Monday, May 21, 2012

Inked Drawings

Today I did some inks of the sketches I did the other day. The last one is a drawing I've already finished in Photoshop, but I wanted to see how it would look in watercolours. I'm hoping to colour these Thursday or Friday this week. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Two Sketches

A couple of sketches to show today. I need tape before I can continue these. I hope to get it soon so I can finish! These are on tracing paper so they are a bit hard to see at this point.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why I Did Not Post (and Other Likely Stories)

I would have liked to post a lot more lately. I've been quite busy with family illnesses and haven't made quite the progress I wanted to make. The truth is, when all is said and done, my cat is really the one at fault. 

Why I Did Not Post

My cat, made me unable to post.
My cat, you see, is meaner than most.
A cat you’ll say, but don’t they just play?
A cat I’ll say, just sat in my way.
She hid the camera in the couch.
She bit my foot ‘til I said, “ouch”!
She wouldn’t let me type the keys.
(She threatened to infest with fleas.)
She smacked away the laptop mouse,
She’s taking over my whole house!
She begs and pleas now for a treat.

Maybe most people would have spent this last half hour working on their artwork. I prefer to tell the truth in rhyme (good or bad you decide) while sipping coffee and eating a sandwich. If that was wrong, then I just don't want to be right.

Good news though, I do have something more to post then a questionably fabulous rhyme. This is a painting I'm working on for my Mother-in-Law. This was taken with a cell phone and adjusted to make up  for the skewing and colour problems that occurred. I hope the next picture will be a better representation of this painting. 

I tried to finish this before Mother's Day, but I ended up feeling too weak to work on it. I worked out today and now that I've posted I'm going to take it easy. Getting over a nasty cold/stomach bug.  Having a bit of a fun sketching/research day today. Hopefully I'll feel better the next baby-free day, so I can work on more things.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spirit of Portfolio Future (or My Illustration Goals)

Now that I know that my portfolio shouldn't be burned (ha ha ha) it should be safe to work on (though I won't put it somewhere where it can even read the words "open flame"). My portfolio still has a lot of dents that need to be ironed, and wrinkles that need to be cut.

My list of I wills: 

1. I will say a sorrowful goodbye to my digital and mature art. I will still be keeping copies of these, but there aren't enough of them to create portfolios of their own. I don't want to focus on either one of these right now, so they will go behind the happy little bush until I decide to work on them again.

2. I will be working in watercolours and inks for the time being. If I do anything digitally it will be to enhance these. I recently finished a piece of art that I want to reflect in future illustrations. I finished this the day before I went to the conference: 

This was scanned from a print I had made. There is a little missing from either side. The original is 11x17.

3. I will go through my collection of cool sketches and ideas and develop the promising ones to sparkly splendour. The sparkly splendour is self-explanatory

4. I will work on a list of potential publishers. I'm planing on buying a shiny version of the Children's Writer and Illustrator Market when I get the chance (non-shiny is the old version). 

5. I will work to make more connections in the industry. Some of this will be obtained by blogging. Getting to know more writers/illustrators/editors including those who want to be any of these. I also plan to join SCBWI as soon as I have the means to do so.

6. I will start working on writing more along with drawing. I can write well, but I don't spend a lot of time writing. My skill isn't as sharp as it was. I'm hoping to start writing more picture book stories and possibly confront my nemesis the poem. This should also help me make spiffier blog posts. 

7. I will start submitting my work to be published. I haven't submitted anything as of Today. I'm 0 for 0 right now, and I'm hoping to change my average (even if it drops into the negative). I may even frame my first rejection letter!

8. I will update my physical portfolio and the studio where I work. I do need a better (and less cluttered) area to do my artwork. I need to buy a smaller portfolio in order to present to Art Directors. I also need a few art supplies (which will always be the story of my life).

9. I will figure out more things to add to this list. I'm out of ideas, so it's goodbye for today!

Portfolio in the Past and Present

     After attending SCBWI and getting a portfolio review I have decided to post some of my Illustration Goals. Many of these I had already, and a few of these are the result of attending the conference. I'm going to start first by posting a bit about my past and then another post to list things I'm going to focus on now.

     I feel like my portfolio review was surprisingly a pleasant experience. I know a thing or two about poor portfolio review experiences. The first one was when I entered University and attempted to transfer into a Computer Animation department. There was a large miscommunication between myself and the reviewer, which in turn got me rejected from the program (this was no fault of the instructor). I was also inexperienced in organizing my portfolio and didn't realize I had surpassed the amount of images I could show. In any case the miscommunication that happened made me more nervous. I was able to overturn the rejection before my classes started, but I suffered a large blow to my confidence.

    My portfolio has shaped up a lot since then. My portfolio still needed (and needs) a lot of work, but it was to the place where I wouldn't die in a horrible fit of embarrassment showing it to anyone. Brian was fair judging my portfolio and gave me suggestions on what to leave out and where I should go now. I will now work on my portfolio with a new confidence, and will give consideration to all of his suggestions as I work.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

SCBWI: There I Went

      I'll have to say that I quite enjoyed my first conference. The Society of Children's Writer's and Illustrators have a nice conference here in the Canadian West. All of the speakers were friendly, knowledgeable and approachable.

  The day started with an Illustration Workshop. We had a small group of illustrators attend. On one hand I would have loved to see more people, but then again it gave us more time to ask questions and talk about our own artwork a bit. Brian Denies was the speaker at this workshop. His illustrations if you haven't seen them are breathtaking ( to read more about him). He is also quite the accomplished artist. I enjoyed hearing about his process and the knowledge he had about the illustration field. There were two writing information sessions that went on during this time, but I didn't feel like I was missing out (I did feel bad for the non-illustration type, they missed out on a good time in the art room). It was lovely having lunch with him and a few other illustrators from our group.

   The other speakers that I got to see were Tiffany Stone, Kallie George, and Danika Dinsmore. Tiffany has lively poetry and a website to match ( I had a lot of fun listening to her poems and what she had to say about poetry. Kallie ( ) is the editor at Simply Read books, so she was able to give everyone a behinds the scenes look at what goes on in the editing world. She was lively and funny. I would love to read her mermaid book. Danika Dinsmore ( was a surprise (to me) but welcome addition to the speakers. She talked about the Bologna Children's Book Fair and the adventures she had there. It was the end of the day and I was tired, but she kept my attention the whole time (woke me up for sure)! Great speakers all around.

    I do hope I can attend this conference again. The only change I would make for next year is to take more advantage of the resources this conference has to offer. I didn't get to attend Lois Peterson's or Shelley Hrdlitschka's talks, but I did like them on panel.  I was impressed by the shear amount of information I got in one short day! Though they may never see this, I do thank all the speakers and people who made this conference possible.

     I don't want to overburden an already overly-large post, but I do want to talk about my portfolio review and my direction for the future. I will do this in my next post. For now I leave you with a new illustration.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Updates Yet

Sorry everyone for not posting. I'm working on a few last minute things and haven't had a spare minute to post. I promise I will be posting again soon and with some new artwork and maybe even interesting things to say!