Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Coffee - Pre Smart Dummies Coming Soon!

Yesterday was pretty awful. By yesterday I mean today, because I'm writing this Sunday evening. I won't go into the stinky details, but know there were a lot of them. Also know that I didn't get that nap that I so desperately needed. FYI just because you try to take a nap and Tweet about taking said nap does not mean 7 year old won't prevent you from taking said nap.

Here are things you may know about:

Pre-Event starts August 1st. Sign up and more info here:

The free .pdf planner is here:

If you'd like a print copy go here:

What you don't know about this year's event:

There are fewer guests, but hopefully more opportunities for learning and sharing.

Learning: I'm going to talk about each of the steps as we go along. I'll also start a discussion about this in the group so we can all share the knowledge we have about each area.

Sharing: I'd like to share your work! At least once a week I'd like to make a post where people can share work they've done. Not final work, but maybe some early drafts, character designs, doodles, ect. I may even create a link up so people can find one another.

More Sharing: I would also like to request permission to share people's work on my Instagram account!

There are a few other ideas I'm toying with so I'll see if I can set up a poll and see what you guys think!

Future of Smart Dummies

Eventually I'm going to have to move my blog to a seperate site. This will likely happen in either 2019 or 2020. I am having a lot of trouble with sign-ups. There are also potential issues with me not moving things over. I will let you know for sure later!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Smart Dummies Planner and Pre-Event Sign up!

Smart Dummies planner/workbook, and a sign up for the Smart Dummies pre-event below!

The Smart Dummies planner is ready! Just download your .PDF copy below. Some assembly required. You can print it on your home printer, or see below for a different option!

For a spiral bound PRINT copy visit my Etsy shop:  This will help out Smart Dummies so much! The printed copy has a color cover, and comes fully assembled! I will also include a note in the booklet and a little sketch for anyone who ordered this. The total cost for the planner for people in the US is $17.00 USD (this includes shipping). The cost of this planner has recently been reduced.

The booklet is being printed now so I hope I can send them out soon.

Please ask me about international shipping!

SIGN UP for Pre-Smart Dummies Event

Sign up now for an awesome pre-event starting August 1st. This will help you have so much work done before Smart Dummies starts in September! (Regular event sign-up starts August 15th.) There are no prizes for this event, but there will be less pressure to get everything done in September.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What Progress?

I was sick over the weekend so I wasn't able to post a Monday Coffee! 

What I'm Creating: 

Right now you probably know that I'm working on Smart Dummies. 

What you might not know is I'm taking a fantastic class this fall during Smart Dummies from the Children's Book Academy! It sounds like the worst timing possible, but NO! I can WORK ON MY DUMMY WHILE TAKING THIS COURSE. That's the best thing ever.

I'm taking a class from the Children's Book Academy! I've seen many of their webinars but I finally I have the opportunity to take a class. 

I feel like there is an ebb and flow to being an artist. There are times when you need to be alone to reflect on what you've learned and just create. Other times you need to be taught and get feedback from professionals. I've been an artist for over 18 years. I just got over a period of reflection and I am so ready to learn lots!

I already have access to the mini courses that go along with the course and there is a lot of information to go over. I'm happy already seeing some information that I don't know offhand! I love the layout and I'm hoping to get some time this weekend to go over the material.

It is a flexible schedule for this course, but I'm going to do my best to get as much done in 5 weeks as I can. I hope I can attend all of the webinars live (webinars are always more fun that way.) 

What am I most excited about? The golden tickets! I think my art has gotten to a great level now, and I think having the opportunity for so many agents, editors, art directors to see my work is a HUGE incentive. 

I can't wait to get started. Soon I'll have the ebook and access to the Facebook Group. *GLEE*  You should join me. We'll get all this extra support in creating our dummies this year! 

I'm hoping to get the .pdf planner out to everyone either Friday or Monday. I just have a few changes left to make!

SMART DUMMIES starts in August this year with a Special PRE-EVENT! Don't miss it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What Progress? A Late Post!

I have been shoulder deep in edit for the  <--- editing mistake I did not catch until the 24th of July. Yay!

What I'm Creating:

Working on the Smart Dummies planner! Also sending out some emails.


I've got a lot of edits to get through on the Smart Dummies planner so I'm not going to post too much today! Sorry getting back to work. Hope to post the digital copy early next week! 

Share your progress here! Don't know what to do? 

  What Progress? is created by Dani Duck. It is a Wednesday event for you to share your progress!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday Coffee: Smart Dummies Planner On Sale Now!

I was just about to fall asleep and I realized that I hadn't made a post for tomorrow! This is important because the Smart Dummies planners are up for Pre-Sale now on ETSY!

Sample Planner Cover
Why order a planner when you can download the free .PDF? It would help out Smart Dummies a lot! This will help me get the money to continue doing the Smart Dummies logo contest with a every year and add new contests and help every year.

The Smart Dummies planner is printed with a full color cover. The book will be spiral bound so the pages open flat. Inside I will write a personalized note and likely draw a silly picture! Also you don't have to worry about printing.

This book includes a timeline for both the pre-event in August (for those who want to get a head start) and for those just working in September. There are several pages of workbook material and a planner that runs July 29th - September 30th!

