Hello there and happy friday! Here are some whale illustrations I have been working on. I've been searching in vain for the perfect whale cake topper for a very special birthday cake. I dislike the rounded cartoon whales I keep coming across so I decided to draw my own. I love whales, as a kid the humpback whale was the most amazing kind of magic to me, and I still pretty much feel the same way. In recent years my vacations have been whale centered- kayaking with orcas in British Columbia, humpback sighting in Newfoundland.
A happy surprise. I received a promotional flyer for the book City Creatures which has a projected publication date of October 2015. I have an illustration in the book and in fact it is featured on the flyer. The coyote pouncing in the top right. I'm quite fascinated with the coyotes in Chicago and have been lucky enough to spot 3 of them over the last few years. They are well adapted and very sneaky so you rarely know they are around.
I'll have some prints and pins on offer at Zine Machine Fest in Raleigh, NC later this month thanks to my old pals Team Lump. Zine Machine looks awesome. The flyer for the event and the artist who created it- Christoph Mueller- just received praise from R.Crumb! Pretty awesome! Zine Machine is a festival of zines, comics, indy books and general DIY printed matter. Sounds like a lot of fun!
Also I'm super excited about this new photo of a few of my prints looking really swell together. Thanks Michael!
I wrote an illustrated an article for the Prairie Wind, the regional Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators bulletin. My article "Invest in Yourself by Learning Something New Online" discusses the benefits of online art and creativity courses. The article is currently only available to SCBWI members. If you are a SCBWI member you can login to read the article here.
girl bat gets embarrassed.
I happened upon a lovely site selling tea towels designed by of one of my classmates from the Making Arts that Sells class. I fell in love with the work of Dinara Mirtalipova after seeing her mushroom pattern for the first MATS assignment in the class gallery. I think a version of that design is now available as a tea towel at Mirdinara Kitchen. Her work is so lovely and unique. I just wanted to share. Now to decide which one of these lovely towels I should purchase!
With the holiday season over I am finally getting some time to catch up on blogging. In November I attended my first Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) event- Prairie Writers and Illustrators Day, a regional conference for Illinois members. I feel I must state, as someone who grew up falling down the wooded mountains of Pennsylvania, I will never consider myself a prairie writer, illustrator, person. LOL. Just for the record.
I signed up to participate in the portfolio display and also for a portfolio review. This was the first time I put together a printed portfolio of illustration work. I've been working in the fine arts/ gallery arts world for 15 years or so, I am used to showing my work and receiving critique, but this was a new format and new field for me. I was excited and also a bit nervous.
The process of printing all my work the same size and packaging it into a book was a great learning experience. While putting together my printed portfolio it was easier for me to identify specific style inconsistencies and see what type of images I need to add to my portfolio. Surprisingly this was much more apparent than editing digital versions of my illustrations together into an online portfolio. By the time I had my portfolio together I felt like I had learned so much from the process that I should be heading back to the studio instead of putting what I had on display. Isn't that how these things often go?
At the conference the speakers went around a marked their favorite illustration in each book on display. This was very useful to me. Happily two of my new pieces received multiple favorite flags. This reassured me that I am on the right track and also gave some food for thought about what makes these images more successful than others in my book.
I had a lot of fun putting the portfolio together. I purposefully included a bit too much work hoping to receive some feedback about which direction I should follow with my style. After attending the conference I realize my idea of too much was probably way too much.
More about the conference soon!
Ganges River dolphin by Daughter Earth
American Burying beetle by Jenny Kendler
The Endangered Species Print Project offers limited-edition prints of endangered species. The number of prints available corresponds with the remaining animal or plant populations. 50% of the sales price of each print is donated to conservation efforts.
You can read my previous post about my work with ESPP here.