Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What are you most proud of in 2008?

Have you looked back on your blog posts in 2008? Its very interesting to see what happened in a span of a year. Thanks to Anette over at our Illustration for kids forum for suggesting this great topic: "What are you most proud of in 2008?"

Highlights of my year:
-Attending the SCBWI winter conference in February.

-Meeting many blog friends in person!!! Hello Alicia, Kim, Leeza, Courtney, Gina, Deborah, Edrian, and fellow Illustration for kids member Jenn!

-Seeing my book, The Haunted Ghoul Bus at Barnes and Nobles front and center. Truly a dream come true.

-My Scholastic's "I'm Reading Now!" series coming out, seeing it in the book club catalog. I was working on this non-stop for a year. So good to see the fruits of my labor!

-Doing a signing at the Friends of lulu/MoCCA table at the NY ComicCon. I felt so cool for an hour...hehe!

-Attending my rep, MB artists' party and meeting so many clients and fellow artists. Such a treat for a freelancer that works from home!

-Getting many interesting and full filling projects, which I can't talk about now, but many will be out in 2009.

I can't mention highlights of this year without also mentioning about getting engaged. :-) Also, the trip to France and San Francisco was also wonderful. I love traveling.

My goals for 2009:
I'm going to keep it short this year....since there are lot of things that will be going on for me personally.

I'm planning to just CREATE.
-write and illustrate- finish one dummy book
-create artwork for licensing/products/greeting cards
-re-vamp and update my website

Happy new year to you all! What are some of your highlights of 08 and goals for 09? I would love to hear about it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Roast Duck and Asian American Children's Books

Its MY Roast duck restaurant!

I've been wanting to do illustrations that have anthropomorphic animals in an Asian type setting for a while now. I don't see much of that in American children's books and I miss that. Usually when there are any type of Asian American children's books, its usually to teach Americans about Asian culture, so they don't use anthropomorphic animals. Its usually happy Asian children celebrating some sort of Asian holiday.

I was looking through my Japanese children's books and was so pleasantly surprised to see animals eating noodle soup with chopsticks...its just so cute and fun. I guess if it was anyone's responsibility to incorporate that in their work, its me.

Of course, I wouldn't have the evil butcher guy to the right in a children's book and give little children nightmares. Or would I!?! (insert evil laughter here)

Christmas Stickers

Here are some Christmas stickers I designed for the greeting cards class I was taking at School of Visual Arts with Cheryl Phelps. I became one of those students who showed up with very little work....which defeated the purpose of taking the class in the first place. I've been pretty busy (very thankful right now in this economy.) It was a great class though and I felt very inspired. Cheryl is a great artist and very open and generous with information. (thank you!) I would love to take this class again.

I'm off to San Francisco for Christmas! I definitely need the warmer weather and a change of scenery. Happy holidays to all of you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chicken....I mean, Christmas...Tree

Its been very busy here but I managed to get a mini Christmas tree and put up the few ornaments that I have....yes, thats right- chicken ornaments. Friends always manage to get me all chicken things- and ornaments are no exception!

I hope I'll post some more before the holidays. I want to thank you Edrian Thomidis for giving me an Uber Amazing blog award and Vela over at Little Star Soup for tagging me. I've been meaning to use the tag to do a favorite podcasts list....hopefully I'll get to that soon. In the meanwhile, keep warm :-)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

HighFive Magazine and Scholastic book club

A few things printed recently:
My spread from this month's High Five magazine.

And here are my I'm Reading Now! series in Scholastic's Firefly book club catalog, November.

Yay! :-)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

PikaPackage #5

Just wanted pop in here to quickly mention that I am in this month's PikaPackage giveaway and a little interview in The PikaPackage Zine....along with alot of other fabulous artists! Head over for a chance to win the giveaway here, and you can download the zine here.
And my contribution to the PikaPackage! If you don't know what a PikaPackage is, head over to for more details.

Thank you for all the comments on my holiday cards this year. I'm busy trying to get them together to send to friends, family, and clients. More later!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

This year's Holiday Cards!

My holiday cards finally came from the printers!

They are available at my shop!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Inspiration and New friends

I would like to share with you a little 5" x 5" catalog I picked up while I was in France. Its for the company Djeco and it manufactures some amazing toys. It is the most well designed catalog I've seen in a long time!

It combines beautiful illustrations by Gwen Keraval with photos of their products. Imagine all the work involved! Here are some spreads:

And last but not least- A cluck cluck to Edrian Thomidis- who were in NYC and we got to meet and chat about illustration and design. Thank you for the lovely conversation! It was a pleasure to meet you and your husband!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Goodies from France!

