Did you catch the Saul Bass tribute on Google earlier this week for his birthday? I'm a huge fan and I think they did a pretty fabulous job.
PS. NESCBWI Conference wrap-up and overview of how my workshop went (spoiler: super fun and awesome) next week!
I have some exciting news: I signed up for a intensive, ten week class with the wonderful agent Lilla Rogers! The class is all about "making art that sells" in various markets that will be covered each week. Its a big investment --of both time and money-- but its one I'm making in my career. And I'm going to make the most of it!
I met Lilla briefly a couple years ago at a NESCBWI portfolio event at her house and I've wanted to work with her ever since. So I'm pretty thrilled about this opportunity learn and stretch and grow artistically, professionally, and personally.
My fellow students have been posting their illustrations about getting into the course (see?-- everyone is excited!) and so there's mine. Usually I err on the teacher's-pet-zebra end of things, but lately, I'm totally that little bear, freaking out. YAY! (Do they familiar? They're from this piece. I have a feeling I'm not done with these two yet...)
I have new website! I have new website!
After a couple of technical snafus last week, I wasn't sure when this day would come. But my wonderful husband swooped in and saved the day! (Thank you, Babe. You are the best.) So, it's up! There are still a few bumpy areas that I'm working to smooth out, but overall I'm pretty thrilled: The art is front and center! It's mobile friendly! And I have a new "Pattern" portfolio that I'm very excited about. Please take a look around and let me know what you think!
As I've mentioned before, I've been busy redesigning my website these last couple months. And now that it's March (March?!) it's time for the unveiling. I'm shooting for Friday.
Basically, I wanted my illustration work to be front and center and the new design really delivers that. One of my over-arching goals for 2013 is to focus more on illustration and pattern making work, as opposed to design work. (Though I am still available for design work.) And I think the new site reflects that. I'm pretty excited about it! Cross your fingers I don't stumble on many hiccups and bumps in the next few days...
First, who lives in LA? I have your Saturday afternoon planned for you: How would you like to go to a little get together hosted by Emily Henderson? There will be drinking, and nibbling, and a dj, plus you get to say hello to my dear friend Soledad who's amazing jewelry line, Sol del Sur, is among those featured!! I am beyond excited for her, but alas am stuck on the East Coast. (Does her work look familiar? I designed her new site last year...)
If you see Sol there, give her a big hug from me. You will freak out when you see her latest line. It is that good. Click on the image above to RSVP.
And on to number 2: See those cowgirls above? Go check out the roundup of photos from LIFE Magazine over on Messy Nessy Chic. It's awesome. (And if you can't get enough of ladies and horses, check out McLeod's Daughters over on Hulu. Someone might be obsessively running that show in the background while she works lately. Someone... --Aussie accents, high waisted jeans, and french braids, people!)
Aand I'll leave you with this brilliant piece of animation that made me laugh this week:
First, I should mention that I've been working hard on a site re-design. So don't freak out if sometime next week stuff looks real different around here. (Actually the blog won't change much, but the rest of site will be getting pared down and streamlined.) I'm excited about it!
Now, on to fun Friday stuff:
Let's start with the furry cuteness. I've been dying over this photo my brother Sam took in China:
We have a husky who is quite good at "Leave It" but apparently, we need to up the ante!
I have a fun announcement to make: I'm a new contributor to the wonderful site, Oh My! Handmade Goodness!I'll be doing a couple illustrations a month for them and the first one, above, is live!
If you aren't familiar with OMHG, I encourage you to check it out:
We explore creative entrepreneurship from all angles and are a welcoming, supportive place no matter where you might be at on your business journey. OMHG is known for insightful and honest original content, a positive outlook, and for sharing resources + stories on how to build a creative business while living a creative life.
Good stuff, right? I'm thrilled to be --officially-- part of such a wonderful community of inspiring people.
Like the illustration says, come join us today (and every Thursday!) for a chat on twitter. #omhg Hope to see you there!
The magazine my brother, Sam, co-founded has just launched it's first issue!
"Session" is China's snowboard magazine. Exclusive, original, content from China and around the world keeps you tuned in with the Chinese and International snowboarding community and inspires you to get out and ride.
Obviously, it's for a Chinese audience, but if you're into snowboarding, or just great photography, you should check it out. It's gorgeous. It will be available in print in China, and online for everyone else here. (I should note that it's available in English and Chinese versions.)
Congrats to Sam and the whole team! Job well done!
Fun fact: Besides taking many of the photographs, Sam also models some snowboarding gear on page 36. [Insert wolf-whistle here.] ha.
If you haven't heard, it's snowing here. A lot. This is pretty much how we all deal with it:
Seriously. I went grocery shopping this morning and everything looked normal except for the missing milk and the empty bread shelves. Ha!
Stay safe and have fun in the snow everyone! It sure is pretty...
PS. Thanks so much to everybody who already signed up for my NESCBWI workshop, 7 Animation Concepts Every Illustrator Should Steal, in May! (Now I don't have to worry about that nightmare I had recently of teaching a class of um, no one. Oh, nightmares...) I really can't wait! I promise, I'm totally gonna bring it.If you'd like to sign up, I believe there are still spaces left, so click here. I'd love to see you!
