DITTIES…the Way To Go?

I just had to write today about the great obsession..I mean habit… of doing perhaps even daily “ditties!”  or that’s what I love to call them.  Little ‘somethings’….a sketch, or quick thought visually.  They can be from life as you wait in line somewhere, or in response to your mind just wanting to ‘let them out.’  This is rather the case of our artist Priscilla Burris.… CAT Agency artist for a very very long time, and a talent that just won’t stop!

Burris Bees

Many of you may know that Priscilla is on the board of SCBWI and was flying to NYC from CA for the Winter Conference when these guys just HAD to be seen…. and here they all are – bees and dogs and birds and kids of course.  She used the back of a conference information page I think. Whatever works!

The point is that practice makes perfect.  Fine artists and illustrators, authors and playwrights, talents of all sorts know that those ideas won’t ‘bud’ if you don’t get them DOWN and OUT.  Just so ‘ditties.’  They aren’t for general consumption.  NO one needs to ever see them! But as I have learned now that I’m beginning to do more plein aire painting again myself, some of these spontaneous ‘ditties’ will become your favorites…. if not a great starting off place for furthering their charm to a more finished state.  A character might pop off the page and be JUST the one you’ve been searching for for that book project.  Ideas mull in our minds and we really MUST let them out and get them down so we can move on to other things in life.  Grab a piece of paper and a sharpie pen, uni  ball signo pen (which bleeds tones with a little spit) or a EE pencil…whatever is handy and brings out the ‘ditty’ in you!  And have a WONDERFUL TIME!

Posted in Agency News, Children's Publishing Art, industry tips, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Natsumi is a star!

It was such fun to get and open my advance copy of NATSUMI... from Susan Kochan Putnam recently!  Written by Susan Lendroth and illustrated by our very own CAT artist PRISCILLA BURRIS it officially comes out in March, but it has already gotten a starred review from BOOKLIST!  Susan and Priscilla will be at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena reading and signing on Sunday March 11th.….don’t miss it if you are in the area!

Natsumi advance copy

As the last line of the Booklist review said: ” A Joyful experience from beginning to end…..”  

Congratulations Sue, Susan, and Priscilla and NATSUMI!!!

Posted in Agency News, Book Launch, Image Share, picture book launch, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Dear Girl’ #1 NYTimes Best Seller List…

FABULOUS for sure.!!!  … HarperCollins, author Paris Rosenthal ( with her mom Amy Krouse Rosenthal), our ‘CAT’ artist Holly Hatam, and we all of the CAT Agency could not be more thrilled with the news that DEAR GIRL hit the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller List for picture books this week!!!….. Warms up January!

But it’s NO surprise to our two ‘research assistants’, Billie and Finnie … one convincing the other in a heart beat!  May we never lose our sense of wonder!  Thank you Amy, Paris and Holly – dear girls!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Gendron-SOI LA 56!

We are so pleased to report that CATHY GENDRON  has been accepted into the LA Soc. of Illustrator’s 56th Annual Illustration Competition with Mardi Gras in Bugland!!   Congratulations !!

Gendron A Bugs' Mardi Gras

Posted in Agency News, artist information, AWARDS, Children's Publishing Art, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Signing in ‘green’…..

Our Patrice Barton was recently involved in a book signing at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin TX….. a very ‘green’ experience I’m sure!  Her two books that were highlighted are seen clearly below.  Nothing like going OUTSIDE to play. – to Bring the Outside In with your Little Bitty Friends…even if it’s through books in the dead of winter!  Congratulations Patty!

Barton at book Fair


Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

was Santa a thief?

Wanted to boast a bit about an article I finally saw in a Dec. PW.!  it was a ‘spotlight on Alane Adams‘ and her series of thief books….illustrated by our artist Lauren Gallegos!  We’re so proud and pleased for them both to have this attention on the books.  The third was The Santa Thief...hope you saw it in time to enjoy it with your kids this past season, but if not, there is another in 12 months!  MERRY!

Gallegos PW

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


HAPPY 2018 everyone!  I’m writing this while being snow bound in CT by a whipping Nor’Easter blizzard today that has hit most of the East Coast! …it does have a way of stopping us in our tracks!  But it’s a great time to slow down a bit, light a fire, get some HOT tea or cocoa, count our blessings, and look ahead.

I’m sure many of you DID what I’d suggested in a post last year…. take this time to see how your goals last year were met, and to set some new realistic goals for this new year.  If NOT….maybe do so now or this weekend.  It’s something we all have to do to start out fresh and productively!  My daughter, Christy Ewers, and I have started the year out with a NEW NAME and tax entity:  The CAT Agency, Inc.  !!  and Christy is the new owner of the new agency!

The CATugeau Artist Agency LLC, is no longer, though I will continue as usual working beside Christy….and, yes, I did have one very emotional day Dec. 31st!  it’s been 23 years come Feb since I started my own agency on a wing and a prayer and my family’s good wishes!!  I had worked for another agent for 3 1/2 years, but it was quite a year in 1994!  Never worked so hard, fast, and happily! Had to find great un-repped artists willing to give me a try, (no Google then!), didn’t have a computer, sample copies made at the Copy Store, Fedexed samples to publishers, used THE LANDLINE PHONE constantly, so couldn’t be away from my desk for long…ever! (and I had three active kids…youngest 14 at home = Christy!)  wow….we’ve come a long way baby!  I am THRILLED and delighted by this change for the new year with my talented Christy at the helm.  Besides growing up with the agency so to speak, she has been working with me formally for 4 years, after a decade learning business and interpersonal relations with other types of companies, including a publishing house.  I keep saying it, but it IS a dream come true!  IT IS TIME.

Burris Wintery Warmies Scene SPOTPriscilla Burris

This above is a good image of our warm love for our agency …. bright and protective and caring as it grows…no matter ‘the weather!’

So we’ve met one of OUR year goals and have a very full set of directions for the new year onward.  Now back to YOU perusing where you are and where you are going.  It’s just part of business….and illustration IS a business.  Put on that ‘biz cap’ and do some soul searching and honest planning.  Set realistic goals….redo and upgrade your online portfolio, and get it out to publishers; go to the SCBWI Winter NYC Conference (sign up NOW if there is room!)  or maybe the Aug. LA one, or the next regional get together; finish that dummy you’ve been revising, and get it seen and critiqued;  promise not to OVER BOOK yourself this year so you can enjoy the work that comes in; maybe get a rep to help you organize yourself!  Whatever you have on your list, start making it a reality TODAY!

Well – maybe right after going out and building a ‘snow kitty’ like our friend above has done….and I will do RIGHT NOW!

HAPPY 2018 to ALL!

Posted in Agency News, business for illustrators, Children's Publishing Art, industry tips, scbwi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments