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!