Sketchbook Stories :: Jim Benton

Jim is probably best know for his It’s Happy Bunny™ licensing property, or at least that’s where I know him from. During his career Jim has designed clothing, written books, created a kids’ TV series, and won multiple LIMA Licensing Awards. His cynical dry sense of humor has a way of crossing over generations and is relatable to both tweens and adults (or adults that still want to be teens :-)

I ran across an interview Jim did a while back, and I wanted to share with you an excerpt where he talks about making a job out of drawing. I really related to it and I think you will too! :

“I knew I wanted to make a living out of what I loved to do when I realized that I could get regular work. In seventh grade I made a few bucks illustrating for a little newspaper, and that was regular enough for me to realize I could make a job out of drawing.

The rewards of owning your own company are that you make all the decisions. You live by your wits. There is an old chestnut: ‘Nobody enjoys the hunt more than the fox.’ I’ve always thought that was an appropriate way to think of self-employment.”

Today Jim will be sharing the cover development from the latest book in his Dear Dumb Diary Series when we follow the main character Jamie Kelly as she chronicles her middle-school exploits through her private journal.

Here is Jim’s Sketchbook Story ::

JB: By way of introduction, Dear Dumb Diary is published by Scholastic. It’s’ published in over 15 languages, and has sold over 6 million books. 3 are NY Times bestsellers, and it is currently in film development.

JB: I tinkered around trying to depict the damaged relationship between the three main characters in the book.

JB: I was pretty sure that the puppet angle would work, and you can see I even did a little color test on it.

JB: In the end, my editor correctly asserted that these covers were a little more complicated than the actual story I wrote, so I did one that more literally depicted the style-copying that Jamie sees going on around her in the book.  The final cover is also here.

JB: The book releases in June. Here’s the preorder page on Amazon:

JB: I couldn’t completely let go of my little puppet composition and you can see I did a painting of bears for a poster about politics.


Dear Dumb Diary Creator Jim Benton Draws‬

Here’s where you can find Jim ::

  website ::
facebook ::
   twitter ::!/JimBenton

Share your thoughts