Local Loves: Misty Manley, illustrator of Archibald's Next Big Thing by Tony Hale

September 25, 2014

Today on the blog, we're featuring a talented local artist named Misty Manley, who recently illustrated a new book by Tony Hale (of Arrested Development & Veep), called Archibald's Next Big Thing.

I first met Misty when we were both bridesmaids together in a friend's wedding. We bonded over our love of our sweet baby boys (mine was 2 months old at the time, and her little guy was a few months older), our matching Marc by Marc Jacobs watches, & Ray Ban sunnies. We became social media friends after that, & I enjoyed seeing pictures of her adorable baby and hearing updates about the life of a fellow working mom.

When she recently shared the big news that she illustrated Emmy-award winning actor, Tony Hale's new book, I was so excited for her & curious about the process. I asked her if she would be willing to answer a few questions for the blog, & she graciously agreed. Read on to learn how this local gal became the illustrator for this charming children's book about a chicken named Archibald and his friend, (a bee named Bee), learning to embrace and enjoy the present instead of worrying about what's next.  Something I think we can all relate to.

Paula:  Can you start off by telling me a little bit about your involvement with the book?  How long did it take?

Misty:  The project started in January of this year and began with me collaborating with illustrator, Victor Huckabee with some early stage sketches of Archibald and his chicken family.  From there, the Archibald "world" was built as well as the other characters with my illustrations.

P:  How much collaboration time did you have with Tony, if any?

M:  Tony was involved every step of the process.  Every minute detail in the book was carefully critiqued and had input from Tony as well as the publishing team here at Boxing Clever (where Misty has worked for 3 years as art director).

P:  Has Boxing Clever published any other books?

M:  This is Boxing Clever's first venture as a publisher (Boxing Clever Publishing) and we plan on this just being the beginning.

P:  Awesome!  Were you a fan of Tony's before the book?  How did you get hired to work on the project?

M: I was a huge fan and created Arrested Development fan art for out website http://blog.fakeanything.com/, so it was absolutely amazing.  Tony was awesome to work with and is totally down to earth.  The relationship was through the other author, Tony Biaggne, who was a friend of ours and he and Tony already had the idea churning!

P:  That's so cool! Are you working on any other books, or would you like to in the future?  Does Tony have plans for a follow-up? In other words, what's the next big thing?  ;)

M: I am not currently, and Tony would love to release more books as part of an Archibald series, but no concrete plans yet.


I guess we'll all just have to take a lesson from Archibald and be happy enjoying the present awesome book.  If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do so here, or if you're lucky enough to be a local, you can grab a signed copy from Tony and Misty this weekend at two different locations:

on Saturday, 9/27/14, he'll be at The Happy Up Toy Store in Edwardsville at 1:30 PM.

and on Sunday, 9/28/14, he'll be doing a Q&A at the Art Museum at 2:00 PM.

Bee there, or bee square!! 

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