Don’t Trash Wildlife

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A few weeks after finishing a few illustrations for The Humane Society’s All Animals publication, they came back for a spread for their kids’ publication, Kind News. The issue that this appears in will be released on October 15th. The spread is a worksheet teaching kids not to pollute or otherwise trash wildlife. Above is the original illustration and below is the final page.

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Kaiju Monster Battle for Tofugu

This week I finished my first real illustration with watercolors. It was commissioned by Tofugu.com for the banner of a new site they will be launching soon – WaniKani.com.

Below is a scan of the full painting – which is also for sale (if you’re interested shoot me an email). The half-crab half-alligator creature was envisioned by the client and they specifically requested a kaiju-style  monster battle. Beyond that, I was given free reign to have fun – which I did.

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Below is a larger, cropped image which is how it will appear on the site. I’ll try to grab a screenshot when it goes live. You can see some process images of the illustration in my previous blog post. It is also available as a print here.

If you like this style and you’re interested in a commission, get in touch!

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Elementary School Visiting Illustrator

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On Friday I made my first appearance as a visiting Illustrator to a local elementary school. A friend of mine from college is a teacher nearby and asked me to come speak to the 4th and 5th graders about being an Illustrator and how I come up with my ideas.

I was terrified! I had never taught anyone anything and have never felt all that comfortable going on about myself, but it actually went pretty well. The kids were very receptive and had lots of questions, including questions about how much I get paid, which was amusing – and difficult to answer.

Several of the kids were eager to show me their drawings after we finished a little exercise and lots of them wanted my autograph, which was so cute. A couple of kids even gave me their drawings.

Despite the fact that I was really nervous about the whole thing, I would definitely do more school visits. Now that I’ve got one under my belt I’ll know just how to prepare and just the right questions to ask to keep the kids really engaged.

If you are interested in having me visit your school, please get in touch. I don’t really have money to travel so if you are nearby or if you have a budget for visits I’m more than happy to talk to you about one.

Above is a quick little ink wash drawing I did about the experience.

 

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by Michelle Kondrich – age 7

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On a recent trip to my parents’ house I discovered this illustrated short story that I wrote in the third grade. I don’t have a lot of old examples of things like this that I created as a child so I was excited to find it. I also found an in-class journal from the same year that is quite amusing.

It’s a very convenient story and I make the mistake of switching tenses halfway through, but I sure wrapped it up neatly at the end! I’m not entirely sure who is who in the illustration other than Poochie, who I am assuming is the poodle.

I’ll post some of the journal pages at some point. I didn’t remember being so sure that I wanted to be an artist, but the journal proves otherwise.

What kind of drawings and/or stories did you create as a child?

Alice’s Restaurant – Commissioned Illustration

Alice-Restaurant-Arlo-Guthrie-Squirrel-Penguin-DinerSome good friends of ours in New York recently had their first child, Alice. She’s about 4 1/2 months old now and they wanted to commission something for her for Christmas. They wanted something with the theme of the Arlo Guthrie song “Alice’s Restaurant,” and they wanted the lyrics to the chorus to be within the piece. Luckily, I was already familiar with the song (and a big fan of it!).

Above is the final piece. It will be printed at a large, poster size and shipped out to them soon. I’ll try to add some pictures of the printed product. I’d love to be able to sell this but I haven’t been able to get in touch with the record label that owns the rights to the song. If you would be interested in purchasing a print, though, let me know. If there is definitely interest, I’ll do my best to get permission!

A special thanks to the lovely Gaia Bordicchia who lent her eyes and her expertise while I was working on this.

Paper Doll Illustration | Moms Rising

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A few weeks ago I was contacted by Kien Tseng of Yippa to create paper doll illustrations for MomsRising.org, an organization that advocates for early childhood education. The brief was to create a paper doll figure that could be used as a boy or a girl (the ponytail can be removed) with a variety of skin tones and 4 outfits to go over the doll (policeman, graduate, fireman, and astronaut). Below you can see a variation.

