Saturday, November 16, 2013

Graphic Novel Northwest

Hey all
Short Run (seattle comic/ small press festival) is just around the corner and we are getting ready for the show! In conjunction with having our comics for sale at Short Run at our booth, Gorilla House Press, Aaron and I are participating in a show about graphic novelists in the Northwest! Original pages from my first graphic novel "Diary of a Wiener" and Aaron's "Ouroboros are on display Shoreline Community college through December.

The opening reception for this exhibition of graphic novel art is on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 7 pm.

Eisner Award winner David Lasky curated the show (and made the poster) at the invitation of Shoreline CC, and he chose Seattle artists who have made (or are working on) long-form comics (the literal meaning of "graphic novel").  Original artwork is on display by:

Aaron Bagley
Jessixa Bagley
Ellen Forney
Colleen Frakes
Eroyn Franklin
Roberta Gregory
David Lee Ingersoll
David Kelly
Megan Kelso
David Lasky
Mita Mahato
Greg Stump
Tom Van Deusen
Max Badger Woodring

The exhibition will be on display through November and December in the Administration Building (1000), near the school's main gate.  Some of the work will be for sale.
Shoreline Community College is located at 16101 Greenwood Ave, North, in Shoreline, WA.  By bus, the #5 from downtown ends its route at the college.

Monday, October 21, 2013

1828 part two

Hey all
Things are busy is book world for me these days. I've been painting all of these summer beach scenes for my book lately which is funny because outside my window is a glorious colorful fall! I guess that's how it works in book land sometimes, always living in another world.

Anyway, I wanted to do a follow up post with the rest of the pieces of the show that Aaron and I had last month. So without further adieu, here part two of 1828. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Illustrator Exhibit

Hey Everyone
I'm busy at work on my picture book Boats For Papa, but I wanted to take a minute to mention that the Western Washington SCBWI chapter is having an illustrators exhibit at the Washington State Convention Center. There will be work for viewing by many of the talented local SCBWI illustrators, including a piece from me. The show goes up October 10th and runs through January 8th, 2014. There is going to be an opening reception on October 27th from 2-5pm. Check out the poster below for the extra details (and it's my image from the show they used on the poster-a neat surprise to me).
I hope some of you can make it!

1828 art show

Hey everyone!
It's be a month I've been off blogging. I was quite wrapped up in makin' lots of art- the best reason for not spending more time blogging! My husband Aaron and I created work for a show we had a Joe Bar in Seattle. Here is a synopsis of the show and some images of the work! The show is up until October 8th at Joe Bar ( 810 E. Roy, Seattle, WA 98102) Some if you are in town, come and check it out while you still can. Enjoy!

1828" is a collection of illustrations and comics based on the house built by Aaron's great grandfather Marvin E. Pack. Two long generations of Mormon relatives inhabited the house until Aaron's parents took over. Years of de-cluttering revealed many bizarre religious and antique occupational relics. The house invokes its own mythology by leaving a trail of such esoteric delights. Aaron and Jessixa explore the visual vocabulary inspired by this very real Salt Lake City house and expand on it's oddities through a series of comics and ephemera.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Labor Day drawing!

Hey everyone
Summer continued to fly by and now fall is fast arriving. All the while I've been been busy working on my book Boats For Papa and about a million other things. The big thing that is just around the corner for me is a joint show at Joe Bar in Seattle with my wonderful husband Aaron Bagley. We are doing a drawing/comics show inspired by Aaron's parent's Victorian house in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are working on the pieces together, drawing and painting them all simultaneously. We love getting to do joint projects and this one is extra fun because of the personal connection. The show opens Thursday September 12th during the Blitz Capitol Hill Art Walk! The opening is from 5-8. If your in town come check out the show!

Okay, back to drawing!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Drawing goats

Hey everyone!
Just a brief check in. I've been pretty busy the past few weeks with moving and some of my awesome SCBWI friends visiting, but I managed to squeak out some sketches for a new book idea that I have. So I've been studying goats a little. Other than that I'm working on my book as well as finishing up some  freelance projects AND preparing for a collaborative show with my husband Aaron! More updates to come!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday respite

Hey everyone
I'm in the midst of moving, but I really needed a break and wanted to work up a piece I have been kicking around based up on my trip to Camp Wandawega last month. I thought I would share it with you!

This is inspired by a row boating adventure my husband and I went on while at camp and it was the most picturesque moment in time. This captures that part of the trip and is a nice way for me to hold onto that memory.

Back to packing...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Busy Summer: Part 2 (aka art Camp at Wandawega!)

Okay folks! Onto part 2 of my busy summer blog!

So where did I leave off? Chicago.

Well my art updates don't end at the last post. To bring you fully up to speed I'll explain a bit more about this recent trip I took. I have been dropping hints here and there about a freelance project that I was primarily working on the past 6-8 months. It was for the lovely and awesome creative director Tereasa Surratt based out of Chicago.  Tereasa is basically real life Wonder Woman. She has an amazing design eye, is a super thrifter, is insanely creative and is some sort of Jedi Master of getting a prolific amount of AMAZING stuff done with other AMAZING people. Pretty much one of the most creative and TCB people I've ever met.

