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Viewing Blog: Chickengirl Design, Most Recent at Top
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Cluck Cluck! Also known as Jannie Ho, I'm an illustrator and designer in children's publishing. Oh, and I like chickens.
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1. Greeting Cards for Peaceable Kingdom Press

Here are some greeting cards I illustrated for the lovely folks at Peaceable Kingdom Press. They are always a pleasure to work with! I just received these samples just in time for a birthday party for my daughter's friend.

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2. New Book: Petit lapin cherche son doudou

Hello! My poor blog! I've been terrible about blogging as time is limited these days, with an active toddler and projects in the works. But I have a lovely book out with a French publisher, Editions Auzou. It is a touch-and-feel book titled Petit lapin cherche son doudou, written by Yann Walcker. It is exciting to be in the French market, as I'm a big fan of the French illustration style.

Available at Amazon.fr

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3. Make Art That Sells E-course, Part B

For the past 5 weeks, I've been taking the second part of Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells e-course (Part B.) Another round of learning about different industries, this time in paper, children's apparel, scrapbooking, editorial, and party paper. Here are the 5 assignments I did for each week.

Week 1: Paper.
Week 2: Baby Apparel

Week 3: Scrapbooking

Week 4:editorial

Week 5: Party Paper

The class was of course, amazing. I came away from the class feeling very inspired and empowered. A few things I learned from the class:

1. Drawing icons. The ah-ha moment that is well worth the price of the course. Coming from a children's book illustrator perspective, it is a little bit different to draw/design art for products and other industries.

2. It is not so scary to be a trend watcher. Or even better, I should start trends! I never liked the idea of following trend and doing "what's hot" at the moment. But this course taught me to make it my own in a comfortable way.

3. Every detail count. I love how Lilla Rogers emphasized on presentation as well as other details. I'm blown away by her attention to details, which I can see makes her agency very successful.

There is so much more to absorb from the class but I hope I keep the momentum going and produce work for these markets. More info of the course can be found here.

And last but not least, a very nice gift from the class was that we got a 6 month membership to Moyo, a surface design directory. Here is my profile, please click the *like* profile button if you get a chance! (you don't need to sign up to do so.) Thanks!

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4. Nov Dec Issue of The SCBWI Bulletin

I'm honored to be on the cover of the November/December issue of the SCBWI Bulletin!

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5. "Inside Story" Event at The Odyssey Bookshop

I'm looking forward to being at The Odyssey Bookshop this Sunday, November 3rd in South Hadley, MA- as part of SCBWI's "Inside Story" Event, where you will get the inside story from some of your favorite authors and illustrators.

Come support an independent book store, and the best part is that First Book will donate a book to a child in need for every book purchased at the event.

For more information, check it out here- and if you are local, please drop by!

Inside Story Event at
The Odyssey Bookshop
9 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
Sunday, Nov 3rd

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6. New Website

I'm currently transferring my domain name and my chickengirldesign.com site is down. Please visit my new site on Squarespace instead until I get it sorted out. You can find it here: https://jannie-ho.squarespace.com/

I'm loving the new site so far. Clean design (mostly because I don't know how to put in all the bells and whistles I want, which in return is probably for the best!) and let my work speak for itself. There is still a bit to be done but there is alot of fresh new work there. Thank you for visiting.

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7. New book! It's a Pop-Up!

Today I'm celebrating a release of a pop-up book! Pop-Up and Play FARM published by Campbell Books. Paper engineered by Maggie Bateson, illustrated by yours truly.

It has a story, 15 press out pieces and a pop-up play scene!

I'm hoping to show more of the book with its amazing pop-up and the process into making it soon.

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8. First Five California + Scholastic

A few months ago I worked with Scholastic and First 5 California to illustrate their digital storybook along with activities for PreK and K.

The website is live! It includes link to the digital book, It's Picnic Day, Potter! along with resources and activities for families and the classroom.

You can read this book FREE online. 

One of the resources I illustrated is this ABC poster. You can download it as PDF here.

It was a fantastic project and so nice to see it all come together like this.

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9. Being Faculty - SCBWI LA Conference 2013

Opening Ceremony at SCBWI LA Conference 2013. Over 1200 in attendance!
August is almost over and its been a few weeks since I've returned from the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA. Yet I still can't find the words to describe what my experience was like there.

