Monday, July 21, 2014

It's a Capybara world after all

or is it?

Some would say it's a Dog Eat Dog world, but I wouldn't worry about these guys.

Speaking of dogs,

Doggy Bag and most products & prints in my Society6 Shop are shipped FREE this week!

Lotta Buns, Gingham Bear, Hello Love and Doggy bags, available in several sizes

Hello Love pillows and covers, available in several sizes 

Little Darlings is available as a print, bag or pillow, comes in several sizes

Nice catch, Cat! art print available in several sizes - Venice Gustavo gondolier series

One of the loveliest girls I know turns 11 tomorrow, her party was Saturday. 

Zex and baby Mirabelle

Time sure flies!

In Venice last month with her mom

*Happy* *Birthday* *Mirabelle*

May you experience many wonderful adventures in life! Travel is a great start :) 

It's Monday. There's no telling how the week will unfold.

I hope there are some nice surprises in store for us all!
See more illustration work, browse some products or see more pics on Instagram
why not?

xo, A

Monday, July 14, 2014

Birds, Acorns & Fluffy Tails

Some days don't start out so well, but who knows how they'll end up.
This is a little study of a bird who appears in my work again and again.

 Little yellow birds play the part of best friends in my series,

More in bird news....

and sketching. 
I love sketching, whether in pencil, pen or charcoal.
It's tough to create a finished piece with that same energy, looseness
and humor that a sketch may have. 


Below are sketches I made for a CBIG event, Illustrator Day, which was held yesterday.
The assignment was to pick a time tested story and recreate a spread from the book.

I chose the classic "Miss Suzy" written by Miriam Young in 1964, 
illustrated beautifully by the great, Arnold Lobel. 
It's about a sweet grey squirrel who is chased out of her lovely house atop an oak tree. 
She finds a place to live and makes new friends, but longs to return home. 
With some help, she does just that!

I chose Semadar Megged, art director at Philomel, Penguin Group 
to critique my piece. 
I received constructive feedback from her about my sketches and she suggested I
work up the one below for my final.

Unfortunately, I did not complete my final piece, but for some reason I wanted to share.
I'm disappointed that I've let Miss Suzy and myself down.
My jobs in the film business, on commercials, can be unpredictable, 
sometimes hectic, sometimes long hours. Last week was a busy one for me. 
That's not an excuse, because had I simply started sooner I would have had work to share.

I will continue to work on Miss Suzy.
She's one of the kindest characters, down on her luck and in need of a hand,
one that she deservedly gets :)

Everyone can relate to that.
Hope your week is off to a strong start!
xo, A

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sand Castles, Treasure, Sketches & Pizza

My latest illustrations include sketches and work created for my
children's book art portfolio. I had a chance to share it at the NJSCBWI Conference
last weekend in Plainsboro, NJ.

These are some pencil sketches I made for my piece submitted in the 
"Down By The Shore" themed contest. 

It did not win. I found the courage to break it to these guys today. It didn't seem to bother them ;)

I tend to create characters who take play seriously, like Bella bun and her sand castle,
or animals on a quest, treasure hunts are big with me. 
I also have a soft spot for the oblivious character, like sunbather bun, 
and the trepidatious, like terrier in float.

These are some sketches of Bella bun as she rescues her doll, her best friend, Dolly.

I'm not sure yet what little bun is telling big bun, assume it's about the bullies.

A little soap and hot water does the trick.

Dolly is happy to be home.

This is my muted version of Bella and Dolly.

Here she is brighter. Below, is a whole other, plumper peppier, Bella.

I took a vote on my Facebook page and the numbers were very close.
I'm leaning towards the more vulnerable, slightly sad looking bun,
but we'll see as I work out her story.

These are the two sketches I made for Pizza Picnic.

I made some changes and presented the one below as my final for the Illustrator Intensive,
The Nitty Gritty of Character development with Anne Armstrong of the Bright Agency.

My dream would be to one day have representation with Bright. I don't rule others out, but 
I'm a fan of many of their illustrators, Benji Davies, Laura Hughes, Amelie Graux, to name a few.
Plus, they have agents for kids' book illustration and art licensing.

I also had my one-on-one portfolio review with Anne. She was warm, 
easy to to talk to about my work and has a great eye, of course. 
She moved this year and so left Candlewick Press, who has published some of my 
favorite books with illustrator greats like Anita Jeram and Jon Klassen.

It's exciting to receive feedback on work, particularly since I haven't shown my book 
to many people at this point. I was aware of the areas that need attention and adjusting, 
but it was really helpful to have someone offer specific ideas on how to achieve
the desired effect.
I think I learned some tips that could help strengthen my images 
and allow the main characters to pop, as they say.

Below are just a few of my initial sketches to suit criteria for the assignment.

Anne particularly liked the little grey bun trying to reach a slice.
For that reason alone, I will develop him more! I like him, too,
but you know ...

I made a series of expressive cats. You may have seen my sad cat posted here a few weeks ago.

Fox is more fully realized. He's following his dream of creating the very best pizzas and pastas
Brooklyn has to offer.

I resisted taking photos during the conference. 
I did take a few beauties like these...

Hallway reminiscent of the one in The Shining

Crowne Plaza wall art

Nice Paper Source window in Princeton

Wish I'd had some time to tour the school.
Yuko and I had a fun time visiting Palmer Square with Kristine,
who kindly took us out for dinner in Princeton Saturday night.

A big thank you to Leeza Hernandez, Karen Romagna, Sheri Oshins
and the NJ SCBWI Team for making this such a fun and valuable experience.
It was great to see familiar faces from CBIG 
Barbara DiLorenzo, you're doing an excellent job :)
The Crowne Plaza hotel was comfortable with lovely surroundings 
and a very nice staff. Next year I'll bring my suit for the pool!

Thanks for taking a look!

* Have a fun-filled 4th of July *

xo, A


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