Thursday, May 29, 2008

Book Contracts :-)

I thought I'd finally share some of the details of my recent contracts. I started Fox in Socks on Typepad back in 2004 and wrote pretty regularly about how I dreamed of illustrating trade books. I practiced and tried my best to improve as an artist year after year, and some years I hardly got any work at all. My point here is, if I can do it anyone can. I put everything I had into this goal for a long time, and yes it's hard to keep the momentum going without seeing results for that long. I guess it helps that even if I was never paid to do this, I'd still illustrate and write because I love it so much and because it's what I'm driven to do. It's what keeps me up late at night, and makes me feel excited in the morning when a wake up. I can't imagine life without children's books and the amazing world found within them.

My very first trade book assignment came in a couple months ago from Sleeping Bear Press. The story: "The Little Green Pea". I'm pretty sure I can't share any story line details yet--just don't want to take a chance on that. Anyways, this in and of itself was enough to keep me excited for the next year - I was walking on clouds.

A month later, another book assignment comes in from Charlesbridge called Raj. Wow! I couldn't believe this - two books hooray! I was over the moon!

A week later, I get a trade book offer from Dutton to illustrate "Baby Moose Visits". By this time I was feeling slightly faint! What was going on? All this work in a matter of two months?

Three fantastic stories to illustrate, what more could an illustrator possibly ask for? My biggest dream is not only realized, but bypassed.

To add to this amazing year, a fourth possible contract is being discussed with a UK publishing company who's books I absolutely love.

Let's just say I haven't been sleeping well recently - but it's the kind of insomnia you really don't mind. I can't begin to express how appreciative I am of the generosity other artists and fans of children's literature have shown me. Thank you for all the kind comments over the years.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Present For Seymore

The little mouse was very worried about his friend. Seymore had been moping around for days since arriving at the zoo. He handed him his balloons, but Seymore just stared passed him while a tear creeped its way down his trunk.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scrap Paper Painting

Left over scrap paper always calls for me to paint something on it - especially unusual sizes such as this vertical piece.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tag! Typical Day

I have to keep this short because typing causes wrist pain, but my days are almost never the same. I'm helping care for my Grandmother who has alzheimers so my drawing schedule mostly revolves around that. Since things quiet down after she goes to bed, I admittedly will stay up till 5-6 am drawing. I know it's time to go to bed when I hear the paper boy flinging papers onto driveways.

Thanks for tagging me Eric!

Illustration Friday: Worry

The Worry Warthog:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Illustration Friday: Wide

"He's got the whole world in his hands
He's go the whole WIDE world, in his hands..."

I have very very good news! I've been hired to illustrate three trade books this year! Hooray!

Many thanks for the comments on my piggy propeller illustration.

p.s. sorry about the double entry on the illustration friday list - the address on the second one isn't right.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Illustration Friday: Electricity - The Great Escape

This pig secretly studied electrical engineering and mechanics via online courses on the bacon farm. He then plugged in the charger of his new invention in an outdoor outlet of the farmer's own home. The picture tells the rest of the story...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shy Sheep

Another character sketch.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Flying Cow

Since I have two assignments that star cows, I've been drawing quite a few of them the last few days.

Chickens Like Skating Too!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Illustration Friday: Seed

This sheep just got caught eating a flower that the cow had grown from a seed.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Holy Cow!

I obviously can't post actual illustrations from the early reader I'm working on, but I can post color sketches. I do this kind of thing a lot since I have several styles on my portfolio-that way I can be sure I'm doing the type of art the art director is expecting.

I do plan on narrowing down my styles to just two, or maybe one at some point. But it's hard because I get bored so quickly and change around. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind getting super good at one instead of being a jack of all trades and master of none.