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<<August 2014>>
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Viewing Blog: JZ ArtBlog, Most Recent at Top
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1. Highlights Hidden Pictures Fall Special

Hi All!
It's been a busy summer!  I've been working on a new picture book, and also many images for Highlights and Highlights High Five Magazines.  Check out the cover artwork for the new Highlights Hidden Pictures special Fall Edition, coming out this week!

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2. Wee Hopes Auction

"Painted Lanterns", along with other pieces by many of my fellow MB Artists, is up for auction to benefit Wee Hopes.  With your help, WeeHopes.org is working to raise $15,000 toward funding a library in Gondar, Ethiopia. All proceeds from the auction go toward the library, populating the library with books and furniture, and training/staffing the library. Together, we can bring the power of reading to children the world over!  Also, check out Wee Hopes on Facebook!


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3. Once Upon A Sketch - Going Digital

Hi everyone!  Check out my new post on Once Upon A Sketch about the basics of transitioning from traditional illustration to digital illustration!


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4. MB Artists Promotional Cataolg #10

Check out the great new artwork in my agent's newest promotional catalog!  All artists created pieces with a "Food" theme.  I highly recommend sitting down with a bowl of ice cream or a cup of hot chocolate while browsing!  Enjoy!


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5. Father's Day

Folioplanet is featuring several of MB Artists' talent for their Father's Day blog, and one of my pieces has been included!  This piece was created a few years ago as a gift for my husband on his first Father's Day, and still has a special place in my artist's heart.  Thanks, Folioplanet, and Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there!

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6. Summer Fairy Article and Book Signing

Hope you can join us for the Book Signing and Storytime for "The Summer Fairy" this coming weekend!  There will be fun take-aways for the kids as well.  Also, check out the article that our local newspaper "Current in Carmel" ran about "The Summer Fairy"!  It gives a little of the back story as to how the family tradition spread to friends and neighbors, and then became a vision for a full novelty picture book.

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7. Sticky Bunny Diner

Check out my new portfolio piece, inspired by my current chocolate cravings, and my daughter who loves bunnies.  I really enjoyed researching retro diner designs and colors for this piece.  Enjoy!

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8. Once Upon A Sketch and Children's Illustrators

Hi everyone,
Check out my new post at Once Upon A Sketch!  It's about the Indiana SCBWI conference that I attended a few weeks ago  What a great experience!

Also, great news!  I am illustrator of the week at ChildrensIllustrators.com!  Yay!  Thanks so much!
Thanks for reading, everyone!

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9. Promo Catalog

My agency, MB Artists, just released its new quarterly promotional catalog.  The theme this time was "Transportation."  Hope you enjoy all of the new illustrations by our artists!


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10. Highlights Hidden Pictures

I recently got my copy of the new Highlights High Five Hidden Pictures magazine, with my artwork on the cover!  This was fun to work on, because my daughter is just the right age for High Five.  It has been fun introducing her to the hidden pictures games.  Can you find all five kites?

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11. Blast Off!

I created this piece for my agent's upcoming catalog, with the theme "Transportation".  I think every kid's favorite mode of transportation is imagination and a cardboard box! 

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12. Riley Mae Books Released

My newest books "Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek" and "Riley Mae and the Ready Eddie Rapids" have been released by Zonderkidz!  I did the covers and the spot art chapter headers for these middle-grade chapter books about a girl named Riley Mae who becomes the spoke-girl for Swiftriver Shoe Company.  Soon she's appearing in commercials and magazine ads, and every girl in town wants to wear Riley Mae shoes. Well, except for Riley. Because walking in those shoes means missing out on softball season, making her best friend TJ mad, and embarrassing her new friend, Rusty. It also means sneaking around, hiding, and keeping secrets---because suddenly something isn't quite right at Swiftriver. But a contract's a contract, so Riley laces up her 'Rock Shocker' hiking boots for a climb up Half-Dome in Yosemite. Will they be the right shoes to get her back on solid ground?


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13. As You Wish

Hi All!  Check out my first post to Once Upon A Sketch!  I offer tips and advice for setting the right goals for 2014 for your business and portfolio.


