Thursday, December 20, 2007

See, the snow is right up to the back door! It's been snowing so much before Christmas here, but the pre-Christmas snow still has that magic, I'm not grumbling yet. I am holiday-busy as I am sure we all are, so I am just popping in to wish everyone a beautiful Christmastime.

Today, I had a lot of fun with an old and dear friend from art school, Elizabeth, trudging through slush like twin eskimos (we are both on the short side with giant fur hoods and we laugh at pretty much everything) in search of a restaurant lunch together, which we were set on having (no matter what!) before we parted ways to our regions for the holiday.

By the time I braved the snow back up hill to home, my roomate, Jessica, an opera singer at the New England Conservatory, was waiting for me in her snowpants at the front door. So we got our artistic heads together and created Sal, the loveable snowman on a lawnchair in our tiny yard (he's named after our amiable landlord of course) and FYI: His mouth is made of Twizzlers. We played outside until it was dark. Here are some shots from the day. I am off to Connecticut for Christmas once again!

A beautiful Holiday and New Year to you <3

Silke's Pigeons

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hey everyone! I have been busy away from the computer. Working on (stories, assignments, ideas), soaking in (new art, old and dear traditions, friends) and settling in (to winter) with sweaters and twinkle lights.

The Robert's Snowflake endeavor is ended as of Friday, and I got to stop by Grace Lin's for her end-of-snowflake party. Awesome people, awesome cookies (frosted dalmatians), and my first experience with the Wii!

So! Here is Silke on her pigeon high wire. I am still working on the lower portion (the city). Her name I gleaned from a customer conversation at the bookstore that I heard and quickly scribbled down on scrap paper. It is pronounced Sil-kuh, and it is German and is also common in places like Amsterdam and the likes. It's watercolor, pencil, and digital collage. The line is from a story that is waiting to be finished. She came right out of the paper. No other way to describe it.

This Sunday

Friday, November 30, 2007

Whew, Friday already! Some news:

Jules and Eisha of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast are having me on their blog's illustrator feature this Sunday! I'm quite honored :)

The Hallmark Hall of Fame movie is on CBS on Sunday night, Pictures of Hollis Woods, with some of my 12-year-old inspired artwork in the opening scenes. See the link.

Also on Sunday, I am excited to check out Paper and Chocolate, to see the works of friend E.B. Goodale in her printmaking/letterpress element. If you are in the Somerville MA area, it would be worth it to pop in- for framed prints, chocolate (from participating chocolatier) and magic.

Monday my snowflake goes up for auction over at Dana Farber. I'm in the third and last wave of snowflakes. Check the last bunch out before they fly away!

Sunday looks fun. It is also the first day of Advent. I will be able to open my new Advent calendar's very first little window. <3

Sigur Ros : Glosoli

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I rarely, if ever, post a movie or imbedded object, but this object is worth your time! I am continually brought inspiration by this music video for Sigur Ros' "Glosoli", and always deeply moved. It is hard to even put into words what happens to me when I take in the quiet yet crescendo-climbing melody, the native/Icelandic inspired aesthetic, the roles and characterization of each child, and the archetypes all over the place, blended so truly together.

Something about it speaks strongly to my insides, in a language I can understand perfectly, though ironically the lyrics are in Icelandic... It is a powerful little video, take a peek, if you wish. Now THIS is some fuel for character design!!

Dear Nancy

I want to share this little cover I finished and sent off to Zondervan Kids yesterday (click to enlarge). This book will be a giant reply letter from the author, Nancy Rue, to her many elementary-school-aged girl fans (pub. Aug.2008). When the deadline was extended out almost 6 months, I got a ton of time to let it sit in the back of my mind while I worked on other things, and let the sketches really ferment. By the time I got to the painting table, it all fell into place.

This cover was exhilarating to do because of the playfulness I was allowed by the great art director and designer there :) I got to dive into half-dried mismatched gouache, watercolor gingham, rambly lines and digital collage. The song, "MAPS" by the Yeah yeah yeah's was on repeat while I worked, and for some reason this girl even reminds me of Karen O, lead singer.
(p.s. I am posting the bare bones final art I sent in so you can see the bleedy edges which will be cut off ).

