Wednesday, April 27, 2011

my visit with Kelly Light

SCBWI is such a cool organization. A couple of years ago, Kelly Light popped up on my blog. She is an illustrator from the East Coast who had grabbed my card from the Summer Conference, and we began to correspond. Turns out we have a similar background in animation, are moms and love lines. Plus, she reminds me a ton of my cousin Patty. We totally hit it off, and talked in person at last year's summer conference. We spent Easter with my Aunt in Massachusetts (just got back) and I thought while I was back there I'd give her a call. Kelly was kind enough to make time for me, even though she's on a deadline, and we went to the Eric Carle museum and then had a cuppa coffee. Talked shop. Totally fun! Kelly's got this great little house they've remodeled that's a little retreat- I had been following its progress on her blog. Darling place. I'm so glad we got to get together- being an illustrator can be a bit isolated. SCBWI did its job, and introduced us. Thanks for a fun visit, Kelly!

You can see her amazing work at, or follow her blog at

Thursday, April 14, 2011

collaboration 2 and Leilani

My illustrator group is breaking up. I'm devastated. So many amazing people, and I know I'll stay in touch with all of them, but there is just something reassuring about knowing that a group meets at a certain time and place every month, and without that regularity I know it will be a lot harder to keep in touch. Marilyn (the Toymaker) and Veronica have hosted for five years. Sheesh. That's a big commitment. I don't know how I would have found my way without them.

I'm graduating with my MFA in May, just bought my cap and gown (I could really find a much more attractive outfit for $100) and that means that that group is breaking up too. Waa. Ten of us are graduating this semester from CSUF. All of the artists are amazing, and it, too, has been a great group to be part of. If you aren't doing anything for the next eight Saturday nights, you should head over to campus and check out the art. Katy Betz and Frans Kusuma are this weekend. Great stuff. Plus, they're always catered, so it's a cheap date night.

So I guess I'm really fortunate to have my writers group. I am groupy, if you haven't gotten that already, and being a Marine Corps Brat, I hate hate hate endings and goodbyes because my childhood was so full of them. I just got back, got great feedback on my latest page, inspiration for a new Surfside Girls cover for SCBWI's Agents Day, and support for plan B. I am posting the finished Leilani painting I did as a demo for class yesterday, as well as an anatomy handout I did, just because anatomy is so darn cool.

Monday, April 11, 2011

doors opening and closing

I'm having a little bit of a pity party. Surfside Girls has spent a bit of time at a publishing house, and I had all of my fingers and toes crossed it would go. I just got word that while the editor I was working with loved it, he couldn't rally the support needed to invest in it. Bummer. I totally believe you end up where you're supposed to, totally totally. And in a way this frees me up; I would love to print a bit of it and go sit some cons like APE in San Francisco with my writers group. But I'm still a little sad. I do have a couple of publishing houses in mind that I really want to send it to, maybe it will strike the right chord there.

I just finished another LA Times Kid's Reading Room illustration, and am quite happy with it. It prints Mother's Day, so I got to use Easter eggy colors. I used my beautiful neighbor Juana and her daughter Gabriella for inspiration- Juana is one of those people who is always beautiful, and keep her home and garden amazingly. Oh, if I had a little of that! I wish I could post the painting, but I certainly will after it prints.

I'm working on an upcoming character in the book, Leilani. Her haunting knowledge of hula and Hawaiian culture help Sam start to figure out what the heck is going on in her life. I'm going to do a watercolor demo for my Cartooning and Caricature class with her, so I'll post that result as well. Here's the drawing.