Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy Pub Day Kobee Manatee: Shipwreck Sea Friends! PLUS PRIZES!

     Happy Pub Day to Kobee Manatee: Shipwreck Sea Freinds! The third book in the educational series is now available!

     This book is all about tropical fish that can be found around Puerto Rico and explores the SS Antonio Lopez shipwreck. Learn about a new fish on every page!

     Kobee Manatee Book 3 is endorsed by Fabien Cousteau​, internationally well-known for his historic "Mission 31".
"Kobee and his ocean pals are full of fun, adventure, and inspiration. They give the reader a better sense of the magic and mystery within our ocean world."
—Fabien Cousteau, oceanographic explorer and conservationist 
      Book 3 is also collaborating with The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center (OLC) for this book release and they have set up some great prizes! Go to the webpage to find out how to get some awesome Kobee merchandise as well as some OLC Merchandise!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a little sibling love for you this time. Valentine's Day doesn't always have to be about romantic love. Love comes in many forms! Tell someone you love them today.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Santa Thief - Coming Christmas 2017

     Coming in November 2017! The next book in the "Thief" Series! I can't wait to share this book with you all! Keep an eye out and I'll keep you updated!

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Coal Thief on Storyline Online

     After a loooong wait, I am so excited to share this video with you all of Christian Slater reading The Coal Thief on Storyline Online! What an honor to be included in this literacy program put together by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and BookPals.

     BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) is a signature children’s literacy program of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. BookPALS provides union performers, gifted in the art of storytelling, the opportunity to give back to their local communities. Every week dedicated volunteers read to thousands of children in title 1 public school classrooms across the nation.

     And don't forget to take a look at the Activity Guides for Families and Teachers! Pass them on to your kids' classrooms!

     And P.S. No, I didn't do the animation in the video, and no, I didn't get to meet Mr. Slater. Everything was taken care of by the talented people from SAG-AFTRA.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Making A Postcard - An Act of Kindness

     I was recently given the "assignment" by my agent to create a new piece for a postcard mailing. The Agency does this 3 or so times a year (as we all should!!) and they usually like to give their artists some kind of theme or prompt to work off of. This time it was "an act of kindness". Very broad, and the possibilities are endless! These are great prompts for artists to run with and really make their own.

     Personally, I hadn't made a personal piece of art in quite awhile due to a lot of paid work, so I was excited for the opportunity to make something all for myself. I am usually the kind of person who gets going on a project pretty quickly and I have the problem of not spending enough time on the idea/concept of a piece and spend a lot of my time on rendering the final piece of art. This usually makes for a nice looking piece, but not with a lot of substance.

     So this time I gave myself several days (instead of maybe 1 day at most) to brainstorm and researching what my idea was going to be. I googled "acts of kindness" and "random acts of kindness" and got a lot of very simple ideas that didn't lend itself to a very good narrative idea. Things like writing a nice note to someone. Although that can mean the world to someone who needs it, it doesn't really read visually as a single piece or 2 pieces at most.

     I wanted to go for something a little more impactful and unexpected. Maybe something ironic? All I knew for sure was I wanted to draw animals – my favorite! So the question was what would a specific animal specifically do as an act of kindness. I came up with a few ideas, some usable, some not so much. In my research I came across a list of "acts of kindness" that listed "donating blood". I immediately thought of a vampire bat and laughed to myself at how ironic that was. I had my idea!!

     Now to sketch out my ideas in the sketchbook. I tried several ideas of how I wanted to tell the story. In the end, I didn't want a lot of action because, well, when you give blood, there isn't a lot of action. Instead I wanted a still image so people could read it more slowly and let the idea of it sink in.

     Then I picked a color palette. I knew I wanted to blood to really pop, so I let everything else in the image be cooler colors so they'd fall into the background compared to the bright red blood. I used the Adobe Kuler website to find my palette. It's a great site to make your own palettes or search for palette that others have put together. I also found some reference art that match the palette I was looking for.

After spending a lot of my time planning, and thinking, I finally got started on clean sketches, color sketches, and final paintings (done in acrylic). I'm happy how these turned out, and I think I have a better concept because I spent the time on the front end to allow myself to just think about it for awhile. Try it!



Monday, September 19, 2016

The Parking Ticket - ReadingA-Z.com

     Here are a few pieces from a finished project that is now available on ReadingA-Z.com. It is a leveled reading book (Level H), and available on the subscription based site. GREAT for teachers!

     Most of you know that I love drawing animal characters. And it's always extra fun when they get to wear clothes and act like humans – like otters who use Smart Phones and drive cars!! So much fun!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Kobee Manatee Book 3 - Finished Artwork

     The artwork for Kobee Manatee: Shipwreck Sea Friends (Book 3) is done and getting ready for print! The book should be out in early 2017.

     I always love laying out my artwork for a full picture book to see how it all looks as a unified body of work. And to know how much work went into creating each piece of art. It feels so great to be at the finish line and look back at all that has been accomplished!