Mini-Interviews 2012

I think I'm kind of freaking out.

Do you ever compose a dialogue in your mind with a famous person while washing the dishes?  Maybe I'm completely alone in this practice, but I regularly interview people I admire while scrapping away at my panini press.  What is amazing (other than a Garlic Chicken Goat Cheese Panini) is that these interviews are coming true.  So I'm a bit excited.  A LOT a bit.

Since November is National Picture Book Month my fellow illustration buddies Juana Martinez Neal, Molly Idle, Laura Jacobsen and I will be hosting a series of Mini Interviews.  We will be relentlessly grilling those we admire, respect and secretly seethe with jealously over their abundance of talent.

Check out who we'll be featuring throughout the month this's pretty incredible...

Kevan Atteberry

Lynne Avril

Alexandra Ball

Alexandra Boiger

David Christiana

Kent Culotta

Adam Gustavson

Jeremy Holmes

Brian Karas

Kelly Light

John Parra

Greg Pizzoli

Amanda Shepherd

Mary Sullivan

Constanze Von Kitzing

Wendy Watson So stay posted!  You don't want to miss this exposition of talent coming straight at you!  And yes, sandwiches will be served.

Illustration Friday - Book

An illustration I got to do for the extremely cute and well designed magazine LMNOP.  It was a great assignment, the focus being on libraries and books.  Since I frequent the library almost as much as a 13 year old frequents You Tube, I've come up with some observations.  Namely being the noise level.  Libraries are just so cool now-with crafty interactive a-la Melissa and Doug puzzle/castles/installations.   There are toys.  EVERYWHERE.  Puppets, blocks, swirly things that I thought existed only in dentist offices.  And the trains.  Kids go into mini-seizures when there is new Fergus, Benedict, Rutger (whatever) train on the train table.   Sprinkled and tucked amidst the playtime chaos are the books.  Books just laying around, asking to be read.  "That kid take your puppet?  Forget-about-it...Read me instead", "Hey!  Hey!  Little girl with the tiara!  I'm the new Tangled book!"  I think that the librarians love the noise (to a certain decibel) because kids are developing an association between libraries and fun.  It's probably in some Library Manifesto to put up "quiet" signs, merely just for show.

Illustration Friday - Crooked

I got the opportunity to work recently with the magazine that without question had the largest influence on my desire to become an illustrator.  Grade school memories would be incomplete if I were not able to recall the days coming home from school, checking the mail and the surge of joy that followed when receiving the latest copy of "Cricket Magazine".  This magazine was a tiny folded and stapled trove of illustrations.  I would devour it within a few hours, examining every page.  Even into 7th grade, I would sneak my favorite copies into art class with me, completely ignoring the required assignment and copy the illustrations from "Cricket".  These illustrations would of course  later become illuminated manuscripts recounting the events of the day with witty 13 year old aphorisms such as "SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LAME!" and "BBB!!!!!!" (bored beyond belief) and then thus folded in the intricate 7th-grade-girl-origami-note style.  I could never master the "heart" fold. This illustration will unfortunately not accompany me to pass off to my friend Lashawn while she waits outside the band room but thanks to the amazing AD Suzanne Beck will be featured in Cricket's other imprint magazine, "Spider" in January.

Where drawings go to die

I had a friend tell me once that an artist has a finite number of bad drawings within them and it was only a matter of doing enough drawing to reach that limit.  Very poetic and a positive way to look at things, but c'mon.  I can't believe that in it's totality.  Even Picasso did a couple eyesores, you just never saw them (except for this crazy long documentary where Picasso paints on glass and his eyes are bulging and the music is intense and the filmmakers are practically biting their nails bloody in anticipation for the next great masterpiece only to have him chuck it and do another painting in like a minute and a half).