Bonjour! I'm back from my trip to France and had a great time! We visited Strasbourg, which was about a two and a half hour train ride from Paris. My deary was a on a business trip there, so what a great excuse for me to tag along :-)

I LOVE the French illustration style and aesthetic. In particular I was looking for this book by one of my favorite illustrators Marc Boutavant:
I've been wanting this book for so long now! Its very hard to get it in the US (it is on ebay, but very $$$). What a beautiful book!!! Then in another store I found stickers by Marc Boutavant too:
And the cutest little notebook and Christmas Alphabet postcard by Illustrator Marion Billet:
I love "Fake ads" -Postcards by illustrator Amandine Piu:
And of course how can I resist this one (also by illustrator Amandine Piu):
Our high school French got us around ok but I must admit it was mentally draining afterwards. Having a language barrier is a handicap and there were a few awkward situations. Then I thought about all the non-English speaking people who are brave enough to come to the US to make a life for themselves (including my parents.). Props to them most definitely!

Anyways, I already miss the cafes and pain au chocolats. Strasbourg is a very quaint city to visit. Too bad I didn't get to see much of Paris, only the airport and the few blocks around the train station. Next time!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A little Incentive in this Econcomy

Originally I did this coupon image for Illustration Friday's topic "Save." Many people encouraged me to actually make this and send it out. So when I won a giveaway over at business cards from, I couldn't resist and went for it! They did a great job and do custom sizing, so these are a little wider than your usual business card. Plus, I got full color on both sides!

Special shout out to Ryan over at Vectips for picking me! (please go check out the site, especially my fellow Adobe Illustrator lovers! Great tips on all things vector!)

And thank you for everyone's comments about my Halloween stickers! Its been a bit busy here, and I am also going to FRANCE next week! Woohoo! Just trying to get everything in order before I until then...cluck cluck!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Characters

If I had my own sticker line, it would look like this. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Its all in the Details

Japanese snacks packaging have always been a source of inspiration for me.
Check out the coolest UPC code I've seen in a long time:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Goodies from Japan! (Kawaii Heaven)

I got a HUGE package from Japan this week from Spadazzle. Thank you, Sarah! You are so generous I can't believe it! I was so excited that I even cut my finger while trying to open the box with scissors....but then I kept trying to open the box even with my bleeding finger (lol.)
There was so much stuff, I couldn't believe it. I was in Kawaii heaven! This tofu book is the best! I love vector art and I love food art, its the best combination!
This tofu pumpkin guy is suppose to be a cell phone holder (push in the "stem" and there is a slot to put your cell there). Can we get a collective "awwwwwww!":
Spadazzle's colorful collage work! Check out her work on her blog:
She also sent snacks and cute erasers. She really "got" me so well. Thanks again, Spadazzle! Some women like diamonds and furs, but I can be really happy with just stuff like this. Hope this was some good eye candy for all of you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Goodies from the UK!

I've been getting packages from all over the globe! Here are some awesome goodies from illustrator Allan Sanders! Woohoo! I was hoping to get a postcard of his Superheroes from the Hot Rods and Hairy Beast show and he sent me so much more! I framed the robot print he sent, and it is now in my living room. I also LOVE the science experiment booklet-it makes me want to take a screenprinting class myself.
Thank you so much, Allan. If you don't know his work, check out his website and blog!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Workshop I am Excited About!

I just got an email today from the Society of Illustrators announcing a workshop with Illustrator Marcos Chin. He is pretty famous for his illustrations for the Lavalife ad campaign that is all over NYC. I can't be more excited since I am a big fan of his work (plus all that time sitting in the subway staring at his ads and wondering how he did it.) I signed up after 2 minutes I got the email.

This workshop requires that you "bring your own fully charged laptop," which I thought was really funny. Even though I am a digital artist and I do indeed have a laptop, I've never gone to a workshop that runs that way. Welcome to the new age of technology.

Another note- The Original Art show is now up at the Society of Illustrators, which showcases art from children's books of the year. I haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet, but will hopefully go this weekend (and dreaming to be in the show one day.) Running now till November 26th.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taking a class=procrasination zapper

I'm currently taking a greeting card/licensing class at The School of Visual Arts this semester. Many people are asking why someone like me need to take a class like this. The main reason is that I need deadlines, and it seems that if I don't have them, I don't get anything done. I've been talking about venturing out beyond children's books for a long time but can't get my butt into gear.

Don't get me wrong. I have alot more goals I need to accomplish in the world of children's books (like writing my own book, having a series, taking over the world with chickens, etc.) but there are so much more beyond, like licensing and even "grown up" editorial work. If I don't get those things cooking, it won't magically happen over night.

On another note, I feel like I've been writing alot of "sorry for the late reply" emails. I've been very absent-minded lately, so I apologize to anyone who has emailed or commented here and I haven't replied. Please know I always appreciate them. Cluck cluck!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How do you work?

I took this picture of my living room wall when I was working on The Haunted Ghoul Bus.
My work area is also my living room, and I had these sketches on my wall for months. It was driving me crazy that it was up there, but work-wise I needed them up on my wall, especially doing sketches for a book. It was easier to see the flow of the book this way. My "technique" is to pace back and forth, looking at the sketches, noting what adjustments are needed. It works well for me. I'm wondering if anyone else works this way?

Now if only I had a "real" studio with 4 walls and a door. Someday....

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Goodies from Barcelona!

Ooh! I was so happy when I asked the talented illustrator Xavier Salomó if he wanted to trade books with me and he accepted. I love his style and wanted his books, but it would be difficult for me to get them here in the US. The books arrived yesterday, all the way from Barcelona, and they are so gorgeous. Check out his blog for more of his work. Thank you, Xavier!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Blog friend meet up!

