Hanoch Piven
Ben Franklin
posted: August 18, 2010
Here's a recent portrait of Benjamin Franklin created for Readers Digest. Based on excerpt of a book called 'Ben and I' in which the author tries to live his modern life based on Franklin's virtues.

I don't know if it is the online version but the image seems to have printed way way darker than what was intended.

Little Bird for Pritt
posted: July 28, 2010

Here's a little bird just created for the Spanish glue company Pritt (Henkel ES). It forms part of a large project, designed by P.A.U Education called Educar, Pegar, Volar. (Educate, Glue, Fly), a Portal where school teachers can share everything about their art projects. Pritt is sponsoring the Portal. My involvement in the project is also conducting workshops for teachers in different Spanish cities and writing a guest column in their Blog.
"Maria y Yo" Graphic Novel and Film
posted: July 25, 2010
"Maria y Yo" cover

A couple of years ago, my amigote, the great Barcelona illustrator Miguel Gallardo, published a comics book called Maria y Yo (Maria and I) about his lovely autistic daughter Maria. The book is wonderfully effective: funny, touching and enlightening and received great praise in Spain, as well as the Catalan National Prize for Comics (in Spain and Catalunya they love giving prizes!). The book was now made into a no less great documentary film by Felix Fernandez de Castro which opened last week. Below are some pages from the book, a link to it, as well as the trailer for the film. No English subtitles anywhere but you will get the feel of it.
Maria lives in Canarias so Miguel and Maria get to fly a lot together, always a challenge.

Miguel is a master in capturing human gestures through facial expressions.

A big part of the movie and book centers on the contrast between Maria and the so called  "normal" tourists in a resort in the Gran Canaria Island.
UPDATE: It turns out Miguel has some pages translated to English. Here there are!

Maria and her dad. Maria loves when people give her an applause!

Upcoming workshop at The Society of Illustrators
posted: July 5, 2010

In conjuction with the Earth: Fragile Planet show I will conduct a collage  workshop at The Society of Illustrators on July 08, 2010  from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.mMore info here.  Last year's workshop at The Society was a lot of fun. I posted about it here Come by if you're around!   Above is my contribution to the show, which is still going on until the end of the month and I had the pleasure to visit last week. Apart for the two small globes used for the eyes, all other materials in the piece were picked one morning from the floor near the market in my neighborhood. The base on which I worked was a dismantled wooden crate. (the piece had to be light to be able to travel to NY). Sadly because of the rush in sending it I don't have a better focused picture but you get the idea. While conserving the environment was never a driving force for me in choosing to work with found objects, I have been associated in the last years with several Environmental organizations who recognize in my work the educational value of reusing and recycling. One of these places in Israel is The Center for Environmental Education in Hiriya, where I have been conducting workshops for the last years. I have posted about my workshops there in the past here. And there is a gallery of the work done there, right here on your right side.... Next to my piece at the show we have included a presentation about the various educational activities done at The Environmental Education Center in Hiriya.   And if you're in the West Coast, another upcoming event will happen in LA on Sunday July 18th: 2 workshops at The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, marking the closing of my exhibition there. Info here.
Another video from Faces iMake
posted: June 1, 2010
In which our 'accent challenged' hero deals with flexibility and serendipity...
This is another video taken from the 'lessons' included in Faces iMake, my iPhone App. Faces iMake is available here.
My Best Friend is as sharp as a pencil.
posted: May 10, 2010
Jumping from one theme to another, my new book for children, My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil, is coming out on Tuesday. I had once again the pleasure to be published by the smart gals Ann and Lee at Schwartz and Wade, and again a huge credit and thanks to my editor Annie Kelley. This is the third book we do together with Annie and I hope we'll be as proud of it in a couple of years as we are of our two other ones. This book is sort of the sequel to my previous book with S&W: My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks. Just like that other one it uses verbal similes to communicate character traits through objects. I have received so many great feedbacks from teachers and librarians about how they use "Smelly Dog" in the classroom that moving from the family environment to the school/social environment seemed natural. (not that I thought of it myself...thanks Annie)
The book portrays a girl who instead of 'just answering'  her grandmother endless questions about school in a straight way, does it using objects and verbal similes.
Smart boy Jack (her best friend) gives the title to the book.
Some other characters in the book: Cheerful Sofia. (who is loosely based on the sweet daughter of a Cuban/American well known illustrator)
Christoph the cool art teacher! (doesn't really look like any living illustrator named Christoph)
And Mildred the turtle, always with a good piece of advise in her lips.
One of my favorite parts of the book: my author's picture. Finally found a good use for the funny 'tunica' (the way we called our robe) and tie I had to wear in Primary School in Uruguay.
'Don't stop me now'
posted: May 1, 2010
Once a year I am abducted by geeks and invited to the Kinnernet (Un)Convention in the Lake of Galilee in Israel. Kinnernet is a fun conference based on the idea that 250 creative people getting together for two days playing, singing, dancing and eating well, will probably end up inspiring each other or at least make interesting connections. The host of the conference is Yossi Vardi, who has made a big name for himself in the dot.com industries by selling ICQ to AOL long time ago in what was the first internet 'Cinderella' story. Ever since then Vardi has been actively inspiring hundreds of young Israeli and international enterpreneurs.
Even though I didn't understand much of what was talked about there, I had a really wonderful time. Here's a video shot yesterday of all the participants in the convention 'performing' the Queen's song: 'Don't stop me now'. (approx 1:31 into the clip you can see ..moi coming out of a cooler)
"A Face a day keeps troubles away"
posted: April 24, 2010
Have been creating a 'quick face a day' with Faces iMake for the Facebook page of Faces iMake. Here's are some from the last 2 weeks. I assume you might be able to recognize 5 caricatures, one Archimboldo take and a self portrait wirh a sweather there.....
and yet more Twain
posted: April 22, 2010
So it turned out I had an old Mark Twain as well...probably from circa 1998.. Made for The Utne Reader, I have some vague memory of buying stuff at The Farmers Market in Union Square. It was Fall.