I received an email a few months ago from Cecilia Yung, art director from Penguin Young Readers Group and also on the SCBWI Board of Advisors.  She asked me if I would like to speak at the conference. I was floored. Excited, yes, but me? But when she told me they were doing a panel on books for toddlers in the illustrators intensive, I knew I had ALOT to talk about regarding this subject. I've been working years as an illustrator now, and have always been in learning mode. Now in almost a blink of an eye, I was on the other side, with much info to share with others. How did this happen?

I also got to run two breakout sessions; one on anthropomorphic character design and one on creating novelty books. I appreciate all the people that came! One's nightmare is to having no one show up. In one session, we had to turn people away because the room was at capacity!

The best part was to meet in person, all the talented illustrators I've come to known online for years. I felt right at home. I know this is my tribe. Alot of them knew I was nervous about my talks. Thank you for your support. It was SO nice to see a friendly and familiar face in the audience as I spoke.

My rep, Mela Bolinao, also was on the faculty this year. I haven't seen her in person for literally years, so it was so nice to get some face time (we communicate mostly by email). Funny how it is in this conference and in LA of all places that we got the opportunity to meet up.

The Black and White Gala. Dancing under the night sky with children's book peeps.

Oh and all the fun little things! Dancing under the night sky with all children's publishing folks. The book signing (and people wanting to take a picture with me. I'm very, very flattered!)

I don't know how the stars aligned for me this year that I was given this opportunity and I'm truly grateful. I can't describe what an incredible and amazing time I had.  From the conference I did learn that everyone in this industry work so hard to get to where they are at and where they want to be. They all are so passionate about children's books. There are still so many things I want to do and I will be working harder myself. Thank you everyone at SCBWI for having me!

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10. Make Art That Sells- Continued

Its been 5 weeks of incredible inspiration over at Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells course. I have so much new and fresh ideas as to where I can take my art to. I can not wait for Part B to start in the Fall.

Here are some pieces that I did from the class. (check out my previous post on this class here.)

Week 3: Children's Books

I also decided to take my snail drawings and make a pattern out of it!
Week 4: Wall Art
This one was quite a challenge, as we had to do a painterly/collage piece of wall art for grown ups (eeek!). As I struggled with this, I was reminded that I loved doing collage back in art school.

Week 5: Gift

The assignment was to design a "hyper lush" zipper pouch. I took everything I learned from this course (including the collage) and incorporated into this piece. I'm super happy with it! I feel like I had a breakthrough and want to do more pieces like this. Eureka!

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11. Guess Who?

A new book is out! Actually it is the US version of the Pop-up Mask books I did, coming across the pond from the UK. It has a new cover and published by Cartwheel Books/ Scholastic. Check it out!

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12. The Little Golden Years

I'm so happy I've been getting a chance to participate in some fabulous gallery shows. This one is at the Bear and Bird Gallery, curated by the ever so talented Heidi Kenney of My Paper Crane. Wow! I'm honored to be part of this show called The Little Golden Years.

This is the perfect show for me as all the artists get to pick a little Golden Book as an inspiration and go from there. I picked The Country Mouse and the City Mouse. I think I'm obsessed with drawing city life, and yes, more transportation! Just when I think I can't draw one more car, I draw, well, more cars.

Check out this awesome postcard for the show!

The Little Golden Years
curated by Heidi Kenney
June 28-August 10, 2013
at Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery
Opening Night Reception
Friday, June 28th from 7-10pm

See and Buy online

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13. Highlights Hello Magazine

This is a piece I did for Highlights Hello Magazine. It is their new magazine geared towards babies. I got this assignment when my daughter was about 3 months old, so it was special to do something for her age group.

Here she is now, almost a year later, enjoying the magazine.

Even more special:  We are inside envelope in which the magazine came in. :-) She was so little then, she is almost 1 year and a half now!

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14. Make Art That Sells

Things are quite busy here and I've once again neglected my blog! I've been in learning mode, taking the Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells e-course. I've been looking to spread my wings into other industries for a while now, and I just couldn't pass up on this course when I found out about it. I also realized I haven't taken a class in ages! It was nice getting class assignments where I can explore my style without worrying about producing for a client. Here are some of the images I've been working on for the past few weeks.

