Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finishing 2009

Looking back on 2009, I have made a lot of growth as an artist and learned way more about publishing children's books than before this year. Some highlights of the year:

- I had the opportunity to do freelance work at Piggy Toes Press for about 6 months, which has grown me in many, many ways.
- I wrote my first children's book (all by myself!), illustrated it, and made it a book dummy that I sent out to publishers. (Still hoping to hear from them...)
- I found and refined my drawing technique for colored pencils.
- I graduated collete with a B.F.A. in Illustration!!
- I learned Dreamweaver all by myself and redesigned my website.
- I traveled to Israel! (Not artistic, but still very exciting!)
- I attended Illustrator's Day for the first time and was a winner of the Judges' Choice Portfolio Contest!

And there is SO much more...

It's been a great year of firsts, finishes, and transitions, and I hope for the same for 2010, except even BIGGER being published, maybe???.... (fingers crossed!)

Look out 2010, Here I come!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Moon Girl

Don't ask me why, but I decided do a little drawing on some Hot Press board. I love the texture and vibrancy of the Pastel Paper I have been using, but it doesn't always allow me to put in a lot of fine detail, and I sort of miss it.

So here we go...A little moon girl, wishing upon a star. I have some wishes for 2010, maybe if I wish upon the evening star they will come true. As sung in the beginning of The Princess and the Frog:

"The evening star is shining bright
So make a wish and hold it tight
There's magic in the air tonight
And anything can happen..."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Sketchbook!

I started a brand new sketchbook today! For some reason I always get really excited about new sketchbooks. Maybe I see all the blank pages and imagine them full of great ideas and doodles that have the potential to become great illustrations. Whatever it is, I'm excited. So here are some sketches found on the first few pages of my sketchbook.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are all having a safe and joyful holiday! As the turkey cooks away in the oven and the rest of my family is in the livingroom attempting to set up the new Blue Ray player, I thought I'd play with some of my new toys while I was waiting around.

Two things I'm pretty darn excited about from Santa are:

1. A new (and much needed) digital camera! A Panasonic Lumix ZS3 (in red!) I took the picture with my old Nikon Coolpix camera...alas it will probably be the last picture it ever takes...and it's a picture of it's ironic and sad. Oh well! It was time to get a new one.
2. Some art books! One on Georgia O'Keefe, and one on the Norman Rockwell Museum (I REALLY want to go there!!!) But I was even MORE excited about the two volumes of "Drawn to Life" by Walt Stanchfield. An amazing animator and teacher at Disney that taught many of today's great animators. They are all the handouts he gave to his students over probably 20 years of teaching. AMAZING!! Can't wait to start reading!!
Of course, I already have a huge list of books to read. Some on beauty, some on life, some on art, and some terrific children's books to study and enjoy. So I'll have to add them to my list (the TOP of my list...heehee)

Dear Santa,

Next year I want....a bigger bookshelf!....

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Ant and The Cricket - Final Drawing 1

Well, December is almost over and I only have one final drawing complete. Oh well, I am still going to finish them all, but I'm not going to rush it. I have a lot of work ahead of me that I am still motivated to finish, so that's good! That was partly why I gave myself that goal.

Here's the Title Page with a new Typeface. I think I like this one better. If you hadn't noticed or guessed already, I'm taking inspiration from the style of the 60s/70s (or "hippie" times) and Woodstock. So I thought it would be appropriate to use The Beatles' "Abbey Road" cover to inspire one of my images. I also found it convenient that they are called the Beatles and it's a story about bugs. Heehee. I also have a VW Beetle in some of the other images. It just seemed to work!

I might get another one done before the New Year, but we'll see. If not, then as soon as January starts, it's back to work...double time!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Goal - Part 5

Cover sketch done (It's a variation on one of the spreads already in the book)! That's my last sketch!! YAY! Now I can start on the final drawings. EEK! It makes me a little nervous whipping through these drawings so quickly, I've never done this before! But I think it will be good for me to just do it.

I've been asked by a few people if I'll be submitting this to anyone or maybe self-publishing it when it's done...I don't know yet. It's a 16 pages book, which really isn't standard for children's books. Plus, illustrators usually don't complete all the drawings before sending a dummy to a publisher. Maybe I'll do a second Aesop fable that's another 16 pages to make a complete book...who knows? If nothing else, I'll have 10 more illustrations for my portfolio, which isn't a bad thing! Any thoughts or suggestions on where you think I should go with this project?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December Goal - Part 4

Two more sketches done. Now I just need to do a cover. I'm working on it at the moment. Of course, that's a very important image, so I'm not going to rush that drawing. Next week I'm going to do a few small experimental drawings since I'm still figuring out how my colored pencil technique works....but then I will start on the final drawings! Yay!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Goal - Part 3

3 more sketches done! 3 more to go. I'm starting to lag a little...When setting my goal I failed to consider days that I would be real busy and not really have time to do a whole sketch. As well as to consider Christmas day...when I will not really want to spend my time drawing in my room, alone. So maybe I'll have to push my deadline back a little. But that's ok, because I'm the boss! So I can do whatever I want! I still want to get it done as soon as I can, so maybe just an extra week will be enough. We'll see how it goes. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 4, 2009

December Goal - Part 2

Four color/value studies down, six more to go. Then the final color versions!

I'm wondering if I should have the gusts of snow or not, and how to have them look. I'm also wondering how I will go about drawing it with colored pencil. It's easy to do it digitally!'s a little different. I'll have to do a little experiementing. What do you all think? Keep the gusts of snow (like in the second image)? or take it out? or draw it differently? More stylized? More realistic? Put it in the first image too?

Thoughts and suggestions are welcome for all of these sketches!! Especially since they are still in the sketch stage. Once I do the final drawing, it'll be a harder to make changes without redoing the whole thing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Goal - Part 1

I have made a goal to finish off the year. I want, nay, I WILL finish all 10 drawings for my new version of "The Ant and the Cricket", in color! I would have liked to get it all done and even make it into book form before Christmas, but I decided on this goal a little late. If I am doing the math right, I get 3 days to complete each image, which entails making the final sketch, color/value study, transferring the drawing onto the final paper and complete the final colored version. For each image I'll do the final sketch and color/value study in one day, and give myself 2 days to do the final drawing. I think it's do-able, but I have to stay focused and diligent.

So far I have 2 final sketches with color and value studies done for the first 2 spreads. And seeing as it's the 3rd of December, I'm on track!

I will keep you updated on my progress, so you can all help me stay on track!

I'm excited to end 2009 with 10 new drawings!