So I met an art agent at one of my SCBWI meetings and we talked about what I should take out and add to my portfolio. I took her advice and added a few new pieces, including this adorable Christmas scene! I love making holiday art <3 Check out my updated portfolio and let me know what you think! Also, follow my instagram for sketches and crafts (and my picture with Christina Perri #brag) I’m also spending my summer working on a picture book dummy, and wedding diy, so stay tuned!
Ok so the Wix blog is awful :( I updated my website with a new theme and artwork, but it seems that my posts are stuck in limbo somewhere. I am moving them back over to wordpress to make it easier on myself. I know that there is a lot of interest in my Jack Skellington costume, so I hope that people can find it!
Unfortunately I’ve been slacking on blogging! I got caught up in finals, but I’ve been off for weeks so no more excuses! So what have I been up to? Finishing up my junior year, which only took about six years to get to ;) I welcomed two new babies into the family, my brother and his wife had a boy, and my sister and her husband had a girl about a week apart <3 My family is ridiculously large, but I would not have it any other way.
I have also been working on some new art, as you can see in my portfolio. I added backgrounds to my mermaids, and added a new painting of girls building a treehouse. I also have a book dummy halfway completed, and the beginning of a troll story that I can’t wait to dig into. Tomorrow is already my next SCBWI meeting, and I hope I have enough done to feel accomplished. I think my goal was to have my book dummy completed-oops.
I also made a custom baby mobile for my Etsy shop inspired by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:
I might make a diy post for that, but I only took a few pictures of the process. I made the felt stuffs, and attached them to an up cycled mobile that I bought on Craigslist, so it really works and plays music :)
So I went to a SCBWI event entitled: Illustrator Mentoring Program: EVOLUTION RESOLUTION Resolve to Evolve your Illustration Career!
I mean, how awesome does that sound? I spent the night before printing portfolio pieces, and fighting my computer to make my postcards come out how I wanted them. I already knew that I need more “book” art in my portfolio, instead of just prints but thats about it, I am a total newb at this.
I gave myself extra time since I always get lost- and *shocker* there I was wandering around Princeton looking for the right building, but thankfully I wasn’t the only the only one! I met two others looking for it and I knew than that I had met my people :)
I really just loved the whole thing. Even though I lost an hour of sleep with the time change and it was early, even though it was a really long day, and even though I had to drive an hour each way to pick up my kids afterwards. Meeting people, (mostly other women) at different levels and with different backgrounds and with different goals was one of the best parts. I really do love people, although I am a bit awkward and quiet. I’ve discovered that I’m an introvert and thats ok- it doesn’t mean that I don’t like being around people, it just means that I probably need a nap afterwards, or a drink ;) (Thanks Marie Forleo!)
I also got one-on-one time with an art director who worked at Scholastic for 15 years, and is also a published illustrator herself. She gave us a lot of really great resources on where and how to send our art, such as postcards and book dummys. She gave us an inside look of how a book is published, and what art directors look for. We also talked about our websites and portfolios and self promotion after becoming published. It was glorious.
After lunch, we spent some time with an Illustrator Agent, and got to look through a bunch of books that her clients have published, even in various states of publication. She had us do an exercise to make a better bio, where we had to fill out a questionnaire then write one. She read us some really good bios for inspiration. Again I had my portfolio looked at and got some really excellent tips on improving it. One of which is to start using social media prompts to make unexpected illustrative pieces. I already made one if you check out my twitter or instagram you can check it out!
So this is what I have taken away:
- I really want/need to play with gouache
- Use social media to play around with new ideas
- break goals into small manageable tasks
- make postcards personal to the recipient and send out often
- the more words it takes to describe a picture book, the less its working
- take out anything you don’t want to draw again from your portfolio
- use different portfolios for different editors (picture books vs middle grades)
My Goal is to complete my picture book dummy by our next meeting and to continue to improve my portfolio. There are a million other notes I have, but I don’t want to give it all away ;) I want to give a big thank you to Liza Hernandez and Karen Romagna and anyone else who put this together! I am so ready to do this <3
Being snowed in almost all week sure does not make a girl feel very girly and valentines-y! Thankfully the sun has come out, so maybe I can get my car out and get to the mall for a pretty date night outfit :) One very big thing has happened recently that I have not blogged about- I got engaged on Christmas <3 So this will be our millionth Valentines day together, but our first as a betrothed couple. I made a little printable if you’d like to download it:
Just click to enlarge, save and print! This song has been in my head for days, not that I mind. I’m also on the hunt for a new printer and scanner to step up my art game. This painting is so much prettier and richer than my scanner gives it credit for. I’m thinking this printer which everyone who sells prints on easy seems to be obsessed with, and this scanner which had really good reviews.