So I needed to get some sketches done and as I started drawing that voice that we all have in the back of my head started in "And this is how I will ruin this beautiful white page in my sketchbook".  But instead of stopping and agreeing with said low self-esteem voice, I embraced it.  I celebrated it!  "Crappy drawing, I CELEBRATE you!"  The awkward, stiff, inflexible drawing came forth from the tip of the felt marker one of kids dropped on the floor and what I did next was a bit of an epiphany (or apostrophe - Hook).  I just kept them coming, one on top of the other until I had a sprawling field of dead drawings.  It was quiet cathartic in an abstract expressionist way.  But really, the whole exercise was process over product.  Getting over my fear of yet again not living up to my own standards and making an ugly page *gasp!* in my sketchbook.  If a sketchbook is filled cover to cover with unique and original fine tuned drawings, I have a hard time trusting that person.  I keep a close eye on my kids around them. In essence - dedicate a couple pages in your sketchbook to be a drawing graveyard.  Warm up on those pages and then move on until you've stretched those muscles enough.  Big dynamic stretches people!  Don't forget to breathe... inhale....and exhale....

Illustration Friday - Lonely

Just an a dull moment during the middle of the day hustle and bustle of typical office life.  The big highlight of the day while chit-chatting with the family over home cooked spaghetti and the microwaved steamed veggies will be that a bird "...somehow managed to get in the office today.  We called Maintenance though, they caught it and took it outside."  "Hmm," your wife will reply.  "So how was your day?" you'll ask in return.

Illustration Friday - Shiny

This little diddy was largely influenced by the art work of Jim Kay who illustrated the most amazing novel A Monster Call by the Patrick Ness. The story, narration and illustrations are haunting, tragic and beautiful.

So, as this book has burned an impression in my subconscious like a half remembered dream, I give you the humble magpie, hoarding her jewels.

Henry in Love

20120526-114312.jpg If you could incapsulate all the preadolescent angst of fear, friends and first love into the form of a minimalist illustrative cat and bunny, the distilled product would be in the form of a picture book. Specifically - it would be Henry in Love.

This is another library gem that I found and sub-sequentially purchased. In order for me to actually buy a book I have to LOVE it. You could say I fell in love with Henry in love. Hahaha I know, my wit knows no depths. But aside from my cleverness Peter McCarty has so masterfully taken a day in the life of a (cat) boy (not sparing the morning routine), his encounter with his first love and the sacrifices one makes for love.

The illustrations are delicious. Simple shapes, simple line drawings with spots of color which make a great impact. The writing is spot on, simply stated to express so much unspoken emotion.

So yeah - I loved this book and bought it. I wager to think that could feel my love through its sequence of ones and zeros because when I received it the first bookend sheet had this...


How freaking awesome is that?

Now run along and pick up a copy. Run as if running toward your true love.

A Very Emo Christmas

Hopefully all of your packages are wrapped and discreetly hidden in various nooks and crannies, awaiting eager fingers to take delight in the tearing and ripping of their papery exteriors.  But if by chance you are in need of actually knowing what present shall be received by which lucky person, then I have just the ticket (or tag) for you!

Emo Elves and a big-bearded Santa! 

I don't really know why I did this.

But they are here and would love to enhance the wrapping of any package with their moodiness!  Just click here to get the large version and print away!

Merry Christmas!!!

A Mini Interview with Juana Martinez-Neal


Oh Juana, Juana, Juana...what could one say about Juana?

Is she talented? Check. Is she enterprising? Check. Is she supportive, caring, and giving? Check, check, check.

Juana's work is a visual reflection of her personality and heart - enthusiastic, bright, cheery and colorful. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Juana Martinez-Neal, a great illustrator and friend.

Juana Martinez-Neal is a Peruvian born children’s illustrator living in sunny Arizona. You can follow her tweets @juanamartinez, updates via facebook or see works in progress on instagram. Visit her website at


1. Once you decided illustration was the career for you, what were the first steps you took to achieving your goal? The very first thing I did was googling "children's illustration". SCBWI was at the top. As anal as I am, I went through every link in the first 8 pages of the search but went back to They looked reputable! So I looked at the site and at the chapter's page. They had a chapter here in AZ and the were having the Annual Conference in only 2 weeks! 2 weeks!! I stopped hyper-ventilating and yelling at the husband from my little spare bedroom-office about the Conference that was going to happen here, and dug in my purse for my wallet. I joined SCBWI and immediately printed and mailed my registration for the Local Conference. I went to the Conference although I had the most inexplicable stomachache that morning. I listened to every presenter and break-out session I could. Took notes and at the end asked Laura Jacobsen if she had time to talk. She presented that year. She answered to my extremely infuriating newbie questions and I went home SO very happy. I got back to Children's Illustration. All that was left had to be to work like crazy.

