Friday, December 16, 2011

SCBWI Tomie dePaola Art Contest

So at the last minute after all of my final school projects were done, and only one freelance assignment to do, I threw together a submission to the Tomie dePaola Art contest a few days ago and turned it in yesterday. I hope it's not too obvious how much I rushed it.  Now that I'm done, I see all kinds of stuff I'd like to change. That's what I get for being a "Last Minute Sally".

Here is the scene we were to illustrate:

So they went along and went along until they met Turkey Lurkey

“Good morning, Goosey Loosey, Ducky Daddles, Cocky Locky, Henny Penny,
and Chicken Licken,” said Turkey Lurkey, “where are you going?”
“Oh, Turkey Lurkey, the sky is falling and we are going to tell the King!”
“How do you know the sky is falling?” asked Turkey Lurkey.
“Ducky Daddles told me,” said Goosey Loosey.
“Cocky Locky told me,” said Ducky Daddles.
“Henny Penny told me,” said Cocky Locky.
“Chicken Licken told me,” said Henny Penny
“I saw it with my own eyes, I heard it with my own ears,
and a piece of it fell on my tail!” said Chicken Licken.
“Then I will go with you,” said Turkey Lurkey, “and we will tell the King!”

Is my turkey "Lurky" enough? My Goose "Loosey" enough? Ducky Daddles makes me laugh, though in his big goofy glasses. Watchout for "Squirrely Whirly...he's a punk.

Now that I've seen a few other entries, I'm wishing I had spent more time on it. At least I have a new portfolio piece out of it! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hey! I hope you bunnies and squirrels have a warm and wonderful Holiday season! I'm working on getting back to the swing of this illustration gig after this school semester is over.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel!

I can see it! It's getting brighter!...the end of the school semester is almost here. After so much web design and coding, I can't wait to dive back into drawing again...oh and then there is Christmas!. Phew!

I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flashback style

Yesterday I was dropping of lil' Ro at his daycare and saw one of my old books from my old gig as a staff illustrator laying slightly tattered on the floor. It made me flash back to a time when I was happily drawing in my little cubicle, with my knick knacks in place, and money funneling weekly into my 401k and the stability of it all made me feel panicky. I miss having a full-time job sometimes. Just showing up and ticking down a list of fun projects was nice, clock out at 4:30...done. I didn't have to market myself, or pound the pavement for new work, it just showed up on my desk. This freelance stuff is fun, and exciting, but the unknown sometimes creeps in and scares the heck out of me. I also miss having co-workers to chat with or ask questions or advice.

I also noticed how differently I draw now. I still love the soft look of the watercolors in Painter. Maybe I'll do some experimenting again when my deadlines slow down some.

On a side note, I mentioned to Ro's teacher that I illustrated that book (I didn't mention the 5 others on the bookshelf..) This morning, Ro's teacher gave me a sharpie to sign her book. I felt like a total dork, a very flattered dork though. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dino Candy-vore

10312011008 by starleneg
10312011008, a photo by starleneg on Flickr.

This dinosaur was digging the Trick or Treating this year. I lamed out on my costume and just had some felt claws and a dino hat...oh well. Next year, right? We had fun and like everyone else, there are so many fun-sized chocolate temptations in my house/office! I've only had 2 so far. :)

Monday, October 31, 2011


I got copies of the magazine pieces I did a few months back. Please excuse the poor photography. My camera is broken and I used my iPad to take these. It's such a cute magazine and I recognized the cover illustration by Julissa-Mora right away. She has a portfolio on That's My Folio too! Cute stuff! Check her out!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Illustration Friday-Scary!

Here is an Illustration Friday post for Scary. This guy doesn't really seem so scary though, I think it's the pink hair. He's recycled from an older illustration, but I wanted to participate this week. I'm  a busy girl.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boo! Did I scare you? It's time to get cracking on a costume for Halloween. I have no costume, but my little guy insists that I will be a "Mommy Stegasaurus" and he's going to be the "Baby Stegasaurus". His costume is covered...what in the world will I do?

Things are shaping up on the iPad app I'm working on. It will be so exciting when it is all done and released to itunes! It'll be all kinds of fun!

I hope everyone has a fun Halloween weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2011

That's My Folio- Featured Artist

That's My Folio has selected me as this week's featured artist! I'm so honored. A while back they offered me a free year's membership to their portfolio site, and boy did I need that! I am really liking being involved with them. They are so helpful and I just love how it looks. Plus, I'm surrounded by so many talented illustrators, it's just so very cool. Thanks so much Patrick and Lanette! What a great service for illustrators!

