Monday, December 30, 2013

Tomie dePaola Contest





I've been trying to advance my style a bit.  I think everyone gets a little bored doing the same thing over and over and OVER!  This piece is for the Tomie dePaola Contest.  We were given the poem and asked to create an image for 2m-2yr old children.  I was surprised how difficult it was to think so young! I hope you enjoy my interpretation :)



Monday, October 14, 2013

Inspired and Experimenting


     I just returned from the MN SCBWI Conference feeling inspired to try something new.  The volunteers did a great job (as usual) assembling an all star cast of speakers.  Jennifer Bell showed us her process which really helped me look at my own work in a new light.
     Whenever I have a portfolio review and they get to the last page of black and white sketches, I always hear, "I love your black and white stuff".  I have played with digital coloring in small areas in the past, but I love Jennifer's style so much, why not apply it to an entire piece...DUH!
     I really like my pencil drawing showing through and a light layers of color on top.  I don't think I could ever give up my inks and acrylics entirely but...I think I'm in love!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Super Spectacular Summer Of 2013

By title you can tell this has been a great summer for this writer/artist!

I did not sell a book.
I did not illustrate a book.
I did not sign an agent.

I know most of you are thinking I'm crazy and my friends and family have photographic evidence to support that theory.  BUT... Here is how it all began...

May 2013

I received the best rejection letter ever! I don't want to drop any names (Steven Malk) but, he actually said the children's book world needs more people like me! I know you think I'm making that up, so I framed it and hung it on my studio wall. Actually it is currently very carefully packed in a box because we are moving!

After 22 years we have decided to move back to the city and exchange horses for people. The official move is two weeks from today! It's been interesting selling, buying, sold, not sold, closing, not closing, closing back on...ugh! Not for the wimpy!! So crazy I should write a book. Which takes me to June!

June/July  2013

I applied and was accepted into the advanced writing class by Lynne Jonell! It was the most amazing class ever! Lynne gave such great insight and feedback and really knows how to pinpoint what is wrong with your story. The most helpful writing class I have ever taken. I met so many talented writers and hopefully we stay in contact like we promised :)

August 2013

I started out with a bang by attending the LA SCBWI Conference where...

I got to meet Steven Malk in person! Too star struck to take a picture, you are just going to have to believe me. I learned so much during the conference and the intensives I still haven't processed everything. 

I had a great writing critique from the fabulous Danielle Smith at Forword Literary. After I stopped sweating and shaking from nerves and reviewed what she said, I had an epiphany...or a stroke. But I'm going with epiphany! I rewrote my PB manuscript and it is A-Maze-Ing! What a difference a few words make. I am so excited to work on it again. 

I attended breakout sessions with David Weisner, Leeza Hernandez and Laurent Linn, Steven Malk. The keynote speakers were outstanding!!

Today I begin a conference at Light Grey Art Lab with Mike Yamada and Victoria Ying. When the opportunity popped up on Light Grey's Facebook page, I literally ran to get my credit card to sign up. I am so excited to meet a new group of creative people and soak up tons of information from Mike and Victoria and everyone at Light Grey! 

After this weekend my focus will be packing. My husband and I are so excited for a new phase in life. Blah! That makes us sound so old! Although we are excited!!

Even though I didn't sell my book, illustrate a book or sign an agent, it was still the best summer.  I met countless new friends, learned so much about writing and art and children's books. I connected with old friends I haven't seen in a long time and was able to spend time with family. My husband and bought the old house we always wanted. Both of my girls are happy, successful and just plain amazing! I am a better writer, better artist and hopefully a better person. 

So thanks, Super Spectacular Summer of 2013! I can't wait to see what fall will bring. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Retirement

So my last post was October 10th... Oops :) Needless to say I was illustrating my third book with Keen Editions! "The Cat's Meow" will be out sometime in April!!

I often hear "I can't believe you don't illustrate full time". As any illustrator will tell you, three books in two years is a full time job, I just happen to have two additional "day jobs". Unfortunately the things that suffer from my crazy schedule are self promotion, marketing, blogging, sleeping and anything to do with friends. Did I mention I have the best friends in the world that allow me to disappear months at a time?

Most people dream of the day they can retire. I dream of the day when I can spend all my time illustrating, writing, blogging, networking and catching up on years of lost sleep! And hanging out with friends!! I actually have a date circled on the calendar, September 1st, 2014. By then, my girls should be graduated from college and it even gives them a few months to find a job...generous I know :)

So on September 1st, 2014 no calls please (unless you are a publisher, editor or agent and decided you love my work and can't live another day without signing me) I will be retired... for the day. Catching up on years of lost sleep, dreaming about my next book, one I write AND illustrate (hey, a girl can dream!). Just imagine how excited I will be if my phone does ring!

Until then, my posts will be sporadic and my networking, socializing and sleep limited. But seriously, what a great problem to have in today's world!