Week 1: Bolt Fabric- I've had a very short stint working in a childrenswear company long ago. I didn't enjoy it then and went into children's publishing, but now going back to it and doing it my way makes a huge difference. I also got the "ah-ha moment" I was looking for in week 1! I'm pretty sure I want to do more of this now.

Week 2: Home Decor- We had to design plates with a seed/pod theme.  Yikes! Realized I haven't really designed anything on a circle before, so something as simple as that can be new and exciting. I had a difficult time with this one, as designing something for "grown-ups" trips me up. I'm happy with this design as a first try, even though I didn't follow the assignment exactly. Oops. I really wanted to put my birdie with the glasses on there!

Week 3: Children's Books- My home turf! I'm currently in this week at the moment and this is from the mini exercise we have to do each week. Snails! I don't think I've explored Snails as a character on this level before so once again, very inspiring. I'm having fun! I'll come back and post the final piece for the assignment later.

That's it for now! Cluck cluck!

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15. A New book is out: Muddle Zoo

I have a new book out! Muddle Zoo, A Magnetic Play Book, published by Campbell Books is out now in the UK! (It will be released in the US in July.)

There are lots of magnets that come with the book for lots of interactive fun. Check out this video to see how the book works!

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16. Tiny Tabs Series Published by Nosy Crow

I'm completely behind on my blogging! The first two books in the Tiny Tab Series, published by Nosy Crow, are out this month. These are some of my favorite books I've illustrated (hello, anthropomorphic animals!) and I'm thrilled they are out into the world. I've been working hard on them all of last year.

There are die cuts on the spreads where by pulling the tabs, it reveals something fun. Perfect for babies and toddlers And yes, its been personally tested in this household by the Nugget ;-)

Teeny Weeny Looks for His Mummy and Bunny Boo has Lost Her Teddy is now out in the UK. Its been a joy working with Nosy Crow with 2 more in the series coming out soon!

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17. Public Works Week Poster: The Sketches

There was a request over on my Facebook Page to show some of my sketches. So here is a look into illustrating the poster I did for the American Public Works Association.

Sketch 1:

This year's theme was quality of life. The idea was to cover urban, suburban and rural areas and how people enjoy the fruits of public works. I was welcomed to do some typography/hand lettering as well.

Sketch 2:
Had to pack in a few more things like more suburban houses and a farm, so the building was shortened to accommodate.

Sketch 3:

Received feedback that it looked a bit familiar to a previous year's poster with a vertical format. So it needs to be horizontal now. Yikes! Luckily, I work in Illustrator with layers so it wasn't such a bit deal. I had to lose the cut-a-way underground pipes and the subways though, which I was a bit bummed about.

Color Final:
Since this was a "grown up" project, I wasn't sure if I should use a more sophisticated palette. But this was suppose to be a fun busy poster so I used colors that really popped.

It was a fun project! And if you like a poster, here is the link to purchase at the APWA site.

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18. The Next Big Thing: A Global Blog Tour

Cluck cluck!

I am participating in a global blog tour to bring awareness to authors and illustrators about their books.  Thank you so much, Alicia PadrĂ³n for asking me to participate! (and if you don't know Alicia's work and love soft cute cuddly animals, go check out her beautiful watercolor art.)

To answer these questions-

What is the working title of your latest book?

The 2 books I have coming out that are part of a series called Tiny Tabs. Teeny Weeny Looks for His Mummy and Bunny Boo Has Lost Her Teddy! coming in April 2013, published by Nosy Crow.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Nosy Crow came to me with the idea and manuscript. I illustrated these books. However, they really made me feel like part of the team and welcomed my ideas and suggestions, which is reflected in the books. (thank you, Camilla and Giselle!)

What genre does your book fall under?
Board book.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I would love for it to be animated instead...is that cheating?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Lost and found with toddler animals.

Who is publishing your book?