And speaking of upping my art game, I’ve registered for my first SCBWI event!
From the website: “Are you ready to take your career in illustration to the next level? Are you working on a dummy, revamping or beginning a portfolio, ready to put together a successful marketing campaign? This could be just the program you’ve been looking for!”
Um Yes, and yes! As nerve wracking as it is to have my art critiqued, this is also the kick in the pants that I need- I will actually make goals and figure out how to get where I want with my art. Or they’ll tell me to not quit my day job- at least I hope that they are honest with me. My portfolio is tiny but I am really trying to work on it even though school and life keeps me busy. I am also supposed to have postcards ready by then to hand out, which I must get a move on with! Ok I have a lot to do- until next time!
Unfortunately in the age of the internet I don’t get to completely take this snow day off, I still have to sign on to my class website and hand work in- but at least I don’t have to be at school all night like I usually am! Today we finished up Valentines for my sons class-
Busy at work! We looked around on Pinterest for a while, but wound up kind of making something up as we went along. I cut out pink and red hearts from construction paper, and he stamped and decorated them- with spider-man stamps and stickers of course. Nothing says Valentines Day like spidey ;)
We then glued them to a large popsicle stick (since we have a million of them).
We also glued some black hearts to the other side to make it more finished looking.
We made a special one for Grandpa-
He would not make a normal face at all, but thats ok. Also when taking photos I should probably make sure he wears matching pjs..snow day rules!
We made these in two separate days, he had to make 22 altogether I think! Writing his name became especially boring for him, so some were finished up by me. All in all though he had a lot of fun, and even learned how to cut a heart out by folding the paper and cutting half a heart out (drawn by me) it was like he just witnessed magic :) So fun to watch him!
I did have some time to make some dinosaur art before my next semester begins (night classes-yikes). I really want to have some postcards ready to send out to publishers and I think these may be what I use. And I also updated the look of my website to look more professional, what do you think?
I have not had time to post lately with the holidays, my son’s birthday party coming up and a million other things that I have to write about! I did have a chance to quickly scan in a painting I did for Christmas- enjoy!
Now that school is over and done with for the year, I can concentrate on Christmas and Art- two of my most favorite things <3 sigh. Excuse me, I’m in bliss right now. The house is decorated (almost) all of the gifts are bought, and plus I get to have my adorable niece over for a sleep-over. It wasn’t always like this for me- it used to be waiting for that elusive and mysterious christmas bonus to start shopping. How much would it be and when will I get it? Will I even get one this year? Ever get a bonus on Christmas Eve? I have.. What time is the mall opened until on Christmas Eve??
Its kind of a good thing to go through that-not only am I (and my boyfriend) extremely thankful, but as a business owner he hands out those bonuses before the worry sets in ;)
Ok so onto some Art! I promised myself that the time that was spent on schoolwork while at home shall now be spent on my portfolio. Its a law punishable by self-loathing and regret. So yesterday I sat down while my son was napping and went onto the SCBWI site to see what the illustrator’s intensive prompt was for the winter conference. Something caught my eye about the Tomie dePaola Illustrator’s award so I clicked it. According to the site: The Tomie dePaola Illustrator Award, is given annually to an illustrator of promise chosen by Tomie himself. The award consists full tuition, transportation and accommodations to the New York Winter Conference held in Manhattan. The winning piece of art will be featured at the annual winter conference in New York.
Sounds awesome right? The deadline is…today! Of course, I work best under pressure so I got right on it! I used pencil and watercolors- thoughts or comments? I kind of love it-its weird like me :)
Here is the prompt for the 2013 award:
Over the past few years, the picture book seems to be geared more towards the very young crowd. With this in mind, here is this year’s task:
Illustrate a poem (see below) in full color for a book of poems that will be “pitched” to parents to read to their babies, toddlers, etc.
Is a breeze
Ka-ching! That is the sound of boxes being checked off, and lists being crossed- or is it ka-chink? Either way, it the end of the semester, another three classes checked off, final assignments crossed off-things moving along and wrapping up. I’ve made a million (or was it just six?) christmas elves to sell on Etsy, and they’ve all sold! Ka-ching! My brain is all over the place so please excuse my crazy. I would love to add an elf pattern (which I’ve started) to Etsy but I cannot find the time. I would love to finish decorating for christmas and bask in the clean decorated christmas house for more than one week this year. I would also love to finish some more art! Two more finals next week, plus a trip to Manhattan to see the tree and windows. A bit more shopping, then on to the glorious cleaning/wrapping/baking part of the holidays that I love! So close, so so close- how can I possibly study? I’ve just got to push through, like I always do and think about how there are only two more semesters until student teaching- just a few more boxes to check off…