Roy and the Rhino for Kindle

Roy and the Rhino Kindle Fire It's been a minute since our last post, sorry for the delay. We're still here to keep you up to date on all the exciting happenings from headquarters. Well, we finally decided to enter the publishing world of the 21st century and produce a version of Roy and the Rhino for the e-reader/tablet market. Since we already have an established relationship with Amazon we will be initially releasing this for their Kindle line of e-readers (no offense to the ipad, Nook, etc...).

Because of overwhelming demand and to satisfy some personal needs, we decided it was time to give Roy and the Rhino some proper treatment and publish in full blazing color. I am in the process of working the images up in color and re-formatting them to fit the various Kindle screen dimensions. I had looked into the possibility of publishing this as an e-book awhile ago, but put it on the back burner because of some of the limitations with technology and a lack of understanding on my end. But now, armed with a little more knowledge and a better method for picture e-book publishing, I decided to give it another shot. I have some interesting info to share about this process and a whole lot more. Talk to you soon.

Winos for Rhinos

Great local fundraiser coming up in a few weeks. The 2nd annual Winos for Rhinos event hosted by the American Association of Zookeepers takes place Sunday August 18, from 4-7pm at Wine Bar Rocky River. Looks like there will be wine tastings, snacks, a silent auction, door prizes, music and more. The cost is $50 per person, with proceeds to benefit rhino sanctuaries in Africa, Asia, and Indonesia. Tickets are available online @ Eventbrite . 4C's Studio are donating a few rhino themed giveaways, and are planning on making a rare public appearance. Should be a nice evening for a very worthy cause. Here's your chance to start making a difference. Hope to see you there.

2013 Winos for Rhinos

Coloring is the New Meditation

Just found some interesting articles about the psychological benefits of coloring and have decided to share one of them here. I am aware of the use of art in therapy, but never considered coloring a existing picture to be a form of mental relaxation. I know it is calming for children and helps develop their eye hand coordination, but being able to naturally quiet the mind of an adult is very comforting to know. I guess the act of choosing your color and putting it to paper reconnects you to some part of your childhood that we just don't access anymore because of the on the go demands of modern living. I have mentioned before that Roy and the Rhino was originally going to be published in full color just the same as any typical children's age book, but somewhere along the way that all changed thanks to my nephew Eric. I remember being over my Dad's one day while he was babysitting my 2 year old nephew and talking about how we were going to pull this project off financially.

While we were discussing or arguing this, my nephew was keeping himself busy pointing to and identifying all the different animals and vehicles he could recognize and pronounce, from the fairly detailed storyboard book art hanging on the wall in the studio.

I was kind of half paying attention to him and it dawned on me that Eric was able to recognize all the images simply as uncolored outlines. A light bulb went off, and I jokingly said we should publish this as a coloring book, because it was obvious a child didn't need the book to be in full blazing technicolor to understand what was happening.

Sometimes you should keep your ideas to yourself and maybe express them in a different way because once I mentioned the coloring book idea there was no other way for my Dad, we had many a heated discussion about this and in the end this idea prevailed. I'm actually very happy about this decision because as soon as this does publish in color it will give someone the option to purchase the version they prefer.

Wow! it's amazing... what can't this book do. I am thrilled to find out that coloring has benefits for people of all ages, as well as all the other life enhancing values mentioned in earlier posts.  Now if we could only get this thing selling.

Coloring is the New Meditation.

Writing Inspiration

I was recently asked about the inspiration for "Roy and the Rhino", and how to be inspired to write for yourself. I decided to turn this over to my Dad for a little Q & A. Q: What inspired you to write this story and where did the inspiration come from?

A: The inspiration for the story came from a picture my son had sketched of a man being chased by a rhino through the forest, and the expressed desire to create a children's book eventually. The idea for the story came to me the next day while driving past a large electric generating plant on the way to work.

Q: How do you think the idea for the story came about so quick?

A: I was recently reading "The Dilbert Future-Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century" by Scott Adams, and it was mentioned that the brain may be a sort of receiver for ideas much like an antenna pulls radio signals out of the air. If you get a chance you should read his book especially chapter 14 page 225, and maybe it will show you a different way to perceive reality and open your mind to the knowledge of the cosmos.

Wow! some pretty insightful thoughts to ponder. Well there you have, it seems that the image I drew sparked some sort of connection in his brain and the story was delivered fully formed. I clearly remember telling him about my idea to do a kids book one day when he was over visiting, and the next day him stopping by again to tell me he had a story figured out. In less than 24 hours we had a full story, characters, setting and all.

