Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Sorry I haven't posted at all for so long. Having a baby and moving have consumed my days. But here's something I did last year to wish you all a merry Christmas with. My son and I had gone to a Creche exhibit and later that day I thought this up.

Hopefully I'll be back in business sometime in January. See you soon!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

IF: Grow

This illustration not only illustrates the way that "Mikayla" grows while learning about her emotions, but also my own growth as an illustrator. I remember the day I realized I could actually draw a character in several different emotions/settings. This picture wasn't the first time I did it, but it is one of the first. Perhaps as I learned that editors want to see characters depicted in several settings and knowing that people talk about it being a difficult thing to do set me up for the task. Whenever anyone says anything like, "that's hard and you probably won't be able to do it," I get fired up to take on the challenge and prove them wrong. How about you? Does hearing someone say you can't do something make you not even want to try in the first place, or do you get excited like me and work hard until you do it?

By the way, I've only got three more weeks until my second son is born! It'll be nice to sleep on my stomach and back again (uh . . . at least WHEN I can find the time to sleep with a newborn and a three-year-old around).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


What are your favorite cookies? Take your pick of chocolate chip, ginger snap, and snickerdoodle.

I'm still alive, even if the posts aren't always coming. Just today I'm sending out another round of postcards. I do hope it yields some fun work, but if not, I have a baby and a new house to take care of soon, and that'll keep me plenty busy. Our expected move-in date is less than a month away, and our son's due date is in the beginning of November. Hopefully things will happen in that order. But if not, it means I don't have to grow continually bigger AND I'll get to see how cute our baby is.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

One Itchy Cobra

Here's something I've been working on for Stories For Children. Sorry I haven't been posting as much lately. My family's schedule is out of wack and, when it's gone, a lot of my motivation of goes out the window. Once my husband starts working again things should fall into place . . . until we move, that is . . . and then, of course, our baby (who will be another boy!) will probably add a little ripple . . . I'll do my best and hope you'll all be forgiving of my shortcomings. I really do appreciate all of you who take the time to visit my blog, and especially to those of you who take the time to post something. Thanks!

Monday, August 6, 2007

IF: Missing (or just hidden?)

OK, so maybe I'm stretching the theme, but I've been working on this illustration off and on for a while (and it still needs some touching up as I look at it scanned in right now . . . but maybe later). Your job, however, is to spot a pencil, a ladle, a tack, a carrot, an ice cream cone, a pear, a cupcake, a banana, a ghost, a heart, a needle, and a turtle so that they won't be missing anymore! (Sorry if the image is a little small.)

Friday, July 27, 2007

First Paid Assignment

I was recently asked to design a logo for a group called Musing Our Children. It was fun to do (AND I got paid for it). Here's the finished product. I hope you like it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

IF: Magic Carpet Moon Ride!

I was asked to do the August cover for Stories For Children. After looking through the various stories this month, I thought that a magic carpet ride would be really fun to do. It was! I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

To give you an idea of how I work, I've included some sketches below. I first make a number of character sketches until I find some I like (I haven't included the roughest sketches) then trace what I want on my lightbox (see first sketch above). Next, I scan these images into Adobe Illustrator where I tweak them a bit (mostly, I scale them to the size I want) and arrange them in a way I think will work (I haven't included this step above). After printing that, I work the background around the images (see second image) and scan that into Illustrator once again. Last of all, I print it off onto watercolor paper, ink it in, and paint! Sometimes I add an additional step of printing the finished sketch onto scratch paper and coloring it with crayons to get the colors just right before I paint it. Last night I decided to just risk it, and it worked! I hope you like the finished product.

To give you a little update, I just sent off my second batch of postcards (I used my homepage image from my website. I hope it will yield additional results. My last mailing has given me opportunity to get experience with Stories For Children and Fandangle Magazines. I haven't been paid, but it's given me a taste of what it's like to be an illustrator. I have actually received my first paid assignment last week (I haven't yet completed it, however) to do a logo for a writer's group. Hopefully, my continuing efforts will bring additional (paying) opportunities. But if not, I'm still having fun!