Registration for the Spring NESCBWI Conference opens tomorrow, so I wanted to do a quick plug for the workshop I'm teaching there. YAY! It's on Sunday May 5th, at 11 am, and I'd love to see you! It's for Beginner/Intermediate illustrators with information applicable to both groups. So don't be shy!
7 Animation Concepts Every Illustrator Should Steal
“Animation” sometimes gets a bad rap in the world of kid lit, but this workshop will uncover 7 commonly-employed animation concepts that every illustrator should steal to improve their work. We’ll examine each one with a mix of lecture – exploring examples from both the animation and illustration worlds - and hands-on activities demonstrating each technique.
Learning Outcomes: Participants will walk away from the event with:
A deeper appreciation for the drawing craft through curated examples of illustrators and animators.
A thorough understanding through examination and practice of specific animation tools to strengthen their work and produce dynamic illustrations.
A detailed resource guide and exercise handouts.
Bring a mirror and your drawing supplies!
Sound like fun? I think it's going to be a blast!
PS. The photo above is of Ollie Johnston, the last remaining artist from the legendary group known as Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men.
Have you see Disney's new short, Paperman? It's wonderful for so many reasons. If you haven't, check it out:
Some behind the scenes here:
Can't we get the CG to carry those drawings along with them?.. I feel we're definitely in a golden age right now of CG--there's this explosion of content...But there's part of me that believes that kind of that stylized photo realism it isn't-- it can't be the only way that computer animation can look. There's gotta be other ways that animation can look. And I feel like bringing the drawing back to it has a great deal of potential.
I know a bunch of you are off to the SCBWI conference in NY today so I thought I'd share some conference tips I find helpful!
I have a love/hate relationship with conferences.
I love meeting new people and learning new things-- and soaking in all that good energy from being around a crowd of like minded individuals feels so good. It can be a heady experience.
However, I do not like feeling stressed out by the constant go-go atmosphere and barrage of information. Add a few critique sessions on top of that and it can get overwhelming fast--especially for the wee introvert who is used to happily working alone at her desk.
So besides the basics-- bringing your business cards, looking good, and honing your elevator pitch--here are my top 6 conference survival tips:
Stay hydrated and remember to eat! It seems pretty standard to have a speaker during meal times and it's just so easy to get so absorbed that you forget about your lunch. Don't make this mistake! Eat, eat. I would even stash a few snacks in your bag, just in case you need them later. And yes, a water bottle can be a pain to carry around, but you'll feel so much better if you drink water throughout the day. I find hotel air to be dry, and don't forget your brain needs to be hydrated to work at tip-top shape. Extra bonus: bathroom lines are among the best places to meet people, right up there with cocktail parties. I promise.
Wear Layers. Inevitably you will be too cold or too hot in one room or another. I find a big scarf and/or light sweater is helpful.
Remember to sleep. So this is a controversial one. Lots of people advocate staying up to all hours of the night networking (aka partying) because that is what you're there to do. But if you're like me, that's really not the best move. Especially if you're there for the whole three days-- you're absorbing a ton of information, and I'm so much more on top of my game after a good night's sleep. Obviously, I would make an exception for something really fabulous, but in general don't underestimate the power of shut-eye.
Take Breaks. Last year at a conference, I mentioned feeling a bit strung out and someone replied that they always skip one workshop for some alone-time. I'm sure some of you are cringing at the thought, but I decided it was genius. You don't have to actually skip a whole workshop, but scheduling in breaks for yourself is a smart move.
Take advantage of "unofficial" networking events. As someone who has a hard time walking into a room of hundreds of people to go "network," I've realized I can seek out similar opportunities, but with smaller groups. Go to that dinner you got invited to. Is someone in your chapter having a party? Don't skip it. Often these unofficial gatherings are just as, if not more, rewarding than the conference-planned ones.
Plan to meet up with people you know from online. A week or so before you go, reach out to people on twitter or Facebook and let them know you're attending. I hate that feeling when you walk into the hotel and there are hundreds of people and you don't know anyone. It can feel daunting. But this way, especially if you're going alone, you'll recognize a few faces. And it's always great to meet an online friend in person.
So that's my list. Did I miss anything? Got any other tips to share?
Come to the Providence Kidlit Salon! Organized by my friend Christina, it's this Wednesday at the Dorrance:
Join us for a Kidlit Salon event - a community gathering of children's book writers and illustrators of all levels who want to mingle, share resources and support, discuss industry news and announcements, and generate energy around picture books in southern New England.
Providence Kidlit SalonDate:Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Place: The Dorrance, 60 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903
Bring your enthusiasm and, if you want: your book, business cards, postcards, etc. You're welcome to bring work-in-progress to share, keeping in mind that this is not a critique group, just a gathering of interested folks who'd love to see what you've got cookin'. Come grab a drink at the bar and meet us in the UPSTAIRS lounge of The Dorrance at 8:00 p.m.
Making an effort to draw more--for fun-- in this new year. So here's a peek into my daily sketch sessions of late. I've been posting them on instagram. (A welcome break from my typical animal/food pics I assume? Ha.)