Halloween Safety

Hey everyone, It's that fun and frightening time of year again. I just came across some scary stats that will spook you straight. It has long been warned that Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for younger pedestrians. Data from the U.S. Government shows there were 115 pedestrians under the age of 18, killed on Halloween night between 1990 and 2010, an average of 5.5 deaths, compared to 2.6 on other days. It seems that the real danger out there is one that should be taught from the earliest age possible. Pedestrian Traffic Accidents are easily avoidable, this lesson should be instilled in a child as soon as they are able to recognize what an automobile, or a large crashing rhinoceros is.

I don't mean to be a downer, but these are the facts, I'm just reporting them. I hope every child and adult has a good time, and lives to trick or treat for years to come. Halloween can be hair-raising, but the real horror show happens November 6. Don't forget to vote! there is no telling how terrifying this election might get.

 

Anatomy for the Artist

Hello, thought I would share what the staff at 4C's Studio consider to be, the best book on Anatomy and Figure Drawing we have yet to come across. "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" was written by Andrew Loomis, and initially published in 1943. After years of searching I finally have rediscovered this gem. When I decided to get more serious about art, the hunt was on for a agreeable book about rendering the figure. I've looked at, and bought a few over the years, but I could never find one that illustrated quite how to draw the basic stick figure/mannequin effectively. I had books that were either way to slick and stylized, or just showed life drawing approaches. I wanted a book that built the figure from the bottom up. My Dad had taught me a lot of drawing fundamentals since a early age, and would show me his approach to drawing the figure from imagination, starting with a skeletal frame (the hips and rib cage were crucial), then adding muscle etc... He said he had drawn the studies from a book loaned from the library in the 1970's, and it showed him the way. Of course he returned it, forgot to write the title down, and had been wracking his brain about this elusive mystery ever since. "I think it was yellow, and had a woman on the cover" he would try to recall,"Come on Dad, give me a little more to go on!", I would always insist, but nothing more was remembered. The investigation was on, I would always bring any newly discovered book to him for inspection, and hope for a "You've finally found it" response, but it never came. He went back to the library and combed, but never turned up anything. It was almost as if this book had disappeared from the face of the Earth, or had never existed at all, I often thought. Fast forward, one day while browsing some random art blogs, I come across this book that was being touted as an artist's must have. I started looking at the posted images, and instantly recognized this guys stick figures, Loomis...could it be?. I had been looking at this exact approach to figure drawing for quite awhile, as interpreted by my Dad, and was sure I had uncovered this elusive gem. I jumped on Amazon, did a search, and bought the book. The book arrived a few days later, I showed it to my Dad, and finally heard "That's it!". Case solved.

This book gets my highest recommendation, and has been mentioned by many talented artist's through the years. It is definitely a worthwhile investment, for beginners and pros alike. Loomis really breaks down the process of figure drawing in a way that is very approachable for all; he is an exceptional artist and an effective writer, he really knows how to get information across. Look for it, you will not be disappointed. Talk to you soon!

Pedestrian Traffic Accident

Hello, back with another exciting and ouch inducing post from everybody's favorite blog site. The video you are about to watch comes from the streets of our Russian friends. Apparently someone over there has yet to read "Roy and the Rhino", or they would have never carelessly walked into moving traffic. Let's take a look.

Thankfully this didn't appear to be too serious, and in all fairness it looks as though the couple did look both ways, but as I have said before you cannot count on drivers to always be paying attention to the road, especially with all the distractions that are around these days. I have to admit that we do not currently have a Russian language version of our book available yet, or any other non-English language for that matter, but we are looking to remedy that situation as soon as possible, and make it safe for pedestrians worldwide. Look Both Ways!

Clovis Point

Just came across an article about the recent discovery of stone spear points belonging to a culture believed to be older than the prehistoric Clovis culture of North America. These narrow-stemmed points are different than the graceful fluted Clovis points, and were shaped by different flaking techniques. The recent discoveries were uncovered from the Paisley Caves located on the east side of the Cascade Mountain Range in Paisley, Oregon. The points are carbon dated to 13,000 B.C. making them the oldest known human by-product in the Americas. These finds are important because it means there were         two cultures with distinct technologies (not one as previously thought) that shared the continent around the same time period.

