Writing & Illustrating

A peek into the process

Greetings from the CrabbieMasters!

One of the great things about technology is that it can bring people together from anywhere in the country, or even world, to work together. This was almost impossible before the age of the Internet.

With our art director, Carol, in New York State and our illustrator, Erik, in Minnesota, the perfect way for them to work together is by Skype. Erik can put up his sketches for Carol to see and he can make changes as she watches. How cool is that?

To be able to sit at a computer and connect with someone halfway across the county makes it really cost effective too! There’s no travel expenses involved and it allows us to select people to work with from all over the world. We can work in our pajamas if we want!

When Carol and Erik Skype, Michael gets to watch. He doesn’t always understand their art lingo, but he gets to watch the process as Erik shows each sketch and makes any requested changes. Photoshop looks complicated, but Erik makes it look so easy!

This page is a sneak peek into the illustrations for our Here Come the CrabbieMasters book. As you can see, there are a lot of CrabbieMasters! We hope you’ll become one too!

Do you have a favorite Crabbie that you like to beat? We’d love to hear from you. Until next time,



Meet Michael, co-creator and co-author

Hi. I’m Michael, the co-creator and co-author of the CrabbieMasters program and books. Becky will be doing most of the blogging, but occasionally we’ll have a guest blogger. Today, I’m it.

I have all sorts of jobs that I do for CrabbieMasters. I do stuff like marketing and promoting, but that’s not much fun to read about so I’ll chat about the fun I have with our illustrator.

Becky and I thought it would be best to have someone local illustrate our books. This would allow for us to be hands-on. There are many wonderful illustrators to be found on the Internet, and technology does make it possible to collaborate with programs such as Skype, but we knew local would be best for us.

I often visit Erik at his workspace, and I get to watch him do his magic. It amazes me how he makes it look so easy.

One of Erik’s favorite Crabbies to draw is the King. He is the leader and his facial expressions are fun to draw, Erik says. It’s really important to capture the personality of each character, and Erik does it so well.

I’m hoping I can convince Erik to do a couple short drawing tutorial videos. I might be able to sway him with a new sketch pad or some drawing pencils. What do you think?

The team is working hard to bring you all the CrabbieMasters goodness that we can. We hope you’ll stick around!

For now, I’ll say so long. Thanks for visiting!





A sneak peak…

The weekend is upon us, and for some it will be busy and others will relax. What will you be doing this weekend?

I may do some shopping and baking, and I know for certain that I will have some relaxation time. I don’t want Too-Tired creeping into my weekend!

I do know what our illustrator will be doing. Erik will be working on our Here Come the CrabbieMasters book. The rough sketches are finished, and he’ll be finalizing and coloring each page. I am excited to see it when it’s done!

I thought maybe you would like to see a couple of our covers, so here’s a sneak peek.


Have a happy and safe weekend, and we’ll see you Monday!


Hi there! I’m Erik, the illustrator of the CrabbieMasters books. I really like drawing the Crabbies and CrabbieMasters. I’ll give you an abbreviated overview of how it all comes together.

After each story is written and edited, the art director breaks down the text by page and decides how the page should look. When that’s done, the art director writes down the instructions for the illustrator, in this case—me!

Once I get the instructions, I begin making rough sketches that look like this:

Too-Tired Crabbie Book p4 sketch

Once the rough sketch is finished, I show it to the author’s and the art director. At this stage, any changes that are requested are made. It’s important to make sure there’s a place for the text!

Next, I scan the rough sketch into my computer. I use Photoshop, but there are other programs that can be used to finish the illustration. In Photoshop, I can add or remove detail, move things around, and add the text. When that’s done, it’s ready to be colored.

Too-Tired Crabbie Book p4 color

This is a quick overview of how the pages were created. There are all sorts of tutorials online with tips on how to illustrate books for children.

For those who want to do everything by hand, any medium can be used. The most common are watercolor, ink and acrylic. You can then scan the pages and add the text in the font of your choice.

Soon, we’ll be adding some Crabbie coloring pages for you to print.

Happy drawing,