Friday, February 29, 2008

Illustration Friday-Leap

I'm so happy to make a fresh piece just for Illustration Friday. It is one of those free forming pieces that I worked straight on the computer, without thinking too much and see where it takes me. I 've been working on another piece that is looking similar to this. Perhaps this is my new personal style.

Speaking of style-What IS your style? Ever asked yourself that question and do you know how to answer it? In a recent interview, I was asked how I described my style. It is one of those funny little questions- because I draw the way I draw...never thought about what style it is. So I think of my work as cute, quirky, funny and modern. I also hear alot of people describe my work as retro. Never thought of it that way, but I do get alot of inspiration from retro graphics. Well, how about that!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chicken Stampin'

A deliciously wrapped surprise package came to me last week from fellow illustrator and blog friend Andi Butler...its a chicken rubber stamp! You ROCK, Mrs. B!!! She also included a CD with some hilarious chicken songs and clucking sounds, it really made my day. Rooster Math Boy and I were dancing around the living room listening to it. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

I can see how rubber stamps are quite popular these days, I see people at various blogs are making their own. So fun!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008!

I won! This cover here was selected by Judge (and illustrator)Amanda Shepherd for think jot draw, a very cool sketch/workbook created by Leeza Hernandez. Thank you so much! I had alot of fun with this, letting myself play with the concept and depart from what I am use to.

Amanda was kind enough to write some thoughts about each fabulous entry. Please head over there and take a look!

There will be a limited edition print run of this, so stay tuned and hope you will get a copy! In the meanwhile, I'll be using mine to work on that children's book idea thats been on my mind. Thank you, Leeza-for making such a fabulous product for creatives.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The World of Mr. Toast (interpreted by Chickengirl)

I was honored when Dan Goodsell, creator of The world of Mr. Toast, asked me to participate in a show where artists got to reinterpret his characters. How can I resist drawing his cute little characters with arms and legs?!

I have this little obsession with automats and vending machines, and thought his food characters would be really cute in them.

The show runs March 1st to March 16th (opening on March 1st from 4-8pm) at:
Monkeyhouse Toys
1618 1/2 Silverlake Blvd
Silverlake, CA 90026
Please go check it out if you are in the area!

P.S.-I've owned Dan's book, Krazy Kids' Food! Vintage Food Graphics (by Dan Goodsell and Steve Roden) for a long time. Its a great source of reference and inspiration if you love retro graphics like me!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sending some love....

Did I mention how much I love blog friends and the blog world?
Crystal Driedger sent me a wonderful package last week. She held a giveaway on her blog and I loved everything. Thank you, Crystal! The calendar is up on my bulletin board so I see your lovely artwork everyday.

Also sending some love to more awesome folks who gave me a mention, I appreciate it so much, it keeps me going (and going with my evil plan to take over the world with chickens!!!):
Thank you, xoxo...cluck cluck!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Over at Illustration for Kids, we just did a valentine's day mailer. This is my piece:
Here is our mailer (front):
And here is the back:
and I got a sweet little CHICKEN valentine from Gis. Thank you, Birdie! The chicken is so cute, I had to show it:
Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Notes from the Conference

There is already much coverage of the SCBWI conference in various blogs that I won't be going into details with everything that happened. But I would like to share a few notes/quotes on the ones that made a big impression on me.

Illustrator Jerry Pinkney
"Every image is a portrait."

The first talk of the day at the Illustrators' intenstive. He mentioned that he saw a difference in his work when he really focused on picture books. His dedication to the craft is very apparent, especially when he said that while illustrating mongoose for a picture book, he listened to a tape of mongoose sounds. It made me realize I that I've been pretty scattered-brain lately, wanting to do different things with my art, etc., when my first love is the picture book and I still have alot to do, learn and work on. I immediately re-dedicated myself to making great picture books after his speech.

Holly McGhee, rep, Pippin Properties
"Working out of your comfort zone is essential in survival."

"Its not art if we are not in a new place."

"Never let complete ignorance get in your way."

"A simple suggestion opens the door."

A great talk about working out of your comfort zone. We all have them. Things that are out of my comfort zone: drawing different/dynamic perspective, and drawing people. I'll be working more on that.

Author/Illustrator David Wiesner
I've heard David Wiesner speak before at the Society of Illustrators. Each time I hear him speak, I get very inspired and want to go back to work right away, AND also think "Ok, why do I even bother?"

His work is incredibly amazing. I have a special fondness for the wordless picture book, so I am definitely a fan. I also saw his dedication to the craft when he showed 3-D models he had built for his book, Tuesday. He made clay models of the frogs and also a foam-core model of the clock tower that is on the cover, so he could try out different perspectives.