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Kien was a pleasure to work with and I look forward to working with him on future projects. Below you can see larger versions of the figure and the outfits.

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APE 2011 Recap!

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I’m back from a wonderful weekend at APE in San Francisco and totally exhausted! The trip was a whirlwind but a lot of fun and it was great to meet 3 of my fellow Illopond contributors. Above is (left to right) Charlotte Cheng, Denver Wagner, and Samuel Kirkman. We had loads of books and prints for sale, including our latest anthology, Boo!, which is now available for sale at Indy Planet!

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Charlotte is very excited about our table.

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Our table was far too cluttered the first day, as you can see here. We rearranged for Day 2.

There was so much amazing work to see and a pretty decent crowd. This was my first experience tabling at a con and it was  solid one. I was fortunate enough to see Daniel Clowes and Adriane Tomine speak together and answer questions and Craig Thompson also spoke about his new book, Habibi, and his previous 3 books.

Daniel Clowes was surprisingly funny and he resembles many of the characters he creates. He’d make a great straight man in a comedy duo. Craig Thompson was funny too and I could really relate to his Midwestern upbringing.

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Craig-Thompson-APE-Habibi

I did my best not to spend too much money so walking through some of the aisles was a serious challenge.

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Chris Eliopoulos' "Okie Dokie Donuts" was calling my name at the Top Shelf table.

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The one purchase I did allow myself was the second volume of The Anthology Project. It is a really gorgeous book and I can’t wait to read it. The very friendly Jake Wyatt, one of the contributors, drew a lovely bird in the front of my book.

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This piece by Sam Bosma is what caught my eye in the first place.

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My custom drawing from Jake Wyatt

 

Hooray for my first con experience! And thanks to Sam, Denver, and Charlotte for their hard work and for being such fun people.

I do have some books and prints leftover (print selection is below). I have copies of the kid’s anthology, Boo!, and Fly Danny, Fly. I plan to set up a shop for all of these things very soon, but if you are interested in purchasing any of these (with my signature if you like!) then please get in touch. I’m offering a serious blue light special on multiple prints, so don’t be shy!

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The larger prints are 8x10 and the smaller prints are 5x7

Boo! Spooky Tales for Kids

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I was so excited when I came home yesterday afternoon to a box from Ka-Blam. They have been responsible for printing all of Illopond’s anthologies thus far and they always do a great job. I opened the box and found what I couldn’t wait to get: Boo! Spooky Tales for Kids.

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Mark Harmon created the fantastic front and back covers which are really going to grab kids’ attention from far away. Denver Wagner organized this project and put together the book and did a mighty fine job. My story, Detention, was created for this anthology. And look! There it is!

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The book will be available for purchase at APE this year and shortly after will also be available on Indy Planet along with the other Illopond anthologies, like 8: A Kid’s Book Anthology which I’ve got a story in. Come by our table and say hello!

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Horizon Organics Facebook Illustration

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Last month I was hired to create some illustrations for an infographic for Horizon Organics. This infographic is part of Horizon’s Toolbox for Moms on their Facebook Fan Page, which is now live. Head over and “Like” their page to see the Toolbox in action. My illustration is under “Videos & More.”

I worked on this with Room 214, a great social media agency in Boulder, CO that was really great to work with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Wild’s ‘Fantastical Flying Machines’

Yesterday I came home to a package I had been eagerly awaiting: Simon Wild’s children’s book, Fantastical Flying Machines (written by Timothy Knapman and published by Macmillan children’s books). As if the book itself wasn’t enough, Simon also signed my copy. I hope he doesn’t mind, but my pictures came out fuzzy so I grabbed this shot from his website.

 

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Simon is such an incredibly talented illustrator and he should be doing more children’s books, for sure. His sense of color and action is astounding. Even as an adult, I had a blast flipping through this book.

Simon is also a part of The Mighty Pencil with me and some other amazing illustrators. Check out the site for more work from him and a talent-heavy roster of artists. Here is a Tumblr post by Ben the Illustrator explaining a little more about the group and it’s beginnings.