2. Put your pride aside for a moment and share some of your first mistakes starting out… Oh, boy! First biggest mistake. I didn't know where to start getting work so I looked at craigslist. Yes, I did! Shame on me! I found a post looking for a children's book illustrator posted by someone here in Phoenix. I emailed her, she immediately replied and could probably read my desperation on my email. She asked for sketches for the main character. I did 3 versions and email them to her within a day. Yes, I did! Without asking for a contract and without getting a penny. And I never heard back. I emailed her several times and she never replied. All I can say is: Don't Do That! Craigslist is not the place to look for work and NEVER do any work without a contract.

3. How do you maintain a daily routine of writing/illustrating when it is so completely different from a day to day job? Well, this is my job and I've always been freelancing in some way so I'm kind of used to working at my own pace. I do need a quiet studio to work, though. I can have my music playing, that's ok. But screaming (regardless if it's happy or furious screaming) or a TV on will ruin my working mojo. Sooo…. I work when my boys are at school or sleeping. I do have to say that working has got a lot easier now that the boys are older. They now understand if there's a deadline and they actually help me by trying to get along - key word here is "trying".

For the daily routine: I drop the boys to school and I'm back by 8am. I immediately take care of emails, Facebook, twitter, and anything that requires a computer. Most of the time I'm done by 9.30am. At that time, I move to my painting table and sketch or paint until 2pm when it's time to pick up the boys. I can squeeze an hour or two more of work here and there when the boys are home but that's about it. Some days I sketch in bed at night for an hour or two with the DVR playing so I get to spend some time with the hubs. Now, if a deadline is approaching, all the aforementioned schedule is thrown out the window and it's just a dance between my painting table and my computer desk.

4. What is one thing that has helped you to get noticed in this sea of illustrators? Consistency, I guess. I keep at it relentlessly. Twitter and Facebook have helped me getting my work noticed, too. Maybe some people are an overnight success but that's just not me. It has taken me time. Years. But I don't mind, really. As I said, I just keep at it. R-e-l-e-n-t-l-e-s-s-l-y. And if you don't believe me, ask my husband.

5. What one piece of advice would you give to a young illustrator? Learn about the industry. You will save yourself lots of time by learning from other people that have made it already. How do you do that? Go to conferences, presentations, workshops or anywhere where there's a remote chance to see and listen to children's authors and illustrators.

Make sure to leave a comment below for your chance to win an original illustration painted by the lady in question!

The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries, and announced on Monday November 28, 2011.

The more ways you enter, the more chances you get to win!

For more chances:

Follow Juana on Twitter @juanamartinez and copy this retweet on your status: RT @juanamartinez Enter to win an original illustration #giveaway Like Juana's page on Facebook


A Mini Interview with Laura Jacobsen

If the illustration industry was high school, I would have jumped up several rungs of the "coolness ladder" because of befriending this uber-talented lady Laura Jacobsen . I had the opportunity to meet her through my buds and fellow November Interviewers Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal at a cozy little illustration conference.  When I walked in and sat down, I looked over at Laura and knew, KNEW that she had her act together.  So I spent most of the day avoiding her out of absolute intimidation.  What was worse was that she was funny.  Really funny.  The dry deadpan humor you could crack a tooth on.  I was teetering between loathing her and loving her.  It just wasn't fair.  And then-the passing of portfolios happened.  I really wanted her stuff to stink, it would just bring balance to the universe.  But it didn't.

It was amazing.

The line work, the expressions, the perspective, the detail, the Detail, THE DETAIL...

My head was spinning...

Beads of sweat made watery tracks along my hairline as I saw her take a hold of my portfolio.  I had poised my body to grab it and make a break for my car to drive home and take comfort in tube of cookie dough and "When Harry Met Sally", but instead my eyebrows shot up straight out of my head as Laura looked at my work, jerked her head up and said "Who's is this?!" My meek voice said "Mine".  The coolest, most popular girl in the illustration industry said "I love this."

I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Laura Jacobsen who describes herself as a children’s illustrator, dog mama and baker of a mean butterscotch oatmeal cookie.

