Posts Tagged ‘Terry Naughton’

It’s that time again here in San Diego when Batman and Superman hang out with Princess Leia and the Black Widow. Yes, it’s time once again for Comic Con, and I’m happy to report that two people we have featured here on the Sidewalk will be in attendance.

James Burks, author of Gabby and Gator and Beep and Bah will be at table E1 at the end of row 700 with his friend and fellow children’s book author/illustrator Mike Boldt.

Terry Naughton, illustrator of My Personal Panther will be  in the autograph area Thurs., Fri., Sat., and Sun.  He will also be at A32 from 10:00 am till 2:30 pm everyday.  

**Special Bonus** Terry has a special gift for anyone who stops by and says “Suzanne sent me,” so be sure to stop by and say “Hi.”

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk


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I had a chance to meet Terry Naughton at the Children’s Book Festival in La Mesa back in May. He was there to help promote the book My Personal Panther by Jerry Cesak, who I featured in an Author Spotlight two weeks ago. I was so impressed by Terry’s art I thought it would be fun to feature him on the blog. So, today I will do my very first Illustrator Spotlight. I hope you enjoy it.

Brief Bio:

Terry is a former animator with Walt Disney Studios. Now he’s a freelance illustrator. He was with Disney for 17 years, and worked on almost every feature film produced from 1985 until 2002. Some of his credits include: “The Beast” in Beauty and the Beast, “The Genie” in Aladdin and “Zazu” in the Lion King to name a few. Terry worked on projects with the N.F.L. book illustrations, sculpted sports action figures, story boards and some motion picture work (Warner Brothers). He was also an official football artist for U.S.C. and U.C.L.A. When not doing art, he enjoys sports of all kinds. He coaches  high school wrestling and is the strength coach for the football team. He was a competitive Olympic weightlifter back in the old days.

Illustrator Spotlight:

WOTS: Are you working on any new projects that you can tell us about?

TN: I am working on several new projects. First, Jerry Cesak and I have decided to start working on book 2 of the “My Personal Panther” series. Secondly, I have started to do some paintings that will be in a two man art show in a gallery in L.A. with Rich Arons. Also my Jungle Jocks series is being revitalized. These are a few new things I’m involved with.

WOTS: What artists do you look up to, and how have they inspired your work?

TN: My inspirations growing up and still today are: Darrell Millsap, Norman Rockwell, Frank Frazetta and for drawing Heinrich Kley. These masters taught me how to stay loose in my drawings. Norman and Frank were master story tellers in their art. Darrel Milsap taught me how to lose unnecessary edges in my paintings. All of these artists taught the world how to have passion for their art.

Norman Rockwell

WOTS: Describe your studio or usual work space for us.

TN: My studio is a 12 ft. by 24 ft. space. In it I have an area for painting and drawing and I have a space for 2 computers for my digital work. Like most studios, it’s a little cluttered. I have many paintings on my walls and many works from my mentors. My work hangs on my walls as a reminder that I am a talented artist. This may sound narcissistic but, really it’s a way to build up my confidence when I feel untalented or uninspired during a difficult period of a painting. I will look at my previous successes and say “See you can do this!” My mentors work is there for inspiration to strive to do work worthy of them.

WOTS: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

TN: Professional football player. It was my dream all the way into college. Unfortunately, that wasn’t in God’s plan for me. So I paint the football as if I played. I also watch and coach as much football as possible.

WOTS: What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

TN: Most people don’t know that “I” was the first man on the moon, not Neil Armstrong!!! Ok, Ok, not true. Most people don’t know that I was a competitive Olympic weightlifter and I attempted to get in to the Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988.

WOTS: What did you use for inspiration for the illustrations in My Personal Panther?

TN: The best inspiration was Jerry Cesak (the author of the book) himself. Jerry knew just what he wanted in both characters, a very rare occurrence. Also, I had a cat before myself and used that experience. For the main character Lucy, I thought about 2 Disney girls from the Rescuers and Oliver and Co. for inspiration.

WOTS: We here at Writing on the Sidewalk tend to procrastinate, where do you fit in Procrastinator or Proactive?

TN: Getting started on any project is always difficult for me, there is always so much thought that has to go into it. Once I start, I tend to plow hard all the way to the end. I Hate, Hate, Hate, to miss a deadline!!! It doesn’t happen very often to me, I’m proud to say.

Thank you Terry for taking the time to visit with us.

If you’d like to learn more about Terry, you may visit his site or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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I am thrilled to present author Jerry Cesak for our latest Author Spotlight segment. I have listened to the “Jeff & Jer” program for years driving the kids to school. When I discovered that Jerry had written a children’s book, I thought it would be exciting to feature him on our blog. I had a chance to meet Jerry at the Children’s Book Festival in La Mesa and found him to be very kind and gracious. I invited him to share a little time with us on the sidewalk.

Brief Bio:

Jerry graduated as a theatre major from the University of Maryland after which he took a short thirty-year diversion into radio. He’s been waking up San Diegans on the top-rated “Jeff & Jer” morning show since 1988.

For as long as he can remember, Jerry’s been passionately involved in campaigning for animal protection. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Humane Society of The United States and founder of The Unicorn Foundation which raises money to fight animal cruelty.

Jerry is a produced playwright and author of dozens of short stories and screenplays.

He and his wife Pam live in La Jolla, California in a house owned by six cats.

