Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Blog Hop!

My friend and fabulous illustrator Tina Kugler tagged me in a blog hop. Please take a minute and go check out her artwork, she has been showing a few sneak peaks of the two new picture books she has coming out in 2014.

1. What are you working on right now?

I've started a picture book dummy called Baby Sings. I've only done dummies for the 3-7 year old crowd and it's fun to work really simply. However..... this dummy definitely involves drawing a baby over and over and over on every page in lots of different positions. And babies are hard to draw! Honestly, all people are hard for me to draw. I just keep at it. Luckily I have a model I get to look at every day. Tessa is 7 months old now!

2. How does this differ from other works in this genre?

I'm not sure it's really different, but picture books are for younger and younger kids these days. And parents are encouraged to read to their children from birth. But there aren't as many books for babies- and certainly not ones that have young babies as main characters, as there are picture books for preschool kids. Of course, you can read to your newborn from the newspaper or an adult novel and they'd be just as happy. But part of the reading pleasure is for the adults too, right? And of course a new mama would enjoy a picture book with a baby doing the funny things that her own baby does, right?

And....... I am going to do some collage using music sheets! I haven't done collage in ages, but this will be pretty simple and hopefully look good. I'll also do big linocuts over the collage.

3. Why do you write what you write?

This story in particular got written because well, I have a baby! And I think about babies, and what they do and why. And what does that noise mean? And is that normal? And isn't she just brilliant?!

4. What is the hardest thing about writing?

Occasionally a story or idea or vision come quickly but mostly the whole darn thing is hard work all the time. Not like manual labor, but more like, "Is this any good?" "What am I missing?" "Do I really have to redraw that AGAIN?" "Why is this taking so long??" But it's ok that it's hard work, because I love a good challenge!

I'd like to tag Kjersten Anna Hayes. I love her collages and handmade books!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Black and White Patterns

For the last few days I've been making patterns for the fun of it. And it really is so much fun! These were all done on black paper with watercolor and my own simple stamps. There's definitely a snow theme. It snowed a lot this weekend and inspired me, I guess.

I've been thinking for a while about how much I love making grids, patterns, and decorative artwork. So I've been reading about pattern and surface design and wound up buying these two books: Repeat After Me, and Pattern Design and Beyond by Claudia Brown & Jessie Whipple Vickery.  I've only read the first book so far. It's about how to design a repeating pattern in Photoshop or Illustrator. The second book is about the business of pattern design.

Obviously, you can do all of your work creating the images on the computer, but you can also start with handmade artwork and scan it into the computer. I'm going to try and turn these samples I made into repeats as soon as I have the chance. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I've been sketching babies which is awfully hard, but I'm persevering. I think my dog must have thrown up on my pages when they were on the floor because they are all icky now. :(