1. Once you decided illustration was the career for you, what were the first steps you took to achieving your goal?

I joined SCBWI and read everything I could get my hands on about the profession. Then I spent about a month working up the courage to call an illustrator that I discovered lived close to me. Lucky for me, she generously overlooked my pestering, and invited me along to my first illustrator's meeting. I learned a lot from just listening to that group.

2. Put your pride aside for a moment and share some of your first mistakes starting out...

This mistake still haunts me, not getting OUT THERE when I was young and energetic and seeing and soaking up all I could about illustration. Now I'm old, all my clothes have weird stains and dog hair on them and there's kind of a chilly breeze out there, so you see my dilemma. Thankfully, the internet has made it so much easier, and I spend a lot of my spare time searching out new things to inspire me. Yes, yes, that's why I spend so much time on Pinterest- to INSPIRE me.

3. How do you maintain a daily routine of writing/illustrating when it is so completely different from a day to day job?

I learned discipline pretty quickly my freshman year of art school. Few things are more satisfying that crossing something off a mile long to-do list. Well, maybe peeling a sunburn. If I need a quick kick in the pants, I just get on Facebook and get bombarded with over-achievers half my age. That will get me running back to the drawing board every time. Or in front of a bus.

4. What is one thing that has helped you to get noticed in this sea of illustrators?

I don't think I have been noticed, but anecdotal-y, I think that constant promotion and face time both through social media and at conferences is the best way. That and writing /illustrating a NYT bestseller. Either way.

5. What one piece of advice would you give to a young illustrator?

Don't wait for the work to come to you. Create you own work and only put out there what you want to do.

Another example of how FREAKING cool Laura is...she is giving away an original illustration!  So hustle up and leave a comment here!


Like Laura on Facebook


Follow her on Twitter and RT: RT @LauraJacobsen1 Enter to win an original illustration #giveaway

Tune back in next week when we'll wrap up this month of mini-interviews with the wonderful Juana Martinez Neal!

A Mini Interview - Mikela Prevost questions Mikela Prevost

When my buds Juana Martinez-Neal, Molly Idle, Laura Jacobsen and I decided to do this blog tour, I never REALLY processed the thought that the questions I was dying to have answered by them would actually be imposed on myself.  So now as I read them, I'm somewhat taken aback and find my thoughts strolling down Memory Lane or more accurately Illustration Avenue.   So kick back, sip your grande, double, no-whip, pumpkin spiced latte or what overpriced drink that is nuzzled in your grasp and enjoy a peek into my career...thus far.

1. Once you decided illustration was the career for you, what were the first steps you took to achieving your goal?

Hmmmmm.... well, I was in working on my BA in Painting and Drawing at the University of Redlands and was really intrigued with the IDEA of illustration, so I went to lunch with my amazingly talented painting professor, John Brownfield, and asked him "So, like...what is like, illustration?" (Southern California, born and raised) and John proceeded to give a rather vague definition, but enough of a description to intrigue me, which led me to taking a children's book illustration class with Marla Frazee at Art Center in Pasadena.  Once I was in that class, it just clicked and I knew I wanted to tell stories in a visual form.

2. Put your pride aside for a moment and share some of your first mistakes starting out...

Gahhhhh.... one really embarrassing moment is when I was just starting to "get myself out there" and work on sending out samples.  I also researched names of some Art Directors I wanted to contact.  I was super super super nervous and I made my first cold call to some AD of one of the biggest publishing houses in the known world and I BLEW it.  It was SNL worthy of how badly I stumbled over my words and gave the wrong information.  What's the best (worst) is that it all was recorded on her voice mail so she could replay it as often and for whoever she liked for as long as she may live.

So, I guess the lesson today kids is, if you're going to make a cold call, practice first.  And maybe use a script.

3. How do you maintain a daily routine of writing/illustrating when it is so completely different from a day to day job?

This is my biggest struggle.  I have 3 kids and two of them are with me all day, so my "work day" really begins at 8pm.  I have noticed that trying to maintain momentum really is key, that once I finish a project I need to maintain that sense of urgency with my own self-imposed assignments.  It's really just discipline, dragging your tired body to the drafting table and pushing yourself to start something for you.