Nosy Crow.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

In the point of view of the illustrator...it was alot of back and forth. There are four books in the series and the original schedule was a few months. In the end, it took around 10 months from beginning to end.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There are many board books out there with fun, interactive elements. Noodle is another series that I adore which is also published by Nosy Crow, illustrated by Marion Billet.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

What inspired me to illustrate this is that I love drawing anthropomorphic animals. Also, the books are for an age group in which my daughter is currently in. So when I got the proofs, it was wonderful seeing my daughter interact with it. It is priceless.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

There are fun die cuts throughout the book activated by pulling on the tabs. There are lots of cuteness inside! :-)


The Next Big Thing Blog Tour continues next Friday with:

Courtney Pippin-Mathur, writer and illustrator of Maya Was Grumpy

Its been nice getting to know Courtney and her journey to get this book published. I'm thrilled for her and you should be too! Maya was Grumpy is out in stores now.

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19. Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories, presented by Joey Chou & Friends, opens this Saturday, January 12th at Leanna Lin's Wonderland. I'm so honored to be part of this amazing group of artists!
Sneak peek of my piece- Storytime at Midnight  

I really love participating in gallery shows (and happy I get to opportunity to lately. Thanks Leanna and Joey!) It gives me a chance to do something a little different other than children's publishing and break the rules, to freely experiment. Hopefully I can bring what I learn in the process into my style for client work. I'm really happy with the way this piece turned out. If I had more time, I would of done smaller, accompany pieces. But alas, I have a toddler now that takes up alot of my time. I learn to work in small doses.

Adrianna Bamber www.abamber.com
Andrea Kang www.andreakang.com
APAK www.apakstudio.com
Bored Inc. www.boredinc.net
Chris Sasaki www.sakiteriyaki.blogspot.com
cmykevin www.cmykevin.com
Eric Diaz www.theinfiniteultimate.blogspot.com
Ernie Gilbert www.ernie-gilbert.blogspot.com
Israel Sanchez www.israelsanchez.com
Jannie Ho www.chickengirldesign.com
Jesse Tise www.ofgodsandmonsters.net
Joey Chou www.joeyart.com
Michael Fleming www.tweedlebop.com
Michelle Coffee www.etsy.com/shop/michellecoffee
Nellie Le www.hellobecausemaybe.com

For those in LA, consider going to the opening this Saturday at 6pm!

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20. Storytime at Midnight

Storytime at Midnight
Here is my piece for The Bedtime Stories show presented by Joey Chou and Friends at Leanna Lin's Wonderland!

Here are the details:
Storytime at Midnight
digital print (archival giclee)
12.75" x 16.5" (framed)

It is ready to hang with a beautiful mat and white frame. I hope it goes to a good home :-) Here is a flickr set which features all the art from this show. If you are interested in any of the art (including this one!), please email [email protected] with the artist's name, title, and shipping address.)

Thank you!

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21. Raccoon Rumpus!

I illustrated a board game! It is called Raccoon Rumpus by Educational Insights. It was nice to work on something different than books and with an interesting format. Besides the box, I had to draw the 20 costume cards and design the plastic raccoon head. Overall a neat project and I hope to see it in the stores soon. There is even a cool YouTube video on how the game works. Its being released today!

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22. American Public Works Association Poster

Got to do something other than kid lit. I illustrated this year's poster for the American Public Works Association. It's huge (20" x 30") and I'm honored to be amongst the very talented artists who've done it in the past. Extra Bonus: I got to sneak a chicken in there. (thanks Jon!)

Check it out!

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23. Behind on the Valentine

quick sketch on post-it note
My blog...neglected! Valentine's day came and went, but here is a piece I did for the Illustration for Kids promo mailer we just did. Had to change the background color for the postcard, but enough of pink just the same!

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24. Live Animal Study @RISD

Spent the afternoon this past Saturday drawing here, The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD with fellow illustrators. In awe of the amazing facilities they had! Organized by Christina Rodriguez (thanks Christina!) in the support from RISD and the RISPCA, I had a wonderful time drawing live animals and also not to live animals. Nice to visit Providence too. What a cute and quaint city. I also realized I need to draw from life more often. But of course the best part of these types of workshops are meeting like minded folks. Hi Renee Kurilla, her husband Keith, and John Lechner!

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25. Illustration Friday Interview

When Penelope Dullaghan of Illustration Friday asked me if she can interview me for their blog, I was very honored, and felt very nostalgic too. It was because of IF that I started my blog many years ago and how I made many illustrator friends online.  Plus of course, the many creative prompts that it gave me.

And to be amongst many incredible artists in their interview series! Wow! You can check out my interview here.

Thanks Penelope! (who is also an incredible artist herself!)

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