And now I am off, on this gray and thoughtful Thursday, to finish up a secret book cover project. Come back for details soon.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week, ate stuffing and avoided turnip. My family had 2 Thanksgivings back to back. This isn't a normal occurrence, but with my large family (7 people in the immediate!) it is not hard to pull off another feast, just us. And a Happy Birthday to Dad Denos this week :) Love to you all!

P.S. My interview/feature on Seven Impossible Things is this Sunday.

Walking Through Giant Mud Puddles

Wednesday, November 14, 2007's quiet around these parts because I've lately set myself on the idea of writing again. I used to write so much as a child and preteen, perhaps just as much as I drew. Words and illustration : they were always my two loves. I knew going into A.P. Art class, aged 17, that I would have to chose one to develop in school. I chose art and then knew that I'd have to return one day to writing.

So here I am, aged since, exasperated (as expected), hopeful and very freshman-year-in-art-school-angry. I am stomping my foot. The rusty wheels are squeaking and I am behind the cart pushing in a giant mud puddle (see my Wellie boot above-just ordered a pair of these!). Usually it is when I give up, and I have found this not only in creative processes, but all pieces of living life, that I find something tiny and golden hiding in plain view. Then I snatch it up laughing, and think, "why didn't I see that there before?"

It is a strange balance to achieve as a daydream hunter. You must work hard at effortlessness. You must be vigilant for whisperings, but you cannot stop life to force them loudly at you. Ideas come when they want to come, but eventually you learn, in certain forms of creativity, that there is an ideal way to "be" for these things to happen. A way to become a window. This is what I am relearning. I had it down as a 12- year-old on my pink shag carpet, scribbling down my stories that seemed to come right from the wind down onto the page. I was only listening for them. So here I go 12 years later. I am small again, learning to listen and trudging ahead through the mud.

Trying My Hand At Acting...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

So here it is! My art is in the opening scenes of this movie, starring Sissy Spacek and Alfre Woodard. Hollis (Jodelle Ferland) does her voice-over as the camera pans through the two landscapes I created. The film is a movie adaptation of the Newbery Honor book, Pictures of Hollis Woods, by Patricia Reilly Giff.

What made this project so intriguing was the necessity for me to DRAW-ACT. In other words, I had to remember what it was like to be a 12 year old artist, as my drawings are supposed to depict her own creations at the time. I was sent footage before the movie was mixed from the studio. Then, I played around with Prismacolor pencils on thicker comic board. I chose this paper so that the pencil did NOT blend well, and would be hard to push the pigment around so white space would be left to create the look of effort, and untrained hands. It was so fun to let loose and forget some training for a stint, to draw buildings wherever I wanted, even if they physically could never exist the way they do.

That is what art is about to me anyway, it is representation. This time it was through a girl's eyes who had not yet encountered perspective class or Tom Barrett's Advanced Illustration Techniques class at AIB (chuckle to the colleagues). It was very different working within the guidelines of film rather than print or publishing. It was a blast to draw act! I loved it.

So hopefully it will air Dec. 2 as scheduled. Check it out if you'd like. It is quite cozy.

Twirling For An Idea

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The girls of the Sleepover Squad, pondering the next location for fun in the school hallway. Jo thinks it's weird that Emily needs to twirl her hair in order to think. Haha, I know someone who claims the very same thing.

This is a piece of final art just mailed in last week for the interior art for the 4th installment of the Sleepover Squad, "Keeping Secrets". Many thanks to awesome folks at Simon and Schuster :)

Horses...1987 to 2007.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So here is a resurrected horse piece from circa 1987...My mom just found this in the basement. Inside is a letter to Mr. Rogers too. The top is the final art for Sleepover Squad #5 Pony Party (the side-pony-tailed 5 year old in me was insanely excited to do this one). That's 20 years of horsies folks.

Ah... youth and Crayola markers. My sisters and I used to sit three in a row on the couch sharing markers between us in a wicker condiment basket. Usually we would color on the stacks of laser printer connected sheets of paper from my dad's office. The connected sheets made a GREAT format for books and stories continuing as long as you wanted.