Friday, October 14, 2011

SCBWI conference inspiration

So a few weeks back I went to my first SCBWI-Carolinas conference. Wow, what an eye opening experience!  It was a whirlwind of information and meeting great and talented people! It's taken me weeks to absorb all that I learned, really I'm still processing it all. I won't be able to capture it all here on my blog.

Friday morning of the conference, I attended David Diaz' Illustration Intensive. That was so fun, like being in art school again.  He had emailed each of us a line or two of text from a manuscript and we were to show up with our sketches for our assigned text. It was so nerve wracking to show my sketch to the group, but did it any way. It was so interesting to see everyone's interpretation of the text they were given.  David then went on to teach us his incredible technique using layers of charcoal and paint on masonite. His technique resulted in such a beautiful piece, rich with depth and texture. It was so inspiring to try a new technique. Especially after working digitally for so long. I was rusty with the paintbrush and paint, but I'll give myself a pass since it's been so long. I'm thinking my next class will be a painting class to oil up those painting muscles again. It was FUN. Just soo much fun, I tell you!

Here is my 2nd sketch after some critiquing from David. (It's Mama Nature sleeping...don't wake her!) 

Later that day, I had a portfolio review with Lucy Ruth Cummins, an art director from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Paula Wiseman Books. Man, was she ever so delightful! I loved her quick and funny way of getting to the point about my work. She told me where I could pare down my portfolio to the strongest pieces, and told me which of my work was the best and some hints to make it more marketable, and who I should market to. She said some really nice things about my work, which made me feel so great! On a side note about Lucy, her style and energy are just so adorable, I can picture her animated in a cartoon with her  big glasses and little doggie sidekick wearing her kicky summer dresses. CUTE AS A BUTTON! I also really enjoyed her workshop on "Making your Work Marketable and Getting the Word Out".

Here are some highlights from her workshop:
  • Make sure your work is deftly done
  • Do topical and trend-setting work with emotional resonance
  • Do character studies from every angle
  • Make dynamic work
  • Don't ignore the boy market
The agent panel was also filled with juicy tidbits of inspiration. Basically, I learned that my work needs to come from an "organic place" that stands out and peaks their interest. Easy, right? Not so much. I've been struggling since then to figure out my "organic place". I know it takes time, and I'm rushing it a bunch.

I have a lot of exciting work ahead of me. The more you learn, the more you realize how much you have to learn. I met so many talented people, and as a crazy great bonus, I got to meet the wonderful Jennifer Bower in person! I'm so grateful that I was able to attend such a fantastic event. For pictures of the conference, take a look at my Flickr.

Friday, October 7, 2011


It's been so long since I've done Illustration Friday. It seems like I've said that a lot in the past 3 years, but Jennifer Bower inspired me with her cute blue bear. I struggled with finding time for this one, so I decided to give myself permission to be loose and a bit sloppy. I'm a little paralyzed by over thinking my style since the SCBWI-C conference. I loved my sketch for this, but when I went to finalize it, I couldn't make a decision on what direction to go. I keep hearing voices in my head from Faculty from the conference about colors, style, and whatnot. The color set is more muted than what I normally used, and I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. I will have to revisit this drawing when I have looser deadlines. Here is the sketch...

I still am planning on updating about the ├╝ber-fabulous SCBWI-C conference. I'm snowed under with deadlines!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Autumn is here!

Guess what time of year it is? My favorite!!! Fall is the best, I swear! The crisp air, the bluest skies, the changing leaves, the smell of leaf piles, and HALLOWEEN.

I'm working on organizing my thoughts on the most inspirational weekend ever at the SCBWI-C conference. So much information and so many nice people. I had so much fun and learned some really useful stuff...STAY TUNED, update coming soon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


So I'm leaving for my first SCBWI regional conference, and BOY! am I nervous! I'm taking an Illustration intensive early in the morning and have to bring real live art supplies and paint in person... I haven't done that in so long. I am excited, but scared that I won't remember how to put brush to paper (or masonite) and mixing colors is a long past memory. I won't know what to do without my Wacom tablet and that is probably a great thing. My creative brain needs stretching and expanding.  I am looking for growth here. Also on the schedule is a portfolio review with an Art Director. EXCITING STUFF! I'll update when I can. I sure am going to miss my dudes, though. I set up my own Skype account so I can call them from my iPad.

