Posts from the ‘Illustration’ category

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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Field of flowers

I was recently commissioned to create a set of 26 illustrations  of various wildflowers and prairie grasses for a poster for a new elementary school. The school district is one of the first of its kind in the country— 80% sustainable on reusable energy with solar, wind, and thermo power with a surrounding prairie reserve on the grounds. The client wanted to create a poster that could be used as a guide to teach the students what kind of fauna is growing in the prairie.

Here’s the full set of images as well as the poster they created using the artwork. Thanks to wonderful AD, Craig Bieri for the very cool project!

 

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A Sweet Surprise

I was super excited to get a private commission last month for a custom wedding illustration. In the midst of my own wedding planning, love is definitely in the air and on my brain—so I was in the right mindset!

I was contacted by the couple after they saw this piece I created for a friend last year. They described themselves as  “explorers” and each other’s “navigators and co-pilots” with “an unhealthy inclination to sweets”. I immediately fell in love with them, and was totally on board to create something special for their big day! This was to be used as an opening page of the guest book at their wedding, later to become a journal of sorts to document future important moments and celebrations in their lives together.  I drew inspiration from vintage flying machines and a candy-colored palette to create a whimsical image that felt just right for them—and they loved it!

I loved creating this—the themes were right up my alley! Plus, because most of my work is a combination of traditional and digital media, I loved getting back to full-on painting. Wishing many many years of love and happiness to this very “sweet” couple!

 

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Month of Love, Vol. 2

I’ve been pretty swamped with deadlines lately, so haven’t been quite able to keep up with sharing new work. Lots of exciting projects are on my desk, many of which I can’t share for awhile. But in the meantime, I can share some new pieces I’ve been working on for the 2nd Month of Love!

If you follow me, you know last year I was invited to participate in this fun art challenge for the month of February. The brainchild of fabulous fantasy artist Kristina Carroll, it started as a daily sketch challenge with an impressive roster of artists participating. It was such a success that Kristina followed suit with a weekly art challenge— “Month of Fear“— last October, and is back at it again with another Month of Love this year.

A challenge topic is provided each week, and all contributing artists create a piece in response to the theme. I’ve been able to jump in on 2 challenges so far this month. Here, “Favorite Love Story”, for which I created a piece inspired by Johnny Cash & June Carter. My Dad used to talk about how much Johnny loved June, and how he died of a broken heart shortly after he lost her. They certainly didn’t have a “perfect” love, but they had the truest, strongest kind of love—the kind that weathers the worst of storms and can’t be broken, even by death. I looked to the iconic Hatch Show Print posters for inspiration to create a fitting tribute.

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This next challenge was to illustrated a fetish. I had to do a little research to find something I could get inspired by, and found myself kind of fascinated by “forniphilia”—a form of bondage and sexual objectification in which which a person’s body is incorporated into a piece of furniture.

I’ve been looking at the work of Erte a lot—hard to believe I’d never heard of him in all my years of art school & art history, but after seeing a framed piece hanging in a friend’s home a few years ago I’ve become obsessed! Been learning a lot from his work about simplifying & stylizing, and finding that sweet spot of illustration perfectly married with design. Was thinking about these things when working out how to portray this concept, and had a lot of fun with this one.

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There’s just one more week left….February always goes too fast! Be sure to stop by and check out the blog. There’s a ton of talent, and new work is being posted daily!

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The Feather Chase

Just wrapped up another really fun book cover project, and excited to finally share it!

I was approached a few months ago by an independent author who is self-publishing a new middle-grade mystery series. This was my first time working with a self-publisher, but she gave me a lot of creative freedom and I was able to do the design/art direction as well as the illustration and hand-lettering, always my favorite kind of project!

I created a watercolor texture for the background and pieced in my ink drawings of the feathers, horizon and lettering.

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New year, new book covers

Excited to start the new year off with a fun new project to share! I designed & illustrated the paperback cover of This Journal Belongs To Ratchet for Sourcebooks. A middle-grade novel from award-winning author Nancy Cavanaugh, it’s the empowering story of a girl trying to find her own definition of “normal”, as told through her journal of home-school assignments.

The story and format immediately inspired me, and I thought it would be a perfect design project to bring my illustration style & hand-lettering to.

The team at Sourcebooks is always really fantastic and open to my ideas, so I jumped into comps exploring a few illustrated directions. In the book, Ratchet is home-schooled by her mechanic father, whom she is embarrassed by at the start of the book but learns to appreciate & embrace. So the tools seemed like a great element to incorporate—both symbolic & representational, while lending to alot of fun graphic solutions.

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They were well-received overall, but ultimately we went with the bottom left direction. A few color tweaks made it a bit more appealing to the girl audience, and I had a ball illustrating each letterform in the title. Here’s the final cover, officially on sale May 1, 2014 but available for preorder on Amazon now.

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MATS round up

My 5-week Make Art That Sells online course with Lilla Rogers came to an end last week, and though it was hard to keep up with updates as the class was in-progress, my experience was too great not to share a bit in hindsight!

The course covered a different market each week: paper goods, baby apparel, scrapbooking, editorial, and party paper. Lilla created a fabulous “classroom” environment with her daily blog posts, interviews, videos, and a private Facebook group for all participating students to connect and share work in. She shared invaluable insight and tips for each market, and gave challenging assignments & constructive critiques each week.

I’ve already shared my assignments for week 1 and week 2, but haven’t been able to catch up with updates since! Our scrapbooking assignment was based on old typewriters and cameras—a personal favorite! For the editorial piece, each artist was to create a map of their current city. And the party paper theme was folk art. All super different and fun—was so great to explore such varied themes and markets! Some sketches and my final pieces included here, as well as a roundup of projects from all 5 weeks.

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WEEK 3: Sketches inspired by vintage cameras & typewriters

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WEEK 3: SCRAPBOOKING Create a page of art to be applied to various scrapbooking materials, based on the theme of old-fashioned communication

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WEEK 4: EDITORIAL Create a map of your current city

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WEEK 5: Folk art inspired sketches

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WEEK 5: PARTY PAPER Create a paper plate & napkin set based on folk art motifs

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Round up of all 5 weekly class assignments

 

It’s fun to see my growth as I look at my body of classwork. Coming in with nearly 10 years of experience doing illustration & design, mostly in publishing—I loved the challenging assignments & learning about new markets. Most of the themes were new subject matter for me, and the approach of working with icons to make versatile pieces that can be applied to a range of products was definitely very different for me. And, the community of artists from around the world who participated was invaluable—encouragement, feedback, and just seeing so many different styles & takes on the same assignments each week really inspired me to strive for better work each week. It really was like being back in art school!

I’m really excited to take what I learned and further develop my portfolio for licensing and surface design. I surprised myself a bit with what markets I was most drawn to, and my brain has exploded with new ideas and subject matter to dive into. Plus, as a special gift to her students, Lilla offered a free 6-month membership to MOYO—an online directory of artist specializing in surface and pattern design. Please stop by to give my portfolio some love there—and stay tuned to see some new work posted soon!

 

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