Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Final boat-final day-BOOK LAUNCH DAY!

It's finally here! BOOK LAUNCH DAY! My number one & last boat of #30boatsin30days is ready to set sail! Thanks for following along this past month! Now the excitement really begins!!! #BoatsforPapa is officially out in the world! Grab a copy at your local bookstore!!!

It is also available online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Nobel! 

This has been such a fun project this past month as I've geared up towards the big day. I'm soooooo excited to have reached this milestone moment in my life! Today is the birth of my picture book career and the culmination of my dreams and hard work from my entire life. It's all I've ever wanted to do. It's this such special moment in time and I've made the best book I could make to start my journey. It's a part of my heart and soul and I'm honored and humbled that I get to share it with the world and leave it behind for others to experience. And if I'm dreaming, don't wake me up.

Monday, June 29, 2015

2 days until launch!

Today's#BoatsforPapa #30boatsin30days is a galley ship. It's a sailing vessel that is propelled mostly by rowing! 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Only 3 days left!

Today's #30boatsin30days boat is a 19th century warship called "Frigate." #BoatsforPapa
These are some of my most favorite boats. They make me think of pirates and the movie "The Goonies."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

4 days to go!

Today's #30boatsin30days Boat fact: The lookout point on the upper part of the main mast on a ship is called the "crow's nest." #boatsforpapa 
I love these parts on the old ships. Though my fear of heights wouldn't make me a very good lookout.

Friday, June 26, 2015

5 days!!

Today's #30boatsin30days is a caravel- a 15th century Portuguese sailing vessel used for exploring during the Age of Discovery! #boatsforpapa

Thursday, June 25, 2015

6 days!

Today's #30boatsin30days boat is a pusher boat which is designed to push barges! #BoatsforPapa
I love the big fancy ships, but some of my favorites are rusty old barges and tug boats. There is something magic In the power of these quite small boats.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

7 days!

Today's #30boatsin30days boat is a Bermuda Sloop- a sailing vessel from Bermuda in the 17th century! #boatsforpapa 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Yo ho ho!8 days to go!

Today's #BoatsForPapa #30boatsin30days Boat fact: When pirates seized a ship they'd have to ready it for piracy by reinforcing the decks to support the weight of heavy cannons. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

9 days left!

#30boatsin30days Boat fact:If you see the nautical flag pictured here (representing the letter H) then it means a pilot is on the ship. #boatsforpapa 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

New website!

Hey all!
jessixa.com just got a much needed makeover. I've updated everything so it's all shiny and new! Sadly, gone are the day's of my hotdog gifs that I worked so hard to create, but life continues to move and change, so my website must change with it! So have a looksee when you can!


And there is still one cute animation of a bear fishing that can entertain you while you browse my work.


7 Impossible things!

Hey everyone!
I am SOOO thrilled to announce that today Boats for Papa was featured on Jules Danielson's awesome book blog 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast! It's such an honor to be recognized on this site where so many other amazing picture books have been featured and reviewed! I've learned about a ton of great picture books and illustrators because of this site and got to have a special sneak peek at their process. Now I get to be part of that! So please check out the link to get a look at my upcoming book- but fair warning: **SPOILER ALERT** The post does contain a lot of details about the story so keep that in mind if you'd rather read the book first.

Thank you thank you thank you, Jules for including me on your blog!

Repost: 15 days

So there were some technical difficulties and I realized that day 15 didn't post. So in case you missed it on Intagram or Facebook, here it is:

I can't believe I'm halfway there.It's exactly two weeks until my book hits the shelves! #30boatsin30days #boatsforpapa


Only ten days to go! Today's #Boatsfor Papa #30boatsin30days Boat fact: The colorful nautical flags you see on boats are part of an alphabetical and numerical coding system for signaling to other ships.   
Each flag represents a letter or a number that communicates a specific message to other ships nearby. Like my personal favorite: J (which they call 'Juliet') means-"I am on fire and have dangerous cargo on board: keep well clear of me."
"I am leaking dangerous cargo."

Saturday, June 20, 2015

11 days!

Today's #30boatsin30days boat fact:The phrase "weigh anchor" means to pull up a ship's anchor in preparation for its departure. #boatsforpapa 

Friday, June 19, 2015

12 days left!

#BoatsforPapa #30boatsin30days boat fact for the day: The rope used to raise a sail is called a "halyard. 
The term comes from the phrase "to haul yards," as in yards of fabric. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

13 days-port!

Today's #30boatsin30days Boat fact: On a boat "Port" means "left" and "starboard" means right. #boatsforpapa
You can remember this because "port" and "left" both have four letters.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

14 days left!