In the fantasy part of Roy and the Rhino, I decided to place the action in a Stone Age location equal parts Asia and Americas. Our friend Leroy is a hunter and an obviously talented artisan-tool maker (not everyone has the skills to craft a spear point from rock).  On this fateful day our friend almost ends up going to the big hunting grounds in the sky, whilst caught not paying attention, strolling through the forest. Curious about how this unfolds? Stick around, I'm sure that eventually we will give up the entire story right here on this site, unless of course you can't wait and want to find things out for yourself, than I would run out to your nearest big name-online-book retailers, that is named after one of the largest rivers in the world, and order yourself a copy. Talk with you soon.

Rhino Rescue

I never realized this was how rhinos and other large mammals are relocated in the wild. This is a project that the conservation group Worldwide Wildlife Fund is involved in.  Check out this interesting article and video. They are doing some incredible work, hope it makes a difference.

Cleveland Hit and Run

I just stumbled across this video of a hit and run accident that happened recently on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Warning! this might not be suitable for young children. Proceed with Caution.

OUCH!!!  I have been reading that the pedestrian who was hit has been treated and released from the hospital, only suffering bruises, soreness, and a torn ligament in the knee where the car struck him. The police are still seeking the identity of the driver. This accident should have been another pedestrian traffic fatality, but this guy was fortunate enough to have someone from beyond watching over him. Apparently he was just leaving the new Horseshoe Casino and had a few drinks that evening (If he had this kind of luck inside the casino, he is probably retired somewhere tropical right now). It is obvious from the video that the guy was not paying attention to traffic, he just walks right into the crosswalk like he is invincible, and that all cars will simply yield to pedestrians. You need to be aware of your surroundings at all time, and not assume everyone else is paying attention to you. This type of accident can be easily avoided. I doubt that this guy will ever forget to look both ways before crossing the street ever again, but if he had read Roy and the Rhino and the cautionary tale it tells, he could have saved himself the pain and suffering he is more than likely feeling right now. Spread the word!!!   Pedestrian traffic accidents are preventable!!!    Sorry my posting schedule has been a little erratic lately, I just finished a hectic schedule at school and am right in the middle of a move. I am getting back on track and will be posting more great info on a regular basis. Be back soon...

Snail's Pace

Running a little behind over here at the moment, so here's a quick post while we work up the next epic full length blog. I recently made a connection with a blogger named Aputsiaq from Denmark who posts imagery about everything and anything snails (photos, art, books, etc...). She recently used a couple pictures from Roy and the Rhino that contain snail art, and kindly gave the book a mention also. The name of her site is S for Snail and it is definitely the place to go to get your fill of everything Mollusca Gastropoda. I dug up a couple snail studies sketched for the book and decided to include them here. Enjoy!

Rhino Extinction!

Hello! This week I am going to share a little knowledge I have gained while researching for Roy and the Rhino. When we began this project I had no real understanding of the different types of rhinos that existed (for a little longer anyway), or how close to  extinction most types really are. The image above shows the 5 types and how much they all differ, from head shape and size, to number of horns and length etc... From left to right they are the White, Black, Indian, Javan, and Sumatran. The diagram below shows their size relations. I found some information about the threat of extinction these rhinos face from the savingrhinos.org website. I am giving just a bit of info, you should visit the site to find out more.

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Black Rhinos are slowly recovering from a 96% decline in population, and are now up to about 4,860 surviving today, thanks to conservation efforts. It is shocking to consider that as recently as 1970, there were approximately 65,000 Black Rhinos in Africa. Due to poaching, those numbers decreased sharply to 2,300 remaining in the wild.

White Rhino

White Rhino photo

White Rhinos are divided into two distinct subspecies: The Northern White Rhino and the Southern White Rhino. The Southern White Rhino is the least endangered of the living kinds of rhino, with a population of about 20,600.

Unfortunately, the Northern White Rhino is feared extinct in the wild, as reported on June 17, 2008. There are only eight known Northern White Rhinos in the world.

Indian (Greater One-Horned) Rhino

Greater one-horned rhino in Chitwan, Nepal

The Indian, a.k.a. the Greater One-Horned Rhino, or Nepalese Rhino numbers approximately 2,949 today, due to conservation efforts. Earlier in the 20th century, less than 200 Indian Rhinos were remaining. Strict protection efforts by Indian and Nepalese wildlife authorities have been instrumental in the recovery of the Indian Rhino. Unfortunately, poaching has increased in recent years due to political instability in Nepal, causing the rhino population to decrease by 31% since 2000.

Javan Rhino

 

 

 

 

With fewer than 50 Javan Rhinos surviving in only two known locations, the Javan Rhino is quite possibly the most critically endangered mammal on earth. The Javan Rhino is at significant risk of extinction, due to poaching and habitat loss.

