, where I was headed, and even if children's books was the right path for me. For the past twelve months though, this has all started to come together and shown me my desires and passions for working in children's literature. I spent many an early day and late night sketching, painting, doodling, researching, networking, crying and illustrating -- and somewhere in that time, everything clicked. To have two such prestigious names in the children's book world -- legendary Tomie dePaola and Penguin Putnam's art director Cecilia Yung -- describe my work as "Fresh" and "Superlative" is the icing on the cake. I cannot express my gratitude enough to them or to everyone who has been a part of my life since I began this wonderful journey. The feeling is simply AWESOME!

Check out Leeza's new website. Her new work and website are really amazing and fun, so go on over and say hi.
Leeza is represented by Rachel Orr of Prospect Agency.

10 comments:

Amy Tate said...

Congratulations to Leeza! I enjoyed reading about how she worried over how she fit into children's literature. I think we all struggle with that, - or at least I know I do. I look forward to seeing more of her work!

Jeanie W said...

Yay, Leeza!

Say, Sheri, is it just my imagination, or has your WIP meter moved a bit farther to the right these past few days?

Lapillus said...

Oh congrats to her! Her illustrations are just darling!

Kelly H-Y said...

Adorable illustrations ... bright, cheery, and colorful!

Sheri said...

Thanks everyone for joining me in well wishes for my dear friend, Leeza!

And YES, thanks Jeanie! You've noticed! Leave it to an artist to see the details! I've been quiet about it, but yes, my word meter has moved over to the right a bit. I am 85% done!! In reaching 50,000 words that is. I am not sure my novel will be "done" at 50,000. It might be more like 75,000. But I decided to leave it at 50,000 and then once I reach that, I'll guestimate how many more pages I think the book will need and then re-adjust the final, final word count meter. I am really impressed that you noticed!

Barrie said...

I love what Leeza said. Wow! Huge congrats to her!

LEEZY said...

Gosh, thank you everyone and thank you Sheri. I had no idea you were going to fanfare my good news quite like this. Gush, gush.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Chris Eldin said...

Congratulations to Leeza!!!

I'm just now coming over here, after not having been for way too long. I read a few posts below...

Re the Gaiman book. I LOVED it! I agree about the opening scene though. And I honestly thought it was YA. I was truly surprised when it won the Newbery because I didn't know this was considered MG? But, after the initial scene (which I'm still thinking about) the story is beautifully and creatively drawn. I enjoyed his wrting....

Re your pace--I hope you're able to find a rhythm that is healthy. It is very hard to do these days. I could go on my rant about not having extended family support and the demands that kind of lack places on all of us....
{hugs}

Sheri said...

Hey Chris,
I think I will have to read Graveyard! and sometimes I guess it is easier to admit that life runs at its own pace whether you like it or not!

Keri Mikulski said...

Congrats, Leeza!

“Personal limitation exists only in our ideas of who we are. Give up all notions of who you are and your limitations will vanish.”

- Anonymous