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<<December 2017>>
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Viewing Blog: Creative Whimsies, Most Recent at Top
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A Blog by Illustrator Laura Zarrin
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1. Inktober 2015

I just love Inktober! Here are a few of the sketches I created this year. You can follow me on Instagram to see what else I'm up to.

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2. Middle Grade Fun

I'm working on adding more middle grade art to my website. I'm also writing middle grade stories now. So much fun! I like writing exciting adventures with a dash of kookiness.

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3. Elephant Day and a Doodle

Elephant Day 2015  Illustration
I love drawing elephants! At one point, I had way too many elephants in my portfolio, but recently I realized that there are none now. I'll have to remedy that situation.

I've been able to fit some fun creative playtime into my week. I made a small collage painting (you can view the video here). I doodled in my sketchbook. Something I don't usually do, but I was inspired by the Sketchbook Explorations class by Lisa Congdon on Creativebug.

Here's a little snippet from a work in progress I finished up this week.

Snippet from a work in progress

With the help of my mom, husband, and son, I finally got this quilt basted. Now I'm waiting on the elves to come and quilt it for me. The fabric is by BariJ.

I hope you've had a creative week also!

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4. Painting video

Circles 5x7 on canvas

Here's a little video of me painting and collaging this piece.

Totally professional set up here.

Video and editing credit to my my son, Josh.

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5. Working on character

I can't show most of what I'm working on right now, but one thing I can show is this little lady. She's currently starring in a story I'm working on. I think she's up to no good.

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6. Blog? What blog?

Poking my head up for  a quick hello. I've added a couple of new black and white pieces to my website.

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7. Monday is starting with a bang.

The last week has been a whirlwind of possibilities and good news. 
My head is spinning! I'll be able to share at some point early next year, I hope. 


One of the things on my to do list was to get my Etsy shop up and running again. I have original paintings and prints of my illustrations. I'll be adding a few more prints this week. Please take a look and see if there's something that's just right for gift giving or receiving.

Hand painted birdhouse framing an original collage painting.
One of the prints available in my shop.

You can read my post-PiBoIdMo post on Tara Lazar's Picture Book Idea Month 
blog and comment there to win my Winter Dancing print. It's my first bit of public writing 
outside of this blog and let me tell you it is nerve wracking!

Win this print on the PiBoIdMo blog!

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8. Newsflash!

I have fantastic news! I am now represented by Justin Rucker of Shannon Associates! I'm thrilled to be part of such a wonderful agency. I have been a fan of their artists for a long time and am proud to be included amongst such talented people. I'm looking forward to a long and successful partnership.

This has been a long journey for me and I'm so happy to have reached this goal. Now on to the next one.

And because every post should include art, here is a completely unrelated sketch.

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9. Let's play Hopscotch!

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10. Kids, kids, kids. This week's sketching.

Busy week in the studio. Aside from my work that I can't show you just yet, I've also been creating some new work.

I always post process shots on my Instagram account. Come over for a visit!

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11. Fall Postcards 2014

It's postcard time again. I try to send them out 4-5 times a year, but was a little behind due to some big projects over the summer.

For this postcard, I took a story I'm working on and developed the character and this scene to showcase.

Here's the back.

I sent them off last week with a wish and a prayer:

"Goodbye my lovelies. Bring me great work with great people and great money :) Mwah! "

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12. Chicken Witches

Chickens really can fly, you know.

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13. Inktober Day 2, 3, 4

I've gotten a little behind with #Inktober, but that's ok. I'm doing it for fun, so no harm. 
Last night I had so many ideas! I love it when that happens.

I have a spiffy new sketchbook from my birthday that I'm using. (Thank you Tracy!)

My St. Louis is showing. Go Cards!

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14. Meeting Miss Molly and Miss Kelly

Me and Kelly Light

Me and Molly Idle

I have some great friends I've never met. Let me clarify, I've never met them in person. We Skype, Hangout, text, tweet, & message, but have never met face to face. This year has been great for finally meeting some of them in real life. The wonderful thing is, the online friendships flow right into real life seamlessly. I feel like I've known, really known, some of these friends for ages. We just click. I feel so lucky!

Tracy Bishop, Sue Rankin-Pollard, Joy Steuerwald, Me, Kelly Light

I also want to thank Hicklebees for bringing some of these friends to my area so we can spend time together. They've been acting as my social secretary this year.

