Calef Brown, poet, painter and all around funky creator, is now a doodle book maker! I didn't intend for that sentence to be so rhyme-y, but Brown and his new book, Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny, just inspire that kind of playfulness. For an overview of Brown's work, click here and for a sampling of his poetry, click on poem titles: Snails and Skeleton Flowers. For details on Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny, read on!
The introduction to Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny begins, "Hello! Hello! Calef Brown here. May I tell you something? I love to draw! It's my favorites thing to do, anytime, anywhere. I sketch and doodle with pens, pencils, markers and brushes. I usually start with an outline, or a simple shape - a circle, a triangle, maybe a funky trapezoid. Then it's time for lots of lines - thing lines, thick lines, zigzags, loops. Eyes and noses. Ears and mouths, wings and paws. Whiskers. Fins. Wheels?" He goes on to encourage artists to "jump right in! Follow some of my drawings, if you'd like, combine them, or feel free to make up your own fantastical creations!" Brown starts his book with snails because, as he says on his website, "The book begins with what inspired it - the drawings of snails that I do when visiting schools, and seeing the excitement of kids, some as young as 4, as they create their own spin-off snails."
The tablet layout of the book (as seen above) allows artists a blank page of their own with Brown's inspirational ideas appear above the fold. This format is a little different from most doodle books, which provide a "starter" that the artist then fills in. Brown is all for original creations and the framed blank pages give artists room to explore. He also provides step-by-step breakdowns of some of his creatures in the first pages of Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny. And, the text that Brown adds is as playful and poetic as you might expect. A page with bug/bird/elephant hybrids reads, "It is, I know, absurd: a pachedermal beetle-bird." Also, the book ends with two pages of super cool stickers designed by Calef Brown!
Below are some more sample pages from the book, as well as the creations of my seven-year-old son Griffin and yours truly.
(you may want to keep these for yourself...)