Today's #30boatsin30days for #BoatsforPapa is a floating home called a houseboat (or a boathouse).
In parts of China, thousands of people live on houseboats permanently and they buys their goods off of supply boats. Take that land dwellers!

Monday, June 15, 2015

16 days!

Today's #30boatsin30days boat fact: The front of a ship is called the "bow" and the back of the ship is called the "stern." #boatsforpapa  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

17 days left!

Today's #30boatsin30days boat fact: A cabin boy is a boy who waits on the crew and passengers of a ship! #boatsforpapa
  "Cabin Boy" is also a Chris Elliot movie I have yet to see. Something tells me I'm not missing much.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

18 days to launch!

Today's #boatsforpapa #30boatsin30days is a "junk." A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing ship!   
There are many different kinds of junks and they have been used for over 1000 years!

Friday, June 12, 2015

19 days!

Boat fact:An outrigger is a beam or framework projecting from the side of a boat to stabilize it. #30boatsin30days #boatsforpapa 

Thursday, June 11, 2015


At long last my shipment of Boats for Papa have arrived! I really felt amazing seeing the one book- but then to get a box full in the mail made it that much cooler!!! So thrilled- and nervous! It hits the shelves in just a few weeks! I get butterflies just thinking about it! I'd love to hold all of the books in my arms at one time. Needless to say, this was the best price of mail I've ever received.

20 days!

Today's #30boatsin30days is a lanteen: A long triangular sail set on long yard going from one end of the boat to another. 

Sometimes they are twice as long as the length of the ship! And they were the favorite sail during the Age of Enlightenment! #boatsforpapa

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

21 days and counting

Today's #30boatsin30days is a "skiff." Skiffs are basically small boats, but there are many types of skiffs. 

Saying "skiff" more than three times in a row will turn you into one.  #boatsforpapa 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

22 days and a yo ho-ho!

Did you know in nautical terms a "fathom" is six feet? #30boatsin30days #boatsforpapa 
"Fathoms below" always makes me think of The Little Mermaid. Now I want to watch the little mermaid...

Monday, June 8, 2015

23 days and a bottle of rum

23 days! Boat fact: The deck that forms the roof of a cabin built in the rear of the ship is the "poop deck." #30boatsin30days #boatsforpapa
I don't know about you but I don't think I'd want to swab that deck.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I got more of my @Highlights Puzzlemania books that I did some gags for! Super fun stuff! I would have loved these when I was a kid!
Buy them online at highlights.com!

24 days of boats to go!

Today's #30boatsin30days is the Viking ship! 

Most often called a longship, these mighty boats of the Scandanavian sea pirates were also called dragon ships- namely for the intricate dragon carvings found at the front of the ships. These carvings were there to help scare off the enemy!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

25, 25th

It's day 25 in the countdown and I've featured a "catboat." 
A catboat is a single person boat with one sail up near the front of the boat. Naturally though based on the name, I wish it meant a boat full of cats. That would be something.

Friday, June 5, 2015

26 days and a tugboat to prove it

Day 26: Today's addition to #30boatsin30days is a tugboat! 
Tugboats are really amazing. They are these tough stout little boats that guide ships in and out of port,tow barges, help disabled vessels, and dredge and salvage equipment. They are pretty extraordinary. Just goes to show you the power that comes from even the smallest things.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

27 days to go!

Hey all
We are four days in... so 27 days until book launch day. Today's boat is a fishing boat. 

Even though I don't draw hyper-realistically I use a lot of reference material when drawing for inspiration and so I don't forget important details. For this boat I found a photograph online of a lovely and cute green fishing boat and I knew it had to be part of my #30boatsin30days fleet!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

28 days!

Not the zombie movie 28 Days but 28 days until Boats for Papa comes out!   

Today's boat fact: The hull is the main body of a boat or ship!

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

29 days to go!

Hey all
Day 29 of #30boatsin30days! Today's boat is a small sailboat. Did you know that large watercraft are called ships and small watercraft are called boats? Yes they are!

Even though I am prone to seasickness, i still think boats are things of magic and to be admired! 

Stay tuned for tomorrows boat and another fun boat fact! 

Have a great day!

Monday, June 1, 2015

30 boats in 30 days

I can't believe it! It's almost here!!! 30 days until Boats for Papa is released!!! I would use more exclamation points but I think there is a limit on how many you can use before they cease to mean anything. 

I can't begin to describe how excited I am. There's been so much momentum as its gotten closer but to know that after 2 years (well technically 34.5 years since its my lifelong dream) my book will be on the shelves at the end of the month it too thrilling! 

So for the next month, I'lll be posting a painting of a boat a day leading up to the release! You can follow along at #30boatsin30days or you can see them here!