February 26, 2010

Peaks Island girl makes a mark as an illustrator


— By

Staff Writer

Like most kids her age, 12-year-old Peaks Island resident Charlotte Eisenberg enjoys activities such as field hockey, math and debate teams and working on after-school projects at friends' homes. But she's also a published illustrator.

For the second year running, Eisenberg's art work is being featured in Stone Soup, a national magazine featuring the prose and artwork of up-and-coming writers and illustrators. Eisenberg's latest work, depicting snow globes in a storefront, accompanies a holiday story ''Longing,'' written by Emily Schneider, 13, of Grand Rapids, Mich. The work is in the November/December issue of the magazine, that has a circulation of about 15,000 readers in the United States, Canada and 25 other countries. Eisenberg's work also appeared in the March/April 2009 edition.

The publication, headquartered in Santa Cruz, Calif., generates six issues each year, using the submissions of children, ages 8-13.

''Being selected to get published is a big deal,'' said editor and magazine co-founder Gerry Mandel. ''It's a highly competitive process. We get about 250 submissions each month. Of those, we use just eight for each publication date. That's less than 1 percent of the submitters' works being chosen.''

He said the magazine staff matches writers with artists.

''We're looking for stories that are timeless and will be just as great a read in five years as they are today,'' he said.

The program uses old-fashioned, postal service correspondence, with artists receiving a proposal and deadline to complete an assignment.

''(Stone Soup) sends a copy of the story for you to read and give you suggestions for scenes that they want you to draw,'' said Eisenberg. She noted, though, that those ideas are more like recommendations for images they feel best interpret key sections of the story.

For her first assignment, Eisenberg said she was asked to draw a typical Maine lobster shack: a white stucco building.

''I told them that is not exactly what a typical lobster shack looks like here in Maine,'' said Eisenberg, who instead drew a wooden building more in keeping with the state's waterfront.

Young contributors have about one month to create their work for consideration. In turn, they receive a ''thank you'' letter and a $25 check. But the big pay-off is having one's work published.

''It's really exciting to see your art in the magazine,'' said Eisenberg.

''We're very pleased for Charlotte to have this opportunity to be published and have that national recognition,'' said her mother, Carol Eisenberg. ''It's great to see her get the recognition for something she enjoys doing and does well.''

She said the family has subscribed to the magazine for all three of the children.

Woolwich artist Martha Miller, who teaches at Maine College of Art, has been tutoring Charlotte in mixed media art projects for nearly three years.

''She's a very talented young women, whose work is very mature and stands out.'' said Miller. ''She did a German Expressionist woodcut piece that knocked my socks off.''

Charlotte is approaching the magazine's upper age limit but hopes to have her drawings included in at least one more edition. Meanwhile, she is taking ballroom dancing and preparing for her bat mitzvah at Bet Ha'am Synagogue in South Portland.

''As her good works project to be bat mitzvahed, (Charlotte's) planning a knitting project,'' Carol said. ''She's getting others to help her make hats, scarfs and other warm things to benefit the Preble Street Resource Center and the City of Portland Family Shelter.''

Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at:


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