Author/Illustrator Tomie dePoala
What a treat to see Tomie de Poala in person! He gave some hints on making a portfolio:

-"Have I seen this before?" (your portfolio should be unique)
-"Is there too much in the portfolio?"
-Consistency in quality a must
-A portfolio is like an audition, a monologue to the art director
-Sequences are important

I was also thrilled to hear Illustrator Harry Bliss talk.....with new yorker cover after new yorker cover.....after new yorker cover. He also mentioned he won't be doing another children's book for a while. It sounds like they are pretty draining on him, he puts his blood, sweat and tears into making a great picture book. I have much respect for him.

I also enjoyed the luncheon keynote address with writer Carolyn Mackler. There were so much more but thats it for now...some food for thought!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm Back!

I'm back from the SCBWI conference and had a wonderful time. Alot went on and I need some time to gather my thoughts, but two main things that came from the conference:

1. I can now see more clearly the next level I must reach and

2. Meeting some great person! (so many fellow bloggers/ Illustration Friday regulars!) I'm a bad blogger in that I didn't take much photos at all. This was the only one I have on the last day:
Left to right: Yours truly, Courtney Pippin-Mathur, Leeza Hernandez, Jennifer E. Morris (fellow Illustration for kids member!), "Lil" Kim Fleming(who came all the way from Australia!).

Also two other wonderful bloggers/IF-ers I met: Alicia Padron, Gina Perry and so many others. And a shout out to Ellen Crimi-Trent who couldn't make it at the last minute, I hope to meet you at the next conference!

I came away from this conference with alot of mixed emotions- inspired yet overwhelmed, recharged yet tired (2 and a half very long days!). I'll share some more details in another post. There is extensive coverage of the conference through Leeza's blog (who did live blogging, its true!), she did a wonderful job, so go check it out...(there is a picture of me making a really ugly "funny" face, I really should of just been normal!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ready or Not, Here I Come

I'm off to the SCBWI conference tomorrow with my little red portfolio. I'll be sure to come back with all the details!

Sending some love to Mike R. Baker and Holly DeWolf who gave me the You Make My Day Award, too! I'm so honored. Thanks, guys! I need to update my blogroll with some great blog friends, stay tuned!

Learning Flash update: thank you for those who left me some great links to look through. Video tutorials are a gzillion times better than learning from the book. I haven't touched it much this week, but I am keeping up with the reading and watching the tutorials. Yeah!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Following Through with Resolutions

With all my big talk of "I want to learn Flash," maybe its a good idea to get the software first...Hehe. Ok, so I did have Flash on my old computer (the version when it was still from Macromedia), but its time for a sweet upgrade for me with CS 3 (working in CS right now.)

After browsing at a few books, I ended up with Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Flash CS3 Professional in 24 Hours. So far so good, I finished "Hour 1." I'm not a complete newbie in Flash (maybe an advanced newbie) but everything sure looks intimidating when I haven't touched it in years.

Hopefully I can start posting some things here as I am learning. Thank goodness for this blog to keep me accountable. Maybe I'll get somewhere by the end of this year.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Swaps and Trades-Goodies Received!

Thanks, Gis, for also awarding me the You Make My Day Award. (We are afterall bird-related, check out her cute birdies!) Here is a wonderful opportunity to give some shout outs to all the blogger friends I 've made and some recent goodies I've received over the mail:

A package from Zari- I was so blown away with the personalized notebook (I love that chicken with my initials on it!) and all the other goodies! Her work is even more amazing to look at in real life. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, Zari:
I wish I had more time to participate over at Monday Artday ATC, but I was still getting some wonderful ATCs. Some recent ones:
Top left: A Halloween Cutie from Jeff Brame- He is incredible with making so many great ATCs to trade! Thanks, Jeff!
Top Right: Bearuh sent this as a surprise, a kawaii donut, whats not to love?
Bottom: Fatburger and Shake from JC, she did this one especially for me since I told her I loved drawings of food!

Thank you guys! Cluck Cluck!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Anatomy of an illustration job

I'm on a roll with these illustrators shop talk posts! I'm happy to hear that many of you are enjoying them. Over at Illustration for kids, we are talking about Process, I thought I would also post over here too.

Instead of talking about my process in illustrating, I thought I would talk more about the process of an illustration job. For this particular job, it was a map for a kindergarten book.

Sometimes clients send me quick sketches of what they want, and half the time it throws me off. Do they want it exactly like this or is there some room for me to make it my own? It also takes a bit of fun out for me, but other times it just makes the job go smoother. In this case, I get a quick sketch from the client and it works, because I now get an idea of how the layout of the map is like:
With the additional info I get, I use my illustrating power to turn that into this:
I still do pencil sketches. I scan the sketch and place it into Illustrator, where I use to pen tool to draw on top of my sketch. And here is the final:
When there is text in the illustration, alot of times the type will need to be on a separate layer. Voila! Time for another job!