It was the mood.  An ornery one.  And so... I wrote a picture book story. Now the healthy thing might have been to confront the source of my angst but nope...  I had fuel, I wanted fire...I lit a match. 

    It’s a story of Stella, a blackwidow spider...dangerous, diabolical, and darned cute!  Writing her misadventures into a picture book is a fine balance.  If the black humor carries too much darkness the reader builds no empathy for the main character; doesn’t invest in the outcome.  Not enough darkness, and there’s no tension to pull the reader in.

    So it is in the creation of Stella.  Drawing a cute spider was not the challenge.  Drawing “Stella” was.  She needed to have just the right blend of  threat, vulnerability, whackiness and charm in order to be invited into a reader’s acceptance.  She is to be feared and loved simultaneously.  The first attempts at Stella in clay and sketches were “too cute.” 


    Once I was satisfied with the body and legs, her face was a matter of  sizing and placement of  features to create the right look and expression.  I kept drawing until she made me laugh and I fell in love.  And as with all my characters, I see a bit of me in her, a bit of you.  Or should I say, a bite of you.  Chomp!~


Invite her in. Could you?  Would you?