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New York City, here I come!
At the end of January one of my favorite used book stores closed down. I'm sad to see them go. But, I was glad to take advantage of the great sale they were having and I'm now the proud owner of several new books. Small Pig
by Arnold Lobel and Animal Stories
by William Johnston are both full of wonderful illustrations. I couldn't put down Holes
by Louis Sachar and now I'm on to The Cricket in Times Square
. There is much inspiration to be found in these pages. What's been inspiring you lately?
This is Benny and his friend Squirrel. These two pals make an appearance on the new postcards that I just ordered for the SCBWI Winter conference in New York
. Are you going to the conference, too?
In other news, here are some links you might like...Picture books that will never win awards
, from the New York Public LibraryA video of Author/Illustrator, Peter Brown
, sharing his process
and Jon Klassen
have a new book coming out with Candlewick A great process post from Greg Pizzoli
about his award winning book, The Watermelon Seed
Also, I just finished reading Between Shades of Gray
, by Ruta Sepetys and I can't stop thinking about it. If you haven't read it yet, please do.
Ok, that's all for now. Back to drawing. Happy Tuesday!
I started off the day sketching and reading at one of my favorite coffee shops. Sometimes it's nice to get out of the studio for a little while. Now I'm back home and deadlines are quickly approaching so I'm off to work on book projects. But, before I go, here are a few links you might like...
An article about Kadir Nelson
and his new book, Baby Bear
My author/illustrator friend, Julie Rowan-Zoch
, recently introduced me to the very excellent work of Vladimir Stankovic.
A conversation between Caldecott winners
, Jon Klassen and Chris Raschka.
An interesting video
of illustrator, Victo Ngai.
My brother's really cool instagram photos
Enjoy your Tuesday! :)
Hello to a new year! Did you make any new year's resolutions? I never really used to make resolutions, but in the last few years as I've watched my grandparents age and have seen my grandmothers struggle with dementia I've been thinking a lot about how I want to live my life. I like the idea of setting an intention (or several) for each new year.
Here are some of my intentions for 2014...
1. Be thankful. Be thankful for what I have and for the people in my life. Be thankful that I get to do what I love. Be thankful for the food on my table and for the art supplies on my desk.
2. Be brave. I've been drawing my whole life and have had lots of practice. Writing, on the other hand, makes me nervous. I've been worried that maybe I'm not very good at writing or maybe my story ideas aren't interesting and no one will like them. This year, instead of keeping my stories hidden away in my sketchbooks and the secret folder on my computer, I will share them with my critique group. I will write everyday even though it won't always be very good and sometimes it might be very bad. But, that's okay. Hopefully by being brave about writing, I will become a better writer.
3. Be present. My husband and I spend a lot of time talking about what we want for our future. We talk about where we want to live and the kind of house we'd like to build someday. We talk about where we'd like to travel (so
many places!) and what it will be like when we have kids. And I like
talking about all of those things. But, maybe by spending so much time thinking about the future, we forget to enjoy where we are now
. So, this year I'm going to try to be present with what is happening, when it's happening.
4. Read more, watch less. There are so many good books out there that I haven't gotten to yet. I always read when I go to bed, but often I'm too tired to get through very many pages. This year I'm going to turn off the T.V. and pick up a book. Are you in?
So here's wishing you a year full of thankfulness, bravery, presence of mind, and good books! What are your intentions for the year? Whatever they are, I hope your 2014 is full of good things. :)
Today seems like a good day to avoid the holiday busy-ness by staying home to draw. Lately I've been working on loosening up my line work. Unfortunately, Mr. Pants is unimpressed.
I hope that your holiday preparations are going well. And I hope that your kitty is more appreciative of your artistic attempts than mine is. Enjoy your weekend!
Hello and Happy Wednesday to you! I always like seeing how other people work so I thought I'd share a few process photos of one of yesterday's warm-up sketches. For the ink outline I use FW Acrylic Artists Ink
and for the gray background wash in the last photo I used ArtGraf watercolor graphite.
The cold snap we had in Colorado a few weeks ago is officially over and now it feels far too much like spring. This little curly haired gal and I are hoping we'll have some fresh snow soon.
