Monday, August 25, 2014

Not So Accidental Blog Tourist Hop!

Yes it's Monday and normally I post my Ready. Set. Write! post today, but I've got something else important that I need to do first. I was recently tagged in the  Not-So-Accidental blog tourist hop by Julie Rowan-Zoch! This blog hop is to celebrate for artists of all kinds. Illustrators, writers, photographers, sculptors (the list goes on and on) will be featured on this blog hop, so follow the links and you'll find some great people to follow!  The Not So Accidental Blog Tourist hop was originally started by Crystal Collier! Thank you Crystal for starting this and thank you Julie for tagging me!

Julie Rowan-Zoch

JRZ a reformed graphic designer, concocting and sculpting story ideas and illustrations – every day

You can find more about Julie on her blog:

Now for the questions Julie asked me!

1.What am I currently working on? 

I always, always a huge pile of things I'm creating! *takes a deep breath* My most pressing project is working on illustrations for the VCON art show. These illustrations have to all be fantasy (or sci-fi but I'm not doing sci-fi) and most of my current work doesn't fit into this category. I'll be working on 8-10 pieces in the coming weeks for this. 

Pattern Pals Web Comic Coming Soon!
The most recent thing I've added to my pile is a colouring book that I will be collaborating on with other illustrators. I'm really excited because this will be something I can give out to people for FREE! I still have a couple of picture books that I'm developing. One is almost finished and the second is just getting started. Other than that I'm still working on my webcomic, but that's on the back burner until I can figure things out. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

That's a tough one. I would say that my work isn't too far off from other picture book artists. I think my style has some quirks that are uniquely me. Maybe the thing that is most uniquely me is my treatment of colour in watercolours -- for better or worse.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

In the end it's because I have create. Yes I do it for my family, and yes I'd like to change the world. I don't think that I could keep creating if I wasn't passionate and didn't feel this urge to keep creating.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

There are some days that I honestly think my creative process is broken. I have a 3 year old to contend with right now so every bit of creative work starts with a pot of coffee and the nagging fear that I won't get anything done. It's the same for both writing and art for me. 

When I write I basically try to get everything down on page as fast as possible. I feel I write better on paper first (and edit better on  paper as well), though often I'll go right to the computer just to get everything down faster. When I do something longer than a picture book I tend to write the whole thing out of order. I usually know the events I want in my story (though I have yet to write a summary), but tend to focus on the chapters of the story that are most interesting to me. I don't start editing until I have enough words for a first draft.

For art I start with a general idea of my picture. My better pictures usually start with a thumbnail drawing (really useful for placement). There is often a bit of research involved. Sometimes it's looking online to find out what a certain animal looks like, other times it's taking a million pictures with my cell phone so I can make sure an arm or leg looks someone anatomically correct. 
After I finish my drawing in pencil I'll transfer it to watercolour paper (either with my lightbox or with tracing paper). After the pencils are done I'll ink the drawing (often with micron pens). Finally I'll paint the whole thing with watercolours. Once I have a finished pencil drawing it's usually not that long to finish the drawing -- which is good for when I make mistakes!

Okay, now that I have completed my part for the blog hop I pass the hat off to three other illustrators! They are Telaina Muir, Kim MacPherson and Sylvia Liu. You can see their blog hop posts next Monday (September 1st)! I've got mug shots, bios and links for everyone below!

Telaina Muir

Telaina Muir is a mother, wife, cook, chauffeur, artist, art teacher, illustrator, children’s book writer, very bad gardner, bunny hutch maker, and dog wrestler. She lives in the most amazing place in the world, Alaska, with the most amazing family in the world. She writes about her mischievous adventures and gives tips and free art lessons so that you too can write or illustrate, and follow your dreams on her website,
Kim MacPherson

Kim MacPherson is a children’s author, illustrator, and editor. Her favorite book as a kid was the original (and gorgeously illustrated) Golden Book of Fairy Tales. She was also obsessed with Dr. Seuss, but some of Sendak’s early drawings creeped her out. (Sorry to say.) She blogs about writing, drawing, and reading children’s books at and also edits PBs at

Sylvia Liu

Sylvia Liu is a recovering attorney, Sylvia Liu writes and illustrators for kids. She won the 2013 Lee & Low New Voices award and her winning manuscript, A MORNING WITH GONG GONG, will be published as a picture book. She is inspired by aliens, cephalopods, bunnies, and pigs who want to fly.

You can visit Sylvia's blog here:
She helps run the kidlit resource website


  1. Commendable! I can't imagine how you can get any creative work done with a toddler, inspiring as he must be! The coloring book sounds like a lot of fun - please let us know/see more as it progresses. Thanks for participating, Dani!

  2. Thanks Dani for the tag, and I'm impressed by the work you get done with a toddler in the house!

  3. Woot woot! Just saw this, Dani... crazy week! Excellent work!!

  4. It's always a pleasure to read your posts Dani! I am very impressed with your toddler wrangling skills. I waited until my kids were in school to get drawing again, but I wish I had started earlier. Very inspiring!