I have just started my next book and I'm loving the way its coming out so far, I really feel like I am using more of my skills in this book, I really am a draftsman. I didn't touch color until high school and even then I preferred things in black and white! Also, some Sketch_Dailies I did-- I have been trying really hard to sketch in my sketchbook at least once a day. Its going well... so far!
I am at a cross-roads of sorts at the moment. I am working on a Children's book, I have been doing some character Designs for Little Airplane Productions, all the while I of course have a huge influx of Bark Point Studio commissions. With the holidays coming everything seems magnified and I feel the stress of it falling over me like a blanket of snow. I have been trying really hard to sketch more, but the more I sketch the more I realize I don't know if I love the style of work I do on a regular basis. My drawings always have so much more life to them then my finished illustrations... I have had this problem my entire life. I suppose what I really want to do is have some time to work on my personal work and decide how to market that style instead of this cutex1000 stuff I do.... Hmm..
My first published book is now available for Pre-Order! I am so excited to see Sashi the Scared Little Sheltie in person and of course in print! A percentage of sales will benefit Sheltie Rescue. This project has truly been a labor of love, its a precious story and would make a great holiday gift for any kid or family with pets.
In recent news, I have completed my fourth book (second to be published)--- Wilson Tries New Foods! Below are a few sneak-peaks. This book was such a pleasure to create and I learned a lot too, so its a great book for parents with kids who are hesitant or refuse to eat the things they need to grow and succeed.
In even more recent news--- I've started my fifth book! Benjamin Birdie's First Flight, written by Michael Dostikas. I am so excited about this story, its characters, its charm, its writing--- everything about it is so fresh and of course adorable. Below is the first 2 pages.
The above is pages 21-22 of Wilson Tries New Foods Children's Book. This book is so much fun! Author, Ashley Stewart, uses rhythm and catchy tunes to teach kids that eating well can be fun and that all you have to do is try it out and you'll see! I am now half-way done illustrating the book and I cannot wait to share the rest of it soon.
I started a WebComic in my free time. Its called Bark Point Rescue Alliance. Each week the 'mission' is to help a cat or dog that has been waiting for their home for far too long. I have asked Rescues and Shelters-- and friends of Rescue-- to nominate real pets to be spotlighted. I have done 3 so far, and 1 has been adopted since! I am hoping this webcomic will take off and that people will be lining up to adopt a BPRA pet! I can dream big, can't I?
I also started working on my next book, Wilson Tries New Foods. I am really liking working in a new style! I have finished 6 pages so far and its going to be a fun book. Its very educational and it rhymes, which I LOVE. All kids need to learn how to eat healthy in a fun way~!
After a year and half, Where's Ray is complete! We are still working out a few details, but its done! Hurray, here is the second to last spread. I have also attached my present for the sister's engagement as well as a concept for my next book, Wilson Tries New Foods-- which will be published by Brown Books Kids.
I've skipped uploading a few spreads in Sashi so far. Since I know this one will be hitting shelves this December I don't want to give it all away! But here is the fourth spread. I am 1/4 done with the book and ironically enough Sashi is 1/4 to her goal on our Kickstarter--- please check it out and buy yourself a copy, you won't regret it. Sashi has an amazing story to tell.
Last Friday Evening I went to the Society of Illustrators here in Manhattan to see their Icons of Animation show. The work of Peter de Seve, Carlos Nine, William Joyce and Bill Pympton is on view now. The artwork is beyond amazing but that goes without saying. I had not been back since I took a class trip with my Syracuse peers a few years ago now. Seeing the art and taking it all in in-person was cool enough of an experience but it did not even come close to what came later in the night.
My boyfriend, of almost 4 years now, and I sat upstairs at their bar drinking wine and taking in all the illustrations on the walls for hours. I hoped to be able to get Peter de Seve and his wife, Randall de Seve's autographs. Their book together, The Duchess of Whimsy was a purchase I made before it was even out on shelves! I brought the book with me on the off-chance I would have the opportunity to meet them. When I first saw the great Peter de Seve standing amongst his work in the gallery it was un-real. I think every artist has an idol, someone whose work they can just stare at for what could be hours, whose books they can buy just so they can always skim through it if they are not feeling inspired. Just a few glances over Mr. de Seve's A Sketchy Past is sure to remind me what to aspire to. I've been a fan of Peter de Seve's since the moment I learned his name in High School. All throughout college I referenced his work, studied his work and tried my hardest so master watercolors. It was not really in the cards for me to be a traditional painter as I have moved mostly to digital. However what I really love more than anything in Peter de Seve's work is his amazing sketching ability and his line quality. He is able to capture an expression with just the slightest of touches. He has worked on some of the best animated films in the last 15 years and I have watched every single one and always stay to see his name in the credits. When I graduated, for whatever reason my professors had all of us send our portfolios to various places. I sent one to Pixar, one to Blue Sky, one to Dreamworks and one to Peter de Seve. Of course this was folly as each of these places (and person) are probably swamped with this kind of thing. But it just goes to show how incredibly honored and excited I was to be in the same room as my greatest idol.
We kept waiting for the opportune moment to try and talk to Peter de Seve. His adorable daughters were there as well. His youngest sat on a windowsill drawing the entire time, her talent showing already! She was drawing Disney's Frozen characters. I find myself listening to the Frozen soundtrack at least once a day and asked her to draw Sven the reindeer and within minutes she did! Incredible. The moment just never felt right to interrupt Peter de Seve to get his autograph. It was a moment that I never thought would happen, everything was so surreal. I had known he lived in the NYC area just from following his blog but I never thought I'd have this kind of opportunity and I was close to spoiling it!
Then the talented, hilarious and humble Tom Bloom started up a chat with Zack. (The boyfriend). They spoke about beards for what felt like 20 minutes and eventually he looked down to see my copy of Duchess of Whimsy. He asked if I had gotten it signed yet and I admitted I hadn't found the right moment. As he was leaving the Society and saying goodbye he turned to me and said, "you better go talk to him!" I laughed and thought, 'easier said then done'. He must have read that in my face because he then took it upon himself to tell Peter de Seve he had cowardly fan of his sitting in the corner of the bar nervously sipping red wine. He laughed and waved me over.
I sheepishly walked over to him with his book clutched in my hands. From there I barely remember what I said or what he said! But I do know it was one of the coolest and most surreal experiences of my artistic life. He gave me a hug and handshake and then went on to sketch and sign my copy of his book! He was so kind and I was so honored. I have attached a drawing I did for him of his late pit bully Darla, as well as his and his wife's signature in the book.
I finished my first Children's book today!!! I am sure there may be some edits here and there and things are really done. But I finished all the spreads and its a cool feeling. Now just wish me and my author luck in self-publishing!