Monday, July 9, 2007

IF: Geeky

What kinds of geeky things have you done? I remember trying to get flies to move by blowing on them after they landed on my knee (which was probably not the nicest thing to do). So here we've got a boy trying to "stun a cockroach with his breath," a spot I had previously drawn for an illustration but decided not to use in the end. It seemed to fit this theme, though, and sure was fun to paint today!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm Back

After moving, almost buying (and then deciding not to) a house, and adjusting to a new place, I'm ready to start blogging again! I've been painting a little bit for Stories For Children Magazine, but I've obviously slowed down my illustrating pace for the last while. Now that I feel like I've been much too lazy, I'm ready to get back on track and make my dreams happen!

This illustration will appear in July's edition of Stories For Children. I hope you like it!

IF: Camouflage

Poor Miss Muffet has not yet detected the (not-very-well) hidden spider about to frighten her away!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Fandangle Magazine

I received another assignment a while ago to do a cover for Fandangle Magazine (another online e-zine). The issue will be about fun animals at the zoo. It was really fun to do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Here's another illustration for Stories For Children (the May issue). I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

IF: (Mis)fortune

Some people have all the luck . . . and there are those who don't! This chap here doesn't exactly have good fortune, but he's one of those people who remain cheerful regardless. (I hope someday I can be like that!) I created him last month, part of a larger illustration (see if you can spot which one it is on my website).

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I'm expecting another baby and these beginning months are definitely not my favorite (and they will soon be OVER)! Thanks for all of the kind comments you've given. I really appreciate them!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Stories For Children

I finished this picture today.

A few weeks ago I previously mentioned a new e-zine, Stories For Children. It made its debut this week. Come check it out:

Stories For Children Magazine

Inside this issue I wrote and illustrated Gulp! and illustrated two poems: Big Boy and April Fool's Day

Saturday, March 24, 2007

IF: I Spy . . . Myself!

Here's something from my website. I've been a little sick this last week and working on a couple of deadlines, so I don't feel up to doing something new. I hope you like it!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Spider Magazine

On September 14, 2004 I got word from Spider magazine that they wanted my story, "Bitsy Climbs the Not-So-Itsy Spout." After a year of sending tons of things out and getting form rejection letters for all of them, I was quite excited. (It's nice to have that "I've been published" credit next to my name as justification for my writing and illustration passion.)

I have had several other things accepted (and published) since September 14, 2004, but I haven't forgotten about my first story that was accepted. After waiting almost three years, I received word today that it will come out in the 2007 May issue! I'm excited to see what the illustrator does.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

imaginary friends

Here's a spot I finished for an e-zine. (The girl is having a kitchen picnic with her imaginary friend.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

IF: Hide (and Seek)

Bunny and her friends are playing hide and seek. Although my husband informed me that this is way too easy, can you help her find Turtle, Bee, Duck, Sheep, Frog, Snake, Pig, Mouse, and Dog?

I've been wanting to do a flower picture like this for a while. I served a mission for my church in the Netherlands and Belgium. Every year, all the missionaries gather together at Keukenhof, a large park full of flowers. I LOVED it! I love flowers so much that just seeing them can make my day. I must admit that I've got a bit of spring fever at the moment. Unfortunately, I won't be seeing it for a while yet. We've got snow forecast for the next couple of days. Oh well. At least I can illustrate pictures of spring!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

tonight's sketches

After I put my son down for naps and bed I get to write and draw! I must admit that I'm always thinking about what I want to draw. Here's what I put together tonight. It's pretty cool to feel like I'm making progress. Things come from my pencil that I never could have done a year ago (unless I was copying it from a picture).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

IF: Communication

I don't think of myself as a very good verbal communicator. It takes me a LOT longer (and with a lot more stumbles) to say what I think than it does to write it down. Maybe it's because I want to make sure that what's coming out is exactly how I feel. In addition to writing, I LOVE to communicate feelings through dance. Ballet was my passion for a long time (and I still love it, but I can't dance like I once did!). I loved the way I could express myself through movement.

The picture above was sparked by a memory from college. Every year at BYU, kids in the community choreograph their own dances (no adults help out) and then perform them for an audience. Going to that event was one of the most memorable performances I've ever seen. I felt like these kids were sharing things they felt that they may not have been able to express in any other way. My roommate was especially touched when a girl with Down's syndrome danced to "Don't Laugh at Me." My favorite, however, was when two girls lept across the floor again and again with such happy, joyful spirits. It was a moment where I felt that they were truly glorifying God for the gift of a wonderful life, for bodies that could dance and move and be!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

a new look

Yesterday I decided to change the look on my welcome web page. Since this is the first (or only) view people may ever give me, I want it to be the best I have to offer. I chose this illustration hoping to convey a happy, kid-friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The bottom illustration is what I previously used. I obviously kept the same setting but decided to redesign my character (hopefully new and improved). Ever since buying great paper, I've been spoiled and I've wanted to redo so many illustrations.

