Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going Away

This will be my last post for a while. I am taking a much-needed vacation to a far, far away place. All I can say is that I'll be surrounded by history and mythology. I hope to share some pictures when I come back in about three weeks or so. I will miss all of you. I will miss reading my favorite blogs and participating in Illustration Friday.

However, I am looking forward to all the history and ruins and museums and even caves. I am taking my new Moleskines and plan on sketching all of the time. I hope to share some of my drawings when I get back.

So for now, I’m signing out and closing shop!

What are you doing for fun this summer?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Illustration Friday: Worn as in Worn Out!

The first images that came to mind after reading the prompt were a worn shoe or shirt. However, after thinking a little more, I decided to go with the idea of someone worn out and in need of a vacation. I know I am! This charming old lady is certainly enjoying a much needed break by the beach.
I would still like to do the 'before' and show her in a more stressful 'worn-out' scenario and perhaps add some color, but for now, this will have to do.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cover Design

I just received in the mail my copy of a book by Jim Metzger, a self published author. I designed the wrap around cover a while back and although it is not a children's book, I thought I'd share it here. This was a fun project!

This is the entire wrap around cover:

Sunday, June 21, 2009


A Red Velvet Cake dedicated

To all the Dads out there...


Now some pictures of the process:

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Here's a couple of images I've worked on this week:

She's making a list and she's checking it twice to make sure her potion tastes right.

I know, my mind is already drifting to Halloween time and we are just beginning our summer!

This boy is trying to keep his kite from drifting away

I guess it was a very productive week. Everything I've been working on, has been so involved, that it was fun to just work on quick spot illustrations.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do you know how to build a mailing list? and Award

I am going to send out my first mailer in the next month or so, but before I do that I need to create a mailing list.

Back in January during the regional SCBWI conference, speakers emphasized the need to do your homework and be accurate when sending post cards or a package. Include the name of the AD or editor receiving the mailer and personalize the letters.

I wanted to pose a question to my readers that actively market themselves. How do you find current information for publishers? Is there a magic quick way of doing this? Or is this as painful and tedious as I think it might be… finding publishers and going on their web sites to find a number to call. Then calling and asking who’s the AD and the editor. Is this how everyone does it?  How do you do it? How do you compile the info and do you use a specific software to store all the data?

I would love to know!!!! 

I also want to let you know how much I appreciate every bit of info you can provide. Thanks for sharing! 

On a separate note, I wanted to thank Monica and Andrea for this award. I am so honored. They are so talented! Their work was most recently published on the cover of 'Night of the Crabs'. Please check it out when you can.

Here are few rules if you accept the award
Feel free to deliver this award to eight other people
(or as many bloggers you would like) and include the
following text with the award on your site.
" These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.
They are not interested in self aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut,
even more friendship are propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers."

My list is:

I would like to keep going as there are so many artists that I admire and find inspire me, but I feel I must stop for the sake of time.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Now that I’ve completed the Three Billy Goats Gruff, it seems appropriate to post the entire book so that everyone can see it unfold. Thank you all for the feedback and support; Especially the feedback about the cover. I found it very helpful.


I spent the last 2.5 months working on this project and I learned so much! I enjoyed developing the characters and coming up with the thumbnails and thinking about the layout and perspective. It was so much fun! I know I am in the right place!


I am looking forward to working on other subjects now that this project is complete. This file will be available on my web site in both Flash and PDF. I hope you enjoy it!


This post is about the mechanics of putting together a booklet at home and making it look as professional as possible.

What you will need:

  1. A nice well lit open area where you can spread your work comfortably
  2. A cutting mat to protect your working area
  3. A metallic ruler (you cannot cut into it)
  4. An Exacto knife with a fresh blade and some extra blades in hand
  5. A sharp point item such as a clothespin
  6. A burnishing tool
  7. A scoring tool or a dull knife (like a butter knife)
  8. A few loose staples

I used InDesign, which is a publishing software to layout all of my pages and layout the text. I would recommend using this or similar software as this makes the layout process more intuitive and simple. I then printed the pages at home on regular printing paper and on both sides. This was tricky and it took a while to figure out. The biggest problem was getting the printer to line up the pages on both sides so when they were folded down the middle, they would match. One option is to print your spreads on one side and then spray the back and glue them together. However, I wanted to end up with thinner pages to make flipping the pages feel more natural. I won’t tell you all of the things I tried that did not work, but I can tell you that I chose the borderless option, and printed using the InDesign printer dialogue (not exporting to PDF as some suggest) and chose the print booklet option, crop marks on. From there, I figured out how to print only the front spreads, then flipped the page in the printer and printed only the bottom (back) spreads. This was really complex and I had to refer to my original sketchbook to figure out which pages went where and in what order they would print.

Now put it together…

Using your scoring tool or dull knife score every page down the middle

Fold each page and gently press on the crease with your fingers, then with the burnishing tool press down the crease to have a defined clean fold.

Stack the pages together and test that you have the pages in the correct order.

Now you could staple your book together, but I find that I can never be precise with my stapler and the staple always lands just off the fold line. This is how to do it manually…

Lay the dummy flat and unfolded on the mat board. Use the ruler to measure the distance from the top of the spine to where the first staple begins. Using your clothespin press down on the paper until you have perforated all of the pages.  Measure the width of the staple and make another hole on the paper to match the width of the staple. Do the same for the bottom part of the spine. You may use a third staple in the middle if you have a long spine. Now take the staple and push it through all the pages. Do this with all the staples. Flip your dummy and lay it flat on the mat. Push the staples inward with your fingers to close them and use the burnishing tool to make sure they are bent in to the paper as much as possible. Close the book dummy.

Use your metallic ruler and line it up with the crop marks and use your Exacto knife to cut off the excess paper. A few safety tips: Always cut away from your body, and apply firm pressure but not too much. Don’t expect to cut through all the pages in one pass. You may need 3 or more passes to cut through all those pages. Repeat on all sides. On my book I moved the ruler about an 1/8” out from the crop marks to allow for the pages that creep out more toward the center of the dummy, you many need to be flexible with where you crop the book.

Voilá! Your book is finished!


Saturday, June 6, 2009


This is the cover I have for the dummy. I posted the entire cover (front/back) and a close up of the front. There's not much in the way of point of view, but I thought it did a good job of introducing the goats. I decided to leave the troll out of the cover.
I'm still working on the last pages of the book. ANY feedback, good or bad, is really always welcomed. 
I hope to take pictures during the assembly process and post them here in the coming weeks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

IF: Craving

Little Tim Tin was surprised by a bunch of slimy little aliens when he went to the fridge to satisfy a midnight craving.

This week I'm only posting a sketch. I liked how it came out and I'd like to add color to it if I ever get the chance. I've been thinking a lot about my portfolio and realize that I don't have a lot of different subjects. Lots of children, but not a lot of other stuff. I'm not sure if this is portfolio worthy, but I think in terms of subject I'm definitely moving in the right direction.

I'm trying to wrap up the dummy book while the family has been fighting a virus. Hopefully, I'll have it all done by next week. Yay! I may post the cover separately, just to get feedback.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for all your comments...