My sisters and I loved to draw highly detailed "cozy" restaurant scenes and marketplaces, Thanksgiving dinner in a grandmother's apartment, or our very favorite, families bringing in a Christmas tree and setting it up, showing a cutaway of all levels in the house. Even the mice were doing something. This part of me was reawakened by the new one from Barbara McClintock, Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary.

What were your favorite things to draw as a child? I'm throwing this question out to the blogger world.

Esme's cover

Monday, October 29, 2007

...and here is a zoomed in cropped piece of the final art for 100 Days, 99 Nights. Esme is holding Zelda her Zebra, which means something special to her long wait for dad to come back from his tour of duty. Thanks again to everyone who checked out Jackie's interview. It was a blast :)

My Interview Is Up With Jackie Parker!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hey all! My interview for the Robert's Snowflake Blogging For a Cure is up! Thank you to Jackie Parker, for all your creative wit and making interviewing a ton of fun (click on her name too for her own interview on Seven Impossible Things!). You may want to keep her blog on your feed as well, this hip librarian has a wealth of knowledge in the teen lit department, as well as, according to her, art history and hippo making (her papier mache specialty). This girl does it all :)

Please folks, if you haven't checked out Robert's Snow, check it out now! It's book illustrators painting on snowflakes and selling them in an auction for JimmyFund. Yahoo! BTW, the picture is of the bunny bee on my drawing table.

Ike and Esme

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey! Pssst! Wanna peek inside the mysterious finished book package below? It's final art for the book 100 Days and 99 Nights for Little Brown. These drawings were done on 90 lb hot press with pencil. Click to enlarge!

I promised to show the final for the sketch of this piece in the post "School Days" to show a bit of how the drawing went from sketch to finish. I always try my very hardest to keep the original feel and energy when drawing anything final, which is challenging when tracing. I find I need to happy with faces and then I feel "friends" with the characters enough to go into the other elements. My art school drawing professors would be rolling their eyes to hear that approach, but hey! I need the spirit there first! When I packed them up to ship, I even missed these kids, but I am excited to see them in their new home: a finished chapter book.

So here are Ike and Esme on their sad walk home, missing Dad in Iraq. The chapter headers will be Esme's stuffed animals, alphabetized A (for aardvark) through Z (to zebra).

One Book Done!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pant pant... deadlines and art. Satisfying when it's all ready to go out there!

I think I was rendering a pant leg in my dream last night! Cross hatching in graphite was definitely in there somewhere. Meeting many deadlines had me up till the wee hours, and I mean very wee. Now up with the sun to the next project so I can maybe MAYBE make it to the Society of Illustrators galla tonight- the annual Original Art show. The Grammy's for picture-bookers. Going to check out yum originals, hopefully. I would love to see some brilliant work. Check out Fuse #8 for a cool invite to not only another KidLit Drink Night, but a post Society Show one, with a proposed raffle for a piece of art for Robert's Snow! Woo!

Wish me luck, if I get all my work done: sketch revisions, redrawing final art for a movie! (news later) and sweeping the ashes from the fire, I may get to the Society in time for the stroke of midnight. Now if the UPS pumpkin would just show up! I need to mail my finished book!

I'm calling it a SNOWSTORM!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Good afternoon! Brrrrrr... it's chilly here in the Northeast. PERFECT for snowflakes! The blogging effort in preparation for the November-December auction for Robert's Snow has officially begun. All the snowflakes in the auction are original works donated by book illustrators with all proceeds going to cancer research at Jimmy Fund.

Even cooler (har..har..): to get the word out, the wonderful blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast is sending out its army of bloggers and blog readers to interview snowflake illustrators each day and post them on their own blogs. It's "Blogging For a Cure" and in their words, they are "doing what they can in this multi-blog, cross-posting effort to drive traffic to the online Robert’s Snow auctions and help raise money for cancer research. And it’s all in the memory of Robert Mercer, Grace Lin’s husband, who recently passed away due to a rare form of cancer."

Wow...that paragraph was way bloggy. I apologize for overusing the "b" word.

Today is day 3 of the interviews. Go read! I'm up Oct.25th with Jackie Parker at It's a Robert's SNOWSTORM!

Genova Heights

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tonight I stayed up late in my room/studio, holed up on a Friday night, with my favorite new music filling the room. I have been so busy with projects and assignments, and been out and about. So, when I felt a tiny twinge of the "creating craving" creep back in, I put it all aside to feed it and pay some attention.