So the short of the long is that Tereasa found me via my portfolio on SCBWI and contacted me to do a freelance project for her. I still can't really say too much about it, but it involves me illustrating some of my favorite things in the world to draw: anthropomorphic woodland critters doing awesome stuff in the woods. The premise of the book though is based in a real life wonderland that Tereasa and her husband David Hernandez own called Camp Wandawega. This place is a dream come true. If you've ever fantasized about going to a picturesque summer camp in the 1950's ( a la The Parent Trap or Dirty Dancing) this place is exactly that but real and full of more charm and authenticity than even the gorgeous pictures can capture. I'm pretty sure Wes Anderson might have invented this place in a lab and placed it in the woods of Wisconsin as some sort of Truman Show type experiment.

Anyhoo, while working on the project Tereasa mentioned that once a year they have an adult art camp where they invite people to come out for a long weekend of making art, eating amazing food, and playing like kids in this wooded wonderland. So you can guess I was hooked from the very second she mentioned it. So Aaron and I decided to take a trip out to Chicago and Wisconsin (where the camp is located) and see it first hand! And boy it did not disappoint. It was even more magical than in the pictures! DID YOU SEE THE TREEHOUSE??? Yeah. It was pretty unreal. I had to convince myself I hadn't gone mad and made this place up while I was in an insane asylum somewhere. Everything was just gorgeous and thoughtful. Literally every piece of a ephemera has a back story that Tereasa and David know about and its placement is so effortlessly intentional.

Aaron and I did a bit of everything. Swinging, rowing, walking, exploring, picture taking, archery, eating -pardon my french-fucking awesome food, and a ton of drawing. I was so completely inspired by actually going to the camp that I plan on doing a series of drawings based upon what we did. I can't wait. Here are some fun sketches that I did documenting some of the collections of the treasures at Wandawega.

I am so excited to make a bunch more art based off of my experiences at Wandawega. I could post about a million pictures of our trip there, I really could.  But I guess that would be me trying to capture that magic in pictures that is darn near impossible.

Tereasa did a blog post of more images from camp here.  Oh and I didn't even get to go into how many truly fun and inspirational people we met at camp. It was just a weekend of amazing overload in all capacities. But I don't really know the last time I had the great opportunity to meet such a great group of creatives. So astounding. To name just a few: Design guru Angela Finney of Post27, was the resident Camp Counselor and who orchestrated the most everything including the art projects, awesome photographer Bob Coscarelli and his super rad wife Karen documented the weekend in pictures in some impromptu photo shoots. Here are some of the lovely photographs Bob took as well as the outtakes of the big shoot.

Here are a few links to the blogs of some of the great great folks we met over the weekend. If you are looking for some inspiration, recipes, or overall radness check them out:

So that in a small glimpse was my trip to Chicago and Wisconsin. I could write about it for hours. But the busy summer continues so I must be off! Hopefully I'll be able to keep up more soon but Aaron and I are about to move, so things will be totally insane for the next two weeks so I doubt I'll be able to post much. But here's hoping! Thanks for checking in! More to come.

Busy summer: Part 1

Hey everyone!
Oh wow! I realized I haven't posted in a month and a half! Goodness me. Time flies is an understatement of the century for me over the past two months. I feel like I've been SO busy I really can honestly say I haven't had time enough to do a good post. I am not sure where to begin!

Well to catch you up to what I've been up to in the art department are a couple of fun things. I've still been refining my sketches for my picture book Boats For Papa (due out Spring/summer of 2015). It's been such a fun and incredible process to be learning as I go. I've been asked several times what the process entails so I thought I'd share it (so far). Basically I've been revising my sketches and then sending them off in book dummy form to my editor (the AMAZING Neal Porter at Roaring Brook Press) and book designer/art director (the also AMAZING Jennifer Browne). They then talk about the changes they'd like to see and we have a conference call and go through the book page by page on the phone (since we all aren't in the same city). Then I make the changes and send it back and we talk again about those changes. That process happens a few times until they fully approve the dummy. Once that is approved, I'll start making the paintings. From them, we'll see, since I haven't been through that part of the process yet.

I was recently in Chicago on vacation and through an act of serendipity, got to meet Neal in person which was something I didn't know if/when that would get to happen. He was there for ALA and we got to meet and have lunch.

It was incredible! He was so sweet and kind and SOOOO smart about books. It was a pure joy and I felt so lucky to get to work with someone of such a personal and professional caliber. It was one of the highlights of my trip for sure!

Also while in Chicago, there was a celebration of 75 years of the Caldecott at the Art Institute of Chicago. They had some original and digital prints of some of the winners and honorees from the last three years.

There were pieces from A Sick Day For Amos McGee Illustrated by Erin Stead, One Cool Friend illustrated by David Small, Grandpa Green illustrated by Lane Smith, pieces from Extra Yarn and This is Not My Hat illustrated by Jon Klassen, and an illustration from The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkey, just to name a few. It was so cool to get to see some of the work up close and to be in the presence of artists I admire. It was such a great bonus to get to see the exhibit while I was there! It was very inspirational.

