I wanted to do a follow up to my 1st video and share a bt on how to get the most out of drawing exercises.  Let me know what you think!  Thanks:)

This months SCBWI Drawthis prompt word was “Surprise”. Not sure where this idea came from, but of course I thought of something way better after completing this one!

Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Partners with We Need Diverse Books’ Internship Program

June 23, 2015 (New York, New York) - SCBWI, the largest international professional organization for writers and illustrators, has partnered with WNDB to provide free one year SCBWI memberships for the five interns selected for the first WNDB internship grants.

The WNDB Internship Program is designed to open up the children’s book publishing industry to talented job-seekers from diverse backgrounds, giving them an invaluable opportunity to learn about the industry through professional guidance and hands-on experience. Membership in SCBWI will provide these first five interns with broad networking opportunities within the publishing industry. SCBWI regional, national, and international conferences bring together a who’s who of publishing including bestselling and aspiring authors, editors, and agents.

“We want to support this internship effort wholeheartedly,” said SCBWI President Lin Oliver. “Anything the SCBWI can do to enhance and promote diversity in our field, we are glad to do.”

WNDB president Ellen Oh said, “SCBWI has given these interns a wonderful opportunity. We’re thrilled to partner with an organization that has meant so much to the children’s book community.”

The WNDB Internship Program, chaired by award-winning author Linda Sue Park, recently announced the first five recipients of their inaugural Internship Grants: Julie Jarema (Simon & Schuster); Feather Flores (HarperCollins); Kandace Coston (Lee & Low); Esther Cajahuaringa (Hachette); Yananisai Makuwa (Macmillan).

SCBWI joins the Children’s Book Council as a supporting partner of the Internship Program.


Today was SO MUCH FUN!!!!

I attended my first meeting with the Chicagoland Illustrators chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 

They meet once a month and each month is something new and different.  Some months they have a speaker on a topic related to the industry.  Other months they go see a local art show/exhibit and so on.

This month it was a hands on creative drawing session and it felt so good to be in a room of 12 other people all drawing/sketching depending on the challenge given.

First we had to draw a quick squiggle on a piece of paper and then pass it to the person next to us.  They had to then turn our squiggle into something.  My squiggle was turned into a guy drawing (shown above).  I dont have a photo of the one I worked up but it turned into a cartoon swordfish and jellyfish.

Next we had 1 minute to sketch our own shoe in pencil.  Later after other exercises we had to go back and draw our shoe again this time we had 3 minutes and had to use a fine tip marker.

Another challenge was to fold a piece of paper into thirds.  You start by drawing the head of a person/animal on the top third.  Then pass the paper along to the next person with only a few little lines crossing over into the second segment.  All they can see is the second segment and they draw the body.  And then they pass along to the next person who draws the feet/base etc.  None of them got to see what the previous person had done.  In my drawing here you see the little girl in the dress.  It is amazing how this looks cohesive and like one person came up with this.  I drew the skirt/feet segment on this one and had no idea if it was even a girl that had been drawn.  It was so fun to see the rest as some were totally mismatch wacky characters and others were really close to a real thing.

Another example was you had to pick two numbers from 1 to 10.  And then they read off a list of things for each number.  So in my case I chose 3,7 and that ended up being Bulldog and IceCreame.  I came up with more of a logo for Bulldog Ice creame as shown here but I could have done anything that used both words.  It was alot of fun!

And all of these exercises were only a few minutes long so it was fast paced and kept things moving. 

We did lots of other exercises but I these were the few I have photos of. 

All in all - I simply fantastic day!  We traded emails we have an email list group - so we can connect outside of the meetings.  Which means I have access to a local network of artist/illustrators and that is so awesome!!!

The only bad thing is I have to wait a month for the next meeting! 

This was a real pleasure to do for the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators facebook group. I was originally thinking of doing this digital but I got bit by the watercolor bug…..

The title reflects the loosely translated Abenaki word for Monadnock (name of the mountain), and the reclusive moose in the foreground.

New Hampshire Represent!


Super excited - I signed up for this Children Book Illustration event hosted by SVS (School of Visual Storytelling) for SCBWI members a few months ago.  And today is the day of the event!

It is all done via webinar and runs from 10am CST to 3pm - so this should be a nice in depth session where I hope to learn a bunch as these guys are amazingly talented artists!

I have everything setup and ready to follow along - my creative tablet for digital and my sketch book and sketchbook sleeping bag full of my various pencils, inks, sharpener and travel watercolors that I bring with me just about everywhere I go now because I try to always be practicing sketching at the very least.

Just Joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators!

Mom paid my first year dues (because she’s awesome).

2012 is the year I’m going to finally make things happen for myself.

I want to be published! I want people to see the pretty pictures I make and for children to enjoy the books I create (and make them want to read more books).

Time to buckle up and take myself seriously. Next step: business cards, promotional art postcards, and fixin’ myself up a website. Then I will contact all the peoples and become a world-renown children’s book author and illustrator.

Let’s do this!

Yesterday I attended this months Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators monthly Illustrators meeting.

The two ladies who run this chapter do such a great job pulling together interesting topics, exercises, guest speakers and information.

This was only my third meeting so far but I really look forward to each one of them and I am starting to get to know some of the others who attend with each meeting that passes. 

They take the summer months off of meetings but they have an art exhibit field trip planned during one of the “off” months - will be really interesting to attend an art exhibit with other creatives and discuss the work. 

I am really glad I joined this society!

Meanwhile - speaking of children’s books I have 13 out of 19 of the illustration pages done for the one I was selected to illustrate.  After getting the style/look from the first book down - it has been smooth sailing on approvals from the author.  So that feels great.

And in between working on the book I have seen an increased interest in  logo and marketing type illustration work  and I completed a few of those projects last week as well. 

So I still need to get more business coming in to cover my monthly living expenses fully but as long as I keep seeing month over month increases I know I am moving in the right direction.  And while its building up I am very cautious with any spending I am doing right now.  If I have the urge to buy something I just remind myself that money is better spent extending out covering my costs another month into the future and its pretty easy to keep myself in line. 

Now if only I could use that same self control and logic with food choices!

The one exception to my no spending rule is that I am attending an info session on that 6 week fitness program at the local park district gym that everyone I know around here belongs to.  I am really ready to be involved in a program again (I guess I just like that group fitness dynamic and the accountability it lends me).   So I am looking forward to learning more about this specific program on Tuesday evening.  I am sure I will be posting about it and my decision then.

Another great SCBWI Chicago-Area illustrators Meeting today!

One of our peers gave a great presentation on his process from concept, to research, sketches, tools and materials, gadgets and techniques leading up to his finished work.

It is always so interesting to get an insight into how others work - and you can always pick up something useful you might try/apply in your own workflow.

Then after another member had some pieces he wanted group critique on - which of course is invaluable input not only for the person asking but everyone in the room.  I always listen and think of how the input could apply to my own work. 

I seriously can not say enough about how much I enjoy being a part of this group.