Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reading Morning!

Hey everyone
So this morning I couldn't sleep in, so I decided to stay in bed and finish reading a couple of things that I highly recommend. First I finished reading an interview with Tomie dePaolo on the SCBWI blog. It's a three part interview and its really inspiring and interesting. Hearing about his journey as a writer and illustrator was very exciting and insightful. It really left me wanting to draw and mostly gave me even more enlightenment on how to reach my latest challenge of finding my true writer's voice. It basically comes down to the obvious, write what you know, but I felt Tomie really enforces why this really is the only way to write honest and genuine stories. So if you have some time I highly recommend reading it! Here's the link:

Next I finished E.T.A. Hoffmann and Maurice Sendak's "Nutcracker." I'd never read the book before but it was such a wonderful story! I just really fell in love with this tale and the artwork- of course- was just scrumptious and magical. I love how much uniqueness went into adapting this story into pictures. Maurice Sendak was such a master of his craft and this book is just another reflection of his ability to turn a story into a visual journey of its own.

I will admit a huge reason I read Nutcracker this year is because my husband and I have the honor and privilege of getting to see the actual stage ballet in just a couple of days. We are SO excited not only to see the ballet, but also because since we live in Seattle, we have the lucky honor of seeing the actual production that Maurice Sendak himself was originally asked to create and produce- something I just found out from reading the book! So this classical masterpiece that I've seen only once as a child in person and then in parts from the movie version, is literally in my own backyard! I'm thrilled beyond belief that I get to attend this ballet that Maurice Sendak helped create and imagine!

It was such a sad day when I heard that he had passed away earlier this year. An artistic legend and inspiration like him influenced countless writers and illustrators over the years and it was a big blow when he died. Several years ago I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to apply for an illustration residency with him that he awarded to a handful of illustrators once a year- something only available to apply to by a remote amount of people. The opportunity came to my via my involvement with 826 Seattle, a tutoring center started by the writer Dave Eggars- which you know wrote the film adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are. I applied for the residency, but unfortunately was not one of the chosen. I wished so much to have gotten that chance, but I like to think that whatever the case, Mr. Sendak at least had looked at my work- which is amazing none the less. A hero of my actually saw work I created. Award or no-that's an honor in itself. I'd like to think that maybe if I were to have that chance now, that I might have had a better chance to earn the opportunity. From that loss, I gained an understanding that my work was not ready yet- that artistically I had a long way to go. But I feel like my hard work and learning has really paid off- that I am ready now. Really ready now.

In any case, I love you, Maurice, wherever you are. Onto the ballet, where I will be thinking of you!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Illustration Friday: Explore

Hey all
For this week's theme, I'm furthering my exploration of black and white. This little guy is certainly about to explore this whale, hopefully the whale will be kind to his new visitor. He's gently going in but there is still something unsettling about his adventure and the atmosphere.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Little Women=finished!

Hey all,
Just wanted to share my finished piece for the Tomi dePaola Award competition. I really like how it turned out! It's always so interesting to paint things mono-chromatically, but really fun! The passage it's describing is below. Let me know if you have any thoughts!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday drawing and crafting!

Hey all!
This has been a great weekend of fun with friends, hitting the Urban Craft Uprising, and now drawing! Yay!

So I'm taking another whack at the Tomie dePaola competition piece inspired by a different quote from Little Women. So here's the latest sketch! Painting to commence soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Illustration Friday: Tree

Hey all
I've been bad about my IF posts the last month or so. I am currently working on new picture book project though staring my precocious badgers, Tic and Tac so I decided to do some practice sketches of them based on recent IF topics. I've done a couple for this week's "tree" theme as well as the catch up entries. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Little Women, big boo boo

Hey thar!
Here is the piece that I was planning on submitting for the Tomie dePaola award through SCBWI.

It's based off of a passage from Little Women. It's from one of my favorite scenes in the book. I really love how it turned out! Unnnnnnnnnfortunalty, I was SO excited about the painting, I forgot that it's supposed to be in black and white! Oops! Back to the drawing board! Oh well. At least I have another really lovely painting I'm pleased with. Any thoughts before I start over in black and white?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Painting Saturday!

Hey all,
Today was a sublime autumn day! Morning at the Farmer's Market, a crisp fall walk down to the Pugeot Sound and topped off with some yummy Molly Moon's Ice Cream. But in between all of that I did lots and lots of painting! Yay! The perfect day!

