McClintock, an award-winning illustrator and author of children's books and former
"I can only describe it (the experience of being on stage at Carnegie Hall) as sky diving without a parachute," McClintock said.
McClintock has illustrated and/or written 38 children's books, and has won four
McClintock was born in
"I think she was born with it, the ability to draw," she said. "By the time she was 3 or 4, she was drawing fantastic pictures."
Albright's home is adorned with drawings and paintings from McClintock, including pencil sketches from her early childhood.
McClintock said her parents divorced when she was 9 and she moved with her mother to
McClintock said her time in
"Having that horse really broadened my interests," she said. "Just having the wide-open spaces and the freedom to explore those spaces in
McClintock said growing up in
"They taught me to be open and trusting, helped shape my personality, especially in business," she said. "People tell me I'm friendly all the time, and I attribute that to my
'Leave Your Sleep'
McClintock said a friend gave her Merchant's CD "Leave Your Sleep" in 2010. She said she instantly fell in love with the music. The CD is a mix of poems by authors such as
"I thought 'this would make a perfect children's book,'" McClintock said. She contacted her editor at
The editor contacted Merchant's manager and in 2011 set up a meeting with Merchant.
Merchant was familiar with McClintock's work as a friend had given Merchant's daughter one of McClintock's books as a present.
The process of making a children's illustrated book is different than making other books. First, if the illustrator and author are two people, they usually communicate through the book's editor.
"Natalie visited my studio one time during the year it took me to create the drawings," McClintock said.
Creating a children's picture book involves a lot of engineering according to McClintock. Children's picture books are created in 16-page segments, with most being 32 pages long.
McClintock said she first starts with doodles when creating images for a book. Once she has solidified the doodle into a sketch, she sends it to the editor for approval. The editor and illustrator have to figure out how the artwork will fit on each page with the words.
"It is a little like fitting together a puzzle," she said.
Merchant and McClintock weren't able to include all 22 poems Merchant used in the CD. But McClintock said the end result was "amazing." The book, which includes a CD of music Merchant created for the book, was published in
"The book and CD are a great interactive experience," she said. "I've had teachers and media specialists say they have used the book and CD to encourage reluctant readers to engage in poetry."
McClintock said she first learned about the concert based on the book in September. She said her illustrations were projected on a screen on stage behind and above the musicians while they performed.
"The images were just like a dream," McClintock said. The image would first appear on screen as a black-and-white line drawing, then the colors would fill in to complete the picture. As Merchant sang each poem, the drawing would fade in and out, or have different sections move around.
McClintock said she plans to visit
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