It is never a waste of time to listen to this urge, and I draw any way I'd like, let the lines break apart and live in and outside washes and just play. I always learn a bunch to bring back me back to focus, so I can center my awaiting jobs on these lessons. This process is hard to explain in words, but it is SO vital to what got me the jobs, the agency, any work in the first place. It's the quiet place I need to return to, to bring back something shiny and new.

Here is something I brought back, still working. I named her "Genova Heights" after the song by Stars that was on repeat. I am learning how to use digital paint as my opaque-ing tool, most of all and to let it not cover the nature of digital art- the pixelation and the squiggly line is something to be accepted in the relationship with the watercolor underlays and pencil drawings. Media is media. Learning....


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Here's a little hello from the desk, before I plunge into the next 2 projects for the day. Hope everyone is well. I feel so lucky to be a New Englander during this season. The leaves are just starting to turn, and everything feels new and fresh and vibrant.

I did get a tiny break this weekend to venture out to Concord MA! The center of Concord is beautiful, very old fashioned and welcoming. Of course, I also love it because Orchard House (home of Louisa May Alcott/ setting for Little Women) sits there in its original spot on Lexington Road. We walked passed my favorite transcendentalist's home, Ralph Waldo Emerson (above). Oh Ralphie!

So magical to imagine, as the long shadows of afternoon hit the house, that so many wonderful ideas and creations were thought up and written and whispered between friends and like minds in that neighborhood. Thoreau, Emerson and the Alcott family all gathered around for one of Louisa's "plays" on a cold night (these visits did occur according to the Alcott home curator).

Makes me want to write stories!
New art soon, promise.

School Days

Monday, September 17, 2007

Crisp fall air...back to school feelings, layered from years past.
Here is a fast sketch for an interior drawing for a book I am working on with Little Brown,
100Days and 99Nights. Big sister and little brother are walking home from school...after a bit of trouble with the principal. Hope all is well on this beauuuutiful day.

iLove Picture Books! Hello MAC. Goodbye PC.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So remember all the overlapping projects and the crazy project schedule? Well, during the pinnacle (but conveniently at least a week before most due dates) my little HP PC decided to crash!

I managed to salvage all my files, sadly say goodbye (until I fix it someday) to my little laptop, and moved on to bigger and yes better things. I am now working on a new and monster-big iMAC. (well compared to my little laptop, it feels luxuriousy like I am swimming in space in Photoshop). So it was a little wake up call I suppose.

Here is a test with the built-in PhotoBooth application. Patrica Polacco makes some tasty tasty books.

Update from a crazed illustrator.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hey there! I am being very neglectful of this blog because of deadlines and overlapping projects!
I'm sorry most of it can't be posted, since it is in the middle/sketch stages or it is under an NDA. Phew! Working away all day, and taking breaks when night time falls. Possibly Waterfire in Providence this weekend, if I get enough done! I had a brief two day mini vaca with the family in Cape Ann on Bearskin Neck (above photo courtesy of my lovely sister Shauna). So so beautiful, reminded me a lot of the spreads in good ol' Miss Rumphius by Barb Cooney.

Hope all is well out there in the blogosphere. Send positivity and good thoughts or prayers to Grace Lin and friends of the Blue Rose Girls-a very sad event has occurred. I feel Robert's Snow means something very different now to the participants, and all involved in the fight to find a cure.

Love to all.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Here is a small piece I am working on right now. I found her in the dusty files of personal art 2007, named "Auguste". I am patching her up to send on to my agency to add to my online portfolio. I am currently in the middle of totally reorganizing and cutting my portfolio down (aka removing very old pieces, etc. in styles I have outgrown). I have dubbed it spring cleaning with my agent, but it's more like cleaning out the closet and making a big pile of the clothes that just do not fit any longer and passing them on to younger sisters or friends. Shauna, want a cardigan? Oh wait, all my little sisters have outgrown ME! So much for "oldests" being "tallests".

I am also doing this big revamp in preparation for my current workload, and the hefty amount of finishes that will be produced in the next 3-5 weeks. Working on four new book covers, a picture book and a paperback short story, and the next Sleepover Squads! woohooo art.
Glad it's a rainy day here in S-ville.