Wish me luck casting off my introverted ways in a sea of new people!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Contest Update

So I've not been very diligent about updating my blog lately for a  few good reasons. I have been so busy with illustration work! I have been putting in MANY hours of work on an exciting ipad app for kids and will post when it's all done and ready to go. That was a new genre for me, I've never done any kind of app work. It's fun, but very very involved. I'm learning as I go along. I still have no idea about the coding aspect, and I admire the people that do that work. That's why I'm taking coding classes!

I've also been working on a fun piece for a German Education magazine and am featured on their Illustrator page. Halloween is my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving is a close second.) and I had so much fun coming up with all of the ghosts and spiders for this page. Boo!

So now that things are slowing down (illustration-wise, everything else is still crazy), I am going to focus on building my portfolio and preparing for the upcoming SCBWI-Carolinas conference. By the way, I'm practicing how to toot my own horn. So here it goes... I won third place in the SCBWI-C art contest. Yippee! I'm so proud. I didn't think I would even get an honorable mention, but I did! The art director judge gave me some valuable feedback on it as well. Which is great for an illustrator who is searching for a new style.

Here's the whole piece:

She gave me feedback on my use of color and background needing some help. I need to go back here and edit this piece based on her comments and see if that really does make a difference. Learning...learning...learning!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Critters walking Critters

I came across this blog yesterday and was moved by these really great kid drawings and decided to take Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty's challenge of recreating his kid's drawings. It was a fun distraction today! I'm not sure I did this critters walking critters justice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hello again...Hello?

I have to admit blogging hasn't been on my mind lately. I've been interviewing for jobs, studying and working on freelance projects that have trickled in here and there. I need to reintroduce balance into my life a little more lately. I need a fun distraction. Dancing? Movie? Yoga? Camping? Camping at the beach? That sounds like what I need. For now maybe I'll follow this guy's lead and pitch a tent in my living room...where to put the campfire?

Well, back to sketching kittens and puppies for now...

Monday, February 14, 2011

a lot...

 Here is a sneak peak at my SCBWI-Carolina's illustration contest entry. Shew...I mailed it in before the deadline!

There is a whole lot of stuff going on in this illustrator's life right now. Homework, tests, contest entries, freelance projects, health issues. I cannot keep up with blogging right now, but wanted to check in (with the occasional reader). I'll hopefully be back soon!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yoga Squirrel

I submitted this design for a T-shirt contest . I just want to poke that squirrel's little belly to make him lose focus, but I won't...namaste little squirrel.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

kidlitart challenge Step 2

Gotta get the story together into a good flow of pages. See if I can make it interesting!

Also I'm working on a couple of illustration contests and homework! Feels funny to have homework, but it's bringing out the over achieving student in me. I got a 100 on my first homework assignment.... it was a simple ice breaker introduction essay, but still a 100. Aren't you impressed? (hee!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

dummy tutorial

and here is a great tutorial for a How To on dummy making...


So I think I have narrowed down my story for the challenge. It was hard! There are  a lot of really great public domain fairy tales and stories out there, but the ones I was drawn to were ones I'd never heard of. So I would read them and all of a sudden, something gory and horrendous happens...not what I had in mind for early childhood picture book. One that I really liked was Japanese called Momotaro the peach boy. You can read the story here. I thought the imagery would be exciting to draw until I got to the demons. Still would be fun, but may scare the poo out of a toddler (I know it would scare mine!). The illustrations on that web page are sweet and the demons aren't too terrible, but I still wanted to be a bit milder. Anyway, I am going with a classic. Little Red Riding Hood. I am hoping to give it a new spin and hopefully not beat an over illustrated story into the ground some more. I'll fill you in if I change my mind by Thursday.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kidlitart Picture Book Dummy Challenge

 So I am excited to participate in the kidlitart Picture Book Dummy challenge! (Like I need more on my plate right now! Between starting school again, job searching, kickstarting my own illustration business, and juggling the terrible two's.) It seems like fun and could add some more juicy bits to my portfolio.

Step 1 (Jan 6-13) : Pick your Project. Since I'm no writer, I'm searching for a public domain fairy tale...I'll fill you in when I choose.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


So some projects are trickling in here and there. It's been fun drawing for someone else again. This little guy is a character in a book for anti-bullying curriculum. I feel in my element again, doing curriculum work. It's making me feel like maybe that is where I'd like to stay, doing educational illustration. I just love it!