Sumatran Rhino

 

 

 

 

 

The Sumatran Rhino, a.k.a. the Hairy Rhino, has suffered a 50% decline in numbers over the last 15 years, due to poaching.  Additionally, the rhinos' habitat has been destroyed by development and agriculture. Several conservation groups are working to save the Sumatran Rhino, implementing protection of habitat, strengthening anti-poaching efforts, trade monitoring of rhino horns, protected area management, and awareness programs.

Way to go citizens of earth!!! These statistics are pretty depressing, there are some positive actions taking place, but is it too late? We get pretty bummed out over here at 4C's knowing this is really happening . It is sad to think that this generation will be held responsible for such a cruel and selfish act. We hope to reach more people and raise some awareness.

STOP Pay Attention!

Hi Everyone! Hope your Holiday's have been great so far. We are getting ready to wrap up another year and start a brand new one. I have been fishing around the internet and have come across some interesting statistics and facts, so I am going to change direction and talk about the main motivation behind Roy and the rhino. Our book is many things, but the most important and least talked about so far is the Pedestrian Traffic Safety lesson we are trying to promote. After reading through some of these stats and talking to a few friends with children I am more than convinced that our book can literally be a life saver. I am posting some of these facts below. Have a look and let me know what you think. In 2009, 4,092 pedestrians died in traffic crashes - a 7% decrease from the number reported in 2008. In 2009, an estimated 59,000 pedestrians were injured; 13,000 of those injured were age 14 and younger, and males accounted for 55% (7,000) of those 13,000 injured. In 2009, 16 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States were among people age 65 and older. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - website

Wish I could find something a little more current, but you get the idea. Here's some more info this time from The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention website.

Pedestrians—people who travel by foot, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means—are among the most vulnerable users of the road. In the next 24 hours, on average, 324 people will be treated in an emergency department for pedestrian-related injuries. In the next 2 hours, on average, one pedestrian will die from injuries in a traffic crash. More than 4,800 pedestrians were killed in traffic deaths in 2007, and more than 118,000 were injured.

Pretty alarming numbers and these figures are from just the United States alone. Imagine this problem world wide. Finally this next bit comes from The Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Children are very valuable - and very active - members of communities. Being struck by a car is a leading cause of death and injury to children.  The greatest risk is to children 5-9 years of age and occurs in their own neighborhoods. Children can be difficult to protect since they lack the skills and experience that most adults have come to take for granted.  Children have little or no sense of danger.  They tend to be impulsive and don’t take the time to stop and think about safety, and children may also have a difficult time judging the speed of approaching cars.  Their smaller stature also makes them harder for motorists to see. Adults need to take special care to teach children how to behave safely when around automobile traffic. Supervision is crucial through age nine. Motorists are also responsible for child pedestrian safety. Slow down in school zones, near parks and pools and in neighborhoods where children are present.  Parents dropping off children at school are a major threat to walking children and to those leaving other motor vehicles and school buses. Stay cautious after dropping off your own child.

Well there you go, it seems anyone, young or old can be affected by this very avoidable problem. The numbers seem to be declining, but more and more people need to be educated about this. Hope this wasn't too much of a downer this time of year, but welcome to reality, there is no hiding from that. Look Both Ways!!!

Coloring Tips on the way

Decided to take a break from The Cover Story printmaking process and show some tips about coloring Roy and the Rhino. I have been extremely busy at work the past couple of weeks and am running behind on the new posting, so check back a little later this week and I will have some more info to share. This past Friday I went to an art opening in Tremont. The show was held at Aperture a cool little shop devoted to analog and instant photography.

The opening was a book release for a new title in the Grobin the Dog book series by Anthony Zart a local artist going the self publishing route. His work is heavily influenced by the old cartoon art of the 1920's and 30's. I love the fact that this type of art is still being produced right now. My niece Lily gave the book a thorough look over and gives it a thumbs up.

Just Arrived

Our book is finally available on Amazon.com . Once the book starts selling we will be posting tips on how to color, artwork from rough sketches up to finished renderings, and information we have accumulated about the world of self publishing. Thanks for looking.

Hot off the press !!!

Just picked up the first print run of books and very excited about it. Our book will be available through Amazon.com shortly. As soon as it is available we will update the link to take you directly there. We would like to say thanks to Sandy at Foote Printing in Cleveland for being so helpful during the printing process, we highly recommend their company.  And also a big thanks to Cindy at the Beachland Ballroom (my favorite place for live music in Cleveland) for being so generous with her time. Finally because everyone is asking for it we will post our first Tips on how to color lesson in the coming weeks. Thanks.