A Saami Snowflake

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

So the finished snowflake! I finally mailed it in to Dana Farber before I took off for Mom's 50th in CT this week (woohoo!). I thought I would join the ranks of flake posters (check out the Blue Rose Girl blog for Anna Alter's and Alissa Imre Geis'). Feels great to be finished, and I'm excited to see where this little traveler and her red bird guide will end up. I'd like to say a big thanks to all my bulletin-responding friends for their input! :) These are the front and back done on Arches watercolor hot press paper and adhered to the wooden whitewashed snowflake. Mixed media: watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, graphite.

The red bird is a bit of a symbol in my family now, since my grandmother passed away in 2004 from Leukemia, since she had her own special story as to why she loved red birds so much. Her name was "Pocca", she was one of those grandmothers who allowed her grandchildren to name her and then strongly defended this namesake despite it originally being "Mocha Pocca". Haha... she was wonderful. So there is the red bird, a bit of hope at the top of the girl's massive hood, looking ahead as a tiny guide, and woven into the tribal fabric on the back.

For her costume design: I have recently in the past few years, fallen in love with the Saami people of northern Finland and the surrounding icy regions, which connect over into the north of Asia as well. They are reindeer herders, and even today, fight for maintaining this way of life amidst modernization. Their traditional clothing is so celebratory and beautiful, even in such a bleak (to us!) landscape. They are a beautiful people.

So there, all done. This one and all Robert's Snowflakes will be on auction on the Dana Farber site, and will be able to be viewed by late August, so keep checking to see the 2007 collection! All proceeds of all snowflakes will go to cancer research. If you want to see them in person, there will be 2 special gallery showings: Child at Heart Gallery, Newburyport, MA: October 3 - 22; Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA: October 30 - December 2

New art is up!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hey all! Hope the Fourth treated you all well (we had rain! oh well).
I am excitedly heading into some crunch time ahead, equipped with new things learned from the past weeks of experimentation and emersing myself in good art anywhere I could find it. This piece is watercolor underpainting and digital collage/paint, done for a client a few weeks back.
It will be in an inspirational magazine.

This week, my new work on Shannon Associates should be more organized, but until then, take a look at pages 6-11 on my web portfolio.

Illustration Friday: Camo

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Here is my entry (click on it to enlarge!). It was a timely topic of the week, and evolved into a bit of a personal statement via character design. Here she is, "the rebel peace".

It was interesting doing this piece to answer my own question, "why do we wear the pattern of war in this country, so casually?" Her design was based on my impulse to create a character in the spirit of fearless innocence, wrapped in a flag of "camo", combative with a bugle and in attention-commanding colors, a mockery of the every day camo originally created in a palette, designed for hiding. She is on a flat backdrop of randomly placed media suggestions of violence, not only of war, but war on life within our own culture. In a way she was designed to be a herald of a sort of awakening, one that would call to question our reasons and motives for violence within our entertainment/media/culture. Thanks to my sisters for being an awesome sounding board for this project. Yeah 4 sisters!

Good news! My new work is all up now. It is in a temporary order for now, but feel free to check it out. Hope all is well on your end :) Have a good night.

New Work Up Soon!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

So it's a hazy day in Somerville. I am working on getting a load of a year's worth of new art up onto my agent's site, stay tuned. Hope June is treating you well <3

p.s. I received word that the work SHOULD be up by the end of tomorrow...6/28!

Elizabeth Bennet Meets Rock Scene 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

can you tell i'm having oodles of fun over here? working on projects, but churning out my own pieces on the side. not to fear, it's the way i learn before a new piece- my style is growwwing. oh my! i had a lot of fun researching and inventing this jane austen outfit.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hey ya'll. It's been busy so I am sorry for the lack of upkeep. Busy researching, learning, exploring, working on the fourth book in The Sleepover Squad series which comes out this month! I've been absorbing a bunch of new inspiration, mainly from Ilana Kohn, Hiroko Hasegawa, and Clare Turlay Newberry...such different approaches to rendering, shape, line, and control of all of these elements.