I wanted to share some of my recent paintings for one of my current book projects "Drift." I posted some test paintings a while back, but have some finished pieces I thought I'd post a few. "Drift" is about a little beaver, Buckley, who makes boats out of driftwood. I fell in love with getting to paint all of that wood. So take a peek and enjoy. I'm off to paint and draw some more!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Inspring week= productive weekend!

Hey Everyone!
Just a quick check in! I have had quite and inspired week and hopefully that will lead into an even more productive weekend! My lovely husband picked up my much needed giant watercolor paper. This stuff is so big I think I can fit at least four more cats on it. What do you think?

First a shout out to my friend Brooke Boyton Hughes for the announcement of illustrating her first picture book for famed author Angela Diterlizzi!!! Shut the front door! I'm so thrilled for Brooke. She has an amazing style and she's a pretty rad person too boot. Check out her work! And just congrats Brooke!

Last night was the monthly SCBWI meeting with great speakers! Lisa L. Owens gave a very helpful talk about finding your voice and that basically our voice of who we are was formed at a very early age. My voice age is seven and a half. I was big into Pee Wee Herman, Richard Scary, and drawing. So It was helpful to hear her advice on how to connect with that voice.

Another great speaker was the infamous Ben Clanton! How lucky was I to get to go to that, right?! He gave an AMAZING (and very funny) presentation on how to write great read aloud picture books. I was really into this topic. I have a tendency to draw more quiet illustrations but I LOVE humor and interactivity in picture books and he talked about how fusing these things into your work will make your book a for sure re-reader! Thanks for all the tips, Ben!

Okay, onto the weekend: Coffee, painting, drawing, doodling, banana bread. Repeat. 

I'll post my progress on my Tomie dePaola Award piece I'm working on, as well as my latest picture book thumbnails and some paintings from my latest complete submission!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend sketching

Howdy folks!
This weekend has been jam packed with inspiration and drawing! Two of my favorite things. First it started off with attending Short Run. The Seattle small press show featuring mostly comics and some zines. I was there for over four hours and it wasn't enough time to see it all. I love making comics and have had a long break from making minis due to trying to devote all my comics time to my graphic novel. But I was sooooo inspired to get back into making smaller one off comics that I've got some big ideas hat I know I won't be able to shelf for long. My goal for 2013 is to have a table at Short Run with a some new comics and perhaps even segments from my graphic novel. I'm thrilled. I just need to find about 20 more hours a week to get all my stuff done! No problem though, right?

I've also been making some preliminary sketches for an illustration I'm submitting for the Tomie dePaola competition through SCBWI. This award includes a full paid trip and entrance to the winter conference in New York. I REALLLLLLLY want to go to this and would be so honored to win the award. So I'm going to try very hard to submit the best illustration possible. 

Lastly, I've been working on another picture book concept. I'm in the early stages of re-writes and thumbnails, but it feels good to be writing stories that really connect to my visual language, which I've had trouble doing in the past. I'll post more on that as it comes but I will just say this, it involves my two favorite badger brothers Tic and Tac!

I know all of this sounds like a lot, but I just can't pass up inspired ideas when they present themselves to me. I also think adding more fun and unrestricted comics work is just what I need to help with my storytelling and illustration with my picture books as well as my graphic novel. 

So much to do! But so excited to do it all!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Hey all
I've still been a little off the grid with posting. I've been working on a new picture book as well as getting totally consumed with my Halloween costume. Fact: I LOVE Halloween. I especially love getting to make crazy costumes for Halloween. I think it's the one time of year my inner sculptor comes out. This year I endeavored to make my own interpretation  the infamous Elliot and E.T. flying scene. Enjoy the photos and my process. How did I do it? Lots of cardboard and paper tape and acrylic paint. Oh and I made my cat Vincent a matching costume. Yes. I am insane and highly impressionable when it comes to tiny clothing meant for dogs. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

City Arts Fest 2012!

Hey All
I've been on MAJOR blog and picture book hiatus the past few weeks. My husband and I just finished a nearly 300 drawing installation for the City Arts Magazine art festival, City Arts Fest- a four day long festival around the city of visual & performance art, music, lectures and pop up performances. Our installation is in the hub site of the three day long festival, called "Culture Club." 

Our piece titled "Grizzly 1971" is a series of portraits based off of a year book that we found from Seattle's Queen Anne High School from 1971. We drew 280 yearbook style portraits based off of the senior class. We then made up names and titles & clubs for the students, mostly very strange and funny.We created a walk-in year book room where all of the portraits were displayed as well as two small  trophy case like pocket displays that flanked the doors of the venue as you walked in. We wanted to breath life back into an otherwise banal and forgettable account of the past, the yearbook.It took us nearly two months to draw all the portraits.

