Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fancy Free (free stuff that is!)

I am very excited to report that this month I had two books that I illustrated come out! Very cool indeed. 
Santa Ate My Gingerbread House written by Mark I. Sutherland 
Birds In the Flower Basket written by Mary Jean Kelso

I am feeling quite good so I wanted to make you feel good too! Here is a free set of gift tags for the Holidays or anytime of year! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beyond Coffee- What gets me going

So I thought I'd write a bit about what inspires me and gets me illustrating. As a creative person sometimes we can tend to be... procrastinators. We need somethings to give us the proverbial kick in the butt. Here is my first Aid kit for creativity.
1. Comfy clothes- I need to be able to feel cozy but also have a balance of feeling cute. I DO NOT wear yoga pants. I feel they are the 21st century sweat pants and to that extent do not look good on most people including myself. You will usually find me wearing a nice pair of jeans, an adorable top, and accessories (scarf, earrings ect.).  Look good, feel good do good!

2. Music- Because I am easily distracted I must only listen to wordless music or music sang in another language. I love Pandora! I listen to music that fits the feel I want to portray in my work.  So if I'm working on a Christmas book I will not be listening to Tim Burton Soundtracks,  though they are awesome, but you guessed it Christmas music! But perhaps it's an earthy piece with snow and fairies. I suggest Enya, Loreen McKennitt, Yo Yo Ma, Jean-Yves Thibaudet or just nature sounds. You get the point no Metallica for a Teddy Bear Picnic piece unless it has a twist. That would be interesting!

3. Pintrest- I use Pintrest to pin all my ideas for present and future pieces. I may pin a hockey player, a cute baby or a tree that I can incorporate into an illustration. Somethings that I pin in my Illustration Ideas folder just make me happy! I picture is worth a thousand illustrations.

4. A clean house or at least my room- If my area is not clean I have a nagging urge to do it while I'm working. No, I'm not a clean freak. Not by far. But it just clears my mind and if I do it before I start working it really helps.

5. Snack and or coffee- I LOVE coffee, hot tea, almonds, cheez-its, and apples with peanut butter.

6. Window Seat-  In the life of a creative person you can feel alone. I have worked in many places and have found sitting by a window is best. Even if I have to work non-stop for 5-9 hours to get a deadline at least I can see the world, even if I 'm not in it.

7. Friends- Find other artist friends even if your just FB friends. The FB artist friends thing is new for me. But I find that the more I see other people working on illustration projects the more I want to work on mine. Kind of like accountability. Also, again you don't feel so alone. Look me up!

8. Tutorials- I recently needed to find a tutorial on how to make my digital work look more like watercolor and found these gems Dani Draws or watch this one by ClaudiaMSutton. There are some great ones out there just google it.

9. Visit other artist's blogs or websites- yep

10. Goals- Write it down small goals on your calendar and stick with them. I have to make an art work schedule otherwise when I'm not working I feel guilty and when I am working I feel guilty I'm not with my family. Schedules let you off the hook, or at least me.

11. Stretch before and after- Don't become the Hunchback of Illustration. Get up stretch, take a walk, or  just adjust how your sitting. Here is a youtube on chair yoga

And there you have it! Just a few things I do to get me going and staying strong as I illustrate children's books. What do you do?

Strands of Thought

Hey all! I got interviewed by the lovely Kai Strand! Wasn't that nice of her?  The interview was really fun! Check it out here!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Owl Just Start Here...

Working on really getting the style of illustration I want.
Not what-
Looks good enough.
How I think others want it to look.

-but really looking at my art and making it look like the style in my head. (Yes, there is something going on in there.)

When I worked traditionally I used watercolor crayons. I loved the fluid, transparent, and somewhat messy look. So that's what I'm going for. There are many great tutorials out there on the web that can teach you how to get textures and such to accomplish your goals. Many are free or minimal!

Illustrators that inspire me include Helen Craig, Wendy Anderson HalperinPaige Keiser and just recently Brooke Boynton Hughes.

Since my critique with Will Terry I've decided to really work on making my digital look like my traditional or at least until I was happy with it.

To the right is a small quick illo. of an owl for an upcoming children's book I will be working on. I'll be changing many things and truthfully by the time I'm finished it will look a bit different but hey it's a first draft!

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. - Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, November 4, 2012


WHEW! What a load off!

So, A lot has happened! I have been working real hard to get some book projects finished for Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP) and Dunrobin Publishing. By the end of Spring 2013 I will have illustrated 7 picture books. God is good!

 Here is a pic of one that is available through GAP...

Pretty cool stuff! Click on the pic to visit the Amazon page for the book!

Also, just yesterday I went to an SCBWI conference and met Will Terry! I was super excited but I played cool. He critiqued my work and I have a lot to think about and put into action.

One more thing...

I have a website that I don't believe I've told you about! So check me out at .