Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday sketches!

Hey everyone!
It's a rainy and overcast Saturday here in Seattle so Aaron and I are drawing and painting! I'm working up some new portfolio pieces for the upcoming Western Washington SCBWI conference.  So my woodland creatures are keeping me dry and busy today! 

I've also been working on a new design for my website. It's going to be more visually focused to my children's book illustrations so stay tuned!

Okay, back to it!

Monday, March 17, 2014

NY NY- picture book paradise

Hey Everyone!
It's nearly a month after the fact, but I thought I would catch you up on my recent trip to New York! It was super fun and exciting. My husband and I went to meet with my editor Neal Porter to see where the magic was happening with my first book Boats For Papa (due out April-June 2015) and to talk about my next book project we are doing together. So exciting!!! It was a truly magical experience getting to go the the Roaring Brook offices (in the freaking Flatiron Building) and see where my book is going to come to life! I got to meet my AMAZING book designer Jennifer Brown and everyone in the office and they were all so nice! I couldn't have asked for a better home for Buckley and Mama. We laid out the artwork and Neal did a dramatic reading of book. I got a little misty when this was happening as one does when they get to see their dreams come true. Definitely the highlight of the trip. I even got to go to Neal's and meet his kitty, Arthur. It was love at first pet.

We were in town when the SCBWI NY Conference was going on- a sneaky plan on my part so I could see all my friends while I was there and meet with my super rad agent Alex! Alex and I hadn't formally met in person since I signed on with her last year. So it was great to see her in the flesh- not over the phone or email. We even got to have a karaoke jam together while in NY. Now that's what I call an agent.

It was sooo great to catch up with my good friends Lisa, Brooke, and Maple while in town too. I love these ladies. They make it so fun to be in the children's book community and I'm lucky to call them my friends and artistic peers. We even managed to sneak in a little hangout time in between all of the children's book madness. Hot chocolate, Books of Wonder, Pho, Wine... all the stuff that is good in life. (Please Note Aaron on the far left is the victim of a panoramic face melting in the photo and doesn't always look like this-but he loves when the camera makes him look like Sloth from Goonies.)

On my trip, I also got to meet a ton of WONDERFUL folk at Simon & Schuster, Abrams, Greenwillow Books & Little Brown and Company. All so, so lovely and fun and kind. It's a reminder when you get to me so many amazing people why I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to get to be a part of this business.

And if all of this wasn't enough, while we were in town, there were two AMAZING exhibits going on. The first was the Little Prince exhibit at the Morgan Library. They had the original manuscript and drawings from "The Little Prince"by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on display. It was so moving to get to see the early stages of this book that is dear to my heart. Oh and, not to mention, I got to see a Guttenberg bible at the Morgan Library collection. Sort of amazing. The second exhibit we saw was at the New York Public Library called The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter. It was incredible. It was a retrospective on children's literature and they had so many original manuscripts and pieces of artwork from classic children's books like: Beatrix Potter, William Blake, John Tenniel- the list goes on and on. A very magical and amazing exhibit that I recommend anyone checking out if you are in NY between now and September.

Lastly, our trip ended with a walk at Highline Park. It was a lovely day and a trip I'll never forget.