Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Direction

Since I can't use watercolors in the Moleskine sketchbook (and still haven't received the Moleskin watercolor journal) I've decided to use this one as a sketchbook for illustration ideas. The alien creatures, and boy with tie are all character sketches for a picture book manuscript I've written.

I drew the little girl with horns when I was mad about something, LOL. :0)

The First Time I Felt Like a Real Illustrator/Artist Was When...

Back in December I asked fellow artists when they first felt like a real artist/illustrator. As I stated before, I feel you become an artist as soon as you put medium to paper and begin expressing yourself. But professionally, there are always little moments in time where the feeling washes over you that you have in fact become a 'pro' in your field. Below are art samples and quotes from four extremely talented artists who were kind enough to submit their thoughts on the subject. I've posted these in the order I received them via email. Thanks very much ladies!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba a.k.a. "E":

"I always knew I was an artist, ever since kindergarten when I created a sculpture of a little man rather than the ashtray we were supposed to make. And I always knew I was an illustrator because of my fifteen years of graphic design where I was always the in-house illustrator. However, I didn't feel like a bona fide "children's book illustrator" until I made my pilgrimage to New York last year for the SCBWI-NY portfolio show. In college, we were taught the only way to make it in freelance illustration was to pound the pavement in New York, and that was true before the internet came along. So being old-school, I knew I wouldn't feel completely legitimate until I'd "done" New York. What a fantastic trip. I circled the Society of Illustrators seven times to make my pilgrimage complete, showed my portfolio, and ate some of the best pickles I've ever had. And ironically, with as unnecessary as this trip actually was to my career, it Did seem to mark the point where I really felt the difference, the tip over to "real children's book illustrator."

Read about my trip to NY on my blog here
and my thoughts on NY here

My regular blog url is here
and my website is

Angela Hawkins:

"When I tried to illustrate my stories in the past I always grew frustrated and gave up. My characters felt lifeless. I only felt comfortable drawing them in positions, perspectives, and angles I was familiar with. I felt no freedom, and my inability and fears took control. Hard work and studying other illustrators helped me gain the courage to try again two months ago. I felt for the first time that I actually an illustrate a picture book! I have a lot more work to do (especially when I look at some amazing illustrators), but now that I've overcome that milestone, I feel like I'm on track to going where I hope to end up."

You can visit Angela's website at

Courtney N. Pippin-Mathur:

"Everyday I dream of being a published illustrator. There is something about being published that makes you able to say "I'm an illustrator" without adding, "in training" or"wanna-be" or "and a stay ay home mom". It is validation on a grand scale. It transforms a hobby into a career. Proof that someone likes your work enough to pay you to share it with the world. It doesn't have to be an entire book, even a spot in a magazine would allow me to claim that title for myself and feel like this toiling over the drafting table everyday has paid off."

My website is here
blog is here

Kim Fleming:

"I work from home and used to work from a regular table and dining room chair; when I started getting more illustration work, leaning over the table to paint left me unable to fully straighten my neck after a while! Now that I have revamped my studio with a drawing board, adequate lighting, and a light box, I feel like I have all the materials to create in a great environment, and I feel like a real, working illustrator. And I love it :-)"

Kim's website
Kim's blog

Barnyard Dance

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Moleskine Journal Page

Well my Moleskine journal finally arrived and it matched and exceeded my expectionations! My favorite feature is that it lays flat when opened so it's very easy to write and draw in. My major complaint of course is that it doesn't take watercolor well at all. The surface is too slick, so the colors bead and stay on top until they finally soak in to make a dull stain. It does, however, take india ink fairly well. So I'll just either use regular ink line, or ink wash.

I've also ordered the little watercolor Moleskine journals that open horizontally and will be using those as well for color journal entries.

Well last night when I opened the little Moleskine book to blank page number one, my first feeling was intimidation, and it showed the first several pages. I actually started getting frustrated because nothing I was writing or drawing made me happy when looking back over it. I'm sure with some practice I'll find an artistic direction of some sorts. To the right is one page I was actually happy with. I've been looking at other journals for inspiration. That always seems to get the creative juices flowing.