Its so great when us bloggers get to meet up in real life! So it was a treat to meet with Deborah Mori of Life without novacaine and her sister today. They came all the way from San Diego on vacation. I'm so flattered that you would want to meet me, Deborah! But now you know I'm not an actual chicken in real life! Thank you so much for tea and a great chat about illustration and design.

Sand drawings

I wanted to post these a few weeks ago from a much needed mini break to Myrtle Beach. I was still drawing:
Oh Wait, it needs a little something something:
My dearie (aka Math Boy) still did some math:
(Please don't ask me anything about this math problem!)

I guess we were suppose to write our initials in hearts or something. But we think drawing chickens and math problems are way better.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thank you

Thank you to the super sweet Diana Evans for this one sweet blog award. She is always drawing something food-related and you know I LOVE food artwork!!! And speaking of which, my new fascination is red velvet cupcakes from Crumbs. They seem to be opening up more bakeries in NY, I just saw one that will open up near union square. So good!

I'll give this award to so many of you who supported my book, The Haunted Ghoul Bus. I've been hearing from so many people who went to look for it at Barnes & Nobles, bought it, told me where exactly it was positioned, strategically RE-placing it for me (lol), or sending their congratulations. It really means alot to me. Thank you, I am humbled.

And a special thank you over to Splendid Sustenance who gave the book a 5 star review over on Amazon. My first review there ever! Exciting!!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Making a Living as an Artist

I'm enjoying this post over at Lilla Rogers studio on "Can Artists make a Living?"

"I did it because I wanted it more than anything in the world and was willing to do whatever it took to make a living entirely as an artist."

Yup. Two cluck clucks from me.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How Children's book Illustrators party

Its been an out-of-the-ordinary week last week. My rep, MB Artists, (formerly known as HK Portfolio), throws a great party every other year in which the illustrators in the group get to meet up and also get some face to face time with our clients. Throw in some pineapple mojitos and we've got ourselves a party!
Here is the invite for the party at Spice Market. The space was gorgeous, and if I was a good blogger I would of brought my camera with me. (Oops!) All the illustrators in the group contributed a black and white line art for the invite. Guess which one is mine? (see below)
A nice surprise was the party favors- a cotton tote bag with all our art on it! Many of us illustrators used it the next day to carry our portfolios in when we went on our appointments.
There were too many kind illustrators, art directors, designers, editors and awesome people that I met in the past few days to mention them all here. Being an illustrator is such a lonely profession sometimes, and getting some face to face time with my peers is priceless. Thank you for your warm smiles and kind words.

A blogger shout-out to two fellow MB artists with blogs whom I met the past week: Valeria Cis and Macky Pamintuan. I regularly follow their blogs and its great to finally meet! (their portfolios are amazing...check it out!) I think a few other MB artists blog as well, I will have to go check those out.

Thats it for now. Thank you, Mela, for throwing the best party in town!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Look, mom! There is my book!

Thanks to Alicia Padrón for taking this awesome picture at her Barnes and Nobles! I'm going to enjoy every moment of this till they take it off the shelves after Halloween. Now everyone go to your nearest bookstore, find my book and make sure it is, um, "strategically placed"...*wink wink nudge nudge* :-)

Its also interesting to see what other Halloween books are out there. When I was working on this book, it was no where near Halloween. Now I can look back and see what other quirky things/ideas I might of missed.

This week I am taking a class and a much needed mini vacation. I'm sure there will be interesting things to report back. Have a good week, everyone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Greeting Cards

I finally made this blank greeting card out of the illustration I did from The Wish Trees giveaway post. I don't have any real personal stationary to use for everyday so this will be very handy.

You know how when you are an artist, and your friends and family expect that everything you give them must be handmade or with your art on them, especially greeting cards? Hey, sometimes I don't have time and have to pick up a Hallmark card! My mom seems to be disappointed when that happens though.
I've also put some of them in my shop. Its been seriously neglected but I hope to be back into it soon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

My Re-Ment Miniatures Habit

I love my siblings!!! What's this, you say? I just got a package of Re-Ments from my sister who recently went on trip to Japan. Look at all of this! I never got this much Re-Ments all in one shot!

If that wasn't enough, my brother also went to Japan (separately) and hooked me up with more Re-Ments, the grocery shelves and cabinet:
So here is my awesome Re-Ment grocery aisle, I love looking at it and re-arranging the foods and signs. It stands about 8 inches tall:
One of my mom's friends came over and saw my toys and asked if they were from my childhood. I said, "Umm, no000 I just got that the other day!" Hahah! And then she found out I was a children's book illustrator and it finally made sense to her. My profession is a lovely excuse to have toys around and get away with it.

I'm so thankful for having siblings who feed my habits. And also those of you who send me chicken links and chicken things!

Thank you for everyone's comments on The Haunted Ghoul Bus book. I am not sure if its available internationally, but I hope so. I can't wait to see it in Barnes and Nobles...its going to be a huge milestone for me.