January was a fun month. Technically, we're still in January, so I've still got some time!
One of the HUGE benefits of living in San Francisco as an independent author, is that the city (and the entire Bay Area, for that matter) is rich with local book stores. Once you step out into the world of entrepreneurs and other sovereign creatives, you'll find a lot of people willing to give you a boost as an indie.
Charlie's Corner, in the Noe Valley neighborhood, has become a great friend to me! Owner Charlotte Nagy has an infectious passion for sharing stories with children. I sensed this immediately when I met her in late 2015, my first book Big Mo in tow under my arm.
A large part of the "grind" of independent publishing is that you become the marketer, distributor and all-around advocate for your book. A friend had clued me in to the grand opening of Charlie's Corner, and I made a point to knock on Charlotte's door with the hope of placing Big Mo in her shop. She was instantly gracious and inviting, and that meeting marked the beginning of our bond. I am thankful to such a compassionate denizen for helping myself and others to make self-publishing a reality!
Now back to January, a banner month for PadaleckiStudio at Charlie's Corner!
I was invited to host a Meetup of adult writers aspiring to author children's books. I sometimes joke that I am much more comfortable presenting to adults than to kids (kids just know too much...), so this was a great venue for me! The group gathered around on toadstools and bookshelves as I flew through 150 slides covering my journey and influences from artistic kid, to architect, to author, to publisher.
Just as we crafted a Big Mo window display fronting 24th Street in 2015, a brand new Little Moon display was designed, built and installed by the very talented Jeff Gomez (@jeffgomezdraws) and Bantu Zuhir (@bantuzuhirillustration). Charlotte has expanded into the corner space, so now Charlie's really is a corner :)
Charlotte, the shop staff and I coordinated a Journey Out to Sea with a room full of toddlers and their brave guardians. What book reading is complete without a bubble machine, underwater sounds and a light-up squid? Oh, and goldfish crackers and seaweed (which was a surprising hit with the little ones!). Once again, I was floored by the enthusiasm and dedication of Charlie's entire team!
Let's just establish first that Christian Robinson is a tour de force in the world of children's illustrations. Among his awards are the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and Caldecott (Honoree). The industry is so rich with material to absorb and learn from, and I find Christian's simplified geometries and friendly color schemes particularly inspiring. I was honored to present just one night prior to Christian at Charlie's Corner. Now that's a "double header" I can get behind!