I also got to meet Mary Engelbreit this summer. You can read about it here.

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15. A Sketchy Catch Up Post

If you're not following me on Instagram, you might have missed a few things.

First of all, I've decided to participate in Inktober, a daily challenge for the month of October. I've got some crazy deadlines, so I'm not sure I'll manage it each day, but I'll try.
Day 1: Meet Zelda P. Bird modeling her best cape and hat.

I really love all things Halloween, so my sketching has been centered around that.
Nibbles has a wicked sense of humor which Stubby does not appreciate.

Dance like there's no one watching.

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16. Goodbye September

I'm really looking forward to Fall. It's not here yet, weather wise, but I'm ready. I can't wait for pumpkins, colorful leaves, crisp air, and what I hope will be a very wet winter in this dried out state of mine. 

Happy Fall!

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17. Lenny's Baby picture

Sometimes a character shows up with his own story to tell. Lenny must have one, because he won't leave me alone. I think he just loves to share.

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18. Lenny the Collector

I've had this slightly twisted idea in my head for a week, so I decided to sketch it up. This is what deadlines do to me, apparently.

This is Lenny the Fly. He collects things. Lots of things. He's very excited to show you his new Human Collection. He is especially pleased with his most recent addition, The Plumber, complete with plumbers crack. You're welcome ;-)

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19. Spring!

Busy with lots of lovely deadlines right now. Can't wait to show you what I'm working on, but it will have to wait. Here's a quick little sketch to hold you over. Happy Spring!

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20. The Worm

I'm sure you've all seen someone do The Worm, but have you ever wondered how worms really dance? I have solved the mystery.

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21. Painting, collaging, gardening, and sketching

I had a lot of deadlines lately, so I haven't been able to show many sketches of late. I'm also busy writing, which doesn't make for pretty pictures either. Sorry :) Here's my little dog friend as a consolation prize.

To recover my mojo, I signed up for an online painting class by Mati Rose McDonough. It's been so fun and the perfect excuse to just play. Here's one of the paintings I've been working on this week.

Small detail of a work in progress.

And here's some pics from my garden. Happy summer!

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22. Some ideas come fully formed and some show up on the fly

I get a lot of ideas while I'm doing something else. Most come while I'm on a deadline, of course. This painting came to me in the shower fully formed with the caption already written.

Text reads: Once there was a girl who made a wish.

It took a couple of tries to get the girl right.

Close up of the moon. I used old books in English, Italian, Japanese, and Latin.

Now this one came as an idea about collaging fish scales, but a friend thought it was a mermaid. 
I rotated the canvass and decided she was right!

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23. Summertime, summertime

This summer I've been writing, sketching, painting, playing, and learning.

And I've been attending Nerdy Chicks Rule Summer School 2014, Building Character. You can check it out here. This online class is chock full of goodness and it's FREE! Kami Kinard and Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen have put together a talented faculty and I'm learning so much. Thanks, Ladies :)

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24. How I met Mary Engelbreit

I just got back from a wonderful vacation to my home town of St. Louis, Mo. It's my favorite vacation spot and the only one where I can completely relax. My kids love it and my husband gets to play golf on the cheap. Reconnecting with my cousins, aunts, uncles is the best part and why I keep coming back.

This year was even more special because I got to meet Mary Engelbreit!

Did you hear that?


I can't begin to tell you how excited I was. She's been an inspiration to me for so, so long, as well as being really kind and supportive to me on Instagram (how is this even possible?).

I've really wanted to meet her, so I used my 20 seconds of insane courage and asked if I could come by the studio and meet her while I was in town. Not only did she say yes, but she invited me to lunch.

LUNCH? With Mary Engelbreit? Um…YES!

Anyway, it was wonderful. I love her studio and the neighborhood it's in. Her staff is the best! Lunch was loads of fun. We talked and talked like two old friends. I felt like I'd known her forever. I got some career advice and I think I've gained a new friend. Thank you Mary!

Make sure to like her page on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. She shows lots of work in progress and sneak peaks of upcoming products that I'm sure you'll enjoy! She has something fun coming up that I'm not sure I can talk about yet, but I'll keep you posted.

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25. My latest Highlights Hidden Picture

Just popping into to show you my latest illustration in Highlights Hidden Pictures book.

It's in this issue with art by two of my favorite artists 
Priscilla Burris and Laura Huliska-Beith! Go check it out :)

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