4. What is one thing that has helped you to get noticed in this sea of illustrators?

Being consistent with social networking.  I'm not even saying I'm great at it, but finding avenues that support your work and your news really helps to boost your ego and feel like your time is well spent.  I'm so thankful for sites like Illustration Mundo and Little Chimp Society that are great about spreading the word.  Other sites that require more participation like Illustration Friday and They Draw and Cook are great when you are lacking in the inspiration department.

5. What one piece of advice would you give to a young illustrator?

I guess that whole perspiration/inspiration saying is really true.  If you really aren't willing to put in the time and effort, your talent alone won't carry you.

Did you know that I'm rewarding one lucky reader with an original illustration?!  The original is a 7″ x 7″, watercolor, acrylic and collage illustration. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries, and announced Monday November 14, 2011.

Ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment below
  • Follow me on Twitter @mikelaprevost and copy this retweet on your status: RT @mikelaprevost Enter to win an original illustration #giveaway

A Mini-Interview with Miss Molly Idle

The questions just keep comin' folks! As part of the Mini Interviews and Giveaways- being co-hosted by Juana Martinez Neal, Laura Jacobsen and myself, I get the immense pleasure of picking the brain of the abundantly talented and experienced children's book writer and illustrator Molly Idle.  But she may argue in regards to a recent Twitter tweet that her brains are not even zombie worthy of nibbling but I reason to guess humility makes up for a large portion of her frontal lobe so I've come prepared with questions (and a spoon) and am ready to dig in!

A little snippet about Molly Idle...

Molly Idle is a children’s book author / illustrator, Mom, Mrs. and (not coincidentally) java junkie. To learn more about Molly you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website:
1. Once you decided illustration was the career for you, what were the first steps you took to achieving your goal?
I did a few things simultaneously...
1. I joined SCBWI (The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators).
2. I purchased a copy of the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market.
3. I quit my job.
In retrospect,  I probably should have just done the first two, and waited a bit to see how successful (or not) I would be before moving along to "3". But having quit my day job in animation,  illustration became my new day job and I worked that much harder as a result. Food, shelter, and children to support make for powerful motivators!

2. Put your pride aside for a moment and share some of your first mistakes starting out...
The most egregious mistake I can think of was made in my first manuscript submission. I sent it to everyone, and I mean EVERYONE listed in the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market (and all simultaneously). It was a Christmas picture book, but I think I even sent queries to non fiction imprints! Yikes... Needless to say I got a host of rejection letters... but I also got one "yes", and one is all it takes.
3. How do you maintain a daily routine of writing/illustrating when it is so completely different from a day to day job?
I've found that the relationship between the amount of time I put into my work, and the results I get from it are directly proportional. So, I try to treat it as a "day to day" job. This means a lot of time with my bum in the chair at my desk! That was nearly impossible when my husband was working full time, and I was looking after our two boys by myself all day. I'd squeeze in a bit of work early in the morning before anyone else was up,  Then, after cooking dinner, and getting the boys tucked in,  I'd make myself an espresso and head into the studio and draw until the espresso wore off, or I fell asleep. Now, I'm lucky enough to have my husband home with the boys so I can work during "normal" business hours.  I head to the studio about 9am and I tackle email and social networking first thing. When that's done, I put on some music and head to my desk to work on whatever piece I left off from the day before, and I work till the boys are home from school around 4pm. But, old habits are hard to break, and I often sneak into the studio both early in the morning and after the boys are in bed.
4. What is one thing that has helped you to get noticed in this sea of illustrators?
I can't pick just one, I think it has to be two: Skill and Luck. I once read a quote by Oprah that said "Luck is the moment when preparation meets opportunity." I think that's true. There are so many talented and skilled illustrators out there. I am always working to hone my skills and improve my storytelling ability. But your work also has to catch the right eyes at the right time, or land on an editor's desk on just the right day- that's where luck comes into play. I've been insanely lucky in that regard. But all the luck in the world won't help you if your work isn't up to snuff. So, I practice, practice, practice, and then make sure I put my work out there so it has a chance of meeting the right opportunities
5. What one piece of advice would you give to a young illustrator?
"...make a  place for yourself. "There's a short story that goes along with this...When I was a teenager longing to work for Disney Feature Animation, I wrote to Glen Keane (animator of Ariel in the Little Mermaid and so many others) and asked him how I could become an animator. To my delight, he took the time to answer me in a handwritten letter (which I still keep in my desk) saying: "Draw, draw, draw!" Which I did,  and after college was hired by DreamWorks Feature Animation.While I was at DreamWorks I had the privilege of working with the late Pres Romanillos, who had apprenticed with Glen Keane, and Pres introduced us at a film screening. At the time, the whole world of animation was transitioning between traditional animation and CGI, and I was starting to feel that I needed to move in another direction if I wanted a career where I could keep drawing.

