I love to illustrate for children. They notice the small details I really enjoy putting into my work. I have had the pleasure of illustrating books for children, and I would love to illustrate some more books! Here is a small sampling of some of my illustration work for children.
I love creating patterns! Lately I have had a lot of fun entering competitions on Spoonflower. My Ornaments on Craft Paper won second place in a recent gift wrap design competition, and I thoroughly enjoyed wrapping some presents with it! I also placed in the top ten with my Calaveras Damask pattern, which was very fun to create! If there is a pattern you would like to see me create, tell me about it. And if you feel my artwork would suit a project in the works, let me know! :)
I feel I have finally embraced the technology I feared in college. My Wacom tablet is my favorite sidekick! Without the fear of making an irreversible mistake, I feel loose and free when I work digitally. Here are some examples of the ways I have employed digital illustration, both on its own and in mixed media pieces. Lately I have really enjoyed employing digital coloring to scanned graphite drawings and adding digital drawings over scanned gouache and watercolor paintings. The first pieces in this gallery are recent examples of these techniques.
I love creating custom pieces, specifically tailored to the needs of my clients. Whether it is a wedding portrait for your invitation suite, a floral border to match your bouquet, a personalized thank you card, or a custom illustrated map to show your guests the way to your venues, I thoroughly enjoy making clients' wishes come to life. I work in a variety of mediums, but most of these examples were created using either watercolor or gouache. Feel free to contact me for examples in other mediums or for other types of projects.
I have had the opportunity to illustrate books for children and young adults, and here is a sampling of some of my favorite projects, starting with the most recent. In 2014 I had the honor of illustrating the cover of a book here in Iceland. I only wish I knew Icelandic well enough to read it!!
When I went to art school, I took a class where we painted into an old book for the entire semester. Every assignment had key words or themes that we could run with. At first it was terribly frustrating to me because there wasn't enough structure and constraints, but then I started to really enjoy it and get into it. During that semester, I filled that book from cover to cover, and it was a piece I loved to show people because it was a great creative outlet and showed the variety and a looseness that is not as prevalent in my more structured work.
My favorite assignment that I painted into the book was called "evil twins." I trimmed two pages close to the gutter in between each page I was going to draw/paint on. I sketched one of the twins on one side of each of these spreads with a soft graphite pencil, put the two facing pages together and rubbed the back of the sketch to transfer a mirror image to the facing page. Then I finished the illustrations with a combination of acrylic, watercolor, and ink. Finally, I glued in a mylar transparency sheet I had cut to the size of the page in between the pages I had trimmed short so there would be a clear page in between each of the sets of twins. I had decided beforehand on a feature that would determine which twin was evil, and I painted that feature onto the clear sheet. Then, when the pages were flipped, it would change which twin looked to be the evil twin. The defining evil features were a mustache, wicked eyebrows, ghostly blank eyes, fangs, and jail bars. I would love to do a whole book like this someday if an awesome publisher would be willing to take the risk. It was really fun, and I loved the results!
The piece with the priest surrounded by breasts is called "Temptation," and it won the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles Merit Award in 2007.
I submitted images of the book for the Altered Books Exhibition at the Minneapolis Central Library that same year and it was selected to be put on display, but when I looked for it in my studio, it was nowhere to be found. I have no idea where this book is today. I don't know if I misplaced it or if someone stole it, but I sincerely hope it is safe somewhere and that someone is enjoying it!
If you want to make a book like this, go to a second-hand store or a library book sale and purchase an inexpensive hardcover that inspires you. Then grab markers, acrylic paint, gesso, or whatever materials you would like to use and go to work! It helps to start with a theme, like perhaps a color, a letter, a number, or a concept or phrase. If you do get this idea here and run with it, contact me and send me some pictures. I think that would be super awesome!