Friday, May 24, 2013

A Word of Warning

Be careful before you agree to draw something for someone else!  You should know exactly what you are getting into before you agree to anything!  Unfortunately I learned this the hard way when I agreed to draw a portrait for a nine year-old girl.

She saw one of my paintings and said, "You did this!  Can you do faces?"

I said "yes."

"Can you do one for me?

"Sure.  Who do you want me to draw?"

"Justin Bieber!!!"

"Are you sure that's what you want?"

"Yes! Yes! Yes!

I couldn't bring myself to say "no" to such enthusiasm.  Ugh.  So guess who was stuck drawing Justin Bieber this morning?  That's right.  Me.  Why couldn't she have asked for a portrait of Daniel Day Lewis or Kevin Durant?  I would have gladly spent a morning drawing the contours of their features.  Instead I found myself sketching the most overrated pop star of all time!  Oh well.  At least it will make her happy.  Hopefully next time she will have better taste in selecting her idols.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy National Children's Book Week!

In honor of National Children's Book Week I decided to list my top 10 favorite picture books of all time.  I encourage everyone to do the same.  I would love to see what other people's favorites are!

1.  The Mitten - by Jan Brett

Jan Brett was my hero growing up.  I was in awe of her illustrations and she is the reason I wanted to become a children's book author and illustrator.  The Mitten is (in my opinion) her best book.

2. Heckedy Peg - Audrey and Don Wood

This book was one of my dad's favorites, and so I always think of him when I read it.  The story is very much like a fairy tale with dark twists and turns.  

3. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins - Dr. Seuss

My list just wouldn't be complete without a book from Dr. Seuss.  The man was genius.

4.  Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes 

I have never known an author to capture the childlike feelings as well as Kevin Henkes.  It's like he can crawl inside the minds of children and pull their feelings out onto paper.

5. On the Night You Were Born - Nancy Tillman

This book is as soothing as a lullaby.  The rhythm of the words and illustrations work together to create a beautiful, peaceful flow that is just a joy to read. 

6.  The Eleventh Hour - Graeme Base

Graeme Base is the most talented illustrator I have ever known.  Period.  There is no one who can surpass him.

7.  The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

I have yet to read a more heartrending tale of love than the Giving Tree.  It just breaks my heart every time.  This book is a masterpiece.

8. The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales.  - Jon Scieszki and Lane Smith

This book was one of my first introductions to satire.  It's delightfully wicked.  

9. Hippos Go Beserk - Sandra Boynton

I've read this book to my two year old son over and over again, and I never get bored of it!  

10.  Liza Lou - Mercer Meyer

This book was one I pulled off the book shelf multiple times as a child.  I loved hearing my dad read it because he used an animated southern accent to tell the story.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I wrote this poem in a creative writing class I had with Libby Jones a couple years ago.  It's meant to convey my frustration with women and girls who allow low self-esteem to consume them.  There are beautiful women out there who spend so much time worrying about what other people think that they forget to live.  

The illustration was done with watercolor and then adjusted on Adobe Illustrator.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

"Can't Sleep Without Sheep!" Jingles Contest

If you haven’t already read Susanna Hill’s picture book “Can’t Sleep Without Sheep” you really must go check it out on E-Book.  It’s a darling book.

Susanna is throwing a jingle contest at with terrific prizes.  My jingle turned out to be more like a girl’s camp cheer.  Originally I planned to recruit my siblings and film this, but the weekend got crazy with my brother’s college graduation and coaching soccer games.  So you will just have to visualize this for yourselves.  Just transport yourselves back to your camping days and imagine yourselves sitting around a campfire yelling this chant at the top of your lungs! 

Leader:  What do you do when you cannot sleep?
Group:  Call for sheep!  Call for sheep!
Leader:  What will you do when they jump the gate?
Group:  Count and wait!  Count and wait!
Leader:  What are you waiting for?
Group:  Sleep!  Sleep!  Sleep!
Leader:  What kind of sleep?
Group: Long and deep!  
Leader:  What will you do when the sheep wear out?

Group:  Um’s and uh’s and shoulder shrugs. 

Leader:  Sounds like you guys need a back up plan.  Read Susanna Hill’s  E-Book “Can’t Sleep Without Sheep” to find out what  happens after the sheep get tired.

Good luck to all the other contestants out there, and other readers don't forget to check out that book!  You won't be sorry.