In the picture with Jerry is the “real” Aja, whose prima-diva personality inspired his book “My Personal Panther.”

Author Spotlight:

WOTS: Can you tell me a bit about your writing process? Do you plot or not?

JC: I always know the first line of anything I write. Even if it’s dialogue that starts the story. And I always know the very last line. That leaves me with this inconvenient thing called “in between”. I do plot, but in arcs. I’ll have an umbrella story arc and then fill in with arcs that get me from one end to the other, like stepping stones.

WOTS: Are you working on any new projects that you can tell us about?

JC: Like everyone else who lives in Southern California,(in accordance with a law passed in the 1950’s I think,) I’m working on a screenplay.  It’s called “Old Rock Stars” about four guys who used to be in garage bands in the 1970s. Now they suddenly find themselves being the biggest rock act in the world. I also have a play in progress called “The Lobby”, and of course, another “My Personal Panther” book–the prequel.

WOTS: Describe your studio or usual work space for us.

JC: Great question. I love to know where people work. For me, it’s at home in my office with the door shut. It’s away from the rest of the house. My wife Pam gave me an office makeover for my birthday several years ago, so all the furniture is custom built-in and my desk is enormous.  I usually have music on. Lots of jazz/rock stuff like Donald Fagen (Steely Dan). If I’m stuck I’ll put on Van Halen or Motley Crue. If I really need to concentrate I turn everything off. When a project is nearing completion, I’ll have it on big cards like a storyboard spread out all over the floor with me on my knees in the middle. I finished up “My Personal Panther” on the floor of our room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I had to tell the maids “don’t clean the living room”!

WOTS: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

JC: I’d like to be a locomotive engineer on a steam tourist railroad like “The Strasburg RR” in Pennsylvania.

WOTS: What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

JC: I cry listening to music a lot. Henry Mancini, Gino Vanelli, Sondheim, Jerry Herman and 50 others. Their music is so beautiful.

WOTS: What was your inspiration for My Personal Panther?

JC: We have 6 cats, all rescues, or course. During a check-up, our vet, Patty Unger of Kensington Veterinary Hospital casually mentioned to me that a house cat is physiologically no different than a lion. Same thing – just smaller. I thought “Hmmm…what if a little girl and her cat both thought the cat was a panther?”

WOTS: How did you team up with Terry Naughton to illustrate the book?

JC: It easily could not have happened. About 15 months ago on The Jeff & Jer Showgram, I casually mentioned I was writing a children’s book an needed an illustrator. I asked anyone who was interested to send me a sample of their work. I thought I’d get 3 or 4. About 50 people send me stuff. One of them was Terry, and I instantly knew he was the guy. Interesting thing though: Terry wasn’t listening that morning. A friend of his was though, and called him.

WOTS: Can you tell me a little bit about the work you do for animals?

JC: I am on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States, which is the largest, most effective animal protection organization in the world. Wherever there are animals suffering, on factory farms, behind the doors of research laboratories, in the middle of the ocean, in dog fighting rings, puppy mills, – wherever cruelty happens, HSUS is there to confront it. Pam and I also work locally. In 1989, we founded The Unicorn Foundation which raises money for animal protection.

WOTS: We here at Writing on the Sidewalk tend to procrastinate with our writing, where do you fit in Procrastinator or Proactive?

JC: Ahh! Let me share something Paul Theroux (yes, Paul Theroux) told me one night while he and Pam and I were at dinner. (Another story for another time). What he said changed my writing life forever – despite having read or heard everything else about “writer’s block” and “putting it off”, etc. He said to me: “Amateurs wait for inspiration. The rest of us just go to work every day”.

Thanks Jerry for spending some time with us today.

If our readers would like to learn more about Jerry and his book please check out his “Personal Panther” site. We’ll keep you posted on his next book as well.

Happy Reading,

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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Yikes! The book festival is only three days away.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am on the planning committee for the Children’s Book Festival in La Mesa here in San Diego. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

Are we ready?

Only time will tell. We’ve ordered stages, arranged for tables chairs, a DocuCam for the illustrators, and yes… PortaPotties. We’ve contacted vendors, authors and illustrators for booths, delivered hundreds of thousands of bookmarks, and made countless telephone calls. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

What’s left to do? 

There are a million and two last minute details that need to be completed before Sunday. Double check the space for the green room, print programs, pick up the t-shirts, contact the authors with last minute schedule changes and plan the author meet and greet dinner. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

What’s happening at the event?

Along with the author/vendor booths, we will have face painting, hands on illustration demonstrations from Samantha Cerney, Terry Naughton, Billy Martinez, Steve Gray, Rich Arons, and Mark Ludy. The Bilingual Village features; crafts, bilingual story tellers and authors Mara Price, James Luna, and Rene Colato.  Our Storyteller stage will feature professional storytellers, a dance troop, local dignitaries sharing their favorite children’s book and authors Kathryn Cloward, Henry, Josh and Harrison Herz, Donald Samson, Kevin Gerard and Eleanore Garner.  The Main Stage will feature; Ned Vizzini, Lin Oliver and Theo Baker, Tom Kirkbride, DJ MacHale, PJ Haarsma, James Burks, Kelly Bennett, a drama group doing Doctor Seuss songs and me. Add a little PGA Neighborhood Golf, and Reading to Rover and you have what we hope is a full day of fun and entertainment. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

So I’m off…

It’s time for some last minute emails, shopping, Facebook and Twitter posts.

Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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