Sunday, March 29, 2015

Illustration Friday: Outside (and some thoughts)

{Watercolor, Gouache and Ink, 2015}
*Click image to view larger*

This blog has been quiet because life hasn't been. (I also suspect that my blogging has been replaced by more immediate sharing platforms like Instagram and Facebook.) I update my Instagram account almost daily with sketches and illustrations. 

I still want to keep this blog going though. So here I am. 

So far this year I have created two dummy books, countless illustrations and finally took my dream trip to New York for the 2015 SCBWI Winter Conference. It was inspirational, aspirational and made me feel like I am moving in the right direction for my career. I've had a few mini-epiphanies (mipiphinies?) that I want to share:

1. Just keep working: The voice in the creative mind says things like, "What if 'it' never happens?" and I remind myself that drawing and painting is something I love, something I NEED to do. Writing and illustrating for children makes me happy. I would do it anyways, so why not try and get it out into the world.

2. Good work trumps "Style": I still don't know if I have a style, but I just keep focusing on growth and making the best work I can.

3. We all have unique voices, even me : Ask 40 people to draw a crocodile. You've got 40 distinct impressions of a crocodile. It's not creating a crocodile that is important, its how you use him to relate to others and share your point of view. For the longest time I was trying to reinvent the wheel, when I just needed to get in the car and see where it took me.

4. I get to take my work seriously: Even if I am having a really good time making it. (Trust me, its not always a cake walk.) There are tears and very real emotions. I feel so deeply for my work that I can be Over-the-Moon Giddy or Laying-in-a-Ditch Depressed. It's a roller coaster, and it has earned me the right to get serious about my work. (it also helps to have an advocate in your corner for those ditch moments… thanks Ken and Sara.)

So, go ahead, take your unique voice and get to work!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Entry into the 2014 Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search

{Entry for 2014 Global Talent Search, Digital Mixed Media}
{Portfolio Presentation of GTS Artwork, 2014, Digital Mixed Media}
I entered the Global Talent Search this year after being really excited about all the entires last year. Not to mention, my "Make Art That Sells" class had just finished (also put on by Lilla Rogers' Studio) I love Lilla's approach to making art. I entered her class with a little skepticism because I am ever the realist. Her way of approaching assignments was a game changer and really pushed me to the next level. I know that the style of work may never be the right fit for her studio, but I have really enjoyed using her prompts to push myself further and create things that are the best I can possibly make. She seems to be a genuinely positive person with a lot of great tips and ideas about trends. I'm not a trend chaser, but I think you need to have some awareness about what is selling at the moment. It's also been nice to feel a little validation about some of the trends and color stories I had noticed on my own. I like to think I "get out there" enough to see what is "in" for the moment. Anyways, the assignment was to make a piece of wall art with the theme of tiny terrariums. We were supposed to include at least one word. I didn't make the top 50 from round one, but there were 999 entries and the gallery is full of absolutely beautiful, inspired art. I made a piece that I feel is 100% me, and I put everything I had into it. For my portfolio, I plan to take the hand lettering out and just show the artwork, since I feel it has a very narrative quality. Here's to making the kind of art that makes you happy! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tomie dePaola Illustration Contest

{Graphite Drawing with Digital Mixed Media, 2014}
Click image to view larger

I was really excited that the Tomie dePaola competition was a little more complex this year. We were supposed to illustrate a wordless spread with 4-6 panels that told a story. I spent quite a bit of time working out my story panels and was pretty pleased with the way my entry turned out. I'm happy to have this as an addition to my portfolio! Thanks for the prompt SCBWI and Tomie! I can't wait to see which 10 finalists Tomie chooses!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bootcamp Project for May: Editorial Illustration

{Graphite Drawing with Digital Collage, 2014}
After having April off from "Make Art That Sells" (an e-course from Lilla Rogers' Studio) the class was back in full force with a project for editorial illustration. We were asked to create a piece of art in response to an article about meditation. The article was about the benefits of meditation but also about how the author found a lot of convincing excuses not to do it. (things like being busy, a wandering mind, etc.) I chose to focus on the inability to concentrate because I struggle with that also! Above is the finished piece. I used a lot of scanned textures and some ink drawings that are left over from previous projects. 
{Graphite Drawing, 2014}

This is the drawing I started with by scanning it into Photoshop and painting it. The thing I love most about the Lilla Rogers' class is that it makes you think about how you create your art in a different light. It also makes you fall back in love with the process which helps create a more successful end product. There are also tons of hints about marketability! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bootcamp Project for March: Fabric Design

 {Digital, 2014}
Click image to view larger.
Our second project for Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Bootcamp was a fabric pattern incorporating jelly molds. At first I wasn't sure what to do with such a strange concept, but as I worked in my sketchbook I came up with the idea of some woodland animals having an aspic and gelatin party. This is my final project submission for the class gallery.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Meet-up

