Public Power cover illustration

I had the exciting opportunity to create the cover illustration for this month’s issue of Public Power, a trade publication of The American Public Power Association, with national and international distribution. The AD had the concept pretty solidly in mind, and it was right up my alley! I love drawing type by hand, combining styles in an illustrative way to represent the article’s themes.

Thanks to AD Laura D’Alessandro for this great assignment!

 

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The Global Art Gathering poster submission

The April assignment for Lilla Rogers’ MATS Bootcamp was to create a poster for her upcoming live arts event this summer in Brighton, England. The focus was to be on hand-lettering—which, of course, I was thrilled about! Though I’ve never been to Brighton, the pier and colorful atmosphere I found in researching brought to mind a fun & carnival-esque vibe, (reminiscent of my beloved Coney Island!) so I decided to play off of that & depict interesting characters traveling by all means to this exciting event. We were given a palette to work with—a bit softer than I’m used to working with, but a fun challenge. 

 

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Showstopper!

I recently finished this cover illustration for the second book in the Stage Struck series for Sleeping Bear Press. This fun middle-grade series is closely based on the real-life experience of the author Anya Wallach, who began a summer theater “camp” in her parents’ basement when she was just sixteen years old.

Thanks to Jennifer at Sleeping Bear —always such a pleasure to work with!

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Dance or Leave

I’ve been taking Lilla Rogers’ online Bootcamp courses, and a recent assignment was to create a piece of wall art, open to any type of scenic subject matter. There was a fun twist to this one—we were to paint on a round piece of wood! I loved getting away from digital coloring and back to my gouache & acrylic paints, and experimenting with the wooden base texture. Since the theme was open, I decide to go with imagery that I would want to hang in my own home. The idea for these dancing dogs came from a postcard I picked up in New Orleans years ago that says “Dance or Leave” ….anyone that knows me knows this is a pretty fitting motto for me! And since getting a puppy a few months ago, I’ve naturally become a bit obsessed with dogs! So, this scene was a natural fit. I missed our classroom gallery deadline by a long shot because of client deadlines & other freelance projects, but I had to finish because I really loved creating this piece. You can see the rest of the classroom gallery here. Hundreds of gorgeous images by my talented virtual classmates! http://tinyurl.com/q4vdwby

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Cover lettering

I recently had the opportunity to create some custom lettering for a Skyscape book cover. In the end, the cover was killed for a more straightforward direction using a san serif-font, but I had a lot of fun creating this. The story is a sci-fi romance for young adults, so I created a style to reflect the tone. Set against a backdrop of a starry sky, as in the comp shown here, it would have given a constellation-like feel.

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The Month of Love – volume 3

I was once again invited by the lovely and talented Kristina Carroll to participate in the Month of Love weekly art challenge. Each week of February, there’s been a new challenge related to the subject of “Love”. Participating artists respond by creating a new piece and posting throughout the week. There’s an impressive roster of core artists, but the challenges are also open to anyone who wants to submit a piece by posting to Tumblr with the hashtag #monthoflove.

This is the third year I’ve been a contributor and I see it as a chance to experiment a bit—try new mediums, formats, and get a bit more conceptual than I typically do. In the past, I’ve later revisited my Month of Love projects when I have more time and develop them into more finished pieces. Here are my 4 challenge pieces for this February:

Challenge #1: “Love your neighbor” Make some art in response to society’s recent eruption of anger and violence related to intolerance, ignorance and hate.

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I wanted to take a graphic approach and use bold color to show that even though we may all seem different, we need to look closer and embrace our similarities. The surrounding roses of course symbolize love, and the water lilies in the background are a symbol of unity.

Challenge #2: “Diamonds” Open to any diamond-related imagery, but encouraged to think of diamonds in a non-typical way

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Inspired by a passage from the book “Many Lives, Many Masters” by psychiatrist Brian L. Weiss: ”It is as if a large diamond were to be found inside each person…The diamond has a thousand facets, but the facets are covered with dirt and tar. It is the job of the soul to clean each facet until the surface is brilliant and can reflect a rainbow of colors.”

Challenge #3: “Love is all around” Step outside of the studio and find love-themed inspiration in the world around

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Most of my outings this winter have been to the neighborhood dog park with my new puppy, and I found it funny how much drama is there—both between the dogs and their owners! Who knew?! For this challenge, I just wanted to make a clean, simple drawing using limited pops of color to bring life to the characters.

Challenge #4: “Forbidden Fruit” Totally open to interpretation

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The first thing that came to mind was one of my favorite Nina Simone songs, ”Forbidden Fruit” so I chose to do a portrait of the High Priestess of Soul herself. I used acrylics and pencil on an actual 12” vinyl record.

 

I also had the really fun opportunity to create the logo and website header (Thanks Kristina!)

MoL_ICONMoLheaderThe month is coming to an end and there’s some fabulous work up on the site, monthofloveart.com. Much of the work is also available as prints through Society6 and you can also see the past two years’ worth of challenges and art here.  Also, keep an eye out in October for Kristina’s other annual monthly challenge —the Month of Fear!

 

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Women’s Wit 2016 Calendar

I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate Andrews McMeel’s “Women’s Wit” calendar for 2016, a mini desk calendar with sassy quotes from funny ladies for each day of the year. I created an illustration and hand-lettering for the cover, as well as 6 spot illustrations and a background pattern to be repeated throughout the interior. Here’s the final approved artwork, as well as some of the initial sketches I submitted.

This was SUCH a fun project—I can’t wait to see the final product! Having just rung in 2015, I know it feels a bit early to be thinking about next year—but, they are available for pre-order now!

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Stage Struck

I recently had the great opportunity to work with Sleeping Bear Press on a new middle-grade book series, “Stage Struck” by Anya Wallach. I designed and illustrated this cover for the first book, including the hand-lettered branding that will be carried over to future books in the series. The series is closely based on the real-life experience of Wallach, who began a summer theater “camp” in her parents’ basement when she was just sixteen years old and formed Random Farms, which has launched the careers of many of today’s youngest stars on Broadway.

Many thanks to AD, Jennifer Bacheller, for this fun project!

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A “Wonderlandiful” book project!

Very excited to finally get to share a big project I worked on earlier this year—a whimsical “Wonderlandiful Doodle Book” for Little Brown!

The 128-page activity book for tween girls tied into one of the publisher’s licensed properties—Mattel’s Ever After High. So I was to incorporate the style guide art into my design, but also create lots of original illustrations and hand-lettering, as well as concept each page—and write the entire text! Projects with this kind of integration of the entire package and so much creative freedom are absolutely my favorite, and it was my first time authoring, so I was thrilled to dive right in! Here’s the cover and some spreads from the book—all character illustrations, logos and some background elements are from Mattel, but all other artwork by yours truly. On sale now!

Many thanks to wonderful AD, Christina Quintero, for such a truly fun project!

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