By the way, I was excited to hear from another e-zine that they're considering me for an upcoming issue! Hooray! I'll let you know about further developments. In the meantime, I'll go back to my drawing board. (Actually, my little boy -- who is singing Mr. Ray's songs from Finding Nemo in his crib -- would probably appreciate some time with me before we're off to teach some piano students. Further art developments will have to be postponed until this evening!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sail Away!

Happy Valentines!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I got my first illustrating job for the upcoming children's e-zine, Stories for Children. I wrote an article for the e-zine and also get to illustrate it. Here's the illustration. You can read the article when the e-zine debuts this April. If you want to learn more about the e-zine, go to

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Jack and Jill

This is the first night scene I think I've ever painted. I realized that many of my pictures show sunsets (I love sunset colors) and that I should try something new. It was fun! The only thing that wasn't fun is the fact that I really don't like to paint grass. Does anyone else out there feel that way too? I always want to show more detail than just a green wash, but everything I try just doesn't look good . . . and then I settle for a semi-green wash. To complicate matters, just about everything I've been painting has grass in it! I've looked at the way other illustrators do their grass, but I can't seem to find my own way that I'm happy with. Oh well. If I figure out the secret, I'll let you know!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

postcards and contracts

I don't have a new illustration to post this week because I've been working on sending out my postcards (see above) that arrived in the mail. I think they turned out pretty well. I'll soon see what others think!

Aside from illustrating, I received an email from CLUBHOUSE JR magazine that they want to use my story, "The Missing Smile" in their June 2007 issue. Then today I got a call from Listen magazine that they want my quiz, "You Snooze, You Lose" for September 2007. At this rate, I should be getting a call for a big book contract tomorrow! (I do have a story that's been out a while.) That would be nice.

Here's to dreaming! See you next week.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I know that animals are important in the children's publishing business. Since I felt like I needed more of them to include in my portfolio, I put together an animal party this week. (And who doesn't like parties, especially when cake and presents are involved?) The first illustration is my first attempt to paint it. After a while, though, I thought the colors were starting to look a little muddy and opted to try again. I think I like the bottom one better. (It's the one I chose to put on my website.) What do you think?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Jessica's Window

I've had an idea for a story (Jessica's Window) for almost three years, but I never thought about illustrating it until a few months ago. Every now and then, of course, I had tried to illustrate a story, but I always became so frustrated and quit. A few months ago my mom asked if she could use one of my stories at church, and if I could illustrate a few pictures to go with it. I'd already thought about illustrating a dummy for Jessica's Window, and even had illustrated a few sample pictures, but I'd procrastinated the complete dummy (since it seemed rather daunting to me). After talking to my mom, I decided to take on the task and drew most of the dummy. To my surprise, it was so much fun! Instead of the frustration I've had every other time I've tried to illustrate something big, I found the challenge exciting! Above is one such illustration I finished yesterday. I hope you like it.

By the way, I finally ordered my first set of promotional postcards. They should get here in a couple weeks. It's exciting and scary at the same time. I keep telling myself that it may take years of sending out postcards before anything happens. But if I work hard, hopefully some day my dream will come true!

Friday, January 5, 2007

From Start to Finish

Over the summer I didn't have access to a scanner, so I did a lot of sketching. It's been fun to paint and finish them up (sketching is probably my least favorite part of the process). Above is a summer sketch that I finally got around to. To create the finished product, I 1) sketched the first draft on paper, 2) scanned the image into GIMP (a free program like Photoshop) to clean up the smudges, 3) used Adobe Illustrator to add the border, stars, and moon (that's the second sketch above), and 4) printed it onto paper to stylize things with an ink pen (the last illustration). Since I need some black and white pieces for my portfolio, I decided not to paint this one.

When I paint, I use the same process as above. It sounds like a lot of work (and maybe it is for some), but all of the available software is so helpful! I don't know how illustrators once did it. It takes so much extra work to scale things to size, to place the images right where you want them, to always need a lightbox to trace again and again, to need to retrace everything if you mess up . . . Illustrators are pretty lucky these days!