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. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Next Big Thing! Blog Tour


"See, it’s like this… it’s a global blog tour that started in Australia.The idea is to bring awareness to authors and illustrators and their current work. I was tagged by the talented Roberta Baird. At the end of this post  you see the awesome author/illustrator that I’ve tagged…. because she's The Next Big Thing!"
So on to the questions.

1. What is the working title of your next book?
  I just finished illustrating "The Southern Twelve Days of Christmas" written by David Davis. I'm just starting illustrations for "God is With Me" written by Cornelia Mary Bilinsky. 

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
   I didn't write either book so I can't speak to that, however, for "The Southern Twelve Days of Christmas" I tried to create a set of characters that could interact throughout the story. I felt this was important because as the story progresses, interaction makes it more engaging and interesting.

3. What Genre does your book fall under?
   "The Southern Twelve Days of Christmas" is a regional holiday story for a juvenile audience. "God is With Me" is a Catholic Religious Non-Fiction book. 

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
   In regards to my Christmas book, I would prefer an animation! I love Julia Roberts' and Emma Stone's voices for female characters and George Clooney's voice for a male!

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
  "STDC": A Southern celebration of Christmas that gets bigger and bigger as the days lead up to the holiday.
"God is With Me" : A sweet story explaining how God's presence is always with us. 

6. Who is publishing your book?
  Pelican Publishing is publishing "The Southern Twelve Days of Christmas" and Pauline Books and Media is publishing "God is With Me".

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
  I didn't write either story, but first rounds of sketches usually take me at least 2 months.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
   It's a twist on the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas, which there are many stylistic examples of. The other story is very similar to "Jesus Loves Me", Illustrated by Laura Logan (and many other illustrators too! I just love her illustrations and purchased the book for my son!)

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
   Again, I didn't write the books, but I always LOVE painting animals which is inspired by my love of nature, travel, and the outdoors! Nature is usually my inspiration for most things!

10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
  Always seeing what the next day will bring during the twelve days leading up to Christmas. Each day gets a little more chaotic (or fun depending on perspective!) The other story, "God is With Me" will engage young readers who wonder if God really does love them no matter what... even in times of disobedience or turmoil! Conflict is always interesting.

Next on the blog tour is a very talented artist:

I think you'll really enjoy her work. The colors and graphic quality are beautiful and her new book looks like a fun text! Yay Erika!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bathe with an Octopus?

{Watercolor and Gouache, 2013}
In my previous post I mentioned that I would share the illustration that I created for the Iowa SCBWI spring conference illustrator's intensive. We were given a manuscript for a children's book and we asked to choose a scene to illustrate. I chose the octopus scene. We each sent sketches to Senior Art Director at Little Brown and Co.,  Patti Ann Harris, and she responded with comments for each illustrator's piece. This is my original sketch:
{Sketch, 2013}
Patti Ann didn't have a ton of things to change, but there were a few tweaks. Can you see a few differences? At the end of the intensive, we were shown what the actual book looked like. Here is the cover for the book illustrated by Marc Brown of "Arthur" fame.
You can preview the book on Amazon. Its really adorable and fun! The book was done in a cut paper collage technique that is beyond gorgeous! If you ever get a chance to meet Patti Ann Brown, do it! She was so encouraging and more importantly, very intelligent about the industry. Her eye for composition, technique and book flow is impeccable! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Time Flies!

{Des Moines Women's Club 105th Annual Art Show, 2013}
It's been quite a while since I updated my blog. So many exciting and fun things have happened in the last month or so! I'm just going to make a list of some of the highlights:
  • I finished illustrating my third children's book a few weeks ago! "The Southern Twelve Days of Christmas" should be available sometime this fall. I will, of course, share more details as the time approaches. Doing half the illustrations for the book with a newborn was pretty stressful at times, but thanks to the support of my husband and the ability to ignore the state of my house, I got it done! Now I'm on the prowl for new projects!
  • I entered the 105th Des Moines Women's Club annual art show and won an Honorable Mention in the Professional Category for "The Sky is Falling" which I had painted for a SCBWI contest last year.  It was a wonderful surprise and it always feels really good to be recognized for hard work. Check out the Women's Club Website HERE. The above picture shows Henry and I standing with my piece above me at the reception.
{Iowa SCBWI Illustrators and Senior Art Director Patti Ann Harris, 2013 Conference}
  • The Iowa SCBWI Spring conference was April 12-14. I only attended Friday and Saturday, but I still enjoyed every minute I could be there. There was an illustrator's intensive on Friday and I created a piece just for the conference. I will share it in my next post. I'm pretty happy with my final and consider it a nice addition to my portfolio. My portfolio review with Patti Ann was really awesome and I have a bunch of ideas spinning around in my head! Henry and Ken also joined me and they spent some time exploring the Quad Cities during my classes. 
  • I've been working in my sketchbook quite a bit and will plan to do a separate post dedicated to those new little drawings! Sketchbooks are a way of life, people!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Illustration Friday - Wheel

*Click image to view larger*
{Graphite in Sketchbook, 2013}
I thought of a wagon for this week's prompt over at Illustration Friday. I thought tiny wheels would be funny juxtaposed with big fluffy kitties. I was going to leave it at just that and then I decided I wanted to know who was pulling the wagon. It kind of looks like this little girl has all she can handle! Free kitten anyone?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Illustration Friday - Wings

{Ink in Sketchbook, 2013}
I whipped this up in my sketchbook before bed a few nights ago. Between working on a book project and taking care of Henry, I only have a few spare minutes here and there to sketch. (I find myself sketching while feeding him a lot.) My new busier schedule is also the reason my blog will probably be neglected a bit until my book project is done. I am also looking forward to starting some dummy book ideas I have had floating around in my noggin. Anyways, for the IF word "wings" I thought I would draw two little aviation enthusiasts; a chick and his worm friend.