IF you plan to do the Pre-Event in August please order the planner ASAP! They might take as long as 2 weeks to get to you.

If you are planning to do just the September event please order the planner by August 15th.

If you order late you can always download the planner free and print any of the pages you need early.

Order here:

Please contact me if you live outside of the US/Canada and want a printed planner!
Sample Planner Page

A portion of all sales goes to Rob Peters whose lovely illustration is the logo for this year's Smart Dummies Event.

You may qualify for a free planner! If you've donated around $20 in the past please see if you qualify for a free planner!

Want another way to help out Smart Dummies? You can always choose to be a patron: or send me a coffee with KoFi:

Join me with your own Monday Coffee post! Monday Coffee is a joint effort between Dani Duck and Christy Illustrates!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Logo Contest WINNER!

You have all been waiting for it. The winner of the logo contest. Who won?

I won the logo contest!

That's right.

I won.

And so did all of you!

Because the new logo is awesome!

The winner of the logo contest is...

Wait for it....

Wait, who sent me that entry?

This one here?

That's right it was ROB PETERS! 

 Visit his website here: CONGRATS!

I will be contacting you shortly about your prize Rob! A big thank you to Lynette Oxley and Sarah LuAnn Perkins for their help with the tough task of judging this contest! 

There were so many lovely entries! Thank you to everyone who entered. Put those in your portfolios now. :) 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What Progress -- Smart Dummies Update 1

Had a bad day today. Sinuses aren't being nice to me and that's causing panic attacks! 

What I'm Creating:

I've been focusing on Smart Dummies a lot right now. I have 4 confirmed guests so far and several requests out there!

I'm hoping we can choose a winner for the logo contest soon! 


The first request for a quote on the Smart Dummies Planner printed copy must have gotten lost in the email. I've sent another request and hope to get a price soon JIC anyone wants a printed and spiral bound copy. I'm going over the planner now to see if I can spot any mistakes that I've made. 

July 15th - Send out requests for Smart Dummies' posts.

July 16th - Finish up the Smart Dummies planner (at least enough for a pre-sale on printed copies).

Share your progress here! Don't know what to do? 

  What Progress? is created by Dani Duck. It is a Wednesday event for you to share your progress!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday Coffee: Are You Ready For Smart Dummies?

Well are you? Personally, every year takes me by surprise! So it's been decided to do things differently this year.

What's new?

Well since the event takes everyone by surprise I've decided to run it in August! SURPRISE! 😂😂😂 Actually the main Smart Dummies event will be in September. However, there will be a month-long pre-event starting August 1st! This pre-event will help prepare you for creating a dummy in September. There will be a sign up for the pre-event so I know who is attending this event.

The pre-event will not have prizes, but it will help guide you through the planning process of a Dummy right up until the Thumbnails. For this Smart Dummies event a free downloadable .pdf guide will be available for you to print out and plan out your dummy.

What about the actual event?

I think the Smart Dummies' guide will go a long way in keeping people on track. The amount of guests will be cut down this year. I believe several people have told me that it's a lot of work reading the posts and keeping up with making a dummy. We are going to go with 12-15 carefully selected guests. This will cut the reading in half (at least) but still have a lot of great information.

There will be a post every Sunday explaining what you need to do for the rest of the week. If people are up for it I'd love to have a day where we share our work. One week maybe there would be a call for facial expressions, doodles of the week, character designs or even old work. Final dummy drafts and pictures will not be posted on the blog.

There may be more changes to come! I will let you know when and where they will happen.

Join me with your own Monday Coffee post! Monday Coffee is a joint effort between Dani Duck and Christy Illustrates!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Portfolio Website Critique Winner!

Announcing the winner of the Portfolio Website Critique Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Teresa, I will be contacting you soon! You can always contact me first if you want through my contact page.

Didn't win this time? Let me know that you want a Portfolio Website Critique and I'll start a new giveaway in a few weeks (if not sooner)!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

What Progress?

I'm desperately trying to create this post before toddler attacks me brutally!

What I'm Creating:

I am realizing that it's too close to Smart Dummies to not focus on Smart Dummies. I'm afraid that I may just have to postpone most interview searches until after Smart Dummies, however I will be looking for people to write posts and do interviews for Smart Dummies!

I will be working to get all the Smart Dummies things done before September now. I'm hoping that I have enough time to do all the things I need to do. Please send help, encouragement or money. 

June 6th - Finish up the Smart Dummies planner (at least enough for a pre-sale on printed copies).
July 13th - Send out requests for Smart Dummies's posts

Share your progress here! Don't know what to do? 


  What Progress? is created by Dani Duck. It is a Wednesday event for you to share your progress!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Monday Coffee -- A Reminder Post!

Logo Contest Prize bumped to $50 thanks to Heidi Yates!

I'm still accepting Logo Contest entries through Friday. Unfortunately I can't extend this any longer because I need to get going with the Smart Dummies preparations for this year. You can see all the details for entry here:

The Website Portfolio Critique giveaway has been extended! You can enter until Wednesday. I'll announce the winner on Friday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join me with your own Monday Coffee post! Monday Coffee is a joint effort between Dani Duck and Christy Illustrates!