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14. Once Upon a Sketch

Well, this announcement is overdue, but starting this year, I will be one of the regular contriubutors to the blog "Once Upon A Sketch."  This blog is a resource for illustrators which gives "insight, education and news about the many facets of the Children’s Illustration Market. From Children’s Books to Character Design, Game Art, Storyboarding, Toys and licensed Products you’ll find articles, interviews and resources to help fuel your education and growth. Jump in and learn more about the various industries from working professionals and find out what it takes to become successful in this field."  Founded by Wilson Williams Jr and Norman Grock, the website became a go-to for artists looking to learn about new techniques, new technologies and important news affecting the illustration industry.  After Wilson's unexpected passing in August this past year, the blog went on hiatus for a few months.  During that time, Norman Grock began looking for new and returning contributors to partner with him in order to continue maintaining and updating "Once Upon A Sketch", keeping it a relevant resource for artists. 
I am excited to be able to be a part of this great website!  Check out our very first group-post of the year, "What We Wish We Knew BEFORE We Started Out As Artists".  Also, next week, I will be posting my first entry about identifying and setting meaningful goals for our portfolios and our businesses to attract new clients and appeal to new markets.
Thanks for reading!

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15. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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16. How Can I Help

Hi Everyone,
It's been an exciting month for book releases! I just got a copy of my newest picture book "How Can I Help?  God's Calling for Kids" in the mail!  It was such a treat to open, and my daughter had me read it to her right out of the envelope. 

Also, Concordia Publishing sent me this video about how one dad/pastor uses the book in his own life.


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17. Promotional Postcards

Hi everyone!  Fellow illustrator Kristi Valiant (who has an adorable book about dancing penguins coming out later this year; everyone go preorder it) has a very informative blog post on promotional postcards for illustrators (you know, the ones you make and send out to art directors several times a yaer hoping that someone says "YES!  I love his/her work and have the perfect project for this art style!")  In any case, I wanted to share this post with you, because it is a great resourse for illustrators who are promoting themselves, their artwork, or their upcoming books.

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18. Splash Park

Happy summer, everyone!

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19. Clubs In My Bag

My newest picture book, "The Clubs in my Bag" has been released by The Littlest Golfer!  I just got my copies in the mail the other day, and my daughter has taken to carrying the book around the house.  She loves the little turtles.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy for your little golfer, just click the image below.  Enjoy!

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20. MB Artists Family Catalog

My agency just put out its newest promotional catalog.  The theme for this one was "Family".  Hope you all enjoy all of the great pieces by the amazing MB Artist illustrators.  I love being a part of this talented group!

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21. Katie Kate Explains Epilepsy

It's been a busy spring!  In addition to working on a the covers for a new book series for ZonderKidz,  I just wrapped up the last book in the Katie Kate series, "The Great Katie Kate Explains Epilespy."  Here is a sneak peak of the cover art for this latest title.

I have several other picture books in the works for this summer as well, and will be wrapping up one of them later this month.  Stay tuned for some more sneak peaks!  Happy Summer!

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22. The Summer Fairy

Exciting news!  My newest picture book "The Summer Fairy" has been released! 

This is a story about a fairy who visits every year on the last day of school to help the kids kick off summer vacation.  Do you want the Summer Fairy to visit you?  Just pick a flower on the last day of school, put it in the vase included with the book, and the Summer Fairy will visit you that night...leaving you a fun summer stash in the morning! 
I was so excited to get my copies.  The book comes beautifully packaged in a plastic case with cloth flower petals inside and a reusable plastic vase inserted into the back cover.  If you want to invite the Summer Fairy to your home, you can purchase the book at www.TheSummerFairy.com.  Also, check out this book trailer that the author made.  I love how she showcased so much of the artwork.  Enjoy!

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23. Into the Land of Snowflakes

I always paint a special piece for my yearly Christmas card to family and clients.  This year has been a year of "magical pieces".  I started off 2013 with "Faerie Lights in the Garden of Wishes".  Later, in the spring, I featured a magical ladybug in "Ladybug Picnic".  Plus, one of my biggest client projects of the year was a picture book about a fairy.  So, it seemed right to close out the year with a personal piece with a magical theme.  This artwork was loosely inspired by "The Nutcracker" and "Swan Lake".  Hope you enjoy!

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24. Fun With Kids

MB Artists' new promotional catalog themed "Fun With Kids" has been released!  Enjoy this new collection of artwork by this great group of artists!

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25. Good News Shoes

I have just wrapped up the cover art for the third title in Zonderkidz new "Faithgirlz - Good News Shoes" series.  I'm loving these books about Riley Mae, official sporty spokesgirl for the Swiftriver Shoe Company and unofficial mystery sleuth.  It was fun to design Riley Mae and all of her trendy shoes (each title features a different shoe).  The covers for the first two books have been released, and the books will be available for purchase in January 2014!


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