The show will be up in downtown Seattle at 411 Union Street (between 4th and 5th) through October 20th. The venue is free to enter and is open from noon-11pm Oct 17-19th, then from noon-9pm on Saturday the 20th. If you are in town check it out!

For more info, go to:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Illustration Friday: Book

Tic and Tac are back for this week's IF challenge. They are taking a mischief break and enjoying some reading time in their library!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stranger Map!

Hey all,
Part of the fun of my blog is that I get to brag about my wonderful husband! So here is a fun piece he just did your The Stranger his week!

Check it out and the article he drew it for here:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Illustration Friday: Imagination

Hey everyone!
I haven't done and IF in a few weeks due to some other projects that have been taking up my time (to which I will post about soon) but here is my latest piece that I've created. I am not sure where this idea came from, but its my own sort of take on Little Red Riding Hood. What if it was all a game in the wolf's mind and these where just his play things? Or maybe in his reality, people are not more threat than just bugs? Either way, I think this little bad wolf is using his imagination. That is to say if he is bad at all...

I forgot to mention I've been watching all lot of Twin Peaks lately and I think its creeping into my children's books illustration. I'm taking it as a good thing- and perfect company for my Woodland illustrations! Thanks for looking!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Camping Adevnture!

Hey everyone!
Here is a piece I made based on a recent camping trip I had with my friends and my husband. The animal representations are oddly very accurate. I am the squirrel with all the marshmallows and my husband is the otter with the hotdog on a stick. We even had lanterns like the ones pictured, only ours were paper with glow sticks in them. I would love the see if the lightning bugs in a jar work though. I hope to do more pieces based upon this trip!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Camping and painting

Hey all
I went camping this weekend and I tried to draw and paint some of my surroundings. Always fun and challenging depending on your environment!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Illustration Friday: Freeze

What's the first thing you do after the first winter freeze? Well this little guy goes ice skating on the pond!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Applied Arts Magazine

Hey Everyone
I just wanted to share that the design firm I work for, Hornall Anderson, was just featured in Applied Arts Magazine for an internal brand book that we did last year, and a drawing that I did as a part of the book was one of the images featured in the spread! Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Stranger cover!

Hey everyone!
I have an illustration on the cover of Seattle's weekly paper The Stranger! Check it out!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rain City Rock Camp!

Hey folks!
Just wanted to give a shout out to the Rain City Rock Camp For Girls! I made their poster and images for their camp materials this year. 

They started their summer camp session this week here in Seattle where they teach young girls from ages 7-18 how to be empowered, female musicians in a week long camp. The girls get to form a band during camp and over the course of the week, they learn about playing instruments, writing music, cooperating with other band members, etc. They even learn self defense and how to communicate better. This is just a taste of what they do! And at the end of the week, they get to put on a show at the famed Crocodile in Seattle like the real rock stars they are! If you are interested in finding out more about the summer camp or the organization itself, check out their website:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Website update!

Quick note that my website has been updated to include a lot of my current work I've been showing on my blog over the past four months. If you get a change check it out!
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Illustration Friday: Lonely

This little guy got trapped in a bell jar when he was running through the field. I'd say he feels pretty lonely right about now.

Saturday thumbnails

Hey everyone
Here are some thumbnails for my latest book project! I'll post more final drawings as I make them!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Illustration Friday: Carry

For this week's theme, I thought I would post a mini book that I created to send out as promotion for my illustration work. It all starts off with Tic and Tac (my precocious badgers) carrying some items, so I thought it fit perfectly. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Illustration Friday: Lost

I'm a little late this week with my IF piece, but I'm really quite happy with how it turned out. It's my mole that I've been playing with. It appears that he is looking for a way to get to somewhere very important...or maybe just a way out of his house?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book score!

While on vacation this past week I found some great old children's books. I found a first edition copy of "The Crows of Pearblossom" written by Aldous Huxley and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. It's the only children's book he ever wrote and he wrote it for his niece. It's a good story and the illustrations are fantastic. I purchased it from Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City. Also, I scored big time at one of the antique malls in Seattle when we came back into town- I found a treasure trove of Golden Books for only $1.50 each! Among them I found a first editions of "Manners" illustrated by Richard Scarry, "Country mouse and City Mouse" and oh yes, an original "Tootle" from 1945. Needless to say I'm inspired.