As it turns out Mr. Keane was facing the same dilemma- he wanted to keep drawing. And after the film, when someone asked him what he planned to do now that animation was becoming overwhelmingly digital he said: "If there is something you want to do, that isn't being done, you have to make a place for yourself."

It was "Draw, draw, draw!" all over again...  I took his words to heart, and started making a place for myself in the world of children's books. I'm so glad I did.

Molly is giving away a copy of her book, Santa’s Workshop and a signed print  from the book. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries, and announced Monday, November 7, 2011.

Ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment below
  • Follow Molly on Twitter @mollyidle and copy this retweet on your status: RT @mollyidle Enter to win a signed print and a copy of Santa’s Workshop #giveaway
  • Follow/Like Idle Illustration on Facebook

A Month of Mini-Interviews and Giveaways in November!

This is big.

I am so honored and yet a smidge skeptical as to why such a talented group of children's book writers/illustrators would include me in this November interview extravaganza!  But I'll put my suspicions to the side for now and introduce you to these crazy talented ladies as we jump around the blog-osphere interviewing each other.   These powerhouse personalities are  - Molly Idle, Juana Martinez Neal and Laura Jacobsen and they are here to share some of tricks of the trade of this illustration industry.

To sweeten the deal I'll throw in a few interviews about myself on what I've gleaned with this career choice.

Tuesday, Nov 8th.  You can visit Juana's blog for the first mini-interview of me!

Wednesday, Nov 9th. The mini-interviewing of me continues on Molly's blog!

Thursday, Nov 10th.  Check back here, where I will be interviewing myself.  I'm asking the hard hitting questions, Oprah style.  My goal is to make myself cry.

Friday, Nov 11th. The Mikela mini-interview finale can be found on Laura's blog!


Monday, Nov 14th. I will give away ............. wait for it ......... an original illustration.  Yes folks, the pile is high of illustrated work and since you have been so kind to endure my yammering, one lucky winner will get a unique piece of art forever.  For-ev-er, For-ev-er, For-ev-er, For-ev-er ("Sandlot"?  Anyone?)

For details on how to enter - stay tuned!

So make sure you are checking your Reader or bookmarks or what have you to get the full scope of all the talent assembled!

Check in with Molly and her interviews which are posted now!

And then....

Tuesday, Nov 15. Laura's week of interrogating thoughtful questions begins!

Tuesday, November 22. Juana's week to bring on the heat!

Don't miss it!

It's gonna be INSANE!!!!!!

Illustration Friday - Midsummer Night

Being that I currently reside in Arizona, when I think of midsummer (regardless of day or night), my one resounding thought is - proper air conditioning.  So here is a view of a typical circa 1960's Arizona roof that a star has literally fallen onto.  Poor guy.


I listen to a lot of podcasts, but I never had one hit so close to home as Planet Money's "How To Buy A Stolen Credit Card" It was one of those moments; I was listening and washing dishes when Zoe Chace gave the short exposition about how credit card theft happens.  I really wish I had dramatically dropped the macaroni laden plate from my hands in shock, but the plate stayed firm in my grasp.  I did give a short gasp and listened closely to Ms. Chace describe the sordid underbelly of the stolen credit card market. In a nutshell, I learned that the $300 that had just been charged to our credit card not even 24 hours prior to this podcast had taken a drip with thousands of other terrified and anxious credit card digits into a seedy site that could be considered E-bay's evil twin.  Our $300, our THREE HUNDRED dollars I learned, mostly likely was bought be a certified criminal for a mere $30.  To understand why, you have to listen to the podcast.  Zoe Chace and Adam Davidson do brilliant job explaining this market and also making you as a credit card holder completely paranoid.  Well, not completely...but still.