My brother, Christopher, and two of his friends recently launched a campaign on Kickstarter called Fire & Bone
. After less than a week they've received over $90,000 in pledges, much more than their original request of $8,000. The tiny bronze and silver skull pendants that they make are really amazing (I have one of their white bronze fox skulls and I love it!).
Check out their Kickstarter campaign
if you'd like to get in on the action, or just to see what my talented big brother is up to.
Fire & Bone is adding a wolf skull to their collection and I did this drawing for their site.
On August 1st I flew to Los Angeles to attend the 42nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference. As usual, this year's conference was a whirlwind of information, inspiration, old friends, new friends, too much coffee and not enough sleep. And as usual, I didn't take nearly as many photos as I meant to. But, I did manage to get a photo of Bruce Degen (creator of Jamberry and illustrator of The Magic School Bus books) and Mac Barnett (author of one of my very favorite books, Extra Yarn).
And here are some conference highlights...
-Laurie Halse Anderson
's keynote speech. One of my favorite things that she said was "Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes".
's workshop, "How to Take Control of Your Career and Chart a Plan". Steven talked about slowing down and making thoughtful, proactive career decisions. He gave me a lot of think about.
's workshop on writing for illustrators left me feeling encouraged to keep chasing a story idea that I haven't quite been able to nail down.
's presentation at the illustrator's intensive. Dan talked about the importance of design in illustration, which I thought was really interesting and helpful.
's thoughtful critique of my book dummy. Now I have some new ideas on how to improve my story.
! I really
love Carson Ellis' work and it was great to hear about her process. Also, her really cute baby was there.
-Seeing friends! (Check out my friend, Tina Kugler
's, awesome illustrations!)
|Tina and I at the Black and White Ball|
-And finally, one of the biggest highlights for me this year was being the recipient of a mentorship award
, as well as an honor award
The portfolio critiques that I received from the five mentors were extremely helpful and I came away with some really concrete advice on how to improve my work. I feel very honored to be in the company of the other mentorship winners and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better! Please take some time to check out their wonderful work... Andy Musser
, Corinna Luyken
, Linda Dorn
, and Roldolfo Montalvo
I also had the privilege of meeting Lisa Woods
, the other honor award winner, and Maral Sassouni
, the Grand Prize winner.
After the conference there was lots of hanging out with friends, which included some delicious Udon noodles with illustrators Maple Lam
and Jen Betton
, and a trip to Seattle with my friend and critique partner, Lisa Anchin,
to visit the third member of our critique group, Jessixa Bagley
(and Jessixa's very talented artist husband, Aaron Bagley
|A typical Seattle afternoon with Jessixa and Lisa|
After a few days with Jessixa and Lisa, my husband met me in Seattle and we headed to the Olympic Peninsula where we did some camping, visited the Hoh rainforest (which is AMAZING!), went to beautiful Ruby Beach, and had a great time (and some great food) in Port Townsend. (Side note... while enjoying some really good sea food in Port Townsend, we spotted Cloris Leachman
a few tables away!)
It always takes a little while to settle back in after a trip, but deadlines are quickly approaching, story ideas are eager to be written down, and my studio is in serious need of a sorting out. So now I'm off to ink and paint (the sorting out will have to wait for another day). I hope these last days of summer are treating you well! If you went to the conference, too, I'd love to hear about your experience!
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Look what came in the mail two weeks ago! Cupcake Cousins
, written by Kate Hannigan
and published by Disney/Hyperion, is the very first book that I've illustrated. I turned in the finished illustrations yesterday and the book will come out in spring of 2014. Hooray!!
In between working towards deadlines for book projects, I did an illustration for a good friend who will soon be married. Heads up, Lisa! There will be a package on your doorstep very soon! :)
In other news, on October 26th I'll be helping to teach a class with Will Terry
's School of Visual Storytelling. The class is about painting in Photoshop and I think there may still be a few spots left if you'd like to sign up. You can read more about it here
Now that I'm mostly caught up with things, I'm going to take a hiatus from the internet for a few weeks while I take care of some things that need taking care of. It's still sort of grey and rainy here in Colorado. But, things are drying out and it's beginning to feel like fall, which I've very much been looking forward to.
I hope that you are enjoying some lovely fall weather wherever you are! I'll see you at the end of October! :)