{Watercolor, 2014}

This is a personal piece I just finished. I wanted to illustrate a town for my portfolio but then I couldn't help myself from adding a little bit of a story. One of these days I need to do a massive sketchbook post too. I have tons and tons of sketches that I will share soon. I think sketchbooks are the best thing about being an illustrator. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Make Art That Sells E-course

{Project 1, Cell Phone Case, Digital, 2014}
I recently signed up for a 6 month long e-course with agent Lilla Rogers. It's called "Make Art That Sells". This past weekend I finished my first project for the course and had a pretty good time doing it! I have to say, the cost of the class seems like a bargain as it has really lit a fire inside me to really create the kind of art I am inspired by. You know the art school speaker adage, "Do the kind of work you want to do"? It's true! Except, when I was in art school I didn't really know what kind of work I wanted to do. My style will probably always be a little all over the place, but it helps get a variety of jobs and it keeps like interesting. However, this class is helping me hone some of the skills that have sat dormant for months (maybe even *gulp* years). I'm feeling really hungry for some good, strong work that I'm really excited about. This class, so far, is doing exactly that.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dreaming of Spring!

{Click image to view larger}
Watercolor/Digital, 2014
I do enjoy aspects of every season but I am already looking forward to planting my 2014 garden this spring! With the short winter days, and long nights I guess that leaves me time to sketch variations on what I will plant and where. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!

{Coloring Page, 2013}
Printable Christmas Coloring Page Instructions:
1. Click on above image.
2. Right Click on Image or drag to desktop
3. Print and Color!

Have a wonderful holiday season! I am excited to spend Christmas with my family and watch my son open presents this year! Nothing like viewing the holidays through the eyes of a child. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FREE Holiday Gift Tag Download!

{Gift Tags, 2013}
To make your FREE gift tags:
1. Click on Image Above
2. Right click on image and save or Drag to desktop
3. Print and Enjoy!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tomie de Paola 2013 Illustrator's Contest

 {Acrylic and Digital, 2013}
This is my entry for the 2013 Tomie de Paola illustration contest. The prompt this year was a simple poem that was fairly difficult to illustrate. The text is from a poetry book that was written by Lin Oliver and illustrated by Tomie de Paola. It read, "A sneeze is a breeze in your nose." The target age is for babies age 2 and under. I wanted to create something that was dreamy and imaginative but also clearly illustrate a sneeze and a breeze. You can read the whole prompt HERE. The prize is a trip to the winter SCBWI conference in New York City and a special lunch with Tomie de Paola himself!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Inktober Highlights

{Bear, Sketchbook, 2013}
{Rabbit, Sketchbook, 2013}
 {Briar Rose Awake, Sketchbook, 2013}
{Like Moths, Sketchbook, 2013}
 {Fall Harbinger, Sketchbook 2013}
 {Forest Floor, Sketchbook, 2013}
{Brave Merida, Sketchbook, 2013}
Don't let my blog absence fool you! I've been a busy lady the last few months. I finished my 4th picture book illustrations during the first week of October and have been working on personal projects off and on. I've also been using my daily sketchbook time (ie. drinking coffee, watching Sesame Street and trying to fend of my 10 month old pen stealer.) to participate in the #inktober fun on Instagram. I love seeing what everyone else is doing and it feels good to be a part of a huge community of people who are all over the world doing the same thing. The above sketches are some of my favorites from this month. I am also planing on participating in PiBoIdMo which is essentially one picture book idea a day for the month. You can read more about it at Tara Lazar's Blog. I hope to share some of my work from that during the month of November.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cookies Between Friends

{Digital Mixed Media, 2013}
It has been awhile since I last posted! It isn't because I haven't been working on anything. In fact, it's very much the opposite. I've been pretty swamped with work and I have several things I'd like to share on my blog. I thought I would start with this little personal illustration I created during some down time a few months back. I liked the way it turned out and I have some other little mice I would like to finish once I have some free time. I'm currently working on my 4th picture book, which I am very excited about! Juggling motherhood, an illustration career and general life stuff (and summer is always extra busy too!) has proven to be difficult but rewarding. I really enjoy blogging too, so I hope to try and fit a bit more in. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Windsor Heights 4th of July Poster

{Drawing and Digital, 2013}
**Click Image to View Larger**
Today is Flag Day and I thought it would be a perfect day to share this poster that was created for the Windsor Heights 4th of July celebration. If you live in central Iowa, I highly recommend Windsor Heights' Independence Day festivities. Their parade is wonderful, they have activities for kids, music, food and fireworks! Their even doing a bike decorating contest for kids this year. How cool is that? I created this by scanning in a drawing and painting it in Photoshop.