Here is an experimental costume piece I did on my own time recently. Playtime!! I did it with watercolor on taped together grey cardstock (yes, not very fancy). I love to look at ethnic dress from parts of the world, and I flipped through my favorite reference book a lot in the making of this girl. The character beside her means, "sister" in Arabic (thanks Mo-D). I imagine her coming from that awesome area in Spain where so many cultures mixed.

I am also working hard on updating my shiny new art from all this year's worth of projects into new pages on my Shannon Associates portfolio. Stay tuned. Hope you are all well.

Sketch and Paint Puddle Time

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Isn't rain cozy? Here is a rain-inspired free sketch I finished. It is watercolor and pencil on 140 lb hot-press. Still wondering what her name is, maybe Cleo, or Constance or Willa Jane. I discovered I LOVE hot press paper. It just holds wash lines and bleeds where the pigment blooms so well, no fading. Anyhow, I hope everyone is enjoying the rainy days one way or another, while we wait for the new season. How do you spend a rainy day?

In the 1920's, Women Wore Socks and Heels to the Beach

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gearing up to change the process, so I'm playing with hot press paper and a lot of watercolor. Here is one old-fashioned pin-up sort of gal. Aaaahhh... a break from digi paint is so yummy.
She isn't done, but I thought you might like to meet her.

Talking Shop!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Here is a sample of a little nightgown pattern I did for Emily from The Sleepover Squad (first two in the series out next month!). Scanning fabric swatches and now creating patterned swatches is now such an integrated piece of my process, I wonder what I would have done even 15 years ago, if I was an illustrator. It has has me studying Patricia Polacco, just letting my eyes explore how she deals with patterns, sans-scan. much to learn. These two quieter weeks, especially, feel like a visual growing period.

And now the learning is especially consuming... I just found out a week ago, I've got my first picture book, I am so grateful for this chance and now I see how very much I have to learn and will be learning the next year and a half.

So I've started my homework for the book: studies on things like old-lady wrinkles, flower gardens and very importantly my process- HOW I'm going to make a book. Will I scan? Will I print and paint? So many questions. It publishes in 2010 (how space-age does that year sound?) I will older and wiser artist...someone who understands what I do not yet. So so many mysteries still, about bookmaking. Sitting here with wide eyes, drinking everything in...

FREE DRAW in the marker bin!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Remember that time in art class in elementary school, where if you finished your papier-mache dragon early, you'd get scrap paper and free reign on the marker bin until class was done? This was a magical time to me, and I always wished it was a little longer. I think now, after a year or so of illustrating full-time, I've noticed free time is more daunting than enticing, though it is nothing at all to fear! This is something I am going to try to tackle today, schedule permitting. Re-learn FREE DRAW! Go crazy in the marker bin.

Recently, in working with art directors, and many a talented designer, I have come to approach critique in a new light. Healthy critique is so vital to digging out what you've already got, and polishing it up (even when the end result doesn't appear "polished" per say). When an artist is young (and at the beginning of the game, like me), it is easy to think pleasing the voices of others will hone style. I see now it's more about letting the challenges from art direction act as a catalyst for new invention in one's art. The prodding and pulling of the silly puddy in you that already exists. Get direction from the outside and let it sit a while...let loose and letting it grow AROUND what is being asked for rather than pushing it a bit and looking back for approval tentatively in baby steps. It's an exciting thing, in this field, to be allowed a chance for reinvention always.

Style is something that is like a growing and evolving little animal, and the artist needs to be careful to feed it good and honest things. It cannot be feared or stiff or impenetrable. I think free drawing like a little kid is one very honest way to see how far your silly puddy can stretch. Then it is a matter of taking what was learned in front of the marker bin and reintegrating, grafting on, restrengthening for the next project.

Above is a fast sketch from a few weeks ago. Her name just popped in when I wondered about it, and I chose to keep it. So this is "Bear". Yeah FREE DRAW! Ok, I'm off to play!

Sojourner Truth Signing

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hey friends! My book signing is taking place in back in my hometown this Saturday! For those of you who might be in the area, or who are planning on coming, here's the scoop:
March 24th @11am
The Alphabet Garden
132 Elm Street, Cheshire, CT 06410.