Okay, well my next post will be the Illustrator's Project I had planned around the holidays. I have four excellent artists who contributed! Thanks all!

Here's a question to other illustrated journalers out there. Do you sketch first with a pencil and then ink? It seems I capture the feeling of the moment better if I dive right in with ink and pen. But when I get the watercolor books, I might take more time with those. I don't know..I experiment and see.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Little Star

This is the little star of my next early reader "Photo Day". I always like to do some final illustrations of the characters before I go into the sketch phase. You never know what will and won't work in color.

A Little Change Of Pace

After reading through some other online illustrated journals, I caught the journal bug myself (actually I've been keeping journals since I was ten, but this is my first foray into illustrated journals). So I put the order in for a Molskine sketchbook - a type of high quality journal sketchbook that people have been raving about. It really does look like a beaut even online. But being the impatient type, I had to jump right in like a horse out of a gate and try this stuff out. I was especially eager to see what it's like to draw without sketching first, and to add to it, draw on the fly while walking around different places. So yesterday I grabbed a very cheap booklet full of graph paper - and no it was not that great to draw and paint on - in fact it was like painting on tissue paper, but worse. I Then picked up a few pens (a micron, a rotring tech pen and a pencil--in case I didn't like drawing without sketching first).

So here are some of the pages - most drawings were of people that were walking around the Talbots where I had met my Mom for a shopping trip. Let me tell you, I had to be very careful about being caught drawing people. I couldn't just stand there and draw them - it had to be fast and while moving. Some people gave me some interesting looks, but most people were so into finding a good jacket or pair of shoes they didn't notice me at all.

Oh and in the end, I LOVED drawing with ink right on the paper without a sketch. It was very exciting - my marks looked much different than I was used to. It brought out a new side of me I think. I'm looking forward to drawing on some good paper when that Moleskin arrives--hurry, darn it!

The focus of my blog is still of course going to be children's art, but I'm going to throw in some journal stuff here and there as well.

And yes, I did spell 'bizarre' with two "z"'s in my journal. So sue me. :o) I was in a hurry.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Duck Feeding

Illustration Friday Theme : Super Hero

Even Superman loses fights sometimes...

Superman: by Five For Fighting

I cant stand to fly
I'm not that naive
I'm just out to find
The better part of me

I'm more than a bird...I'm more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It's not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home Ill never see

It may sound absurd...but dont be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but wont you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
Its not easy to be me

Up, up and away...away from me
Its all can all sleep sound tonight
Im not crazy...or anything...

I cant stand to fly
I'm not that naive
Men weren't meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

I'm only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me
Inside me
Yeah, inside me
Inside of me

I'm only a man
In a funny red sheet
Im only a man
Looking for a dream

I'm only a man
In a funny red sheet
And its not easy, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm...

Its not easy to be me

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Not Moving After All

Okay, I tested out the new blog a bit, and fully intended on going there, but the address of the actual blog is just to ridiculously long. Plus the real feeling of it being a Blog wasn't there - I didn't like a blog intro page - people usually want to be taken right to the articles, as I do as well.

However, I will be keeping this iweb site as my regular site for my portfolio and bio etc. I just love it.

Okay so I am staying with Blogger after all. Now if only I can figure out all this html stuff so I can design this site the way I want it. Wish me luck.

Recent Tiger illustration:

Friday, January 19, 2007

Good Start To The Year

Even with being sick, I'm extremely happy with the flow of work I've been getting lately. Each year I seem to be receiving more and more assignments per month, so I guess I'm doing something right! Now if I could just 'lasso' that elusive trade book assignment, I would be one happy cowgirl.

This is a practice illustration for one of my early reader assignments from McGraw-Hill, entitled "Jane & Bo".

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Penguin Tea Party

For those of you who have contributed to the Illustrator Project, thanks so much! I've been sick the first part of this January, so sorry for the delay in getting it together. I'll have it done before the end of the month.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Flu Season....Bleh....

Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix

The title above is the name of the book this little reader is hugging. This is exactly how I feel about the whole Harry Potter series. My VERY last minute submission for Illustration Friday:0)