Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Open for Business!

Hi all!

Please excuse this shameless advertising, but I am excited to announce that I've finally opened a shop on Etsy!  You can now purchase 8.5x11 prints of my artwork for $15.  I am also providing some new services including customized t-shirt designs and illustrated portraits.  You can visit my shop here.  Please feel free to browse and see if there is anything of interest to you!  Also let me know if you have your own Etsy shop you would like me to favorite.  I am very new to all this and would like to try building up a circle of friends on Etsy!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Scarlet Tanager Surprise

This ink and watercolor piece is an entry for Susanna Hill's Illustrator Contest.  The prompt is "Discovery", and I am so incredibly excited!!!  There are already some wonderful entries and I can't wait to see the others.

I don't want to say too much about this piece because I want to leave room for the viewers' imaginations and interpretations, but I will say that scarlet tanagers are not very common birds, and for a young birdwatcher to happen upon an entire tree of them is rare.

Monday, June 8, 2015

It's Time to Stop Categorizing Books by Gender!

I love reading lists.  I have a whole board on pintrest devoted to them, and I follow bloggers who frequently post them.  Reading lists are great!  However, there is one thing that absolutely drives me nuts about book lists.  Especially the ones for kids.  So often they are grouped in to "Books for Boys"and "Books for Girls." Why do people feel like they have to categorize literature by gender?  We shouldn't limit our kids like that.  They should be able to read whatever they damn well please without worrying about whether it's a girl book or a boy book.

Here is an example of what I mean.  Often times lists will look something like this.

Books for kids in Kindergarten and Under

Fancy Nancy
Angelina Ballerina
Ladybug Girl
Amelia Bedelia
The Paper Bag Princess

No David!
Cars, Trucks, and Things that Go!
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.
Freight Train
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight

Chapter Books for Young Kids

The Secret Garden
Little House on the Prairie
American Girl Books
Ramona Books
Ella Enchanted

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Tale of Despereaux
Call it Courage
Encyclopedia Brown

GAH!!!  It's so infuriating!  I don't want to have to defend myself for checking out books like Fancy Nancy and Ella the Elephant for my son.  I don't want him to feel judged for reading A Little Princess in elementary school.  I want him to live in a world where he can proudly read Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, or Jane Eyre without fear of being called a sissy.

There is no such thing as "Girl Books" and "Boy Books."  There are only books. If we raise our kids to think likewise a whole new world of possibilities opens up, and the world will be a better place.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Illustration Process

I just finished a super fun illustration for a client and I thought I might give you all a peek in to the illustrating process.

Step 1 - Sketching

This is the backbone of all my artwork.  The sketch is always the most important.  With the rest of the art process I usually listen to audiobooks or music while I'm working, but when I'm sketching I need absolute silence and all my concentration.  My sketches tend to look something like this.  Lots of lines.  Lots of erase marks.  Sometimes I have to make 4 or 5 sketches before I am satisfied.

Step 2 - Outlining with Ink

This is my favorite part of the illustration process!  I trace the final sketch with a Prismacolor fine line marker.  Unlike the sketching process it does not requite a great deal of thinking and I can do it anywhere.  I can be sitting outside in the shade of a tree watching my son play at the park, or I can watching an NBA basketball game on the TV with my husband.  It's the best!

Step 3: Coloring it in

For this particular illustration I colored the whole thing digitally with Photoshop.  Figuring out the color scheme is always a bit stressful for me.  I often feel overwhelmed by the multitudes of color possibilities so usually I go with a limited palette.  In this case I simply used white and dark blue.

There you have it!  A peek in to my creative process.  If you have any more questions please feel free to comment!  I would love to hear from you.