Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections on 2014 and Goals for 2015

It's New Years's Eve and I just finished up a new digital painting! Here's a photo of me blogging this blog (whoa trippy) from the awesome Molino's coffee shop in downtown Riverside, CA.

Looking back, 2014 was a very good year. I kept busy teaching at Ringling. I had opportunities to teach new courses, including the Advanced Illustration Portfolio class in the Spring and PreCollege painting and illustration over the summer.

Some exciting projects also came my way in 2014. Here are a few projects I illustrated:
  • I got to collaborate with my good friend, Jodi Kendall and editor Molly O'neil at Storybird to illustrate Jodi's debut chapter book, Some Pig in the City
  • a picture book titled I Forgive You, written by Nicole Lataif, 
  • a middle grade novel written by Kerry O'Malley Cerra titled Just a Drop of Water, 
  • an early reader titled No Cookies for You.

One of my goals for 2014 was to paint more personal work, in addition to new portfolio and commissioned work. I was able to get one done - yay! One is better than none, although I would like to be more prolific in this area. Here's the one I got's called Divine Dependency. I put it in the Ringling faculty show, so it did serve some sort of purpose besides just being therapeutic.  

I am very grateful for all the blessings and success in 2014. I'll definitely be spending time this evening to reflect more deeply and thank God for His provision and guidance. 

2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year, too. I'll be attending the SCBWI Miami regional conference in January, and I'm going to be in a group show at The Hive gallery in LA. This show is a great opportunity for me to continue the goal of creating personal work. 
A few of my other goals for 2015 include:
  •  Looking for a literary agent or art rep for children's illustration (I've already queried a few this week...getting a head start!) 
  • Scheduling in spare time (not sure how this will work yet, but I'm determined) so that I have designated creative time to generate ideas and do skill building exercises, whether it be master copies, plein air studies, life drawing workshops, cafe drawing, etc. 
  • Be more consistent posting on social media. Even if it's just a few sketches, I hope to share something new weekly if not daily.

Overall, 2014 was full of good challenges and new growth. Here's to the upcoming year and a lot of new art! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Of Trees, Bees, and Poison

I've finished up a few new illustrations for story ideas that have been in my head. This one is for a middle grade novel idea tentatively titled Queen Dagmar and the Battle for Treethrone. I had developed this cover concept a while ago and actually had a critique on it at the last SCBWI conference I went to. It was decided that the main character needed to look less stylized, so I went back in and reworked her expression and redesigned the crown (my friend Kayla modeled for me - thanks, Kayla!) The finished result is a "tradigital" piece, combining an oil painting with digital touches. 

This next illustration evolved quite a bit. I'm calling it The Poison Gathering...that title will definitely change at some point! But for now...yeah. It's an idea about two chemists on a journey to find a "good poison". Inspiration unexpectedly came from George Macdonald's short story "The Golden Key". The final is digital.

I'm working on a couple more new illustrations for the upcoming SCBWI Miami conference. Hopefully someday soon I'll sit down and outline these pictures into books!

Thanks for reading!