Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Illustration Friday - SHADOW (Plus Happy Thanksgiving!)

This week's Illustration Friday challenge word was SHADOW. Drew these guys pictured above real quick during a meeting today to squeeze them in before the holiday crunch!! Wishing all who celebrate a Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Illustration Friday - TAIL

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Sometimes less is more.....

This week's Illustration Friday challenge word is TAIL. I think I got that covered! 

I am happy to announce (& actually just noticed!) that this will be post #100 for this blog!! Big thank you to all who have visited, and shown an interest! It's nice to know I'm not just talking to myself here!  :) But seriously, your comments really DO keep me going!

I'm also pleased to say that my participation in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) has been beyond worthwhile! I achieved the goal of 30 ideas on day 18! That's not to say all 30 are actually GOOD ideas (some of them are lame, some suck, and there is at least one that makes me question my sanity... or at least what I was eating before I went to bed the night before....) but there is enough decent material to keep me busy for a LONG time. And I'm not done! I will continue to try to come up with an idea every day for the rest of the month...& hopefully, I'll have developed a habit by then, of looking for ideas in everything around me, & being cognizant enough of them to be sure to jot them down!! (I'll have to buy some little note pads and put them in my bag, my cars, my night stand, my bathrooms....)

But things haven't been ALL good, lately. This Illustration Friday piece is the first thing creative that I've done in my studio since losing my beloved studio-mate, Miss Miga last week. For over 2 years, since the day I brought her home from the animal shelter, she brightened my studio & made it a place I wanted to be. It's not so bright anymore. She was a happy little hamster, & without her, the room seems so incredibly empty. But oddly enough, on the day she died, I was contacted out of the blue about illustrating a 2nd children's book for an author I worked with earlier this year. Which would require spending a LOT more time in my studio.... doing something I love. And today, I received a promising message for yet another book project. So maybe this room hasn't been completely drained of happiness....maybe it still holds some promise....

As always, I thank you for visiting!

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Children's Book....and a Special Promo!!

I don't usually post promos for my art here, but I know many of you were following along last fall when my book was *finally* published so I thought I'd share some of the interior pages with you!
 And if you are interested, now is a great time to order one, as the publisher is having a 30% off sale for 2 days only - November 18th & 19th! Just enter the code: BIGSALE at checkout!

This is the blurb I posted on my FB page:  "Christmas is just around the corner, and what better way to make the holidays special for the children in your life than with a personalized book?! The story becomes ABOUT THEM!!!! Join the animals as they jump off the magical quilt & visit an amusement park! A *perfect* bedtime story! Available in both a boy & girl version."
  You can order it: *HERE*


As always, thank you for your interest & I appreciate your comments!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Illustration Friday - ENERGY

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Does anyone have more energy than kids and puppies???

Been a few weeks since I've participated in an Illustration Friday challenge. I've got a lot on my plate these days, & haven't had the time or energy to deal with it all...been feeling kind of drained, actually. But these guys popped into my head during another Tuesday meeting at work, & sort of demanded to be finished, so here they are! Kids & puppies ARE rather demanding, aren't they?

As I mentioned in my previous post, November is Picture Book Month, and I am participating in PiBoIdMo for the first time, the Picture Book Idea Month challenge to come up with 30 ideas in 30 days. At day 12, I'm pleased to say (& surprised as all hell to discover) that I #1, have actually remembered to enter something in the log each day, & #2, have come up with 23 ideas so far! What is even MORE remarkable is some of them are GOOD! And the month isn't even half over! Who would have thought something good could be generated on demand like this? But the thing is, that's not really how it happened. Ideas come to me all the time...I'm just not aware enough to actually jot them down or remember them later! PiBoIdMo has caused me to consider every wild thought or circumstance that pops into my head or that I observe around me as a potential story. And that's not a bad thing!

 This is all great news.....except I have also come to the realization that to actually bring the good ideas to fruition, I will likely need to be locked in my studio for pretty much all of eternity! (Or at least when I'm not at my day job!!!) But I think some of these ideas really deserve further attention. Sacrifices, sacrifices........... 

 As always, I appreciate your comments & visits! Please click on the link on the right to check out my studio Facebook page!

Monday, November 4, 2013

PiBoIdMo is taking over my life!!!!!

   So, last Thursday, I was cruising the web, checking out some of my favorite art blogs, and stumbled upon a link to author, Tara Lazar's blog,  and guidelines for registering for PiBoIdMo 2013. What *IS* PiBoIdMo, you ask? It stands for Picture Book Idea Month, and is a 30-day challenge for picture book writers. The challenge is to come up with an idea a day for 30 days. It doesn't have to be a complete manuscript - it can be a concept, a theme, a character....you get the idea. By the end of the month, participants should have a fat file of ideas from which they can work. Sounded good to me, so I registered, joined the Facebook discussion group, & ran to the store to buy a $1 steno notebook in which to jot my ideas. I was ready.

Or so I thought......

Friday marked Day 1. I went on the FB page in the morning, & the first thing I saw was a photo of someone's beautiful journal, all purple, with 3 dimensional applique flowers on the cover and a binding that looked like sculpted fabric. The pen was equally ornate. In fact, it was a matched set. And then there was me with my $1 steno notebook with "PiBoIdMo" scrawled diagonally across the front. (Hey, at least I colored in the letters!) I hadn't even dug out a pen yet. I suddenly felt inadequate. She had "Beverly Hills Journal", & I had "ghetto-notebook." Sigh.

See? I told you it was a dollar!
To compound matters, I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, trying to get ready for a weekend road trip (departure shortly after lunch). I'm doing laundry, packing, staging everything by the door, etc. etc. but in the back of my mind, I'm thinking I need to spare a few minutes for PiBoIdMo, & I'm paranoid I'm going to forget to do it. On the FIRST DAY, no less!!! (Believe me, this could happen!)

 So I'm in the bathroom, drying my hair, & suddenly I come up with..... an IDEA!!!
 So I immediately grab my steno pad, sit down on the TOILET, and write out my idea....2 IDEAS, actually!!!!! So! THIS is how this whole PiBoIdMo thing works!!! I really couldn't afford to be picky about the location - at least  I had IDEAS!!! I'll take inpiration WHEREVER I can get it!!! And I was only using the toilet as a SEAT (lid closed), & not for it's usual purpose, so it was all good. I was off to a solid start! (perhaps I shouldn't have used that descriptive when referring to activity in the bathroom...I swear - I was drying my hair!)

Anyway, Day 2 went a lot more smoothly. I wrote down my idea in the hotel room that night, & then I went to bed............and dreamed about coming up with ideas for PiBoIdMo!!! (Ugh!!! It was now invading my subconscious!!!) This would have been OK, if my idea hadn't been somewhat violent & totally inappropriate for children...it involved apples....but I wrote it down anyway on Day 3, in hopes, with a little more thought, I could transform it into something less violent and more usable. That hasn't happened yet....but I'm optimistic...

Now I am more than half way through Day 4 and the ideas are a bit slow to come..... if it's like this on Day 4, how's it gonna be on Day 24?!  Wish me luck!!! And if you'd like to continue with me on this creative journey, please subscribe to this blog. :)