More on the topic of art, as I've been working on my picture book, I also took a wee bit of time to finally print up some little mini-comic/art homage books I've been making for a while. I think I had posted that I'd been working on some Twin Peaks related books.

Well I finally finished the first two volumes and started selling them at a few places. Currently you can find them at Scarecrow Video and soon Sonic Boom Records in Seattle. Also while I was in Chicago my husband and I traveled to comic book Mecca, Quimbys. We brought a bunch of our mini comics and they are currently for sale there as well! Call it nerdy, but it was a bit of a dream to get to go there and sell comics. It was overwhelming almost in the quantity of comics and zines that they had, I wish we had more time to spend there, but we left with a pretty nice heap of comics so it was a pretty good success.

I am thinking of adding a way to purchase drawings and my comics on my website or perhaps set up an Etsy shop. Until then though if you are interested in my mini comics or what have you, you can always just shoot me an email at:

As for other art related items, as if I'm not busy already, my husband Aaron and I are starting work for a joint show that we are going to have in September at Joe Bar. It will be comics related but also have original art from the comics on display. More on that to come, so stay tuned!

Okay, that is good for Part 1. Part 2 coming next!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Drawing at the waterfront

Hey everyone
I've had quite a busy few weeks and have super bad about posting. I just finished up a big freelance project and have been working on my book sketches for Boats for Papa. Today to get some extra inspiration, I took my sketching right to the source and went down to Myrtle  Edwards Park by my house. The park is on the waterfront along the Puget Sound. I couldn't have asked for a prettier day to sketch by the water. I just wish it wasn't so quite a breezy. I've had to use my supplies as paper weights.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Un petit tableau

Hey all
Hope you are having a good three day weekend! I'm over the hump on my cold so all day yesterday from 9am-11pm I drew and painted. That is my dream day right there, so I was happy. It's for my big freelance project that I'm finishing up, which I'm dying to share, but can't yet! Sorry. I've also been working on my book "Boats for Papa" which, once again, I can't share work from, BUT at least you'll all get to see it when it comes out in 2015- so be patient (that's what I'm telling myself anyway)!

I did squeak out a little tiny painting that I made for a friend Aaron and I made last year in Paris: Maurice, the last music box maker in Paris. I've decided that I'd love to create a picture book about him-we'll see if he goes for it! Anyway, just wanted to share what I can. Avez-vous un bon weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cold and hedgehogs

Hey all
Things have been moving along very well lately! I've been finishing my top secret freelance picture book project (hopefully will get to post images soon), and I've started work on my book "Boats for Papa" which I'm sooooo excited about! I even made some thank you boats for my agent and editor to get me extra inspired! So all is good. I have a bit of a cold today though, so I between resting I squeaked out a few sketches of a little character I'm playing with. Clara the hedgehog! Anyway more to come with Clara, but for now my TheraFlu is kicking in so I'm off to bed!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Woo Hoo!!!

Hey Everyone!
It's official! I sold my first picture book!!! With the help of my AMAZING agent, Alexandra Penfold, Boats For Papa (previously titled Drift if you saw earlier posts on my blog) will be published by Roaring Brook Press in 2015! I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited, can you tell? I have the honor and privilege of working with the also A-MA-ZING Neal Porter who will be my editor on the book. I feel like I've won the lottery! I've been bursting at the seams to tell everyone and the day has finally come! I can breath and shout and dance around!

Here's a link to the announcement in Publisher's Weekly:
This is my lifelong dream of becoming a children's book writer and illustrator and it's becoming a reality. Today is a VERY good day. Thanks for all of your support!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

City & Color studies

Hey all
I've been pretty busy with my current book projects as well as some personal things, but I've been wanting to explore some city images lately so I made some time this week to experiment. I've been doing some small sketches in my sketchbook of my little woodland creatures hitting the city. Here is an idea that I had of a city full of foxes. (Which is getting me thinking about a story of a city of foxes and perhaps a naive chicken wanting to make it in show business decides to head to the big city to get her start...hmm, perhaps there is something there!)

Anyway, I wanted to explore some variations on color within this theme. I think  prefer the cityscape background a lot softer, with the light brown versus the blue. It feels more within my palette and feels more like it is a background instead of popping forward so much. Also, I should have toned down the green on the grass; it came out a bit brighter than I wanted. And I think in the next one, I will draw it larger so I can explore an even more complicated and chaotic scene. Then it will really feel like the big city!
 I also wanted to see how it would feel in sepia and just black and white. I think these would be fun and worth exploring by painting some similar images just in these monochromatic tones.

If you have any thoughts let me know! I have also been studying one of my favorite painters lately, Pieter Bruegel The Elder. I LOVE his work and have always been very inspired by his compositions, palette and details. As I study his work more, I hope to be able to invoke and bring more of his elements of fun, depth, and storytelling to my own work. Thanks for looking!