Thursday, January 31, 2008

You make my day

Thank you so much, Rachelle, for awarding me with the You Make My Day Award! You just made my day too!

To pass it on, here are the details:

1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the “You Make my Day Award” logo
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

Here are some fine folks that make my day. There are too many to list just 5!

Allison Sommers-if only I can paint like her. I love the crazy and twisted world she creates.

Danidraws-Dani generously shares her knowledge and info, I'm always learning something new from her.

Andi Butler-Mrs. B's retro style is fantastic. Always fun to check in to see what she is up to.

iSew-I'm blown away that she is making her own wedding dress! Enough said! Plus, she makes these cute lil' monkeys.

Oiyi's Crafts-she knits, sews, bakes the most beautiful things, and just recently had the cutest baby girl ever!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Illustration Friday-Tales and Legends

I'm cheating a little bit this week with something I did for MacMillan/McGraw Hill-the three little pigs story cards!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Being Age Appropriate

One thing I've learned as a children's illustrator is being sensitive to your work being age appropriate to the project you are working on. A cute bear you draw might be fitting for a kindergarten book but it might look too young for a 2nd grade book, and vice versa. And of course, you'll need to be able to draw children at different age levels.

For example, here is an initial sketch I did for a math book:
Comment received: too young looking. To make it for a slightly older audience, I've stylized the animals even more, making them less round, the eyes a bit bigger:
The color palette is important to the age appropriate-ness too. For this, I stayed away from my usual color choices and use a more "sophisticated" palette than I am use to:
I hope this is helpful to you as I always love to see someone's behind the scene process. This is something I've picked up along the way as a children's illustrator and was amazed (and surprised) with the intricacies that come along with doing art for children. And I love it!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fresh from the printers

My business cards came! Notice its slightly different than what I had shown. Its from all the over thinking and now I am STILL unsure about it. Yes, I've definitely got some control issues.

Oh well, they are shiny and ready to go. One thing checked off from the list of to-dos!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Struggling with Structure (Resolutions)

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement for me to attend the SCBWI conference! Every comment received gave me a jolt of energy, I will be sure to report back and share what I've learned.
Is it too late to post new year's resolutions? I've noticed while blog surfing that many people come up with a theme for the new year. I thought it was a great idea, and the word for me would be Structure. On the illustration front I am sailing along, but I've been struggling with work/life balance as a freelancer working from home. I never thought that would be such an issue, since how great is it to work from home? In a lot of ways, it is. But there are alot of downsides that I would like to address this year, and also other little things:

*keep a more regular schedule: I'm admittedly a night owl. There are days when I go to sleep at 5am and wake up at noon. Especially in the winter, I'd like to catch more sunlight. Although some parts of me think why I need to fight this. Its the natural rhythm of my body. But I don't think its too healthy in the end.

*leave the house more: When your work is fun and your work space is five paces away from your bedroom, the days can pass and you realize you haven't left the house for a while. A walk is always good physically and mentally.

*Organizing that paper pile: since I still sketch by paper and pencil, there is the inevitable paper pile next to the desk. To remedy this, I'd like to start learning how to sketch on the computer. I have a wacom tablet and have tried it in the past, it still doesn't seem very natural to me yet.

Other goals include writing my own children's book and learning flash. There I said it. Now I 'm really going to be held accountable!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


A few things going on professionally this year as I will finally be attending the SCBWI (Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators) winter conference in February. What took me so long? After all, I live in NY and can conveniently attend, without worrying about hotels and traveling. To be honest, I was worried if I was "good enough" to attend. But, this January marks the beginning of my third year as a working freelance illustrator. That counts for something, right? I'm excited to meet those of you who are attending. Come up to me and say "cluck cluck!"

Other news, My agent, formerly HK Portfolio, is now MB Artists. Same great agent, just under a different name!

To prepare for the conference, first things up- some new business cards.
I wasn't crazy about the old design. I wanted to take the emphasis off of the big text that read Chickengirl Design, and more of my actual name and style. I won't abandon the chicken branding anytime soon, it has worked well for me. But as I get older, I wonder, is it too immature for me to be "chickengirl?" Anyways, the new design suits me, for now!

By the way, there is a nice little deal going on now over at psprint where you can get 50 business cards for $4.95 plus shipping. (the offer ends 1/31!). 50 cards are plenty for me, so thats where I will be getting them done!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Illustration Friday-100%

I really don't have an explanation for this other than that I had a need to draw some fur balls. And I don't even have any cats. What a great topic this week though, I can think of tons of things to draw. This is just one of them.

Kawaii Inspiration

There's been alot of talk about inspiration lately. I'm enjoying Danielle's inspiration monday post, Doodlegirl left me a very kind comment about wanting to know where I get my inspiration. I can start with this- oh this definitely inspires me: why, its "Children Pinch!"
I got this for Christmas from my mom...They are little bowling pin shaped people (and dog) on little clothespins clips. The best part is the little labels they have on them, like "Sister," "brother," "dog":
There is something about labeling things that I love, which is probably one of the reasons why I love those Richard Scarry books so much.

Other random things I am enjoying:, where you can trade books with others. Look me up if you have some goodies to trade!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year! (+Xmas swap craftiness)

Happy 2008! Wishing everyone a wonderfully creative new year.

Might seem a bit late here but I wanted to show some of the goodies I made for a secret santa swap over at Monday Artday ATC (and I hope all my recipients got their packages?!):
I love cello sleeves. Its so much fun making your own little packaging.

And fruity notebooks made from an Illustration friday entry.

Next up, some new year's resolutions, so many things I would like to accomplish this year!