I hear the weather should be warm! Let's cross the fingers. I will be saying a few words about what it was like to illustrate Sojourner and handing out some coloring book pages for the children attending. I am feeling very grateful for this was wonderful getting to work here as a bookseller now to be returning for a visit like this! Many many thanks to Karlene Rearick :) and the lovely Alphabet Garden.

Daring To Be Spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

These little tulips are doing the best they can to affirm that yes, spring is on its way. My roomate graciously purchased this bit of spring for the kitchen table, despite our long and snowy crawl to the store to get them (and groceries). We laughed so hard when we put them there, while we jacked up the heat and put more socks on. March 21st is the official first day of spring! It's a hidden promise that can be counted on, despite the snow and no sun. Promises of this kind are secret and the best. They start as whispers.

Anne of Green Gables Final Art- READ Magazine

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

New finish for Anne of Green Gables play excerpt in READ magazine! This will be the cover image for the play within the magazine. During this process, I learned so much ABOUT my process: the melding of the digital application with the paint. It's such a thrill to be learning and growing in how I do what I do. I also had a fantastic and short vacation on google images researching Anne's home, Prince Edward Island. I could explain the process for creating Anne art, but it might not be as exciting to all of you. So I will let old friend Cinnamon wrap it up!

Cinnamon Photoshop Tip #1 : Paint like it's not a screen, but a window you are looking into.

Childhood Inspiration

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I just purchased this Reading Rainbow endorsed gem of a book yesterday at the store I work at once a week. The store's called Curious George, and it's chock full of treasure (and also a bizarre assortment of gifts including light up eyeball tentacles as impulse items). I feel so lucky to be there for that little stint. Not only do I get to art chat and talk shop with the other crazy booker friends, I get to find and buy my childhood inspirations (or at least peruse them on lunch break). This book was one of the driving forces in my childhood to keep at it. I remember being in about 1st grade and being amazed by the colors, and the fact that the horses were referred to by the Sioux indians as the Sacred Dogs. I kinda never get over my love for drawing ponies and the plains indians.

Paul Goble's flat shapes and very well thought out page design makes this book quite a world to enter as a child (or grown up). I'd recommend it, but "you don't have to take my word for it!"

Wellingtons and Kittycats

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Right now, I'm in one of those peaceful Saturday evenings. The kind that decide to keep you in because there is much to be done in the quiet. So, here I am, at my desk, listening to Clive Carroll, a new British discovery- beautiful guitarist. So with Clive for company, I finish up a promotional picturebook/coloring book for a luxury condominium complex going up in the upper east side NYC sometime soon. Sounds caaaarrrazy and market-driven, but this project has been such fun and quite the opposite.

I was allowed a lot of freedom with the advertising client I worked with, they have been amazing. Freedom is so important, though I know much of it is forfeited when you are young and just getting your bearings (or learning how to grow some claws and fight for your vision). Luckily, I had no opposition this time to any kneesocks, bobbed haircuts, flowered Wellingtons or fun gesture.

This is a sample from the inside cover page (click on to enlarge!). Above the girls, there will be a spot for the child coloring to put his or her name.. "This Book Belongs To".. I really hope some little guy (or girl) will have some fun coloring while Mom and Dad sign papers to their new home.

Working, hoping, trying

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A sketch of many for a manuscript with a secret publishing house. Not sure what will come of the decision over at the publishing house. I gave it my best. Here, the main character runs into her grandmother's arms.

Vacation ?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Hum dee dum...This is my "vacation" week. I scrambled to grab some days which I told myself would serve as a break. Still, it is QUITE chilly out...I'm talkin' -9 degree windchill here in Somerville, MA. Not a very warm vacation, but a good excuse to finally doodle on my own, and do some personal work that's been waiting in line behind jobs. I guess that's me up there scribbling in knee socks.

Very fun piece of information! Just secured a job today for Weekly Reader's teen lit magazine offshoot, called READ. The subject? Anne of Green Gables (yahoo! time to be 12 again :) Prince Edward Island, here I come! Ah, daydreams...I hope all of you are having a marvelous week.

Cinnamon Lesson #2 : Sometimes one needs to flop about in the grass before setting to work. Eat a few thistles. Sniff the wind. Tunnel through alfalfa hay. Dig in the dirt. Enjoy oneself for a bit. No harm done in that.