Monday, July 14, 2014

My Sketchbook, My Journal

I post a lot of my sketches on Instagram and Facebook, but I so often neglect the extra step it takes to post to my blog. I'm trying to get better at that if you couldn't tell. :)

I don't like to share too many negative emotions online, but I've been feeling a little down lately. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with all these sketches, but I keep making them. I'd love to put some of that energy into a book of my own, but the ideas come out very fragmented.

I've also been toying with the idea of doing a Kickstarter to print and distribute my sketchbooks, but I'm not sure yet. Not entirely certain it's something folks would want.

We'll see what happens!

Until then, I leave you with a peaceful little moment on a train... in the rain...with a girl and her cat.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Buzz buzzz!

I'm very inspired by the summer weather as you can tell. I've also been experimenting with gouache and really liking the results!

Have a happy weekend!


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Summer of '14: Sketchbooking

Hi friends!

Oh, woe is me...not keeping up with my regular blogging. Is it just me, or is it nearly impossible to find time in the day? When I'm not working, it's all I can do to get away from the computer screen and into nature...which is why I like drawing in my sketchbook so much. I sit on my back porch and just...go.

Here's a little sampling of some sketches from the past few months...more are available on my website! I also post very regularly on my Instagram account.

Have a spectacular summer everyone! Enjoy all the leaves, plants, herbs, and sunny weather it brings!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sketchbook Giveaway

Hi everyone! I have something exciting brewing over here!

Recently, I put together a sketchbook filled to the brim with my favorite sketches from 2013. My plan is to sell these homemade books through my website, but I thought it might be fun to do a little giveaway before I put them up for sale!

To be eligible, please just visit my Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram page and give a like! I will choose two follower winners from each site (no double-winsies though, sorry!). When I choose winners, I will ask you for an address, and ship you a sketchbook! Easy peasy!

*If you already follow're entered! Thank you so much for your support through the years!*

Here is a little preview of the book, and to see more of my sketches, please visit my website!

*Please note: I'll be picking names on May 9, 2014!* 

Cheers and happy spring!

*****UPDATE! And the winners are:

From Facebook: Megan Kinneen / Lori Nichols
From Instagram: James Proimos @proimosjames / Samantha Wilson @ohsoillustrating
From Twitter: Chris Purdin @ChrisPurdin / Preschool Foodie @PreschoolFoodie

And a big, hearty THANK YOU to everyone who follows along. I appreciate it so much!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Process Post: Keep Calm! My Stress-Busting Tips

In my last post, I declared that one of my New Years Resolutions was to be more observant. Another resolution of mine is to document more projects and the process involved. Luckily, I had this in mind early on in 2013 when I began work on Cloverleaf Books for Millbrook Press

My first book in the Healthy Habits series is Keep Calm! My Stress Busting Tips, written by Gina Bellisario (who happens to be in my kidlit family at Andrea Brown Literary Agency)! I also had the privilege of working with Laura Waxman (Editor) and Emily Harris (Designer) from Lerner Publishing. At the time I had signed on for three books and didn't know that I would continue on to work with Emily on FIVE books throughout the year. It was truly a blessing.

The beginnings of bookmaking are usually for my eyes only. I spend an afternoon ordering pages, making doodles, and sketching characters that most likely nobody else but me can understand. It looks like this:

From there, I keep sketching, but I go bigger and more detailed. These will be sketches the client will see. The next round of sketches will usually go through one more pass before I start coloring, but I will show some of them here side by side.

The first thing I do is decide on a main character. This is Anna. I read through the manuscript and develop her personality based on the text. She has a little "Stress Monster" that follows her around. I decided to keep him cute.

She is really stressed out! So much to do: homework, chores, and soccer practice! 

Her parents are a little stressed, too. Their mornings are just a little bit hectic. This is what my mornings look like when I wake up late. Please click on the images to make them larger!

I often overdo it when I'm sketching, it helps me to figure out the world the characters live in. I delete a lot of the details that get in the way and make room for text. You can see this in the soccer game spread top left. 

I always add details that I'm familiar with. At the time, I had just organized my colored pencils into canning jars, which made it into Anna's room, and I was thinking of my high school when I added he cougar paws to the bulletin board. Go cougars. (Haha!)

This is just a sweet little moment that I am fond of, but in the final art they have opposite emotions because Anna is starting to learn how to manage her stress. 

This book and the others in the series will be available in April 2014 on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, and other retailers! Look for a process post video demo soon over on my other blog, Simply Messing About!